Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial in the Senate kicks into high gear this week. On Monday, his legal team indicated its intention to argue that the entire proceeding is an illegitimate attempt to remove the president from office and should be quickly ended with an acquittal.
According to a report from The New York Times, Trump’s legal team submitted a brief arguing that the two articles of impeachment passed primarily along party lines in the House of Representatives were the result of a “rigged process” initiated by progressives hoping to remove Trump from office.
An anonymous source revealed that Trump’s legal team will argue that the articles — one for abuse of power and one for obstruction of Congress — were the result of a “brazenly political act” that sets a dangerous precedent for future administrations. They will go on to say the Senate should quickly vote to acquit the president.
The legal team — which includes lawyers Alan Dershowitz and Ken Starr — doesn’t plan to deny that Trump spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in order to pressure the country to announce it was investigating Trump’s chief political opponent Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden. Instead, the team will argue that a president has the power to negotiate with foreign countries in order to address corruption and doing so isn’t an abuse of power.
Dershowitz has previously said that he will argue that the president was within his rights to “pressure” Ukraine, if the allegations that he did so prove to be true during the trial.
The argument echoes statements made by Trump in the past, most recently this weekend when he claimed that the impeachment in the House was unfair, calling out Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer of New York.
“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer is now asking for ‘fairness’, when he and the Democrat House members worked together to make sure I got ZERO fairness in the House. So, what else is new?” he wrote over the weekend.
Last week, he made a similar statement.
“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer just said, ‘The American people want a fair trial in the Senate.’ True, but why didn’t Nervous Nancy and Corrupt politician Adam ‘Shifty’ Schiff give us a fair trial in the House. It was the most lopsided & unfair basement hearing in the history of Congress!” he tweeted.
Democrats apparently intend to argue that Trump’s communication with Ukraine fills the requirements set by the Founders in the Constitution for an offense worthy of removing the president from office.