News & Politics

The Inside Story Behind Trump's Historic Impeachment Letter

President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at American Airlines Arena in Dallas, Texas, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump sent a historic letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, condemning the Democrats’ partisan impeachment effort. The president felt the need to get a message out to Democrats and to the American people after he was denied due process in the House’s process. He consulted with a constitutional lawyer on the letter before sending it on Tuesday.

“I reviewed it last night but it’s 100% him. It’s perfect,” Jenna Ellis, a constitutional lawyer and senior legal advisor for the Trump campaign, told PJ Media on Tuesday.

Of the letter, Ellis said, “It’s everything Americans are feeling and thinking about this unconstitutional impeachment scam. It’s so important, as the president said, to get the truth on the record since he was denied meaningful input and due process in the House.”

In the letter, the president condemned the Democrats’ articles of impeachment as “not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence. They include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever. You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!”

“By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy,” Trump declared.

These arguments echo comments Ellis made to PJ Media in November and December.

Ellis condemned the impeachment effort as a political attack on Trump designed to weaken his 2020 re-election campaign. She cited Federalist 65, in which Alexander Hamilton warned against impeachment becoming a political weapon, rather than a way to hold a president accountable for “high crimes and misdemeanors,” as Article II Section 4 of the Constitution puts it.

She called for Democrats pushing impeachment to be expelled from Congress for violating their oath of office.

Ellis also condemned the impeachment effort as a “direct attack against our Constitution and foundation of our government system.”

“They are weaponizing the power of impeachment that was never intended to provide the opportunity to oust a sitting president for sheer political hatred,” she said. The Democrat articles of impeachment did not accuse Trump of “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors” as stipulated in the Constitution.

The impeachment effort centers on the allegation that the president pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter for corruption. The Ukrainians have denied feeling any pressure and Trump has insisted that an investigation of Hunter Biden’s corruption is in America’s interest, since Joe Biden pressured Ukraine’s president to fire a prosecutor in charge of investigating Hunter Biden’s company.

Trump warned Pelosi, “Now you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did.”

The articles of impeachment accused Trump of “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress.” The president flipped these charges on their heads.

He accused the Democrats of weaponizing a policy disagreement.

“You are turning a policy disagreement between two branches of government into an impeachable offense—it is no more legitimate than the Executive Branch charging members of Congress with crimes for the lawful exercise of legislative power,” he wrote.

Trump also accused Democrats of obstruction of justice in pushing partisan investigations against him based on little to no evidence.

Among other things, the “obstruction of Congress” charge faults Trump for challenging congressional subpoenas in court, citing his executive privilege.

“House Democrats are trying to impeach the duly elected President of the United States for asserting Constitutionally based privileges that have been asserted on a bipartisan basis by administrations of both political parties throughout our Nation’s history. Under that standard, every American president would have been impeached many times over,” Trump wrote.

He also cited law professor John Turley, who warned, “If you impeach a president, if you make a high crime and misdemeanor of going to the courts, it is an abuse of power. It’s your abuse of power. You’re doing precisely what you’re criticizing the President for doing.”

Trump’s letter exaggerated a few things, and the use of the president’s signature hyperbolic style only backs up Jenna Ellis’s claim that it was “100% him,” even though she advised him in writing it. This letter will go down in history as the beleaguered president’s response to a painfully partisan attempt to oust him from office.

Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.