On Tuesday, President Donald Trump sent a scathing letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing the Democrats of impeaching him without evidence of any high crimes or misdemeanors. In fact, he said Pelosi is trying to impeach him for actions he did not do but former Vice President Joe Biden actually did. In doing so, the Democrats are violating their oaths of office and proving themselves disloyal to the Constitution.
“The Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence,” the president wrote. “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. “You dare to invoke the Founding Fathers in pursuit of this election-nullification scheme—yet your spiteful actions display unfettered contempt for America’s founding and your egregious conduct threatens to destroy that which our Founders pledged their very lives to build.”
The president took aim at the Democrats’ articles of impeachment: abuse of power in the July 25 phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and obstruction of Congress.
As for the first claim, Trump dismissed it as “a completely disingenuous, meritless, and baseless invention of your imagination.”
In the call, the president asked Zelensky to investigate a theory that Ukrainian officials helped the Democrats in the 2016 U.S. election and to investigate potential corruption involving Hunter Biden, the son of Joe Biden who got a lucrative job at a Ukrainian gas firm while Joe Biden was the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine. Later, Biden pressured Ukraine to fire a prosecutor looking into that notoriously corrupt gas company.
Trump referenced the transcript of the July 25 call, noting that he asked Zelensky to do “us a favor, not me, and our country, not a campaign” (emphasis original). “Every time I talk with a foreign leader, I put America’s interests first, just as I did with President Zelensky.”
The president then went on to accuse Democrats of weaponizing a policy dispute. “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.
Then Trump launched into Biden.
You know full well that Vice President Biden used his office and $1 billion dollars of U.S. aid money to coerce Ukraine into firing the prosecutor who was digging into the company paying his son millions of dollars. You know this because Biden bragged about it on video. Biden openly stated: “I said, ‘I’m telling you, you’re not getting the billion dollars’…I looked at them and said: ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’ Well, son of a bitch. He got fired.” Even Joe Biden admitted just days ago in an interview with NPR that it “looked bad.”
Then the president went for the jugular: “Now you are trying to impeach me by falsely accusing me of doing what Joe Biden has admitted he actually did.”
Trump went on to note that both Zelensky and Ukraine’s foreign minister have repeatedly insisted that there was “no pressure” and no link between congressionally-appropriated military funding to Ukraine and the investigations Trump asked for.
The president also condemned the “Obstruction of Congress” charge as “preposterous and dangerous.”
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. As liberal law professor Jonathan Turley warned when addressing Congressional Democrats: “I can’t emphasize this enough…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 went on to accuse Pelosi and her caucus of having “developed a full-fledged case of what many in the media call Trump Derangement Syndrome and sadly, you will never get over it!” He noted that Democrats “are unwilling and unable to accept the verdict issued at the ballot box during the great Election of 2016. So you have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes. You view democracy as your enemy!”
The president then launched into a litany of Democrat attacks against him, starting with early calls for his impeachment shortly after his inauguration.
“You and your party are desperate to distract from America’s extraordinary economy, incredible jobs boom, record stock market, soaring confidence, and flourishing citizens,” he added, referencing the lowest-ever unemployment rates for black, Hispanics, and Asian Americans, the tax cuts, more than 170 federal judges and two Supreme Court justices, the elimination of the individual mandate, the Space Force, “a defeated ISIS caliphate and the killing of the world’s number one terrorist leader, al-Baghdadi,” the USMCA, the latest trade deal with China, withdrawal from the Iran deal and the Paris Agreement, the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and much more.
Trump also launched into the Mueller probe and the Trump-Russia investigations before it. “After three years of unfair and unwarranted investigations, 45 million dollars spent, 18 angry Democrat prosecutors, the entire force of the FBI, headed by leadership now proven to be totally incompetent and corrupt, you have found NOTHING! … You forced our nation through turmoil and torment over a wholly fabricated story, illegally purchased from a foreign spy by Hillary Clinton and the DNC in order to assault our democracy. Yet, when the monstrous lie was debunked and this Democrat conspiracy dissolved into dust, you did not apologize.”
He insisted that if Democrats “truly cared about freedom and liberty for our nation,” they would investigate “the FBI’s horrifying abuses of power before, during, and after the 2016 election,” rather than targeting Trump.
“You are the ones interfering in America’s elections. You are the ones subverting America’s Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish personal, political, and partisan gain,” the president thundered.
Trump also referenced Federalist 65, in which Alexander Hamilton warned that impeachment should not be weaponized for political gain.
“Any member of Congress who votes in support of impeachment—against every shred of truth, fact, evidence, and legal principle—is showing how deeply they revile the voters and how truly they detest America’s Constitutional order. Our Founders feared the tribalization of partisan politics, and you are bringing their worst fears to life,” he wrote.
Trump further excoriated Democrats for subverting his due process rights, claiming, “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”
‘This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth,” he added. He warned that impeachment has united the Republican Party behind him, and that “history will judge you harshly because you proceeded with this impeachment charade.”
He concluded with a warning about 2020. “I have no doubt the Americana people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election. They will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power.”
The letter, available in full here, reads like an apotheosis of the president’s Twitter account. Yet he backed up legal arguments with references echoing Trump campaign lawyer Jenna Ellis. Ellis confirmed to PJ Media that she read over the letter, but said it was “100 percent him.”
The president’s hyperbolic rhetoric went too far, but he notably refrained from calling the July 25 call with Zelensky “perfect,” as he has done many times before. While Trump did use some misleading hyperbole, his attacks against the articles of impeachment are well-grounded.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.