US President Donald Trump’s lawyers have urged the Senate to reject the impeachment articles approved by Democratic-led House of Representatives against him last month.
“The Senate should speedily reject these deficient articles of impeachment and acquit the President,” Trump’s legal team said in the US President’s first comprehensive defence on Monday.
“The Articles of Impeachment now before the Senate are an affront to the Constitution and to our democratic institutions. The Articles themselves – and the rigged process that brought them here – are a brazenly political act by House Democrats that must be rejected,” Xinhua news agency quoted Trump’s lawyers as saying in a filing.
The filing accuses House Democrats of crafting two “flimsy” articles of impeachment and using impeachment as “a political tool to overturn the result of the 2016 election and to interfere in the 2020 election”.
“All of this is a dangerous perversion of the Constitution that the Senate should swiftly and roundly condemn,” the legal brief stated.
On Saturday, House Democrats unveiled a 111-page outline of their legal case heading into the Trump impeachment trial in the Republican-majority Senate, underlying the central assertion that the US President abused his office, obstructed Congress and should be removed.
“The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that he is guilty of both. The only remaining question is whether the members of the Senate will accept and carry out the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and their constitutional Oaths,” read the brief compiled by seven House managers.
The trial in the Senate is set to begin on Tuesday with US Chief Justice John Roberts presiding.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has given the House until Saturday and the White House counsel until Monday to deliver trial briefs outlining their arguments, allowing a House deadline for rebuttal the following day.
Washington, Jan 21 (IANS)