Donald Trump has dashed off an unhinged letter that smeared the impeachment process as “unconstitutional”, accusing Democrats of “perversion of justice and abuse of power” in their effort to remove him from office.
In a free-wheeling correspondence to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on the eve of his expected impeachment, the US President maintained that he did nothing wrong in seeking foreign investigation of a political rival.
In a six-page letter to Pelosi on on Tuesday, the US president attempted to debunk the misconduct outlined in the two articles of impeachment approved last week by the House Judiciary Committee.
The impeachment centres on Trump’s dealings with Ukraine and its president, Volodymyr Zelensky.
Trump has said publicly that he wanted Ukraine to announce an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, a move that could have harmed the vice president’s 2020 campaign.
Evidence clearly indicates Trump wished to leverage nearly $400 million in military aid and a coveted White House meeting in exchange for the announcement.
In his letter, Trump hits out at an “illegal, partisan attempted coup” as he deployed hyperbole and some of his favourite Twitter riffs - as well as boasting about his success at the ballot box: “Your party simply cannot compete with our record...”
1. Begins by claiming the process is the biggest “abuse of power” in American history, even though other presidents have faced impeachment.
“This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers, unequaled in nearly two and a half centuries of American legislative history.”
2. Claims it’s not about his alleged abuse of power but stopping him winning elections.
“You are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy. You dare to invoke the Founding Fathers in pursuit of this election-nullification scheme.”
3. Plus: Democrats are offending people of faith.
“Even worse than offending the Founding Fathers, you are offending Americans of faith by continually saying ‘I pray for the President’,” when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense. It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!”
4. His conversation with Zelensky was “perfect”.
“You know that I had a totally innocent conversation with the President of Ukraine. I then had a second conversation that has been misquoted, mischaracterized, and fraudulently misrepresented. Fortunately, there was a transcript of the conversation taken, and you know from the transcript (which was immediately made available) that the paragraph in question was perfect.”
5. Another favourite rebuttal: it’s a witch hunt.
“Once the phone call was made public, your whole plot blew up, but that didn’t stop you from continuing. More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”
6. Oh, and he won in 2016, remember.
“Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening. Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat. You have developed a full-fledged case of what many in the media call Trump Derangement Syndrome and sadly, you will never get over it!”
7. Trump is registering his objections “for the purpose of history”, not self-interest.
“It is time for you and the highly partisan Democrats in Congress to immediately cease this impeachment fantasy and get back to work for the American People. While I have no expectation that you will do so, I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.”