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Trump Lawyers to Senate: Reject ‘Defective’ Impeachment Articles to Protect the ‘Will of the American People’

Trump Lawyers to Senate: Reject ‘Defective’ Impeachment Articles to Protect the ‘Will of the American People’On the eve of the Senate’s impeachment trial, President Trump’s attorneys outlined a defense strategy that seeks to turn House Democrats’ articles of impeachment on their head, arguing it was not the president who abused his power, but the House, and it was not the House’s duty that was unjustly obstructed, but the president’s.In a fiery, six-page letter released on Saturday, Trump’s lead lawyers—Jay Sekulow and Pat Cipollone—argue that the Senate should not only reject the articles of impeachment but that those articles are blatantly unconstitutional and violate the will of the American people.The articles, the attorneys claim, are “defective in their entirety… They are the product of invalid proceedings that flagrantly denied the president any due process rights. They rest on dangerous distortions of the Constitution that would do lasting damage to our structure of government.”In their attacks against the two articles passed by Democrats in December—which charge Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress in his effort to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals—Sekulow and Cipollone echo closely the substance and tone of arguments made by Trump’s GOP allies on Capitol Hill during the impeachment process.Those arguments emphasize that Trump denies the charges, the Ukrainians downplayed any pressure from Washington to open investigations, and that they eventually got the withheld security assistance anyway without announcing any investigations. And echoing a talking point from Trump himself—“read the transcript”—the lawyers also argue that the memoranda of transcripts of the April and July calls between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky show there was no unseemly conduct. They claim Democrats knew that, too, because House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) paraphrased the call during a September hearing.Republicans Melt Down as Evidence of Trump’s Guilt Piles Up“The fact that Mr. Schiff felt the need to fabricate a false version of the July 25 call proves that he and his colleagues knew there was absolutely nothing wrong with that call,” the attorneys write.In responding to the obstruction of Congress charge, the attorneys write that the administration—which has blocked key witnesses from testifying and withheld scores of documents from investigators—is simply exercising its constitutional imperatives in the face of what they describe as historic, damaging overreach from the House. “The House may not usurp Executive Branch authority and may not bypass our Constitution’s system of checks and balances,” the letter reads.In the letter’s conclusion, the attorneys also teased a final defense that rests on long-running GOP claims that impeachment is an attack on the electorate’s will in 2016.“In order to preserve our constitutional structure of government, to reject the poisonous partisanship that the Framers warned against, to ensure one-party political impeachment vendettas do not become ‘the new normal,’ and to vindicate the will of the American people, the Senate must reject both Articles of Impeachment,” they say. “In the end, this entire process is nothing more than a dangerous attack on the American people themselves and their fundamental right to vote.”The aggressive defense from the White House was released minutes after the seven Democratic impeachment managers filed an 111-page brief that outlines the case they will make when arguments in the trial begin next week. It includes several counterpoints to the key claims made by Trump’s lawyers—notably, that the aid to Ukraine was only released because Trump “got caught” withholding it.Trump’s defense team will submit a longer, more formal trial brief on Sunday. Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 6:51 PM

'I Dare You to Mock Me.' Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger Defends Joe Biden Against Attacks on His Speech in New York Times Op-Ed

'I Dare You to Mock Me.' Capt. 'Sully' Sullenberger Defends Joe Biden Against Attacks on His Speech in New York Times Op-EdChesley “Sully” Sullenberger opened up about his past struggles with stuttering in defending Biden and his speech.

POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 4:22 PM

ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request'

ICE ups ante in standoff with NYC: 'This is not a request'Federal authorities are turning to a new tactic in the escalating conflict over New York City's so-called sanctuary policies, issuing four “immigration subpoenas” to the city for information about inmates wanted for deportation. “This is not a request — it's a demand,” Henry Lucero, a senior U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement official, told The Associated Press. Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration said Saturday the city would review the subpoenas.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 7:23 PM

'Sick, dizzy and nauseated:' Teachers sue Delta over jet's fuel dump over schools

'Sick, dizzy and nauseated:' Teachers sue Delta over jet's fuel dump over schoolsAttorney Gloria Allred's office says teachers did their best to protect children on the school playground as fuel rained down.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 8:57 PM

Japan Planned to Attack Pearl Harbor (Yes, Again)

Japan Planned to Attack Pearl Harbor (Yes, Again)Why didn't it?

POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 3:46 AM

Ex-Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn't live without on board

Ex-Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line workers reveal the things they couldn't live without on boardWorkers for cruise lines like Carnival and Norwegian might be away from home for over six months, so they need to be thoughtful about what they pack.

POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 9:35 AM

Fewer Americans are binge-drinking, but those who do are drinking more per session

Fewer Americans are binge-drinking, but those who do are drinking more per sessionNew CDC data shows binge-drinking is declining, but American adults who do drink heavily are consuming 12% more alcohol per session.

POSTED JANUARY 18, 2020 11:31 AM

Philippine military says 5 Indonesians kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militants

Philippine military says 5 Indonesians kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf militantsThe Philippine military on Sunday said it has launched search and rescue operations for five Indonesian fishermen kidnapped by militants belonging to the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf group in Malaysian waters last week. Three were released, while the remaining five were probably brought by their captors to the southern Philippine province of Sulu, said Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana, chief of the military's Western Mindanao Command. Sulu is Abu Sayyaf's stronghold.

POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 5:55 AM

Africa's richest woman accused of corruption and siphoning off state assets

Africa's richest woman accused of corruption and siphoning off state assetsAfrica’s richest woman has been accused of corruption and exploiting her own country’s natural resources, after thousands of documents detailing her business interests were leaked to the media. Isabel dos Santos, who resides in the UK and whose father was the president of Angola, faces allegations of exploiting family connections to secure deals on land, oil and diamonds. According to the documents, seen by BBC Panorama and the Guardian, she and her husband were allowed to buy up valuable state assets and siphon hundreds of millions of dollars out of Angola. Ms dos Santos, whose fortune is estimated at £2bn, says these claims are entirely false and that she is the victim of a witch-hunt led by the Angolan government. She  also wrote on Twitter that the leaked documents were “fake” and based on “false information.”     Ms dos Santos is already under investigation for corruption by the Angolan government, which has frozen her assets in the country. The documents were obtained by the Platform to Protect Whistle-blowers in Africa and then passed to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Anti-corruption campaigners responded by claiming that Ms dos Santos has been exploiting her own country for personal gain, with normal Angolan citizens the victims of her lavish lifestyle. "Every time she appears on the cover of some glossy magazine somewhere in the world, every time that she hosts one of her glamorous parties in the south of France, she is doing so by trampling on the aspirations of the citizens of Angola,” Andrew Feinstein, the head of Corruption Watch, told the BBC. In an interview with the BBC following the leak, Ms dos Santos said: “I regret that Angola has chosen this path, I think that we all stand a lot to lose. “Now, when you look at my track record and you see the work I have done and look at all the companies I have built, most certainly my companies are commercial companies.   “If you tell me, is there anything wrong for an Angolan person to have a business venture with a state company, I think there is nothing wrong.” She added that she was facing “prejudice” due to being the daughter of José Eduardo dos Santos, who served as President of Angola from 1979 to 2017. Ms dos Santos was educated in the UK and is married to Sindika Dokolo, a Congolese art collector and businessman.

POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 7:14 PM

Trump's Russia adviser 'escorted from White House' amid investigation

Trump's Russia adviser 'escorted from White House' amid investigationPresident Trump's latest Russia expert has reportedly been escorted from the White House amid claims of a security-related investigation.

POSTED JANUARY 19, 2020 4:06 PM

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