Ahead of the impeachment vote on Wednesday, President Trump sent a scathing letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday where he described the going completely partisan effort as an “unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power” and a “perversion of justice.”
“I write to express my strongest and most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade being pursued by the Democrats in the House of Representatives,” Trump said in the introduction of the letter, per the White House.
“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,” he continued.
“The Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are 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!” Trump said in the letter.
Trump also flipped the accusations of abuse of office to Pelosi and other House Democrats; “you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the Constitution, and you are declaring open war on American Democracy,” he added.
Throughout the letter, Trump argued he did nothing wrong in the July 25th call with Ukranian President Zelensky—the basis for the Democratic-led impeachment.
The letter continued:
Your first claim, “Abuse of Power,” is a completely disingenuous, meritless, and baseless invention of your imagination. 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. I said to President Zelensky: “I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.” I said do us a favor, not me, and our country, not a campaign. I then mentioned the Attorney General of the United States. Every time I talk with a foreign leader, I put America’s interests first, just as I did with President Zelensky.
“President Zelensky has repeatedly declared that I did nothing wrong, and that there was No Pressure,” Trump said later on in the letter. And, citing the top Democratic witness int he impeachment hearing: “Ambassador Sondland testified that I told him: ‘No quid pro quo. I want nothing. I want nothing. I want President Zelensky to do the right thing, do what he ran on.’”
Trump went on to describe the second impeachment article against him, “Obstructing Congress,” 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,” he said, claiming Democrats were trying to overturn the “Electoral College landslide” of the 2016 presidential election.
“More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials,” Trump said much later in the letter.
The big picture: Written on White House letterhead, the letter memorializes Trump’s defense on the eve of his expected impeachment. The House is set to approve articles of impeachment on Wednesday, sending them to the Senate for what is likely to be a speedy trial that ends with Trump’s acquittal.
What he’s saying: Trump rehashed his usual arguments against impeachment, including that Democrats are seeking revenge over their 2016 election loss and that his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was “perfect.”
The president added: “There is nothing I would rather do than stop referring to your party as the Do-Nothing Democrats. Unfortunately, I don’t know that you will ever give me a chance to do so.”
“Few people in high position could have endured or passed this test. You do not know, nor do you care, the great damage and hurt you have inflicted upon wonderful and loving members of my family,” he also said.
“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,” he added.
The president concluded the letter:
I have no doubt the American 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.
There is far too much that needs to be done to improve the lives of our citizens. 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.
One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it, and learn from it, so that it can never happen to another President again.
DONALD J. TRUMP
President of the United States of America
Read the full letter below: