Trump Sends Blistering Letter to House Speaker Ahead of Impeachment

December 17, 2019 by Dan McCue
President Donald Trump spars with a report during a press conference in the East Room of the White House, Oct. 2, 2019. (Photo by Dan McCue)

WASHINGTON – Hours ahead of his expected impeachment, an irate President Donald Trump unloaded on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, accusing House Democrats of a “perversion of justice” as they pursue a “partisan impeachment crusade.”

Throughout the letter, Trump continues to maintain he did nothing wrong in seeking foreign investigation of political rivals.

“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,” he wrote.

“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 continued.

“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.”

He also warned that Wednesday’s anticipated vote on impeachment will come back to haunt Democrats at the ballot box come November of 2020.

“I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election,” the president wrote. “They will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power.”

Rambling at points, Trump slammed the House inquiry overseen by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., claiming “more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.”

Trump also acknowledged he did not expect his letter to change the outcome of Wednesday’s vote, but that he felt compelled to write it “for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record.”

While Capitol Hill buzzed over the president’s letter on a gloomy and gray Tuesday afternoon, Democratic and Republican members of the House Rules Committee sparred over the way in which the historic vote and debate preceding it will be handled.

At the opening of the hearing, Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., noted that if the vote goes as anticipated, Trump will become the third president in American history to be impeached.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to be here today,” he said. “[But] the evidence is as clear as it is overwhelming.”

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., the ranking member of the committee, responded by pointing to recent polls that suggest Americans are about equally divided over impeachment.

“When half of Americans are telling you what you are doing is wrong, you should listen,” he said.

No Republicans are expected to vote to impeach Trump.

With impeachment a foregone conclusion in the House, attention is already focusing on the Senate, which will hold a trial on the charges in January.

Hoping to avoid lengthy proceedings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell rejected a push by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for fresh impeachment testimony from top White House officials during the Senate trial.

“If House Democrats’ case is this deficient, this thin, the answer is not for the judge and jury to cure it here in the Senate,” McConnell said. “The answer is that the House should not impeach on this basis in the first place.”

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