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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday rejected Democratic-led House of Representatives’ impeachment charges as an affront to the U.S. Constitution in a pre-trial brief that was as much a political case against removing him as it was a legal defense.
The 13-page executive summary sought to undercut charges the Republican president abused his power and obstructed Congress and it constituted Trump’s first comprehensive defense before his Senate trial begins in earnest on Tuesday.
“The Senate should speedily reject these deficient articles of impeachment and acquit the president,” it said.
Trump, only the fourth of 45 American presidents to face the possibility of being ousted by impeachment, is charged with abusing the powers of his office by asking Ukraine to investigate a Democratic political rival, Joe Biden, and obstructing a congressional inquiry into his conduct.
Democrats say Trump abused his power by withholding U.S. military assistance to Ukraine as part of a pressure campaign and obstructed Congress by refusing to hand over documents and barring administration officials from testifying, even when subpoenaed by House investigators.
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