It starts formally enough, then quickly descends into the non-legally grounded defense that Trump has already tweeted, albeit with a legalese veneer. Trump's obvious input into his own defense brings to mind an adage attributed to Abraham Lincoln: "If you are your own lawyer you have a fool for a client."
THE HONORABLE DONALD J. TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, HEREBY RESPONDS:
The Articles of Impeachment submitted by House Democrats are a dangerous attack on the right of the American people to freely choose their President. This is a brazen and unlawful attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election and interfere with the 2020 election—now just months away. The highly partisan and reckless obsession with impeaching the President began the day he was inaugurated and continues to this day.
Even if Trump were to be convicted by the Senate, it's not overturning the election. Hillary Clinton would not become president. The conviction of Trump would put Mike Pence in the Oval Office--no Democrat yearns for a Pence presidency. As for the claim that the House vote is a "brazen and unlawful attempt" to "interfere in the 2020 election", that is pure projection, by a guy who is charged with doing exactly that.
Trump's legal team continues their response with questionable assertions such as these excerpts:
"President Trump also raised the important issue of Ukrainian corruption." To believe that Ukrainian corruption or foreign corruption is an issue that Trump has any concerns about, one would have to ignore Trump's dealings with and praise of the leaders of corrupt governments such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or the Philippines. --CA
The Trump team's response incorrectly refers to the summary of the call as a "transcript". This is a repeated falsehood. The "transcript" is actually a summary of the call and not a verbatim record. --CA
The response quotes Trump as saying "I want nothing. I want nothing. I want no quid pro quo." That actually shows Trump's consciousness of guilt. Trump performed that Sgt. Schulz-like denials on September 9, which is after when the House Intelligence Committee learned of the anonymous whistleblower's complaint at the center of the impeachment inquiry. --CA
"...the security assistance was sent, all without the Ukrainian government announcing any investigations." This is another example of Trump's consciousness of guilt. Trump released the military aid, because his scheme was exposed. "CNN host Fareed Zakaria said on Thursday that he had been set to interview Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky before news about the Ukrainian's call with President Donald Trump broke.
The New York Times reported on Thursday that Zelensky had planned to announce an investigation into Trump's political rivals during a September interview on CNN, but those plans had been scrapped once Trump released promised security aid." --CA
"Schiff created a fraudulent version of the July 25 and read it to the American people without disclosing that he was simply making it up." In fact, Schiff explicitly said that he was trying to describe "the essence" of Trump’s message "shorn of its rambling character and in not so many words." --CA
You get the gist. You've read and heard it all before from Trump.
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by Curt Anderson on January 19, 2020 11:34 pm EX-WATERGATE COUNSEL THINKS TRUMP MIGHT'VE WRITTEN SOME OF HIS IMPEACHMENT LEGAL BRIEF BECAUSE IT'S SO BAD
John Dean, who once served as a White House counsel for former President Richard Nixon, on Sunday speculated that President Donald Trump might have dictated some of his own impeachment defense brief because it is "not legally sophisticated."