U.S. House of Representatives Files Brief in Impeachment Trial of President Donald J. Trump
Washington, January 18, 2020
Washington, DC – This afternoon, the House Managers, on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives, filed with the Secretary of the Senate a Trial Memorandum and Statement of Material Facts in the impeachment trial of the President of the United States, Donald J. Trump. The Managers’ brief sets forth the compelling case against the President that the Managers will present to the U.S. Senate during the impeachment trial.
The Managers’ brief establishes that the President is guilty of Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress as charged in the two Articles of Impeachment. As set forth in the brief, the evidence overwhelmingly proves that President Trump corruptly exercised his official power to pressure Ukraine into interfering in the 2020 election in order to help him win reelection. The President’s abuse of power and violation of the law threatened U.S. national security and jeopardized the integrity of our free and fair elections. Through his obstruction of the House’s impeachment inquiry, President Trump attempted to place himself above the law and undermined the fundamental Constitutional principles on which our Nation was founded. The President’s gross abuse of power and obstruction of Congress reflect a pattern of misconduct and an ongoing threat to the Nation. As the Managers assert in the brief, “President Trump’s conduct is the Framers’ worst nightmare.” The Senate should do its constitutional duty to address the ongoing threat that the President poses to the Nation by convicting and removing him from office.
After the brief was filed, House Managers Adam Schiff, Jerrold Nadler, Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Jason Crow, and Sylvia Garcia issued the following joint statement:
“The case against the President of the United States is simple, the facts are indisputable, and the evidence is overwhelming: President Trump abused the power of his office to solicit foreign interference in our elections for his own personal political gain, thereby jeopardizing our national security, the integrity of our elections, and our democracy. And when the President got caught, he tried to cover it up by obstructing the House’s investigation into his misconduct. Senators must accept and fulfill the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and the Oaths they have just taken to do impartial justice. They must conduct a fair trial — fair to the President and fair to the American people.”
In the brief, the Managers wrote:
President Donald J. Trump used his official powers to pressure a foreign government to interfere in a United States election for his personal political gain, and then attempted to cover up his scheme by obstructing Congress’s investigation into his misconduct. The Constitution provides a remedy when the President commits such serious abuses of his office: impeachment and removal. The Senate must use that remedy now to safeguard the 2020 U.S. election, protect our constitutional form of government, and eliminate the threat that the President poses to America’s national security.
The House adopted two Articles of Impeachment against President Trump: the first for abuse of power, and the second for obstruction of Congress. The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that he is guilty of both. The only remaining question is whether the members of the Senate will accept and carry out the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and their constitutional Oaths.
In explaining why the U.S. Senate must convict and remove the President, the House Managers also wrote:
The Constitution entrusts Congress with the solemn task of impeaching and removing from office a President who engages in “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” The impeachment power is an essential check on the authority of the President, and Congress must exercise this power when the President places his personal or political interests above those of the Nation. President Trump has done exactly that. His misconduct challenges the fundamental principle that Americans should decide American elections, and that a divided system of government, in which no single branch operates without the check and balance of the others, preserves the liberty we all hold dear.
The country is watching to see how the Senate responds. History will judge each Senator’s willingness to rise above partisan differences, view the facts honestly, and defend the Constitution. The outcome of these proceedings will determine whether generations to come will enjoy a safe and secure democracy in which the President is not a king, and in which no one, particularly the President, is above the law.
Finally, throughout the brief, the House Managers reiterated the central argument of the case against the President:
President Trump abused the powers of his office to invite foreign interference in an election for his own personal political gain and to the detriment of American national security interests. He abandoned his oath to faithfully execute the laws and betrayed his public trust. President Trump’s misconduct presents a danger to our democratic processes, our national security, and our commitment to the rule of law. He must be removed from office.
The President’s trial brief is due by Monday at noon, and the House’s reply brief is due Tuesday at noon.
The House Managers who will present the House’s case against the President of the United States in the U.S. Senate are Chairman Adam Schiff of California, Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York, Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren of California, Chairman Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Congresswoman Val Demings of Florida, Congressman Jason Crow of Colorado and Congresswoman Sylvia Garcia of Texas. The staffs of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Committee on the Judiciary, and the Committee on Oversight and Reform are assisting the Managers during the impeachment trial.