President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team has issued a six-page response to the House's 111-page indictment. It was immediately panned by experts. Attorney George Conway, who once won a unanimous ruling in a U.S. Supreme Court case he argued, pointed to a Washington Post opinion piece that blasted the short document and called the Post's commentary "entirely correct."
The Washington Post's Paul Waldman says Team Trump's six-page defense "reads as though it was written by a ninth-grader who saw an episode of 'Law & Order' and learned just enough legal terms to throw them around incorrectly."
"It makes no attempt to contest the facts, instead just asserting over and over that the president is innocent and the entire impeachment is illegitimate, calling it 'unlawful' and 'constitutionally invalid,' with no apparent understanding of what those terms mean."
The articles of impeachment, Trump’s lawyers say, “fail to allege any crime or violation of law whatsoever, let alone ‘high Crimes and Misdemeanors,’ as required by the Constitution.” They then repeat this argument multiple times throughout a screed seemingly pitched to the Fox News hosts who will spend the coming days repeating its absurd claims.
Noting that "at the time the Constitution was written, there was no such thing as a federal criminal code," Waldman adds, "there has never been any requirement that impeachment can only be used for violations of criminal law."
And he notes Trump's defense team's arguments are "so plainly wrong as a matter of both law and logic."
Conway, pointing to his own Washington Post op-ed, agrees with Waldman's take:
I was being nice. This piece on Trump’s answer, by @paulwaldman1, is even better. It’s just brutal—but entirely co… https://t.co/18NiIHtag3— George Conway (@George Conway)1579539226.0