President Trump’s impeachment message to the Speaker of the House: A close read

December 18, 2019

By Matthew E. Milliken
Dec. 18, 2019

Let’s look at some of the more interesting parts of the letter that President Donald Trump sent yesterday to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers…

Two American presidents have been impeached to date; Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 when it became clear that Congress would almost certainly impeach and remove him from office. Impeachment and removal of the chief executive is a mechanism incorporated into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers.

The Articles of Impeachment introduced by the House Judiciary Committee are not recognizable under any standard of Constitutional theory, interpretation, or jurisprudence. They include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever.

These are the first two examples of many instances in the letter where the president lists three or more items. He claims that the impeachment articles are not recognized under a standard of Consitutional theory, interpretation or jurisprudence (1-2-3). He further asserts that they include no crimes, no misdemeanors, no offenses (1-2-3).

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.

Impeachment and removal of the chief executive is a mechanism incorporated into the Constitution by the Founding Fathers; as such, it’s more appropriately viewed as a remedy to corrupt conduct by the chief executive than an “election-nullification scheme.”

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. 

The president claims to know what is in Speaker Pelosi’s mind and heart. It fits with his tendency to depict himself as all-powerful and all-knowing.

Fortunately, there was a transcript of the conversation taken, and you know from the transcript (which was immediately made available) that the paragraph in question was perfect.

A full transcript of Trump’s conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has yet to be made available. On Sept. 25, the administration released a document that is widely referred to as a transcript but is titled “Memorandum of Telephone Conversation.” The following warning appears at the bottom of the first page: “CAUTION: A Memorandum of Telephone Conversation (TELCON) is not a verbatim transcript of a discussion.” Last month, Rolling Stone noted that three administration officials had detected material errors or omissions from the memorandum.

The president’s claim that this memorandum was released immediately seems exaggerated to me; on Sept. 13, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena for a release of the whistleblower complaint, which had been withheld from Congress.

I said to President Zelensky: “I would like you to do us a favor, though, because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it.” I said do us a favor, not me, and our country, not a campaign.

The fate of Trump’s presidency may depend on how the Senate interprets “us” and “our country.” The actual language Trump used in the call is not dispositive in and of itself.

The president fails to note that the matters he asked Zelensky to investigate were, in the case of Burisma, not considered germane to American foreign policy or national security interests and are, in the case of supposed misdoings involving Crowdstrike, discounted as fictional by American intelligence agencies.

I then mentioned the Attorney General of the United States.

Soon after this, as Trump fails to note, Zelensky mentioned that “one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani,” which prompted Trump to say, “I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General.” Giuliani holds no federal office and appears to have been acting as Trump’s personal attorney during his involvement with Ukrainian affairs, which included ousting the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. It’s not entirely clear why Trump delegated a national security matter to a private citizen.

President Zelensky has repeatedly declared that I did nothing wrong, and that there was No Pressure. He further emphasized that it was a “good phone call,” that “I don’t feel pressure,” and explicitly stressed that “nobody pushed me.” The Ukrainian Foreign Minister stated very clearly: “I have never seen a direct link between investigations and security assistance.” He also said there was “No Pressure.” Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, a supporter of Ukraine who met privately with President Zelensky, has said: “At no time during this meeting…was there any mention by Zelensky or any Ukrainian that they were feeling pressure to do anything in return for the military aid.” Many meetings have been held between representatives of Ukraine and our country. Never once did Ukraine complain about pressure being applied — not once!

Ukraine depends on American military aid and can’t afford to alienate the United States. President Trump is particularly thin-skinned and has a demonstrated tendency to lash out at individuals who displease him, which may explain why Ukrainian officials are toeing the Trumpian line.

Also of note, Trump asked the Ukrainian to “do us a favor”
immediately after Zelensky said these two sentences: “I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.” Trump did not otherwise address Zelensky’s request for aid.

Ambassador Sondland testified that I told him: “No quid pro quo. I want nothing. I want nothing. I want President Zelensky to do the right thing, do what he ran on.”

This may not be an accurate account of Trump’s call or calls with Sondland, as Just Security documented last month.

Everyone, you included, knows what is really happening. Your chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227), and you and your party have never recovered from this defeat.

The president lost the popular vote by nearly three million votes, or 2.1 percentage points. As PBS noted in December 2016, “Trump ranks 46th out of 58 in terms of winning the electoral vote.”

You have developed a full-fledged case of what many in the media call Trump Derangement Syndrome and sadly, you will never get over it! You are unwilling and unable to accept the verdict issued at the ballot box during the great Election of 2016.

Behold Donald Trump, master psychologist.

[Y]ou have spent three straight years attempting to overturn the will of the American people and nullify their votes.

For months, Pelosi publicly downplayed the chances of impeaching the president. This is the second time in the letter that the president characterizes impeachment and removal, a constitutional mechanism, as reversing the result of an election.

Congressman Adam Schiff cheated and lied all the way up to the present day, even going so far as to fraudulently make up, out of thin air, my conversation with President Zelensky of Ukraine and read this fantasy language to Congress as though it were said by me.

Trump seems to be referring to comments that the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee made at a meeting of that panel in September. As CNN noted at the time, “Schiff introduced his comments at Thursday’s committee hearing by saying he would be outlining ‘the essence of what the president communicates,’ not providing “the exact transcribed version of the call.’ And it’s important to note that we do not even have an ‘exact transcribed version’ of the call…”

You and your party are desperate to distract from America’s extraordinary economy, incredible jobs boom, record stock market, soaring confidence, and flourishing citizens. Your party simply cannot compete with our record [that includes] … the replacement of the disastrous NAFTA trade deal with the wonderful USMCA (Mexico and Canada); a breakthrough Phase One trade deal with China …

Neither of these trade deals have been finalized.

… massive new trade deals with Japan and South Korea …

A Forbes reporter wrote in October that the “limited trade agreement” with Japan “wins back some benefits American farmers lost after President Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) during his first week of office in 2017.” U.S. dairy products won’t have as much access to the Japanese market as they would have under the TPP, and the new agreement fails to address tariffs on automobiles and such major product categories as aircraft, liquefied propane gas, semiconductor manufacturing equipment and various types of alcohol.

In June, analysts at the conservative Cato Institute characterized the president’s first trade deal as “a minor tweak to the U.S.-Korea trade relationship rather than the wholesale revolution that Trump and his trade advisers portray it to be.” They note that the new KORUS agreement “lacks provisions addressing currency manipulation, which the United States has sought in other recent trade negotiations.”

… the building of the Southern Border Wall …

“We’re looking at about 80 to 90 miles over the next year to year and a half,” a Border Patrol sector chief in Texas told CBS News this month, referring to new construction along the 2,000-mile-long U.S.-Mexico border. As The Washington Post recently noted, White House officials hope to complete 450 miles of new barriers by the end of next year.

There is nothing I would rather do than stop referring to your party as the Do-Nothing Democrats. Unfortunately, I don’t know that you will ever give me a chance to do so.

Ironically, the president made this assertion days after the Democratic-held House of Representatives announced its intention to approve both a new version of the trade agreement with Mexico and Canada and passed a $1.4 trillion federal budget plan.

After three years of unfair and unwarranted investigations, 45 million dollars spent, 18 angry Democrat prosecutors, the entire force of the FBI, headed by leadership now proven to be totally incompetent and corrupt, you have found NOTHING! 

Republicans routinely fail to note that one of the president’s 2016 campaign chairmen, lobbyist Paul Manafort, has been ordered to pay millions of dollars in restitution to the federal government after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation led to Manafort’s conviction on multiple charges. In February, USA Today wrote that the money seized from Manafort might equal the roughly $25 million that had been spent to that point by Mueller’s task force.

Mueller’s investigation, incidentally, also led to the conviction of former Trump advisor Roger Stone. Further, the following individuals pleaded guilty to charges brought by Mueller’s team: Rick Gates, a longtime Manafort associate who was deputy chairman of Trump’s 2016 campaign; Michael Flynn, Trump’s first National Security Advisor; Michael Cohen, a longtime Trump attorney; George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide; Alex van der Zwaan, an attorney associated with Manafort; Richard Pinedo, a man who was charged with identity theft during the investigation into Russian election hacking efforts; and Sam Patten, a Manafort associate who was accused of illegally lobbying for one of Manafort’s former clients and illegally funneling foreign donations to Trump’s inaugural committee.

You completely failed with the Mueller report because there was nothing to find…

See my comments above.

You forced our Nation through turmoil and torment over a wholly fabricated story, illegally purchased from a foreign spy by Hillary Clinton and the DNC in order to assault our democracy. 

No one has been charged with wrongdoing over the purchase of opposition research from Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent.

If you truly cared about freedom and liberty for our Nation, then you would be devoting your vast investigative resources to exposing the full truth concerning the horrifying abuses of power before, during, and after the 2016 election — including the use of spies against my campaign, the submission of false evidence to a FISA court, and the concealment of exculpatory evidence in order to frame the innocent. 

There is no evidence that spies were used against the president’s campaign. However, the recent Justice Department report from Inspector General “identified multiple instances in which factual assertions relied upon in the first FISA application were inaccurate, incomplete, or unsupported by appropriate documentation, based upon information the FBI had in its possession at the time the application was filed.”

The FBI has great and honorable people, but the leadership was inept and corrupt.

Just Security’s assessment of the aforementioned inspector general report states that “the picture Horowitz paints remains fundamentally at odds with claims that FBI or DOJ leadership conspired to mislead the FISA Court, plotting to use surveillance of a peripheral campaign advisor as the linchpin of some Rube Goldbergian scheme to undermine the Trump Administration.”

Our Founders feared the tribalization of partisan politics, and you are bringing their worst fears to life.

Pot, meet kettle.

Worse still, I have been deprived of basic Constitutional Due Process from the beginning of this impeachment scam right up until the present.

The president declined to take part in impeachment hearings held by the House Judiciary Committee.

The general view from liberal and nonpartisan experts is that House impeachment procedures have been conducted properly. It’s worth noting that impeachment is comparable to a grand jury indictment in a criminal conviction; defense attorneys aren’t allowed to take part in such proceedings.

Once I presented the transcribed call, which surprised and shocked the fraudsters (they never thought that such evidence would be presented), the so-called whistleblower, and the second whistleblower, disappeared because they got caught, their report was a fraud, and they were no longer going to be made available to us. In other words, once the phone call was made public, your whole plot blew up, but that didn’t stop you from continuing.

On Monday, Politifact declared the president’s claim that the initial whistleblower complaint was incorrect to be 2019’s lie of the year.

More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.

The mayor of Salem, Mass., has disputed the president’s claim.

This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth. You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party. But because of this colossal injustice, our party is more united than it has ever been before. History will judge you as you proceed with this impeachment charade. Your legacy will be that of turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution.

Perhaps most insulting of all is your false display of solemnity. You apparently have so little respect for the American People that you expect them to believe that you are approaching this impeachment somberly, reservedly, and reluctantly. No intelligent person believes what you are saying.

“If what we’re talking about is not impeachable, than nothing is impeachable,” Michael Gerhardt, a constitutional law scholar at the University of North Carolina, told the House Judiciary Committee earlier this month during an impeachment hearing. He was one of three scholars invited by Democrats to that hearing who testified that the president’s conduct was deserving of censure.

Since the moment I won the election, the Democrat Party has been possessed by Impeachment Fever. There is no reticence. This is not a somber affair. You are making a mockery of impeachment and you are scarcely concealing your hatred of me, of the Republican Party, and tens of millions of patriotic Americans. The voters are wise, and they are seeing straight through this empty, hollow, and dangerous game you are playing.

At the moment, a narrow plurality of American voters support the impeachment of the president.

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