U.S. House of Representatives Files Replication to President's Answer to the Articles of Impeachment
Washington, January 20, 2020
Tags: Government Oversight
Washington, D.C. – Today at noon,the House Managers, on behalf of the U.S. House of Representatives, filed with the Secretary of the Senate aReplication to the Response to the Summons of President Donald J. Trump to the Articles of Impeachment.
In the Replication, the House Managers write:
The American people entrusted President Trump with the extraordinary powers vested in his Office by the Constitution, powers which he swore a sacred Oath to use for the Nation’s benefit.President Trump broke that promise. He used Presidential powers to pressure a vulnerable foreignpartner to interfere in our elections for his own benefit. In doing so, he jeopardized our national security and our democratic self-governance. He then used his Presidential powers to orchestrate acover-up unprecedented in the history of our Republic: a complete and relentless blockade of theHouse’s constitutional power to investigate high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
President Trump maintains that the Senate cannot remove him even if the House proves every claim in the Articles of impeachment. That is a chilling assertion. It is also dead wrong. The Framers deliberately drafted a Constitution that allows the Senate to remove Presidents who, likePresident Trump, abuse their power to cheat in elections, betray our national security, and ignore checks and balances. That President Trump believes otherwise, and insists he is free to engage in such conduct again, only highlights the continuing threat he poses to the Nation if allowed to remain in office.
Despite President Trump’s stonewalling of the impeachment inquiry, the House amassed overwhelming evidence of his guilt. It did so through fair procedures rooted firmly in the Constitution and precedent. It extended President Trump protections equal to, or greater than, those afforded to Presidents in prior impeachment inquiries. To prevent President Trump’s obstruction from delaying justice until after the very election he seeks to corrupt, the House moved decisively to adopt the two Articles of impeachment. Still, new evidence continues to emerge, all of which confirms these charges.
Now it is the Senate’s duty to conduct a fair trial—fair for President Trump, and fair for the American people. Only if the Senate sees and hears all relevant evidence—only if it insists upon the whole truth—can it render impartial justice. That means the Senate should require the President to turn over the documents he is hiding. It should hear from witnesses, as it has done in every impeachment trial in American history; it especially should hear from witnesses the President blocked from testifying in the House. President Trump cannot have it both ways. His Answer directly disputes key facts. He must either surrender all evidence relevant to the facts he has disputed or concede the facts as charged. Otherwise, this impeachment trial will fall far short of the American system of justice.
President Trump asserts that his impeachment is a partisan “hoax.” He is wrong. The House duly approved Articles of impeachment because its Members swore Oaths to support and defend the Constitution against all threats, foreign and domestic. The House has fulfilled its constitutional duty. Now, Senators must honor their own Oaths by holding a fair trial with all relevant evidence. The Senate should place truth above faction. And it should convict the President on both Articles.
The Replication also reiterates the key House’s key arguments for why President Trump must be removed:
When the Framers wrote the Impeachment Clause, they aimed it squarely at abuse of office for personal gain, betrayal of the national interest through foreign entanglements, and corruption of elections. President Trump has engaged in the trifecta of constitutional misconduct warranting removal. He is the Framers’ worst nightmare come to life.
President Trump engaged in a cover-up that itself establishes his consciousness of guilt. Innocent people seek to bring the truth to light. In contrast, President Trump has acted in the way that guilty people do when they are caught and fear the facts. But the stakes here are even higher than that. In completely obstructing an investigation into his own misconduct, President Trump asserted the prerogative to nullify Congress’s impeachment power itself. He placed himself above the law and eviscerated the separation of powers. This claim evokes monarchy and despotism. It has no place in our democracy, where even the highest official must answer to Congress and the Constitution.
President Trump did not engage in this corrupt conduct to uphold the Presidency or protect the right to vote. He did it to cheat in the next election and bury the evidence when he got caught. He has acted in ways that prior Presidents expressly disavowed, while injuring our national security and democracy. And he will persist in that misconduct—which he deems “perfect”—unless and until he is removed from office. The Senate should do so following a fair trial.