Trump sends Pelosi rambling letter full of insults on the eve of impeachment
Donald Trump on Tuesday sent a six-page diatribe to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, lamenting the ongoing impeachment proceedings in the House of Representatives.
The House is expected to vote Wednesday to impeach Trump on two articles, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, related to his actions to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rivals and his efforts to withhold evidence and block witness testimony in an earlier House inquiry on the matter.
Trump would be only the third U.S. president in history to be impeached.
In his letter this week, Trump described the impeachment process as an "unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power."
The process undertaken by the House has in fact been conducted in accordance with the Constitution's provisions.
Trump claimed specifically that he had been "deprived of basic Constitutional Due Process" throughout the impeachment proceedings. "More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials," he wrote.
He then referred to the proceedings as an "illegal, partisan attempted coup."
"You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!" Trump wrote.
As constitutional law experts have noted, Congress is not required by any law to provide a president with "due process" rights during the course of an impeachment inquiry or impeachment proceedings, though the House Judiciary Committee did invite Trump and his lawyers to participate in their open hearings earlier this month, which Trump declined.
In his letter Tuesday, Trump also claimed Pelosi had "developed a full-fledged case of what many in the media call Trump Derangement Syndrome"; suggested Pelosi "view[ed] democracy as [her] enemy"; and suggested she was trying to "undo" the 2016 election and "steal the election of 2020" because she was upset former Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton had lost.
"It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!" he wrote.
The letter was punctuated throughout with random capitalization and exclamation points.
After complaining that Pelosi had offended the Founding Fathers by beginning the inquiry, Trump claimed Pelosi was "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."
Pelosi said recently that she does not hate Trump and "pray[s] for the president all the time."
Despite evidence showing that Trump pushed Ukraine to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and a debunked conspiracy about the Democratic National Committee, and withheld critical aid to secure such an investigation, Trump wrote this week that the "abuse of power" article being levied against him was "a completely disingenuous, meritless, and baseless invention" of Pelosi's imagination.
Trump also referred to a July 25 partial call transcript of his conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, during which he pushed Zelesnkiy for a "favor" — to investigate Biden —Trump wrote that the conversation was in fact "totally innocent."
Trump has repeatedly prevented Congress from speaking to witnesses and reviewing documents and communication from his administration that might shine a light on his actions toward Ukraine, and consistently stonewalled special counsel Robert Mueller, who led the nearly two-year long probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mueller's final report detailed extensive ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, as well as 10 instances of possible obstruction by Trump himself, and the investigation resulted in multiple convictions and offshoot investigations.
Despite this, Trump declared in his letter this week that the second article of impeachment for "obstruction" was "preposterous and dangerous." He also described his decision to fire former FBI director James Comey, whose dismissal prompted Mueller's appointment as special counsel, as "what will be regarded as one of our country's best decisions."
Trump previously admitted that he fired Comey over the Russia investigation.
Addressing impeachment again, Trump claimed Congress had "found NOTHING," before rattling off a series of claims about his administration's purported successes, including his beloved "Space Force."
"There are not many people who could have taken the punishment inflicted during this period of time, and yet done so much for the success of America and its citizens," he wrote.
Elsewhere in the letter, in a non-sequitur referring to Clinton, who defeated him in the popular vote in 2016 by nearly 3 million votes, Trump wrote that Pelosi's "chosen candidate lost the election in 2016, in an Electoral College landslide (306-227)." Trump's electoral college victory in reality ranks at 46th out of 58 elections in U.S. history.
Trump concluded his lengthy missive by saying, "I write this letter to you for the purpose of history and to put my thoughts on a permanent and indelible record."
It is unclear for what purpose Trump felt the need to lay out the claims made in the letter, as Trump has repeated most of them on multiple occasions from his personal Twitter account, posts from which are memorialized by the Presidential Records Act.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation. Attribution: Oliver Willis.