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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

With House Speaker Nancy Pelosi having given two articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate — one for abuse of power, the other for obstruction of Congress — President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial is getting underway. And on Monday, the president’s legal team submitted a 171-page legal brief arguing that the Senate should reject the articles immediately for being frivolous.

Wall Street Journal reporter Michael C. Bender notes that in the brief, the Trump White House argues the impeachment articles “included no violation of law” and that “the president was operating in the national interest in his dealing with Ukraine.”

White House officials, according to Bender, also want to block any testimony from Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas — who has brought new evidence to the attention of House Democrats. Parnas’ allegations, Bender observes, have “inflamed the debate about whether senators should call witnesses in the president’s trial.”

Trump is facing an impeachment trial as a result of his July 25 phone conversation with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who he tried to pressure into investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden. But Trump has maintained that he did nothing wrong during that phone conversation, which he has described as “perfect.”

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