The author of the rant filled impeachment letter that was sent to Nancy Pelosi this week wasn’t an attorney, but Donald Trump.
The letter was notable not for the conclusion it reached—few suspected that the administration was going to cooperate with House Democrats—but for the broadsides and rhetorical flourishes it featured. That’s because this letter wasn’t fully written by lawyers.
It was crafted, in large part, by President Donald Trump himself.
According to two people familiar with the process, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone had multiple meetings with President Trump in the days leading up to the issuance of the letter. During those meetings with Cipollone, the president would get especially animated when names such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chair of the House Intelligence Committee leading the probe into the whistleblower complaint, came up. The sources said that Trump enthusiastically suggested adding various jabs at Democratic lawmakers and would request that their “unfair” treatment of him be incorporated into the letter.
The letter was remarkable for the lack of legal argument that it contained. It was a partisan political defense full of insults and nonsensical conclusions that were the opposite of constitutional law. The letter sounded like the capture of a real-time presidential temper tantrum, and it turns out that it is exactly what it was.
Republicans, like Mitch McConnell, tried to pick up Trump’s letter as talking points on impeachment, which lasted for less than a day.
The fate of the Republican Party’s 2020 hopes of keeping the White House and Senate hinges on Trump winning reelection, and the president is running acting like his own impeachment lawyer.
Republicans have no impeachment message because Trump is his own messenger.
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