‘Brazen and unlawful’: Trump team attacks House impeachment effort in first formal response

The Trump plan, however, is also far from final. “We may break it up,” said one of the people close to the legal team. “We don’t know yet.”

The House is due to issue its first formal trial brief later on Saturday, an exhaustive accounting of the evidence against Trump. It will be presented next week by seven Democratic lawmakers appointed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi to be impeachment “managers.” They include House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff, House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler and Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Hakeem Jeffries, Val Demings, Sylvia Garcia and Jason Crow.

The House impeached Trump last month, charging him with abusing his power by pressuring the Ukrainian government to launch investigations into his political rivals, including former Vice President Joe Biden. A second charge alleged that Trump obstructed congressional investigations by ordering a blanket stonewall of the House’s Ukraine probes.

Democrats contend the case against Trump is overwhelming, buttressed by the transcript of a July 25 call between the Trump and Ukraine’s newly elected president Volodymyr Zelensky, as well as a slew of witnesses who testified in the House’s impeachment inquiry throughout the fall.

But they’re demanding that Senate Republicans force the Trump administration to turn over reams of documents and make senior officials available for testimony that Trump had blocked during the House inquiry. Those witnesses, they say, can help prove another central allegation by the House: That Trump leveraged $400 million in military aid to Ukraine, as well as the promise of a White House visit coveted by Zelensky, to pressure him to launch Trump’s favored investigations.

Democrats contend that Trump’s pressure on Ukraine, depended on U.S. support amid an ongoing war against Russian invaders, threatened national security for Trump’s personal benefit.