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House impeachment managers file case brief against Trump ahead of Senate trial

TRISH TURNER, KATHERINE FAULDERS and STEFF THOMAS

House impeachment managers file case brief against Trump ahead of Senate trial originally appeared on abcnews.go.com

House Democrats filed a brief on Saturday outlining their formal case against President Donald Trump, as the Senate impeachment trial is set to continue next week.

The brief -- written by the seven House managers -- asserts that Trump’s scheme to withhold $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine in order to seek the announcement of a probe to benefit him politically was "the Framers’ worst nightmare."

The managers lay out across 111 pages the argument they intend to make, outlining the two articles of impeachment that were approved by the House in December, before the Senate with supporting evidence as early as Tuesday.

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It also makes several references to the recently-released report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) which found the withholding of Ukraine aid illegal.

PHOTO: House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., front left, and House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and other House impeachment managers, walk to the Senate chamber on Capitol Hill, Jan. 16, 2020. (Matt Rourke/AP)

"An announcement of a Ukrainian investigation into one of his key political rivals would be enormously valuable to President Trump in his efforts to win reelection in 2020 -- just as the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails had helped him in 2016," the filing states.

The managers added, "Ukraine’s announcement of that investigation would bolster the perceived legitimacy of his Presidency and, therefore, his political standing going into the 2020 race."

Despite the articles of impeachment being held by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a month in order to try to secure an agreement on witnesses at the Senate trial, the managers collectively argued in today’s filing that the president poses an urgent threat to democracy and his conduct in the Ukraine matter warrants removal now from office.

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"Although his sweeping cover-up effort ultimately failed -- seventeen public officials courageously upheld their duty, testified, and provided documentary evidence of the President’s wrongdoing ... his obstruction will do long-lasting and potentially irreparable damage to our constitutional system of divided powers if it goes unchecked," the trial brief says.

The House managers maintain that the facts of the case are "indisputable and the evidence in overwhelming" that the president used his power of office to solicit foreign interference into the United States' presidential election.

PHOTO: Clerk of the House Cheryl Johnson, left, and House Sergeant at Arms Paul Irving pass through Statuary Hall at the Capitol to deliver the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

"When the President got caught, he tried to cover it up by obstructing the House’s investigation into his misconduct," the brief said. "Senators must accept and fulfill the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and the Oaths they have just taken to do impartial justice."

They added that the Senate "must conduct a fair trial -- fair to the president and fair to the American people."

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Trump's trial brief is due by noon on Monday. The House will have until Tuesday afternoon to respond.