Donald Trump has angrily smacked out against Democrats and their impeachment investigation in a rambling, grievance-laden letter to House speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Hours before the House of Representatives was due to vote on articles of impeachment against him, the president released a six-page document, and later doubled down his attack in comments delivered in the Oval Office.
“I write to express my strongest and most powerful protest against the partisan impeachment crusade being pursued by the Democrats in the House of Representatives,” Mr Trump wrote. “This impeachment represents an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat lawmakers, unequaled in nearly two and a half centuries of American legislative history.”
Over the six pages that he filled, Mr Trump aired a litany of complaints and grievances against Democrats’ efforts to impeach him for withholding military aid to Ukraine to force that country’s president to announce an investigation into former vice president Joe Biden and a widely-discredited conspiracy theory which posits that Ukraine – not Russia – interfered in the 2016 election.
Shortly afterwards, speaking to reporters in the White House, the president hit out at the impeachment process, terming it a “sham” and a witch hunt”.
In comments referring to the more progressive members of the Democratic Party, individuals Mr Trump has sought to portray as representative of the whole party, he accused Ms Pelosi of having led a “libelous and vicious crusade”, and said she was “motivated by personal political calculation”.
He added: “Your speaker-ship and your party are held hostage by your most deranged and radical representatives of the far left.
“By proceeding with your invalid impeachment, you are violating your oaths of office, you are breaking your allegiance to the constitution, and you are declaring open war on American democracy.”
Ms Pelosi told reporters she is yet not read all of Mr Trump’s letter, but that she and her colleagues had “seen the essence of it”. She added: “It’s really sick.”
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