US President Donald Trump’s legal team demanded an immediate acquittal of the charges against him in parliamentary accountability that could lead to his removal.
The defense team said in a brief note that the measures to isolate Trump are a “serious departure” from the constitution.
Senate hearings, as part of accountability, begin today (18:00 GMT).
Trump faces charges of abusing his presidential powers, by pressing Ukraine to open investigations into his political opponent, Joe Biden, who is from the Democratic Party. He also faces an accusation of obstructing the work of Congress while discussing the first accusation.
During accountability, members of the Senate are scheduled to hear six-hour pleadings, six days a week. The tribunal is to be chaired by President of the US Supreme Court John Roberts.
It is the third time in the history of the United States that a president has been held accountable to Parliament.
In theory, this accountability might remove the American president from office. Trump’s condemnation and removal from office requires a vote of two-thirds of the 100 senators (67 members).
But given that the Senate has only 47 Democrats, Trump is widely expected to be acquitted.
Trump will be at the Davos Economic Conference in Switzerland as accountability begins in the Senate.
What did the defense note say?
The 171-page memo, submitted by Trump’s defense team, is the first comprehensive defense of Trump to be submitted to the Senate before actually beginning accountability.
The memo seeks to belittle the accusations leveled against the American president, describing them as “unconvincing and dangerous.” The defense team also suggested that the accusations are not a felony, and that violations cannot be considered to be dismissal.
The defense note said: “The Democrats in the House of Representatives concluded two loose articles of isolation that cannot be considered a felony or a violation of the law in any way. They are much less than (the felonies and misdemeanors that the constitution provides for committing any of them).”
She added, “They also do not promote to the minimum level of violations necessary to remove the president from office.”
On the other hand, an opposition note was submitted by Trump’s accountability holders in the US House of Representatives – all of them from the Democratic Party – including accusations of the US president of using “presidential powers to pressure a weak foreign partner to interfere in our elections for him.”
“With this, (Trump) has posed a threat to our national security and the democratic system of government. He also planned to cover up his practices, which is unprecedented in the history of our republic.”
What are the charges against Trump?
The first charge against President Trump is seeking help from the Ukrainian government in his re-election in November.
This accusation includes that Trump contacted his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelinsky, during which he threatened to suspend US military aid unless Ukraine opens an investigation into the work of Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, Trump’s most powerful political opponent, who worked for the Ukrainian energy firm Borisma.
The second accusation indicates that, by referring to Trump’s banning the White House staff from testifying before the House of Representatives last year, Trump had suspended parliament.
Trump denies all charges.