In the 111-page brief, Democrats argue that Trump committed high crimes and misdemeanors — charging him with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and lay out the evidence and legal analysis they intend to present.
And while they buckle down on their allegations that Trump is guilty of pressuring a foreign power to investigate a 2020 political rival, they say the only lingering question they have is whether the Senate will be a fair arbiter of justice.
“The evidence overwhelmingly establishes that he is guilty of both. The only remaining question is whether the members of the Senate will accept and carry out the responsibility placed on them by the Framers of our Constitution and their constitutional Oaths,” the brief reads. “History will judge each Senator’s willingness to rise above partisan differences, view the facts honestly, and defend the Constitution.”
That statement highlights a central challenge facing the Democrats set to prosecute their impeachment case in the Senate: for all the legal machinations surrounding the debate, the trial is also a battle for public sentiment.
Trump’s Republican allies in the upper chamber are virtually united in opposing his ouster, and the made-for-TV trial is the Democrats' last best chance to convince voters to join their side and press Senate Republicans to follow suit.
Compiled by the seven Democrats serving as impeachment managers, the brief describes the president’s conduct as “the Framers' worst nightmare” in arguing that he should be impeached and removed from office.
“President Trump’s ongoing pattern of misconduct demonstrates that he is an immediate threat to the Nation and the rule of law. It is imperative that the Senate convict and remove him from office now, and permanently bar him from holding federal office,” they write.