A day ahead of his expected impeachment in the US House of Representatives, President Donald Trump said the Democrats are engaged in an "illegal, partisan attempted coup" and that a war against democracy has been declared. If the impeachment proceedings go ahead as planned on Wednesday, Trump will become only the third president in the US history to suffer the ignominy.
Trump launched scathing attacks on the Democrats in a six-page letter sent to House speaker Nancy Pelosi. "One hundred years from now, when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it ... so that it can never happen to another president again," Trump said in the letter. He used phrases like 'the very ugly word, impeachment!' as he countered the arguments of his detractors.
'Pelosi scarcely concealing hatred'
In his hard-hitting letter, Trump told Pelosi that she was "scarcely concealing your hatred of me" and that she was "turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution." The impeachment attempt was an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will fail at the voting booth, Trump added.
House Democrats seek to remove Trump from office as they believe that the president violated his constitutional position when he pressured Ukraine to investigate former vice-president Joe Biden. Under the Constitution, the House has the right to impeach a president for "high crimes and misdemeanours." Though the impeachment could pass in the House, the Senate is unlikely to ratify it and convict Trump.
In his letter, Trump reiterated his argument that his telephone chat with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy was "perfect" and that Biden had a role in the removal of a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to derail the investigation into a corruption scandal involving his son Hunter.
'Slapdash impeachment inquiry has failed'
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who will control the impeachment trial in the Senate if the motion passes the House, has doubled down on his opposition to the Democrats' move to impeach the president. "From everything we can tell, House Democrats' slapdash impeachment inquiry has failed to come anywhere near – anywhere near – the bar for impeaching a duly elected president, let alone removing him for the first time in American history," McConnell said.
Meanwhile, Members of the House Rules Committee put a 6-hour limit for debate on Wednesday before the two articles of impeachment are sent for voting. Though Trump is expected to be impeached, the chances of his conviction in the senate are slim. No US president has ever been convicted. President Richard Nixon resigned following the impeachment bid while President Bill Clinton was acquitted in the Senate after his impeachment.
"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 ... You view democracy as your enemy!" Trump wrote in his letter.