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Trump accuses Pelosi of violating oath of office in blistering six-page letter

Alex Wayne

Donald Trump accused Nancy Pelosi of turning the House into a medieval “star chamber” in pursuit of his impeachment, vowing in a blistering, six-page letter to the speaker that her party would be punished by voters in the 2020 election.

Trump’s letter, on the eve of an expected House vote to approve two articles of impeachment, laid out his defense against charges he abused his power and obstructed Congress while also ridiculing Democrats’ allegations.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales in the Oval Office of the White House, Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2019, in Washington.

“Your legacy will be that of turning the House of Representatives from a revered legislative body into a Star Chamber of partisan persecution,” Trump wrote on Tuesday. “I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election. They will not soon forgive your perversion of justice and abuse of power.”

The president again insisted that his interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, which comprise the heart of the impeachment case against him, were innocent. He said the articles House Democrats are expected to approve on Wednesday “include no crimes, no misdemeanors and no offenses whatsoever.”

The charge that he abused his power by withholding U.S. military aid from Ukraine to try to force Zelenskiy to investigate his political rivals “is a completely disingenuous, meritless and baseless invention of your imagination,” he wrote.

Democrats’ second charge, that he obstructed Congress by refusing to turn over documents and make witnesses available in the impeachment inquiry, “is preposterous and dangerous,” he wrote. He argued that he only asserted “Constitutionally based privileges” by withholding the witnesses and documents.

“Under that standard, every American president would have been impeached many times over,” Trump wrote.

Trump’s letter was released as the House Rules Committee met Tuesday to determine procedures to vote on the two articles. Democratic leaders said they expect hours of debate before the votes.