Trump sends scorching letter to Pelosi ahead of House impeachment vote

Posted at 3:49 PM, Dec 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-17 17:49:53-05

(CNN) — President Donald Trump sent an extraordinary letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, excoriating the House Democrats’ pursuit of an impeachment inquiry just a day before the full House is set to vote.

He wildly claimed that “(m)ore due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials.” And he accused Pelosi of portraying a “false display of solemnity” during the impeachment process.

“No intelligent person believes what you are saying,” Trump wrote in the letter sent on Tuesday.

Trump and Pelosi have had a history of tense, often personal fights, which have been highlighted by the impeachment inquiry launched this fall. Their most recent White House meeting, in October, was cut short because of the insults they hurled toward each other in the Cabinet Room.

Trump is set to be the third president in US history to be impeached. Democrats have brought two Articles of Impeachment against Trump — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Democrats say Trump abused his office by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals in exchange of security aid. They also charge that the President obstructed the congressional investigation by refusing to allow key officials to testify.

For weeks, the President has publicly dismissed the probe, tweeting earlier this month that House Democrats should move faster.

“(I)f you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair … trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business,” Trump tweeted.

In the 6-page letter Trump sent to Capitol, the President calls Pelosi’s actions “spiteful” and veers into what he sees as personal affronts, saying she’s violated her own oath of office.

“You are offending Americans of faith by continually saying ‘I pray for the President,’ when you know this statement is not true, unless it is meant in a negative sense,” Trump writes in the letter. “It is a terrible thing you are doing, but you will have to live with it, not I!”

READ: Trump letter to House Democrats protests impeachment in ‘strongest’ terms

In another segment of the letter, Trump writes to the House speaker: “You do not know, nor do you care, the great damage and hurt you have inflicted upon wonderful and loving members of my family.”

“You are the ones interfering in America’s elections,” Trump says, adding that Democrats are “(b)ringing pain and suffering to our republic for your own selfish personal, political and partisan gain.”

The President was heavily critical of Democrats’ pursuit of impeachment, defending himself by asserting that the Articles of Impeachment introduced “include no crimes, no misdemeanors, and no offenses whatsoever.”

He also asserted that Democrats’ attempt to impeach him was part of a larger effort to avenge the results of the 2016 election.

“This is nothing more than an illegal, partisan attempted coup that will, based on recent sentiment, badly fail at the voting booth,” Trump writes. “You are not just after me, as President, you are after the entire Republican Party.”

Trump wrote that Pelosi has “cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, 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,” Trump wrote.

The President also used the letter to send a message to his base — simultaneously telling his supporters he’s not giving up the fight against impeachment while folding in some of his greatest hits against Democrats and the so-called Washington swamp.

Trump dedicated a large section of the letter to calling out what he sees as his political victories, saying that Democrats are “desperate to distract” from the state of the economy and other administration efforts. He called the firing of FBI Director James Comey “one of our country’s best decisions,” and launched specific critiques against Democrats in Congress, including Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler and Rashida Tlaib.