(Updated: 3:32 p.m. EST, 12/17/2019)
Topline: The day before the House of Representatives will vote on articles of his impeachment, President Trump wrote a six-page letter full of exclamation points to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday, in which he excoriates the Democrats over the impeachment inquiry, calling it “invalid” and a “partisan crusade.”
- The letter was sent while the House Rules Committee debated Tuesday over the parameters for Wednesday’s debate, which will take place before the full House votes on whether to impeach Trump.
- “You have cheapened the importance of the very ugly word, impeachment!” Trump writes, calling the inquiry “an unprecedented and unconstitutional abuse of power by Democrat Lawmakers.”
- Trump also accuses Pelosi of developing “a full-fledged case” of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” based on the outcome of the 2016 election, which he claims Pelosi and the Democrats are “unwilling and unable to accept.”
- Trump also writes that “more due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials,” which echoes his often-used claim that witch hunts are being conducted against him and his administration.
- Trump ends the letter by writing “when people look back at this affair, I want them to understand it … so that it can never happen to another President again.”
- Trump previously taunted Pelosi and House Democrats on December 5 to impeach him “now” and “fast,” in order to proceed with a Senate trial so that the “Country can get back to business.”
What to watch for: The full House vote on Trump’s impeachment. Democrats control the House, and they are expected to vote in favor of the impeachment articles. If that happens, the articles will be sent to the Senate, which is expected to hold a trial in January.
Key background: There are two articles of impeachment against Trump. The first, abuse of power, accuses the president of pressuring Ukraine to investigate his political rivals. The second accuses him of obstructing Congress by refusing to cooperate with the impeachment inquiry. The inquiry began in September with closed-door hearings from witnesses before progressing to public hearings. About a dozen witnesses who gave closed-door testimony also testified in public hearings, which concluded November 21.