Twenty-one Republican attorneys general are giving a letter to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday supporting the president’s legal defense in the impeachment trial.
The letter, which they’re announcing as the first ever “friend of the Senate” brief in an impeachment trial, largely imitates the Trump team’s arguments: that Democrats’ impeachment case is weak because it alleges no violation of criminal law.
The brief recognizes that no such allegation of a crime is necessary in impeachment but advises that the Senate should view the case skeptically without one. The AGs also appear to clumsily propose Trump invoked executive privilege during the course of the House’s impeachment investigation. In fact, though he ordered subordinates not to testify and suggested some have “absolute immunity” from congressional inquiries, he never invoked the privilege.
The attorneys general from South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas and Indiana later in the day joined GOP Reps. Mark Meadows of North Carolina and Lee Zeldin of New York outside the Capitol.
Asked if the Government Accountability Office finding last week that the White House budget office broke the law in withholding aid from Ukraine went against the basis of their argument, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson stated the remedy for the violation was a lawsuit rather than impeachment.