US President Donald Trump on Monday rejected the House of Representatives’ impeachment charges, describing the allegations that he had abused his power and obstructed Congress as an insult to the US Constitution that must be rejected.
“The Senate should speedily reject these deficient articles of impeachment and acquit the president,” an executive summary of the Republican president’s pre-trial brief said in Trump’s first comprehensive defense before the start of his Senate trial.
Trump will be the fourth American president out of the 45 Presidents to face the possibility of being impeached.
Trump is being charged with abusing the powers of his office by asking Ukraine to investigate a Democratic political rival, Joe Biden, and obstructing a congressional inquiry into his conduct.
The executive summary rejected the obstruction of Congress charge as frivolous and dangerous, saying the president exercised his legal rights by resisting congressional demands for information.
They also noted that the House of Democrats are guilty of conducting a rigged process and said they succeeded in proving that Trump had done nothing wrong.
While the Republican-controlled Senate is highly unlikely to remove Trump from office, it is important for the Republican president to diminish the Democratic accusations as a partisan witch-hunt.
According to Trump’s legal team, the President was well within his constitutional authority to press Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in 2019 to investigate Biden and his son Hunter as part of what Trump says was an anti-corruption drive.
JUST IN: Israel Confirms Its First Case Of Coronavirus
The virus was confirmed in a citizen who flew home from Japan earlier this week after being quarantined on the stricken cruise ship Diamond Princess.
“One of the passengers who returned home from the cruise ship in Japan tested positive in a checkup by the health ministry’s central laboratory,” a ministry statement said.
The statement added that the other dozen Israeli passengers who had flown home had all tested negative.
BREAKING: Two Test Positive For Coronavirus In Iran
Two people in Iran tested positive Wednesday for the deadly new coronavirus, the health ministry said in the Islamic republic’s first cases of the disease.
Kianoush Jahanpour, a ministry spokesman, said the cases were detected in the holy city of Qom, south of the Iranian capital.
“In the past two days, some suspect cases of the new coronavirus were observed in Qom city,” he said, quoted by state news agency IRNA.
“Teams were dispatched after receiving the reports, and based on the existing protocols the suspect cases were isolated and tested,” said Jahanpour.
“Out of the samples sent, a laboratory tested two of them as positive for coronavirus just minutes ago and some of the other samples were type B influenza.”
The health ministry spokesman said additional tests were being done on the two cases and final results would be announced “as soon as possible”.
The new coronavirus epidemic has killed more than 2,000 people in China and infected more than 74,000. It has spread to at least two dozen countries.
The United Arab Emirates was the first country in the Middle East to report cases of coronavirus last month.
Why Trump Doesn’t Want War With Us — Iran’s President Rouhani
Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani has stated that he doesn’t believe Trump wants a war with his country as it will ”affect his re-election prospects.”
According to Rouhani, the US’ maximum pressure sanctions against Iran has failed, and the Iranian regime will only renegotiate with the US if crippling sanctions against Iran are removed and the US rejoins the 2015 Iran Nuclear deal negotiated by Obama but exited by Trump in 2018.
The Iranian leader added that war would be harmful to U.S. interests and those of its regional allies like Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as well as Iran.
“I think the Americans aren’t after war since they know what harm it could do them,” said Rouhani in a news conference.
Rouhani said that Persian Gulf nations like the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Qatar stood a lot to lose if conflict between Iran and the U.S. turns to war.
‘Talks could take place if the U.S. were to scrap damaging economic sanctions and reinstate commitments made in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action negotiated by the Obama administration between Iran and global powers’, Rouhani said.
Rouhani also said he didn’t care who won the next US elections.
“We will never sit at the negotiating table with a weak position,” Rouhani said.
U.S.-Iranian relations have been strained for a while resulting in the early-January U.S. drone strike ordered by Trump that killed Iran’s general, Qassem Soleimani to which Iran responded with airstrikes on Iraqi bases housing U.S. troops which left scores of soldiers with brain injuries.