Updated Dec 17, 2019

Trump accuses Democrats of subverting democracy in blistering letter to Pelosi

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

President Trump sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday accusing Democrats of "perversion of justice" and condemning them for their handling of impeachment, at one point writing: “More due process was afforded to those accused in the Salem Witch Trials."

The big picture: Written on White House letterhead, the letter memorializes Trump's defense on the eve of his expected impeachment. The House is set to approve articles of impeachment on Wednesday, sending them to the Senate for what is likely to be a speedy trial that ends with Trump's acquittal.

What he's saying: Trump rehashed his usual arguments against impeachment, including that Democrats are seeking revenge over their 2016 election loss and that his call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was "perfect."

  • "There is nothing I would rather do than stop referring to your party as the Do-Nothing Democrats. Unfortunately, I don't know that you will ever give me a chance to do so," Trump wrote.
  • "You are the ones interfering in America's elections. You are the ones subverting America's Democracy. You are the ones Obstructing Justice. You are the ones bringing pain and suffering to our Republic for your own selfish, personal, political and partisan gain," he added.

Trump also argued the impeachment has affected him on a personal level, writing: "Few people in high position could have endured or passed this test. You do not know, nor do you care, the great damage and hurt you have inflicted upon wonderful and loving members of my family."

Flashback: The White House dared Pelosi in October to hold a vote on an impeachment inquiry.

  • White House lawyers carefully reviewed the language in that October letter, expecting that it could find its way before a judge, Axios' Alayna Treene and Margaret Talev reported.
  • The lawyers weren’t steering the bus on today’s letter, according to two sources familiar with its drafting.

Between the lines: Trump's tweets and "Fox & Friends" appearances could be losing their shock value, incentivizing him to turn to the imprimatur of the White House.

Read the letter.

Go deeper: McConnell rejects Schumer's call for new witnesses in Senate trial

Go deeper

Amid racial unrest, a test at the polls

Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Eight states plus D.C. are holding primary elections today following a week of intense protests across the country over the brutal police killing of George Floyd.

Why it matters: It's the first major test for voting since the national outcry. Concerns over civil unrest and the police — as well as the coronavirus and expanded absentee voting — could reduce the number of voters showing up in person but heighten tensions for those who do.

Axios-Ipsos poll: America’s big racial divide on police, virus

Data: Ipsos/Axios survey; Note: ±3.2% margin of error; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

A new Axios-Ipsos poll finds that America has a massive racial gulf on each of our twin calamities — trust in police, and fear of the coronavirus.

  • 77% of whites say they trust local police, compared with just 36% of African Americans — one of many measures of a throbbing racial divide in Week 11 of the Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, taken the week George Floyd was killed by a white policeman in Minneapolis.
Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests nationwide

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued for a seventh day across the U.S., with President Trump threatening on Monday to deploy the military if the unrest continues.

The latest: Four police officers were struck by gunfire while standing near a line in St Louis on Monday after a peaceful demonstration, Police Chief John Hayden said early Tuesday. They were all taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He said a small group of people had thrown rocks and fireworks at police officers.