Sean Reyes joins GOP attorneys general urging Senate to acquit Trump

(Jeremy Harmon | Tribune file photo) Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes at a news conference in Salt Lake City, Oct. 9, 2019. Reyes joined some 20 Republican colleagues in calling on the U.S. Senate to acquit President Donald Trump in the impeachment trial.

Washington • Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes on Wednesday joined 20 of his Republican colleagues in urging the Senate to reject the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump because of the harm they warn it will cause to the presidency and the Constitution.

The 21 attorneys general argue in a “friend of the Senate” brief — a play off of a legal filing called a friend of the court brief — that Democrats’ charges against the president are “factually flawed” and destructive of the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches as well as contrary to America’s Founding Fathers’ vision for the country.

“Republican attorneys general agree that impeachment should never be a partisan response to one party losing a presidential election,” Reyes said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the Democrats never set out to ascertain the truth and have weaponized a process that should only be initiated in exceedingly rare circumstances. Impeachment casts a shadow over the office of the presidency, undermines constitutional authority, and hurts the interests of the United States at home and abroad.”

The 13-page letter comes as the Senate began the trial of Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress for leveraging U.S. aid to Ukraine while asking for a personal favor and then denying access to records and testimony from those involved. Trump has said he did nothing wrong.

Wednesday’s letter was organized by the Republican Attorneys General Association, which donated $125,000 to Reyes’s campaign on Jan. 10.

Reyes is seeking reelection this year.

He is listed as one of the first three signatories on the letter to the Senate.

Not all of the Republican attorneys generals signed the letter on impeachment. Sean Rankin, the executive director of the Democratic Attorneys General Association, said the GOP effort was purely partisan.

“The people of these states deserve more than politicking and pandering from their state attorney general – and that’s clearly all this was," Rankin said.