Saturday, 27 February, 2021


President Trump's legal team says impeachment trial unconstitutional, calls for acquittal

GOP proposal includes $1000 Trump names 2 attorneys to lead impeachment defense
Bennie Garza | 03 February, 2021, 05:21

Donald Trump endangered the lives of all members of Congress when he aimed a mob of supporters "like a loaded cannon" at the U.S.

The dueling filings offer the first public glimpse of the arguments that will be presented to the Senate beginning next week.

Trump is due to file a response to the impeachment charge on Tuesday but replaced his lead legal counsel over the weekend.

Kalt was part of a bipartisan group of roughly 150 lawyers who signed a letter arguing that Trump can still be convicted in an impeachment trial. And it used evocative language to conjure the day's events, where "terrified Members were trapped in the Chamber" and called loved ones "for fear they would not survive".

"After the November election, the 45th President exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect", Castor and Schoen wrote.

The Democrats cited his unsuccessful efforts to sway Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and former Attorney General William Barr.

"If it continues to be the party of Trump, many of us are not going back", Rosario Marin, who served as treasurer in the Bush administration, told Reuters.

In the 232-197 vote on January 13, ten Republicans joined all of their Democratic colleagues to impeach Trump for incitement of insurrection, which came as then-Vice President Mike Pence sat in session to confirm the Electoral College vote that secured current President Joe Biden's win in the 2020 presidential election.

One of his recently hired lawyers, David Schoen, called the impeachment process "completely unconstitutional" in an interview with Fox News but did not outline the former president's legal strategy.

As the former president await his second impeachment trial next week, Democrats have said they will at a minimum be using video footage from the riots, filmed by the rioters themselves.

The Capitol siege, Harden added "appears to have been spontaneous and sparked by the statements made during the "Stop the Steal" rally". "I'd call it the cult of Trump". And they plan to make a First Amendment case as well.

Joe Biden became President on January 20th, so Trump can no longer be removed from office. Though that claim may not be resolved any time soon in the courts, it may nonetheless resonate politically.

"There is no "January Exception" to impeachment or any other provision of the Constitution", the managers said in the brief.

Although Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is forging ahead with the trial, the 55-45 vote on Paul's order could be an indication that a Trump conviction is unlikely, since a two-thirds majority is needed to convict.

Lindsey Graham has threatened to call in the Federal Bureau of Investigation to testify about security failures during the Capitol riots last month if Democrats try to call even one witness at Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Challenging the case against Mr Trump on the grounds that the Senate lacks constitutional authority to put a former president on trial would enable his fellow Republicans to vote against conviction without directly defending his incendiary remarks. The Senate ultimately voted 55-45, meaning that, while the trial will go ahead, it revealed that almost half of the chamber believes the proceedings are unconstitutional.

House Democrats said the framers did not intend to leave Congress "virtually defenseless against a president's treachery in his final days ... simply because he is a lame duck". Setting that precedent now would "horrify the Framers", the brief said.

The nine impeachment managers, all Democrats, argued in their sweeping 77-page document that Trump's speech had whipped the crowd into a "frenzy". Former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama had confirmed secretaries on their first days in office.

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