Tuesday, 26 October, 2021


Capitol riot accused try to shift blame to Trump

House Managers Preview Senate Impeachment Trial Argument Trump 'summoned a mob,' Democrats say in formal impeachment brief
Bennie Garza | 04 February, 2021, 09:01

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who will prosecute former president Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial said in a brief filed on Tuesday he pointed a mob "like a loaded cannon" at the Capitol shortly before a deadly January 6 rampage.

The House impeachment managers accuse Donald Trump of summoning a mob to Washington, D.C., on January 6, whipping the crowd "into a frenzy" and then aiming them "like a loaded cannon" at the U.S. Capitol, pinning the blame for the deadly violence that ensued directly on the former president.

The legal sparring around Donald Trump's impeachment trial is underway, with briefs filed this week laying out radically different positions ahead of next week's Senate trial. They are expected to play videos and verbally recount the violence of the day in hopes of stirring the Republicans, most of whom fled the Senate that day as the rioters broke in.

More than 370 Capitol Hill staffers signed a letter Wednesday asking United States senators to convict former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial.

It not only explicitly faults Mr Trump for his role in the riot but also aims to preemptively rebut defense claims that his words were protected by the First Amendment, or that an impeachment trial is unconstitutional now that he has left office.

"The president exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect", the lawyers wrote.

"A Capitol Police officer - one of our co-workers who guards and greets us every day - was beaten to death", the letter said, referring to Brian Sicknick, who died from brain injuries sustained after Trump supporters beat him with a fire extinguisher. Members of the 100-seat Senate will serve as jurors in his impeachment trial, due to begin next week.

The House managers also make the case for why Trump can't claim First Amendment protection for his inflammatory statements about the election results and why he remains subject to impeachment even though he is no longer in office.

FILE - With the White House in the background, former President Donald Trump speaks his supporters during a rally in Washington, D.C., January 6, 2021.

'There's no question the president formed the mob, the president incited the mob, the president addressed the mob.

While no president has ever been tried after leaving the White House, the Democrats cite a precedent - the 1876 impeachment trial of a secretary of war during the Grant administration who resigned his office to avoid an impeachment trial.

Schoen agreed with Dobbs that the impeachment trial is part of a years-old attempt to go after Trump.

One of his new lawyers, Bruce Castor, has said the team's defence would be focussing on whether or not it is even possible to impeach a president after they have left office.

"It will be a permanent stain on the history of the Republican Party and the legacy of its members in the U.S. Senate if they fail to find a way to hold a president of their party to account for this unprecedented mayhem at our nation's Capitol", the group wrote.

What the House managers are saying is the fact that they brought the article of impeachment in January doesn't disqualify this trial from going forward. "Presidents do not get a free pass to commit high crimes and misdemeanors near the end of their term". They said that we don't have jurisdiction here. The Senate held the trial nonetheless.

For instance, CNN's chief White House correspondent, Kaitlan Collins, tweeted: "White House officials were shaken by Trump's reaction to a mob of his supporters descending on the Capitol today".

Trump's lawyers, by contrast, suggest he can't be responsible because he never incited anyone to "engage in destructive behavior".

House impeachment managers echoed that sentiment in a brief filed on Tuesday, arguing that Trump was "singularly responsible" for fomenting the assault on the Capitol after he "summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue". They deny that he incited his supporters to violence.

Democrats also rejected the reasoning that Trump can not be tried once out of office.

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