House Democrats, Trump Lawyers Lay Out Clashing Views Ahead of Impeachment Trial

Donald Trump endangered the lives of all members of Congress when he aimed a mob of supporters like a loaded cannon at the US Capitol House Democrats said. — AFP File

The old team wanted to focus on the "constitutionality" argument, which says that Trump can't be impeached because he's no longer in office.

"If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be", Democrats wrote.

Nine impeachment managers on Tuesday filed a brief with the Senate, arguing the former president is "singularly responsible" for last month's deadly attack on the Capitol building and describing his actions as a "betrayal of historic proportions", The Washington Post reports.

Trump's January 2 call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger showed him reciting the same false claims about Georgia's election that the state's Republican officials had repeatedly debunked.

The response came after the House Democrats filed their brief early Tuesday.

Trump's first impeachment trial, on charges of abuse of power and obstructing Congress arising from his phone call urging Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son, Hunter, ended a year ago in acquittal by the then Republican-controlled Senate.

"There is no "January Exception" to impeachment or any other provision of the Constitution". He is just one of the forty-five Republican senators to object to the trial on constitutional grounds, since there is no precise legal precedent for convicting a former President.

The First Amendment, they write, does not apply to an impeachment proceeding. "All they needed was for President Trump to strike a match". Surveying the tense crowd before him, President Trump whipped it into a frenzy, exhorting followers to 'fight like hell [or] you're not going to have a country anymore, ' " the managers write.

Republican Senator John Cornyn said that making an argument regarding alleged election fraud would be "really not material" to the charge that Trump's remarks urging supporters to "fight" on january 6 led to the attack on the Capitol that left five dead.

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While Maddow didn't notice it, that's a huge problem for Trump and the Republican officials in the Senate.

In their brief, the impeachment managers also make their argument for the constitutionality of impeaching and convicting a now-former president. The Senate went ahead with the trial and acquitted him.

The impeachment trial, Trump's second, begins in earnest on 9 February.

Sen. Graham, who has called the trial frivolous, expressed that, if Democrats call any witnesses -- even just one -- Republicans will happily open the floodgates for what is effectively more frivolity by interviewing the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which would likely lengthen the trial.

Enough Republican senators have signalled opposition to impeachment to indicate that the chamber nearly certainly will fall short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict him. The trial is expected to last about one week. "I think it would be a disservice to the president's own defense to get bogged down in things that really aren't before the Senate", said Sen.

This claim ignores the months-long effort through which Trump pushed false claims of election fraud and urged local officials to help overturn the result, in addition to filing lawsuits. Schoen told Fox News' Sean Hannity on Monday, "This process is completely unconstitutional and it is a very, very unsafe road to take with respect to the First Amendment, putting at risk any passionate political speaker which is really against everything we believe and in this country".

Mr. Bowers's departure followed a payment dispute with Mr. Trump. "Then he aimed them straight at the Capitol, declaring: "You'll never take back our country with weakness".

Mr Trump took to a stage near the White House and exhorted supporters to "fight", using the word more than 20 times.

Trump adviser Jason Miller did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the legal strategy of blaming the former president.

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