Donald Trump’s lawyers argue that the House impeachment charge is unconstitutional and are calling on the Senate to acquit the former President.
In their first formal response, Trump’s lawyers “denied” that the former President “ever engaged in a violation of his oath of office,” and by contrast, he, “at all times acted to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
They also assert that going through a process designed to remove somebody from office when he is no longer in the office is a violation of the Constitution.
The brief calls for dismissal of the article stating, “Incitement of Insurrection against him as moot, and thus in violation of the Constitution, because the Senate lacks jurisdiction to remove from office a man who does not hold office.”
House Impeachment Managers Say Overwhelming Evidence to Convict Trump
House impeachment managers earlier today filed a pre-trial brief which revealed what their plan of attack will be in the upcoming Senate trial.
“In a grievous betrayal of his Oath of Office, President Trump incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol during the Joint Session, thus impeding Congress’s confirmation of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the winner of the presidential election,” they argue.
The filing claims that the “facts are compelling and the evidence is overwhelming.”
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The impeachment managers also counter the argument that the trial would be unconstitutional.
“[T]he text and structure of the Constitution, as well as its original meaning and prior interpretations by Congress, overwhelmingly demonstrate that a former official remains subject to trial and conviction for abuses committed in office,” the brief reads.
“Any other rule would make little sense.”
“I think President Biden missed a great opportunity to be a statesman and demanded that this thing be called off, frankly.
This is the political weaponization of the impeachment process.”
Lawyer David Schoen, who joined Trump’s impeachment defense, has his first TV hit. pic.twitter.com/WfXmmg0irI
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 2, 2021
Democrats Still Have an Uphill Battle
An impeachment conviction requires a two-thirds vote, which in the Senate would require 17 Republicans joining all 50 Democrats in voting to convict Trump.
Senator Rand Paul already set the stage by forcing a vote on the constitutionality of the impeachment of the former President.
45 Republicans – including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell – voted that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional.
“45 Senators agreed that this sham of a ‘trial’ is unconstitutional,” he tweeted. “That is more than will be needed to acquit and to eventually end this partisan impeachment process.”
“This ‘trial’ is dead on arrival in the Senate,” he wrote.
The Senate just voted on my constitutional point of order.
45 Senators agreed that this sham of a “trial” is unconstitutional.
That is more than will be needed to acquit and to eventually end this partisan impeachment process.
This “trial” is dead on arrival in the Senate.
— Senator Rand Paul (@RandPaul) January 26, 2021
“The Constitution says two things about impeachment — it is a tool to remove the officeholder, and it must be presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court,” Paul wrote in an op-ed column.
Neither of those elements exists in this case, as President Trump is no longer in office and Chief Justice John Roberts has declined to preside over the trial.
Trump’s lawyers and the House impeachment managers will submit another round of briefs next Monday, and the trial is scheduled to begin on February 9th.
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