Trump’s pathetic defense reminds us why conviction is needed

Clay Curtis
February 4, 2021

On Jan. 2, 2021, the legal team representing former U.S. President Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial in the Senate presented their defense argument with a document containing a glaring misspelling.

Trump became the first USA president in history to be impeached twice when the House of Representatives charged him last month with inciting the mayhem inflicted by his followers when they invaded Congress on January 6.

Attorneys for Donald Trump said Tuesday the House's impeachment of the former president "is facially and substantively flawed, and otherwise unconstitutional". The trial is expected to last about one week.

Five of Trump's impeachment attorneys abruptly quit just over a week before his Senate trial is set to kick off on February 8.

The brief also cites the First Amendment to defend Trump's baseless claims that Joe Biden won the election through massive fraud - saying there is "insufficient evidence" of whether Trump's claims were accurate. "The 45th President exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect", Trump's lawyers wrote.

The Democratic-led House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on a charge of "incitement of insurrection" stemming from his January 6 speech. His comments weren't like shouting fire in a crowded theater, Raskin said, but like a fire chief sending a mob to the theater, according to the source. Six people died. A Capitol Police officer-one of our co-workers who guards and greets us every day-was beaten to death.

Members of the 100-seat Senate will serve as jurors in his trial.

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.

The letter accused Trump of breaking the country's 230-year tradition of a peaceful transition of power and called on Republican senators to convict the former president, and prevent him from returning to politics.

They continue: "Incited by President Trump, his mob attacked the Capitol".

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Mr Trump is just the third president to have been impeached, is the first to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office.

Dobbs interjected in disbelief and said, "It does not honor the Constitution if you permit others to violate the Constitution".

If the ex-president's lawyers can not come up with even one excuse for his conduct, how will Senate Republicans avoid the impression that they are hopeless flunkies for a disgraced, seditious president?

"Presidents do not get a free pass to commit high crimes and misdemeanours near the end of their term".

Bottom line: You can't impeachment a President who has left office. His lawyers insist the ex-president never "intended to interfere with the counting of Electoral votes", when we know that for weeks he sought to do just that - in court, in tweets, in phone calls, in calls for Vice President Mike Pence to change the electoral count, in a meeting with MI state lawmakers and ultimately at the rally to incite the crowd.

"He summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue".

Trump adviser Jason Miller told the outlet that "these guys are no longer relevant", referring to the lawyers that quit.

It says Mr Trump's behavior was so egregious as to require permanent disqualification from office. The Senate held it anyway.

Asked whether the Biden administration was concerned that Trump's defense team might incite further violence by continuing to argue his claim of election fraud, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki was cautious. These efforts, according to the article of impeachment, included a January 2 phone call to the secretary of state of Georgia, Brad Raffensperger, to "find" enough votes to overturn Biden's win in that state. Trump initially commuted Stone's sentence before granting him a full pardon in his last week as president.

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