WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former President Trump’s attorneys on Monday argued in a 78-page legal brief that the Senate should immediately dismiss the impeachment article filed against him when his trial begins this week. Trump’s lead lawyers David Schoen and Bruce Castor also accused House Democrats of suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” and engaging in “political theater” calling the trial unconstitutional for a “variety of reasons”, according to the brief.
“The Article of Impeachment presented by the House is unconstitutional for a variety of reasons, any of which alone would-be grounds for immediate dismissal,” the attorneys wrote. “Taken together, they demonstrate conclusively that indulging House Democrats hunger for this political theater is a danger to our Republic, democracy and the rights that we hold dear.”
“As is evident from our Constitution’s plain text, Article II limits impeachment to current officials: “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” As Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, impeachment was designed to deprive a political actor “of the authority he has used to amiss.” In this instance, however, the Senate is being asked to do something patently ridiculous: try a private citizen in a process that is designed to remove him from an office that he no longer holds.”
“Of the over 10,000 words spoken, Mr. Trump used the word ‘fight’ a little more than a handful of times and each time in the figurative sense that has long been accepted in public discourse when urging people to stand and use their voices to be heard on matters important to them; it was not and could not be construed to encourage acts of violence. The real truth is that the people who criminally breached the Capitol did so of their own accord and for their own reasons, and they are being criminally prosecuted,”
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The House last month impeached the former president for allegedly inciting violence against the government over his role in the January 6 riot at the Capitol, but Trump’s attorneys argued in their initial legal brief that Trump is constitutionally ineligible to face an impeachment trial because he’s no longer in office. That even if senators found the proceedings constitutional, his comments were protected under the First Amendment.