A lawyer representing former President Trump at his impeachment trial next week plans to argue that convicting Trump of inciting a riot would imperil all political speech.
Speaking Monday night on Fox News’s “Hannity,” attorney David Schoen laid out a three-pronged strategy for Trump’s defense.
Schoen and attorney Bruce Castor plan to argue that it is unconstitutional to impeach a former president, that some of the rioters planned to storm the Capitol before Trump addressed his supporters and that convicting Trump would set a precedent that could severely curtail political speech going forward.
“Besides the fact that this process is completely unconstitutional … this is a very, very dangerous road to take with respect to the First Amendment, putting at risk any passionate political speaker, which is against everything we believe in this country,” Schoen said.
Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate will begin on Feb. 9. Ten House Republicans joined with Democrats in that chamber to impeach Trump for inciting a mob.
In his Jan. 6 speech, Trump repeated his unproven claims about the election being stolen from him through widespread fraud and urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to protest the official Electoral College vote count that was going on inside.
Rioters then stormed the Capitol building, killing a police officer and sending lawmakers, including former Vice President Mike Pence, into hiding.
Trump tweeted angrily at Pence while the siege was taking place. Later in the afternoon, as the extent of the mayhem became apparent, Trump called for calm whil… (Read more)