Attorneys for former President Trump on Monday argued in a new brief that the Senate should quickly dismiss the impeachment article filed against him when his trial begins this week.
The 78-page document amounts to a more detailed version of the arguments presented in a filing last week from David Schoen and Bruce Castor, who are representing the former president in the Senate.
The two argue that Trump’s post-presidency trial is unconstitutional, and that even if senators disagreed, Trump’s speech ahead of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol was protected by the First Amendment and did not meet the threshold of an impeachable offense.
Trump’s lawyers accused Democrats in the brief of attempting to “silence a political opponent and a minority party” through a “brazen political act,” arguing the second impeachment proceedings against the former president failed to give him due process.
“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.”
The lawyers also argue that House Democrats rushed to impeach the former president. They also argue that Trump’s speech at the Ellipse before the riot at the Capitol did not incite violence. Finally, they claim that the riots were planned prior to Jan. 6 “and therefore had nothing to do” with Trump’s speech.
“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,” their brief states.
“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,” it states, citing right-wing website The Gateway Pundit to support the claim.
The filing contains multiple typos, as did some of the lawsuits filed on Trump’s behalf alleging election fraud that… (Read more)