Trump Bears 'Unmistakable' Responsibility for Capitol Riot, House Impeachment Brief Argues

Wednesday, 03 Feb, 2021

Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives who will prosecute former president Donald Trump in his second impeachment trial said in a brief filed on Tuesday he pointed a mob "like a loaded cannon" at the Capitol shortly before a deadly January 6 rampage.

Trump was impeached by the House on January 13 on a single article for "incitement of insurrection" following the violent siege at the U.S. Capitol that left one police officer and four others dead and left members of Congress and their staffs fearing for their lives. "Trump has committed an impeachable offense of historic proportions". "It requires his conviction".

Lawyers for former USA president Donald Trump have denied he "incited insurrection" against the United States Government in an official response to the article of impeachment filed against him.

Trump is expected to file his own formal response to Democrats' impeachment article on Tuesday by noon. Trump's lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, argued both that the Senate can not vote to impeach Trump when he no longer holds office as well as that Trump's speech about the election and before the January 6 riots is protected by the First Amendment. "To the contrary, at all times, Donald J. Trump fully and faithfully executed his duties as President of the United States, and at all times acted to the best of his ability to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, while never engaging in any high Crimes or Misdemeanors".

The two lawyers representing him will be an Alabama attorney, David Schoen, and a former prosecutor in Pennsylvania, Bruce Castor.

Just a little over a week before he is to file briefs in the case, he abruptly parted ways with most of his legal team, a group of respected lawyers from SC led by a former prosecutor named Butch Bowers. If he does that all the pundits insist it's going to make the GOP senators very nervous and they might end up voting to convict. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said.

The case moved forward under Castor's successor and Cosby was convicted in 2018. On Monday, House impeachment managers outlined their case in a legal brief, reports the Hill, the Washington Post, Forbes, and the AP. But numerous lawmakers' personal office staffers have been kept in the dark about the intense preparations and the members have been instructed not to do media interviews in the meantime, according to multiple Democrats.

Luttig has said that the text and objective of the Constitution make clear that the Senate's power is limited to convicting a sitting president.

Former US President Donald Trump's defence team in his impeachment trial will argue his comments to a violent mob of his supporters outside the White House are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

"He spent months asserting, without evidence, that he won in a "landslide" and that the election was 'stolen, ' " the impeachment managers wrote. Trump's team has until Tuesday, to respond to the article of impeachment passed by the House charging him with "incitement of insurrection". However, it is widely agreed one of the main reasons for the impeachment being pursued is that if found guilty, it would likely prevent him from running for office again, and derail any 2024 Presidential bid. The Senate acquitted Trump in that case, largely on party lines.

The House's legal brief directly addresses the arguments from Trump's allies that the Senate has no constitutional right to put a former president on trial because the penalty of removal from office does not apply.

He is the first U.S. president to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office.

Most Republican senators now are lining up against conviction.

CNN cited sources as saying Trump wanted the attorneys to pursue unsubstantiated allegations of electoral fraud instead of questioning the legitimacy of impeachment proceedings against a president who has already left office.

The brief also traced Trump's efforts to subvert democracy back to the summer of 2020, when he first declined to say he would accept the election results, through the election and his many failed attempts to challenge the results in court. Although a censure resolution does not have the power of a conviction, it would allow the Senate to publicly rebuke the former president. That group includes Sens.

"Given all that, the crowd which assembled on January 6 unsurprisingly included many who were armed, angry, and dangerous-and poised on a hair trigger for President Trump to confirm that they indeed had to "fight" to save America from an imagined conspiracy", the Democrats wrote. McConnell said last week that he has not spoken with Trump since mid-December.

"Since the dawn of the republic, no enemy - foreign or domestic - had ever obstructed Congress's counting of the votes", the brief states. "It is denied that President Trump meant to interfere with the counting of Electoral votes", they wrote.