House Democrats Outline Their Case Against Trump

Legal brief: 'If provoking an insurrectionary riot' isn't impeachable, what is?
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2021 10:20 AM CST
House Democrats Outline Their Case Against Trump
President Trump arrives to speak at a rally on Jan. 6, 2021, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

The formalities have begun ahead of former President Trump's impeachment trial in the Senate next week. On Monday, House impeachment managers outlined their case in a legal brief, reports the Hill, the Washington Post, Forbes, and the AP. Excerpts from the brief and other details from those sources:

  • 'Loaded cannon': Trump "summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue," the brief states.
  • And more: "If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be," it continues. Trump's "pursuit of power at all costs is a betrayal of historic proportions."
  • Trump's team: The former president's legal team is expected to file its own brief later Tuesday. Among other things, his attorneys will argue that Trump can't be impeached because he's out of office. And they plan to make a First Amendment case as well. "If this speech is considered incitement for insurrection, then I think any passionate political speaker is at risk," lead Trump attorney David Schoen tells the Post.
  • A counter: "The Framers themselves would not have hesitated to convict on these facts," write the House Democrats. As for the idea that Trump can't be impeached: "There is no 'January Exception' to impeachment or any other provision of the Constitution. A president must answer comprehensively for his conduct in office from his first day in office through his last."
  • Full text: The Hill has a link here.
(The trial begins next Tuesday, though it appears highly unlikely that Democrats will get enough votes to convict.)

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