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Trump Lawyers: Impeachment Trial Isn't About Justice

It's merely to allow Democrats to score political points, they argue in new brief
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 8, 2021 10:30 AM CST

(Newser) – Former President Trump's second impeachment trial begins Tuesday, and his legal team elaborated on its strategy in a newly filed brief. Details:

  • "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 write, per the Hill. "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 attorneys argue that Trump was exercising his First Amendment rights in disputing the election results and that he urged his supporters to remain peaceful and therefore can't be held responsible for the Capitol riot, per the AP.
  • His attorneys also say Trump can't be impeached now that he has left office, though that remains a topic of debate. They also argue that Democrats aren't really interested in pursuing justice.

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  • "Instead, this was only ever a selfish attempt by Democratic leadership in the House to prey upon the feelings of horror and confusion that fell upon all Americans across the entire political spectrum upon seeing the destruction at the Capitol on Jan. 6 by a few hundred people," says the brief.
  • "Instead of acting to heal the nation, or at the very least focusing on prosecuting the lawbreakers who stormed the Capitol, the Speaker of the House and her allies have tried to callously harness the chaos of the moment for their own political gain," it states.
  • It remains highly unlikely that Trump will be convicted, given the number of GOP senators who've expressed doubt about the validity of the trial. "The outcome is really not in doubt," GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday on CBS News' Face the Nation. "It's not a question of how the trial ends, it's a question of when it ends. Republicans are going to view this as an unconstitutional exercise, and the only question is, will they call witnesses, how long does the trial take?"
  • We should know more on Monday about how the impeachment will unfold. The Washington Post reports that the trial might begin with a four-hour debate on its constitutionality.
(Read more Trump impeachment stories.)

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