House members picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to prosecute the impeachment case against former President Donald Trump – filed a briefing indicating that they intend to argue that Trump is “singularly responsible” for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The team of House impeachment managers filed an 80-page brief on Tuesday laying out their case to convince the Senate to convict Trump of inciting the Jan. 6 riot. Trump was impeached in the Democrat led house for the second time last month.
“President Trump may assert that this impeachment reflects ‘cancel culture’ or some supposed intolerance of his right to voice objections to the election results. That would be a red herring. President Trump endangered the very constitutional system that protects all other rights, including freedom of expression,” the brief says.
“It would be perverse to suggest that our shared commitment to free speech requires the Senate to ignore the obvious: that President Trump is singularly responsible for the violence and destruction that unfolded in our seat of government on January 6.”
Dozens of Republicans in the Senate have signaled that they will resist convicting Trump on the grounds that they believe the impeachment trial against him is unconstitutional because he is no longer a “sitting president.”
“President Trump is personally responsible for inciting an armed attack on our seat of government that imperiled the lives of the Vice President, Members of Congress and our families, and those who staff and serve the Legislative Branch,” the brief says.
“If the Senate does not try President Trump (and convict him) it risks declaring to all future Presidents that there will be no consequences, no accountability, indeed no Congressional response at all if they violate their Oath to ‘preserve, protect and defend the Constitution’ in their final weeks — and instead provoke lethal violence in a lawless effort to retain power.”
The managers go on to argue that, while Trump cannot be removed from office, his conviction is necessary to bar him from ever holding public office in the future.
“President Trump’s incitement of insurrection requires his conviction and disqualification from future federal officeholding,” the brief says. “This is not a case where elections alone are a sufficient safeguard against future abuse; it is the electoral process itself that President Trump attacked and that must be protected from him and anyone else who would seek to mimic his behavior.”
President Trump’s legal team on Tuesday filed its response to the House article of impeachment ahead of next week’s trial, denying wrongdoing and calling for the Senate to acquit Trump of the charge.
The answer denies that Trump violated his oath of office while also saying that he was protected by the First Amendment in response to claims he incited an insurrection.
“It is denied that the 45th President of the United States ever engaged in a violation of his oath of office,” the Trump legal team brief says.
“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.”
“Donald John Trump, 45th President of the United States, respectfully requests the Honorable Members of the Senate of the United States dismiss Article I: Incitement of Insurrection against him as moot, and thus in violation of the Constitution, because the Senate lacks jurisdiction to remove from office a man who does not hold office,” the brief says.
Trump’s previous legal team quit over his demand that they make an election fraud case, Fox News was told. Trump’s new legal team of Bruce Castor Jr. and David Schoen were the only two lawyers signed onto the document that was submitted to the Senate on Tuesday.
Trump team brief on Tuesday also directly addresses the false allegation that the former president incited the riot.
“It is denied that the phrase ‘if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore’ had anything to do with the action at the Capitol as it was clearly about the need to fight for election security in general, as evidenced by the recording of the speech,” the Trump team brief reads. “It is denied that President Trump intended to interfere with the counting of Electoral votes.”
It adds: “The purpose of the Joint Sessions of Congress in 2017 and on Jan. 6, 2021, was for Members of Congress to fulfill their duty to be certain the Electoral College votes were properly submitted, and any challenges thereto properly addressed under Congressional rules. Congress’ duty, therefore, was not just to certify the presidential election. Its duty was to first determine whether certification of the presidential election vote was warranted and permissible under its rules.”
The impeachment trial is expected to start next Tuesday.