Trump’s legal team and House Democrats filed briefs lays out impeachment arguments

WASHINGTON, D,C, (February 2, 2021)—today  President Donald J.  Trump’s laid out their defense in response to the House brief.  The  legal team called the House Democratic impeachment effort a “violation” of the Constitution as it urged the Senate to toss the case or acquit him in the trial set to start next week.
The Democratic-led House voted last month to impeach Trump a historic second time on a single article of impeachment, with 10 Republicans also voting in favor of impeachment. Trump has called the impeachment a “hoax.”
The House alleged “The Constitution provides that the House of Representatives ‘shall have the sole Power of Impeachment’ and that the President ‘shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of,Treason, Bribery,or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’”
The President’s legal team responded  “It is admitted that the Constitutional provision at Averment 1 is accurately reproduced. Itis denied that the quoted provision currently applies to the 45th President of the United States since he is no longer “President.” The constitutional provision requires that a person actually hold office to be impeached. Since the 45th President is no longer “President,” the clause ‘shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for…’ is impossible for the Senate to accomplish, and thus the current proceeding before the Senate is void ab initio as a legal nullity that runs patently contrary to the plain language of the Constitution.”
Former President Trump’s legal team denied that he “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States. The 45th President believes and therefore avers that as a private citizen, the Senate has no jurisdiction over his ability to hold office and for the Senate to take action on this averment would constitute a Bill of Attainder in violation of Art. I, Sec. 9. Cl. 3 of the United States Constitution.”
“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 legal team further argued in their brief.
“President exercised his First Amendment right under the Constitution to express his belief that the election results were suspect, since with very few exceptions,under the convenient guise of Covid-19 pandemic “safeguards” states election laws and procedures were changed by local politicians or judges without the necessary approvals from state legislatures.”

The legal team further added that  “the United States House  Representatives impeachment case ” is facially and substantively flawed.”

It is unlikely that former President Trump will be impeached by Senator Chuck Schumer’s Senate.  Furthermore, it takes 67 senators to convict in an impeachment trial, meaning 17 Republicans would have to vote along  with every member of the Democratic caucus — and all but five in the Senate GOP already sided with Trump’s legal team on an early procedural vote, making the vast majority of GOP senators likely to acquit. It is unlikely that former President Trump will be impeached.

Last week Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) Sen. Rand Paul raised a constitutional point of order against the proceedings. The Constitution does not provide Congress the power to impeach and try a former president, the Kentucky Republican argued.

“Private citizens don’t get impeached. Impeachment is for removal from office, and the accused here has already left office,” Paul said in floor remarks before the vote. “Hyperpartisan Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history.”

Paul tested the strength of the impeachment—convincing the majority of the Republican Senators to agree to vote in support of his point of order resolution.  The vote was  55-45. But the vote showed that regardless of what happens in the February 9th trial, there almost certainly won’t be enough Republican support to convict Trump. A conviction would require 67 votes, or two-thirds of the Senate.


Photo:  Democratic House impeachment managers, led by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, left, filed their pretrial brief outlining their case against former President Donald Trump for inciting an insurrection on Jan. 6.

Melina Mara/AP


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