Donald Trump’s legal team issued a brief on Monday asserting that the sole article of impeachment, which seeks to indict the former president on grounds that he incited the deadly mob riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, is flawed and is not constitutionally sound. This impeachment attempt, the brief says, contains charges “more outlandish” than each of the Democrats’ previous efforts to go after Trump.
“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 January 6 by a few hundred people,” the brief says. “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.”
According to lawyers Bruce L. Castor Jr., David Schoen, and Michael T. van der Veen, the Senate shouldn’t convict Trump on the House of Representative’s incitement charges because the “facts” about the former president’s speech used to build the Democrats’ case for impeachment were outdated, taken out of context, and “irrelevant” to the case. One example of this, the brief mentions, is the fact that law enforcement was notified before Trump addressed the D.C. crowd on Jan. 6.
The riot in question, the attorneys argue, was not incited by Trump’s speech outside the Capitol. Instead, the briefing outlines how the corporate media and Democrat politicians cherry-picked phrases from Trump’s speech and took the politician’s use of the word “fight” out of context to fit a narrative that would allow them to carry out such a deliberate and political action as this impeachment. This is evidenced, they claim, by the lack of action against others who have used similar language when addressing the public and gone unpunished, such as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Trump’s team continued the 78-page brief by outlining how this operation, orchestrated by the Democrats who harbor “fevered hatred for Citizen Trump” and have “Trump Derangement Syndrome,” infringes on the former president’s right to freedom of speech and his life as a private citizen who no longer holds public office. His team also said the procedure is technically defective, noting that the rushed article of impeachment groups multiple alleged offenses together, preventing the Senate from agreeing “on the specific basis for conviction.” These combined offenses, the brief argues, demonstrate why the case against Trump should be dismissed.
“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 brief states. “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.”
Last week, the Trump legal team formally responded to the impeachment article in a 14-page answer, arguing that the Senate has no constitutional grounds to try the former president and should acquit him. In the response, Trump’s attorneys said the article is null and void because the Republican is “no longer President.” The charge, they said, is based on legal principles that “run patently contrary to the plain language of the Constitution,” and since Trump cannot be removed from an office he no longer holds, the impeachment is “irrelevant to any matter before the Senate.”
Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.