Trump’s lawyers accuse Dems of opportunism, dishonesty ahead of second trial

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President Donald Trump on Capitol riots, incoming administration

Only hours from Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, his lawyers filed a 78-page legal brief, accusing House Democrats of “political opportunism” and “intellectual dishonesty” in their continuing “fevered hatred for Citizen Trump.”

“During the past four years, Democrat members of the United States House of Representatives have filed at least nine (9) resolutions to impeach Donald J. Trump, the 45th President of the United States, each containing charges more outlandish than the next,” the brief, which was reported by The Washington Post, reads. “One might have been excused for thinking that the Democrats’ fevered hatred for Citizen Trump and their ‘Trump Derangement Syndrome’ would have broken by now, seeing as he is no longer the President, and yet for the second time in just over a year the United States Senate is preparing to sit as a Court of Impeachment, but this time over a private citizen who is a former President.”

»Read the entire brief here

“In this Country, the Constitution – not a political party and not politicians – reigns supreme,” the brief, filed by Trump lead attorneys Bruce Castor, David Schoen and Michael T. van der Veen, reads. “But through this latest Article of Impeachment now before the Senate, Democrat politicians seek to carve out a mechanism by which they can silence a political opponent and a minority party. The Senate must summarily reject this brazen political act.”

Trump’s historic second impeachment trial is opening Tuesday with a sense of urgency, by Democrats who want to hold the former president accountable for the violent U.S. Capitol siege and Republicans who want it over as fast as possible.

Trump is the third American president to be impeached and the first to be impeached twice. In late 2019, the Democrat-led U.S. House impeached him on two charges: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. The GOP-led Senate acquitted Trump on both charges in February 2020. Prior to Trump, only Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton had been impeached. Both were also acquitted by the Senate.

The latest impeachment charge — authored by U.S. Reps. David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Jamie Raskin of Maryland and Ted Lieu of California — alleges Trump incited the violence that led to a deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. One Capitol Police officer, Brian David Sicknick, died from injuries suffered in the riot. One protester — Trump supporter Ashli Babbitt, 35, who was a 14-year U.S. Air Force veteran — was shot to death during the protest.

ExploreHere is what Donald Trump said before the Capitol riot

The riot began when Trump supporters descended on the nation’s capital the same day as Congress began certifying the Electoral College vote, which assured Democrat Joe Biden the presidency. More Americans in history cast their ballot before and during the Nov. 3 presidential election, and Biden secured an overwhelming majority of the popular vote — more than 80 million — and electoral votes, 306. A total of 270 Electoral College votes are needed to win the White House.

However, before and after the election, Trump continued to make widespread allegations about the integrity of the electoral process and claimed massive voter fraud. His legal teams filed numerous lawsuits in several battleground states, all of which have been dismissed by those respective judges.

Before the riot, Trump addressed his supporters, thousands of whom then marched to the U.S. Capitol and breached the building. Congress and staff were forced to evacuate the building and forced into recess until the violence could be contained. Later that evening and stretching into the next day, Congress officially certified the Electoral College totals, ensuring Biden’s win as the nation’s 46th president.

After weeks of delays and legal challenges, Trump eventually acknowledged Biden’s victory, though he never conceded the election.

ExploreDonald Trump’s impeachment trial: What both sides are saying

Approving one impeachment charge of “incitement of insurrection,” the Democrat-led House impeached Trump on Jan. 13, one week before his term was to have ended anyway. The unprecedented second impeachment of an American president came without hearings, witnesses or testimony.

“This rushed, single article of impeachment ignores the very Constitution from which its power comes and is itself defectively drafted,” Trump’s lawyers wrote. “In bringing this impeachment at all, the members of the House leadership have debased the grave power of impeachment and disdained the solemn responsibility that this awesome power entails.

“In bringing this impeachment in the manner in which they did, namely via a process that violated every precedent and every principle of fairness followed in impeachment inquiries for more than 150 years, they offered the public a master’s class in the art of political opportunism,” the brief reads. “The intellectual dishonesty and factual vacuity put forth by the House Managers in their trial memorandum only serve to further punctuate the point that this impeachment proceeding was never about seeking justice.

“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 January 6 by a few hundred people. 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.”

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