Patterico's Pontifications

2/8/2021

Trump’s Defense Team Accuse Democrats Of “Fevered Hatred” And “Trump Derangement Syndrome”

Filed under: General — Dana @ 6:16 pm



[guest post by Dana]

As you know, Trump has repeatedly called the current impeachment a “hoax”. With the trial set to start tomorrow, his defense team calls the impeachment little more than “political theater,” and claim that it is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer the president. Except he was the president when his loyal and outraged supporters lay siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan.6:

Lawyers for Donald Trump blasted what they say is the “Trump Derangement Syndrome” of Democrats as they made their closing argument ahead of the start of a Senate trial on Tuesday to determine if the former president should be convicted of inciting an insurrection.

“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,” Trump’s lawyers said on Monday. “In this Country, the Constitution — not a political party and not politicians — reigns supreme. 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.”

So, because Trump is no longer the president, the focus of his defense will be on the constitutionality of said impeachment. (Reminder: Trump was the president when the violent events of Jan. 6 erupted at the Capitol):

In a pretrial brief Monday that offered the fullest picture of their defense, the former president’s team said it intends to make the constitutionality of the trial a central theme of their defense, arguing that the Senate can’t convict Mr. Trump because he is no longer in office.

Trump attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. said Monday that the defense is arguing that “we are in the same spot as we would be if Donald Trump had died and they were still trying to impeach him.”

Anyway, House impeachment managers weren’t buying what the defense team was selling because, as everyone knows, Trump was the president when the attempted coup took place on Jan. 6:

House impeachment managers responded to the final pretrial brief from Donald Trump’s legal team on Monday, saying the former president’s defense — that such a trial is unconstitutional and that he quickly moved to suppress the violence during the Capitol riot last month — is “wholly without merit.”

“The House denies each and every allegation in the answer that denies the acts, knowledge, intent, or wrongful conduct charged against President Trump,” the Democratic managers wrote. “The House states that each and every allegation in the article of impeachment is true, and that any affirmative defenses and legal defenses set forth in the answer are wholly without merit.”

“The House further states that the article of impeachment properly alleges an impeachable offense under the Constitution, is not subject to a motion to dismiss, is within the jurisdiction of the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment, and should be considered and adjudicated by the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment,” they added.

Democratic managers also say that there is overwhelming evidence that Trump incited the rioting, as well as failed to take action to stop it.

As a reminder, this was what Trump tweeted on Jan. 6 at 6:01 pm before he was booted off Twitter and the world had witnessed his unhinged supporters lay siege on the U.S. Capitol:

“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

You can read the defense brief here.

–Dana

30 Responses to “Trump’s Defense Team Accuse Democrats Of “Fevered Hatred” And “Trump Derangement Syndrome””

  1. Hello.

    Dana (fd537d)

  2. Hello.

    The thing I find strange about this impeachment trial is that it takes precedence over COVID relief legislation. Does this mean all the political talk about getting money to the people suffering quickly is just pablum?

    Hoi Polloi (139bf6)

  3. It’s to Trump’s advantage too, to put this to rest as soon as possible. The shadow of disqualification has got to be putting a crimp on his fund raising.

    nk (1d9030)

  4. The only hoax here is Trump’s Election Fraud Hoax.
    It’ll be interesting tomorrow.

    Paul Montagu (1662d7)

  5. It’ll be interesting tomorrow.

    For those who enjoy watching prima-donnas of two political parties, which an increasing majority of the citizenry do not belong to- perform before cameras wasting taxpayer time and resources, perhaps.

    Otherwise, no, it won’t.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  6. prima donnas

    Le Trump est enfant de bohême
    Il n’a jamais, jamais connu de loi

    (Trump is a bohemian child
    He never, never knew a law)
    — Habanera from Carmen

    nk (1d9030)

  7. There may be interesting things that come out in the trial, if they ask, you know, questions. I would like to know if it was Trump who ordered the SecDef to enjoin the Nat. Guard from acting without expressed permission and then why the SecDef didn’t grant it when asked. Was Trump behind the refusal? There was an awful lot of executive branch law enforcement that didn’t move the way it should’ve moved that week.

    Nic (896fdf)

  8. Does this mean all the political talk about getting money to the people suffering quickly is just pablum?

    No.

    The trial was delayed to allow Covid relief legislation to get started. And right now, all it would take for the legislation to move even quicker would be for Republicans to give up the threat of filibuster.

    Victor (4959fb)

  9. Hello.

    The thing I find strange about this impeachment trial is that it takes precedence over COVID relief legislation. Does this mean all the political talk about getting money to the people suffering quickly is just pablum?

    Hoi Polloi (139bf6) — 2/8/2021 @ 6:37 pm

    I think it means that there are multiple things that congress needs to do at the same time.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  10. It’s to Trump’s advantage too, to put this to rest as soon as possible. The shadow of disqualification has got to be putting a crimp on his fund raising.

    nk (1d9030) — 2/8/2021 @ 6:50 pm

    You assume a higher level of sophistication in the people that send Trump money then i do.

    Time123 (52fb0e)

  11. FoxNews is using a similar Freedom of Speech defense against Smartmatic as Trump’s lawyers are using for their former social media influencer client.

    Paul Montagu (77c694)

  12. So, is accusation of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” supposed to be a serious argument? We’ve grown accustomed to hearing that tired (and nonsensical) accusation in comments sections of websites, but now it’s appearing in a legal challenge? Seriously? I suppose they think the MAGA mob that stormed the capitol was not deranged.

    Roger (3eb97d)

  13. So, is accusation of “Trump Derangement Syndrome” supposed to be a serious argument? We’ve grown accustomed to hearing that tired (and nonsensical) accusation in comments sections of websites, but now it’s appearing in a legal challenge? Seriously? I suppose they think the MAGA mob that stormed the capitol was not deranged.

    Roger (3eb97d) — 2/9/2021 @ 5:56 am

    To avoid conviction Trump needs to convince the GOP that doing that is politically worse then voting not to convict. That requires 2 things.

    1. Aligning the political incentives.
    2. Providing a reason that’s plausible to the moderate republicans and low information voters. It appears the go to is that you can’t convict and official whose been impeached once they’re out of office. They intentionally confuse impeach with convict.

    Firing up his base about how this is a hoax perpetrated by Democrats who hate him, and by extension Trump’s base, ramps up the political pressure to vote not to convict. The MSM will provide equal time to his reps who will articulate the legal pretext and the RWM will push that for all they’re worth.

    So the argument summarizes down to “You can’t impeach a president once they’re out of office and the democrats are only trying because they hate Trump and everyone associated with him.”

    What I don’t understand are the news stories that the Dems aren’t going to call witnesses. It seems like counter would be to have witnesses testify about what the attack was like and paint a vivid picture that the attack was brutal and people were hurt. But maybe I’m missing something.

    Time123 (306531)

  14. Paul Montagu (#4)

    It’ll be interesting tomorrow.

    Actually, it will be deathly dull. They will be arguing about the constitutionality of the proceeding. It’s the way the GOP gets out of having to consider Trump’s involvement in the insurrection on the merits. I guess it also lets some GOP Senators stay off the Trump [expletive] list.

    Frankly, if we don’t get to see some evidence around the insurrection’s origins that link back to the prior administration, this is just going to be the airing of the grievances (Rand Paul’s party) or the airing of the talking points (Chuck Schumer’s party).

    Appalled (1a17de)

  15. Well, Trump did promise, in 2016, to “open up the libel laws” to make suing the media easier. Promise made, promise kept.

    nk (1d9030)

  16. You assume a higher level of sophistication in the people that send Trump money then i do.

    There’s the legality of soliciting it and receiving it, too. The FEC is a joke, but the IRS which oversees 527 entities is not to be trifled with.

    nk (1d9030)

  17. You assume a higher level of sophistication in the people that send Trump money then i do.

    There’s the legality of soliciting it and receiving it, too. The FEC is a joke, but the IRS which oversees 527 entities is not to be trifled with.

    nk (1d9030) — 2/9/2021 @ 6:29 am

    it’s possible I’m assuming too much sophistication on the part of trumps lawyers

    Time123 (306531)

  18. The GOP has yet to demonstrate a sober seriousness about what went down on January 6th and what led up to it….so my expectations for the trial are pretty minimal. This is their opportunity to cut ties with the Trump brand….and insist on a different level of character and competence in leadership. At this point it looks like a swing and a miss…and a vote for more reality tv theatrics….and will-he or won’t-he run in 2024. I too would like to hear how much White House involvement there was in delaying a national guard response….that would levy considerable weight on someone making weak procedural objections. My team looks pretty sad right now.

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  19. The FEC is a joke, but the IRS which oversees 527 entities is not to be trifled with.

    I think a reality teevee game show host who regularly got away with paying $750/year in income taxes (in the years where he didn’t get away with paying nothing at all) may have internalized a different lesson.

    Dave (1bb933)

  20. I have been unkind to the GOP, but I recognize that there are competing ethics. Sure, the Hawleys, Cruzes, and Rands are self-seeking crapweasels just looking after themselves, but the Party itself has to stand by and take care of its people. Even when they are the Trumps, Kings, Boeberts, Taylor-Greenes, and Gohmerts. It can’t just throw them to the Democrats when Pelosi barks for a treat.

    nk (1d9030)

  21. thats right mr nk

    even when our side behaves badly the other side is always worse

    because they are the other side

    Dave (1bb933)

  22. On the mildly amusing side of things the Trump Hotel in D.C. has tripled its rates for March 4 because some Qanon people have convinced themselves that that’s really the date of the inauguration (Why you ask? because in 1871 Congress turned the country into a corporation and so all subsequent presidential inaugurations have to be on March 4 because the 20th Amendment is invalid because… well because reasons).

    Victor (4959fb)

  23. The trial is going very much like the last trial – probably no witnesses (this time many Democrats don’t want them also) just arguments and questions by Senators, with pre-existing video and news articles being able to feature them in arguments. But no investigation into facts. It mostly isn’t necessary to go into the events that occurred at the Capitol on January 6, because everybody knows it, and even the part that is wrong, like Capitol Hill policeman Brian Sicknick being killed as a result of being hit on the head by a fire extinguisher (other policemen were, and he was pepper sprayed twice) is basically irrelevant, since Donald Trump could never be accused of wanting that specifically to happen, and there were some deaths caused by the riot – at least one protester died as a result of being trampled on or something like that. Mentioning Brian Sicknick, though, does serve to inflame emotions and, unless it was part of the charge, probably wouldn’t be allowed in an ordinary trial. It is stated that “incited by President Trump, members of the crowd he had addressed…injured and killed law enforcement personnel”

    Injured is true – killed may not be, and they know they have trouble with that accusation because a report from the medical examiner has been delayed, and the original reasons for saying so have vanished, and no primary source is being cited, (and what is cited merely hints it could have been) and putting on the show of having him lay in state in the Rotunda as a person who died in the service of his country doesn’t make the evidence his death was homicide any stronger.

    However, correct or not, it doesn’t add to or subtract much from what Trump is accused of, since if he incited the crowd, this is one of the things that could have happened but it is also not something inevitable.

    There will be 4 hours of debate today by Senators over whether or not the Senate could, or should, take up an impeachment case of someone who is no longer in office. There may be some more Yea votes cast than last time, but in any case there was already a vote and hearing the case won (although more than one third of the Senate voted not to)

    Then there will be 16 hours of opening arguments by both sides, 8 hours on Wednesday and Thursday and 8 hours probably on Friday and Saturday. A complication here, is that one of Trump’s lawyers, David Schoen, observes the Jewish Sabbath, and he asked that the trial stop no later than 5:34 pm n Friday and not take place on Saturday till after 6:25 pm (he suggested Sunday afternoon after all churches are finished could be used) A spokesperson for Senator Schumer said he would be accommodated, but it is not clear how.

    He shouldn’t have mentioned 5:34. but rather two hours before candle lighting because he has to get back home to, probably change clothes, and even if he does not go to a synagogue, make kiddush although that’s later anyway.

    The Senate will hold a session both on February 14, Valentine’s Day, which they normally would take off, and if necessary, on Monday, February 21, George Washington’s moveable borthday, common;y known as President’s Day.

    After the 4 8-hour days oof opening arguments, there will be 4 hours of questions. If, like last time, they will be written questions and many of them argumentative, like questions by United States Supreme Court Justices used to be before they went remote and took turns asking questions and interrupted the lawyers’ arguments.

    Then – this might be next Tuesday, February 15, or might not, or might be Monday yet, of debate followed by a vote, on whether to have witnesses. They could have witnesses by deposition, but calling witnesses will probably lose. And in this case there weren’t even any hearings in the House in front of any committee.

    Then, four hours of closing arguments by the lawyers, followed by debate among the Senators.

    Everything but evidence, except what gets thrown into the arguments. As I said, for some things, you don;t really need evidence because everyone knows the facts and they are not in dispute and don;t need to be. Other things are.

    Sammy Finkelman (57e37d)

  24. ‘I Said The Opposite’: Criticism Of Trump’s Impeachment Defense Intensifies

    A constitutional law professor whose work is cited extensively by former President Donald Trump’s lawyers in their impeachment defense brief says his work has been seriously misrepresented.

    In a 78-page brief filed in the U.S. Senate Monday, Trump’s lawyers rely heavily on the work of Michigan State University professor Brian Kalt, author of the seminal article about impeachment of a former president. His work is cited 15 times in the Trump brief, often for the proposition that the Senate does not have the authority under the Constitution to try an impeached ex-president.

    The problem is that Kalt’s 2001 book-length law review article concluded that, on balance, the historical evidence is against Trump’s legal argument.

    “The worst part is the three places where they said I said something when, in fact, I said the opposite,” Kalt said in an interview with NPR.
    …….
    Still grifting the facts.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  25. The proceedings in being broadcast on NPR. 820 AM in WNYC.

    The 4 hours of debate today re by the counsel for both sides.

    The House managers are giving god arguments.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4c3a1)

  26. * good arguments.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4c3a1)

  27. Trump is also accused of other statements before and after –

    Manager says that Trump was not impeached because he used words that the House decided…the problem is that is precisely what he was impeached for.

    That attack could have occurred so long as Trump did not retract his claims that Congress, and Mike Pence, should not do what they were bound by the constitution to do. He didn’t need to say a word to any crowd that day. And it was not foreseeable because it was not foreseen.

    Trump in fact was expected to give a second speech outside the Capitol at a rally that never got off the ground.

    He was pressuring Congress and was probably lied to by some of his “supporters” as to what they were going to do, ad what was going to be the likely effect on Congress. Trump was still hoping state legislatures would switch electors/

    Sammy Finkelman (e4c3a1)

  28. A Capitol Police Officer being killed by a fire extinguisher is not mentioned. Good. Instead, I think, his death is attributed to a heart attack. (which sometimes is the first significant symptom of z Covid infection by the way)

    Two suicides are attributed to the attack. At least you can’t rule that out.

    Sammy Finkelman (e4c3a1)

  29. Trump’s lawyer, Bruce Castor spoke and he didn’t give any of the legal arguments why impeachment doesn’t apply, and, at the end he actually said they changed what they were going to say because the pre-buttal (not his word) was so well done. (but he said at the end that they had arguments and Mr. Schoen wold give some.)

    He spoke more to the substance.

    He spoke basically about that when anything terrible happens there’s always a call that someone should pay and he said Senators were better people than average. All of them patriots.

    The only legal argument he gave (one that the House managers hadn’t gotten around to trying to rebut – he said they were good lawyers for ignoring that – was that this article of impeachment was indivisible – because they made it that way. It didn’t happen in the case of President Clinton, where it said he was guilty of one or more of the following things (and split it into more than one count, too, unless that”s what Bruce Castor means) But it did here.

    And he said to convict they would have to accept all the allegations, and he said one in particular was ridiculous – that Trump had violated the 14th amendment. I looked and it doesn’t actually quite say that Trump had engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the United States. (He said a finding of that would require due process – also not true, but it might require joining something though.)

    He’d have more success with the issue of incitement but maybe that was one of the things that he said people might judge either way (paraphrase)

    Anyway his legal argument (on the substance) was that the way they’d structured the impeachment resolution, in order to convict, the Senate would have to agree every allegation contained in the article was true.

    He also said there would be no January exception because a president was subject to the criminal code, but in all the charges that have been brought against people for what they did on January 6, none of them have been charged with conspiring with Donald Trump. (conspiracy charges, but none that included Donald Trump as a co-conspirator. Of course the investigation hasn’t reached that possible stage.)

    And he said this was brought because they were afraid of Donald Trump running – why should they be if they were not afraid in any other election and the American people had just rejected him? (Well, you could say maybe because they might run a really bad or unpopular candidate in 2024.)

    For future possible impeachments if someone out of office he mentioned someone who might be a possible target if impeachment (former Attorney General) Eric Holder because of Fast and Furious. I suppose like he might come back, like Bill Barr)

    Sammy Finkelman (e4c3a1)


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