[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.