US House Democrats, Trump lawyers file legal briefs in impeachment case

Trump faces deadline for impeachment response ahead of Senate trial

"In a grievous betrayal of his oath of office, President Trump incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol" and impede Congress's confirmation of Joe Biden as the victor of the November election, wrote the lawmakers, led by congressman Jamie Raskin.

Throngs of pro-Trump fanatics subsequently converged on the Capitol, breaching barricades, attacking law enforcement, ransacking offices, vandalizing property, and hunting down lawmakers and Mike Pence, who was then the sitting vice president.

Trump's lawyers rejected those charges and said the Senate can't put him on trial now that he has left the White House.

House Democrats are adding a new element to their second impeachment case against former President Donald Trump: Republicans. The trial is expected to last about one week.

Many legal scholars, however, say there is no bar to an impeachment trial despite Trump having left the White House.

Whether the Senate trial is constitutional is a point of contention because of the unique circumstances: never before has a president faced an impeachment trial after leaving office.

"I consider it a privilege to represent the 45th president", he said in a statement on January 31. Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), for example, noted in a statement that "it can not be ignored that President Trump encouraged this insurrection". He helped convicted Trump political advisor Roger Stone in his appeal case, before Trump pardoned Stone.

Removing an official requires a "conviction" by a two-thirds Senate majority under the Constitution. In January, 45 Republican senators voted in favor of a motion that deemed the trial as unconstitutional, with only five Republican senators voting against.

INSKEEP: NPR's Kelsey Snell, who covers Congress and who will therefore be covering the impeachment trial next week.

Psaki reinforced that message from the White House podium on Tuesday, saying it "remains a unsafe trip" and, "This is not the time to come to the United States".

The Democratic legal brief forcefully linked Trump's baseless efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election to the deadly riot at the Capitol, saying he bears "unmistakable" blame for actions that threatened the underpinnings of American democracy.

Thousands protest for Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny as police crack down
The rallies began under snowfall around 0900 GMT (5pm Singapore time) amid a huge police presence, Reuters reporters said. Police have said the protests were illegal as they had not been authorized and would be broken up.

Throughout the summer, "he insisted at rallies and through social media that if he appeared to lose the election, the only possible explanation was a conspiracy to defraud him and those who supported him", they wrote.

The ensuing rampage interrupted the congressional certification of Joe Biden's election victory, sent politicians into hiding and left five people dead including a police officer. Trump had urged his followers to attend, promising on Twitter it would be "wild".

Trump's exhortation to the crowd-"If you don't fight like hell, you're not going to have a country anymore"-was about the need to fight for election security in general and not a call for destructive behavior, the brief says". "You have to show strength, and you have to be strong". And there are precedents for trying former officials. He also said he'll make the case that his words were protected by the First Amendment and did not incite a riot. And they're saying that impeachment is a constitutional tool.

"People understand it, they understand what it will do", Kaine said.

The Constitution states that the "Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments".

"I think it would be a disservice to the president's own defence to get bogged down in things that really aren't before the Senate", Cornyn, a former Texas Supreme Court judge, told reporters on Monday. "A president must answer comprehensively for his conduct in office from his first day in office through his last".

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) will step forward to reprise his presentation for the prosecution in the 1998 Senate trial of President Clinton, in which Graham was one of the House prosecutors.

One person familiar with their thinking said Bowers and another SC lawyer, Deborah Barbier, left the team because Trump wanted them to use a defense that relied on allegations of election fraud, and the lawyers were not willing to do so.

"The present proceedings are moot and thus a nullity since the 45th president can not be removed from an office he no longer occupies", Trump lawyers Bruce Castor and David Schoen wrote in their own brief outlining the case for the defense. That's how they describe the way a mob of his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. "The Constitution and Bill of rights, specifically and intentionally protect unpopular speech from government retaliation". The Democrat-dominated House impeached him the first time in December 2019, for alleged "abuse of power and obstruction of Congress" regarding a phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Dozens of courts in multiple states found the argument baseless. These Republicans have expressed concern over another massive package weeks after former President Trump approved a $900 billion measure, NPR reported.

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