In a legal brief, Congressional Democrats say former President Donald Trump aimed a “loaded cannon” of his supporters at Congress when he incited a violent insurrection that claimed the lives of five people, including a Capitol Police officer who later died of injuries.
Democrats argue that Trump, whose impeachment trial is scheduled for February 9, must be found guilty for inciting the insurrection against Congress.
“His conduct endangered the life of every single Member of Congress, jeopardized the peaceful transition of power and line of succession, and compromised our national security,” the Democratic managers of the impeachment case wrote. “This is precisely the sort of constitutional offense that warrants disqualification from federal office.”
The contents of the legal brief, first reported by The Associated Press, harshly condemn and blame Trump for the siege and argue that his words are not protected by the First Amendment. Additionally, the legal brief hits back at a common Republican line of defense: That Trump should not be found guilty because he is no longer in office.
“This is not a case where elections alone are a sufficient safeguard against future abuse; it is the electoral process itself that President Trump attacked and that must be protected from him and anyone else who would seek to mimic his behavior,” the legal brief states.
“The only honorable path at that point was for President Trump to accept the results and concede his electoral defeat. Instead, he summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue,” it continues.
Trump’s legal team is expected to argue that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional. David Schoen, one of Trump’s attorneys, confirmed in an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he will not use Trump’s claims about election fraud as part of the defense.
There is no evidence of widespread election fraud. Trump’s claims have been rejected by cybersecurity and intelligence experts, not to mention countless state officials and volunteers on the ground who have affirmed that the election was both free and fair.
You can read the legal brief HERE.
Alan is a writer, editor, and news junkie based in New York.