Trump says he CAN'T be impeached as he's not president but Dems think he ‘aimed loaded cannon’ at Capitol
DONALD Trump said he cannot be impeached as he's not president, but Democraats think he "aimed a loaded cannon" at the Capitol.
The document links Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election to the deadly January 6 protest, saying he bears "unmistakable" blame for actions that directly threatened the underpinnings of American democracy.
It argues that he must be found guilty when his impeachment trial opens before the Senate next week on a charge of inciting the siege.
The nine House Democrats, known as House impeachment managers, in their brief also rejected Republican claims that it would be unconstitutional to put Trump on trial in the Senate since he is a private citizen after leaving office.
"There is no 'January Exception' to impeachment or any other provision of the Constitution," the Democratic managers wrote.
"He summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue."
"As the Capitol was overrun, President Trump was reportedly "delighted," the brief added.
“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.
"This is precisely the sort of constitutional offense that warrants disqualification from federal office."
The legal brief lays out for the first time the arguments House lawmakers expect to present at the impeachment trial.
It not only explicitly faults him for his role in the riot but also aims to preemptively rebut defense claims that Trump’s words were somehow protected by the First Amendment or that an impeachment trial is unconstitutional, or even unnecessary, now that Trump has left office.
It says Trump’s behavior was so egregious as to require permanent disqualification from office.
The Constitution specifies that disqualification from office can be a punishment for an impeachment conviction.
“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 continues.
"This is not a routine corruption charge. Trump has committed an impeachable offense of historic proportions.
“President Trump’s effort to extend his grip on power by fomenting violence against Congress was a profound violation of the oath he swore.
"If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be.
"The Framers themselves would not have hesitated to convict on these facts.”
However, Trump's lawyers have since filed their own brief suggesting that being impeached "requires that a person actually hold office."
They also suggested that Trump was exercising the First Amendment in questioning the results of the 2020 Election.
Trump's defense team also argued that the Senate has no jurisdiction to prevent him from holding public office in the future.
In a Fox News appearance on Monday night, one of the attorneys, David Schoen, said he would argue that the trial was unconstitutional, that efforts to bar Trump from office were undemocratic. and that his words were protected by the First Amendment.
Democrats made clear that they disagree with all points.
“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,” they wrote.
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