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Trump Attorneys Assert Impeachment Unconstitutional, Assault on First Amendment, Urge To Dismiss Case

Feb. 2 , 2021 (EIRNS)—Today, Donald Trump’s legal team, David Schoen and his partner Bruce Castor, filed their 14-page brief against impeachment, charging that it is entirely unconstitutional, because Trump is not a sitting President. Thus, the attorneys charge, the Article of Impeachment was improperly drafted. Moreover, they argue, the House of Representatives has denied Trump due process of law; there was a rush to issue the Article of Impeachment, without hearings; the House ignored “its own procedures and precedents going back to the mid-19th century.”

The brief strongly asserts that Trump’s speech before a crowd on Jan. 6 was protected by the First Amendment and denies he had played any part in inciting the violence that subsequently occurred. In addition, the brief states, since “the Senate lacks jurisdiction to remove from office a man who does not hold office,” the case is “moot.” For that reason, “the 45th President respectfully requests the Senate acquit him on the merits of the allegations raised in the article of impeachment.”

Speaking with Fox’s Sean Hannity last night, Schoen elaborated some of the points in the brief, telling his host that “this process is completely unconstitutional, and it is a very, very dangerous road to take with respect to the First Amendment, putting at risk any passionate political speaker, which is really against everything we believe in this country,” the New York Post reported him as saying. Schoen added that “it’s the most ill-advised legislative action I’ve seen in my lifetime. It’s tearing the country apart when we don’t need anything like that.”

Trump’s attorney also pointed out the absurdity of having Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy (D-VT) preside over the impeachment trial, rather than Chief Justice of the Supreme Court as mandated by the Constitution. There is nothing impartial here, Schoen argued. “Can you imagine any American citizen considering it to be a trial in which the judge and jury has already announced publicly that the defendant must be convicted in this case?” Sen. Leahy had already publicly demanded that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) vote for conviction. “How can we have a fair trial?”

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