Former President Donald Trump’s new lead impeachment lawyer won’t argue that the 2020 election was fraudulent and will instead argue Trump’s impeachment is unconstitutional, according to the team’s official response to the impeachment charges.
The attorney, David Schoen and former Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, district attorney Bruce Castor, joined Trump’s defense team Sunday night, barely one week before the Senate impeachment trial is set to begin on the week of Feb. 8. Schoen and Castor will argue that it is unconstitutional to impeach a president once he has left office and that Trump’s speech to supporters hours before they stormed the U.S. Capitol was protected under the 1st Amendment. (RELATED: Mitch McConnell Proposes Delaying Impeachment To Give Trump Team Time)
The 45th President’s Answer to Article of Impeachment: pic.twitter.com/SWm1h0PQk3
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) February 2, 2021
“It’s also the most ill-advised legislative action that I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Schoen told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’ve read his speech many times now and I don’t think that in any way, shape or form did it constitute incitement. There’s now evidence a lot of what happened was preplanned. I think there’s been a real rush to judgment here.”
House Democrats and ten of their Republican colleagues voted Jan. 13 to impeach Trump on one charge of “incitement of insurrection.”. They argue Trump pointed a “loaded cannon” at the U.S. Capitol with his speech on the morning of Jan. 6.
“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 in a Tuesday legal brief. “This is precisely the sort of constitutional offense that warrants disqualification from federal office.”
If convicted in the Senate trial, Trump would be barred from running for federal office. A conviction is now unlikely thanks to 45 Republicans voting on Jan. 26 to not even hold the trial. Only five Republicans voted in favor of the trial. Democrats need 17 Republicans to side against the former president to secure the two-thirds majority necessary for conviction.