Trump impeachment managers say 'evidence is overwhelming' he 'incited' mob to attack US Capitol in trial brief
House impeachment managers previewed Tuesday morning an argument they will make against former President Donald Trump in the Senate trial set to commence next week. "In a grievous betrayal of his Oath of Office, President Trump incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol during the Joint Session, thus impeding Congress’s confirmation of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the winner of the presidential election," the impeachment managers wrote in a pre-trial brief. "As it stormed the Capitol, the mob yelled out 'President Trump Sent Us,' 'Hang Mike Pence,' and 'Traitor Traitor Traitor.'"
"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," they added. The brief insisted that "facts are compelling and the evidence is overwhelming."
According to an agreement between Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and GOP Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky, Trump's legal team is set to file its response to the impeachment article filed by the House last month.
Meanwhile, the former president, as well as impeachment managers, are set to file another round of briefs on Monday. These include Trump's pre-trial brief and the House managers' reply to Trump's answer to the impeachment article. This would finalize the trial to begin the following day, February 8. The trial is expected to be presided by Senate President Pro Tempore Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
According to Fox News, impeachment managers face a key hurdle in that 45 Republicans have voted that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional. Last week, Sen. Rand Paul raised a point of order alleging the same. While it was defeated in a 55 - 45 vote, with five Republican Senators joining Democrats in the effort, a Senate impeachment conviction requires a two-thirds vote. This would require at least 17 Republicans to join all 50 Democrats in voting to convict Trump.
Donald Trump will use impeachment acquittal as 'badge of honor', may not run for president again in 2024: Report
Impeaching Trump 'impossible', agree Senators as they push censure motion but will that bar him from office?
Considering, at least 12 Republicans would have to change their vote about the trial's constitutionality for Democrats to be able to convict the 45th POTUS. This is addressed in the pre-trial brief, which argues that the Senate must recognize its duty to consider the arguments made by impeachment managers and take a vote on whether to convict Trump. "[T]he text and structure of the Constitution, as well as its original meaning and prior interpretations by Congress, overwhelmingly demonstrate that a former official remains subject to trial and conviction for abuses committed in office. Any other rule would make little sense," the brief states.
Republicans, however, have strongly argued that putting a former president on trial for impeachment would be beyond the Senate's jurisdiction. Last week, Sen. Paul took to the Senate floor to argue that the chamber cannot and should not take up the trial.
"If we are about to try to impeach a president, where is the chief justice? If the accused is no longer president, where is the constitutional power to impeach him?" Paul said, according to Fox News. "Impeachment is for removal from office and the accused here has already left office. Hyper-partisan Democrats are about to drag our great country into the gutter of rancor and vitriol the likes of which has never been seen in our nation's history."