The House impeached trump on the sole charge of incitement of insurrection one week after the riot, the most bipartisan vote of presidential impeachment. On Thursday, they played a video in which a rioter outside the Capitol shouts into a bullhorn, "We were invited by the president of the United States".
The core of the defense team's argument was that the former President's rhetoric did not meet the criminal bar for incitement. "We certainly would like to know why the president didn't take any action" to immediately stop the rioters on January 6, "but I think we all can fill in the blanks unless the president wants to come forward and present that information, which the House managers have certainly requested".
"McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters", the congresswoman said.
"The president's lawyers blew the House managers' case out of the water", said Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson.
Trump's lawyers took only three hours to conclude their Friday presentation, where they called the impeachment unconstitutional and an "act of political vengeance". The vote could come as early as Saturday. The House managers had argued that the First Amendment doesn't have bearing on an impeachment trial, which is not a legal proceeding but an inquest into whether an official violated their oath of office. First, the speech must encourage violence or lawless action.
"It's about Democrats trying to disqualify their political opposition", Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen told senators.
Second, there must be intent from the speaker to provoke lawlessness.
In response to a question, Castor claimed that at "no point" was Trump informed that Pence was "in any danger". In keeping with his stated desire to see the country overcome its divisions, Biden said everyone, especially the nation's leaders, have a duty "to defend the truth and to defeat the lies".
"Like every other politically motivated witch hunt the left has engaged in over the past four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence and the interests of the American people", he said.
Ms. Herrera Beutler was one of ten House Republicans who voted for Mr. Trump's impeachment on January 13.
Trump's lawyers were "more on their game today than what I saw the other day" said Alaska Sen.
In an open letter issued last week and cited by the House managers, a group of almost 150 law professors called Trump's First Amendment defense "legally frivolous".
She voted against impeaching Trump in 2019. That could expose Republican senators seeking reelection in 2022 to primaries from conservatives seeking revenge, potentially giving the GOP less appealing general election candidates as they try winning Senate control. The suspense over how hell vote underscores how much is at stake for McConnell and his party, though it seems extremely unlikely that 17 GOP senators will join all 50 Democrats to convict Trump.
"The reality is Mr. Trump was not in any way, shape or form instructing these people to fight using physical violence", van der Veen said, contending that throughout his term in office Trump had denounced violence and lawlessness.
Collins and Utah Sen.
Many Republicans representing states where the former president remains popular doubt whether Trump was fully responsible or if impeachment is the appropriate response.
In the end, lingering factual inconsistencies may not affect the outcome of the trial.
Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, would also probably have to side with the Democrats for a conviction to take place, but doing so would only inflame divisions within his party. Tim Scott, asking if the impeachment trial was a "political show trial created to discredit Trump and his policies". Click the link to confirm your subscription and begin receiving our newsletters.
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