Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial got underway in the Senate this week, with Democrats seeking to hold him directly responsible for the deadly riot at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
Trump’s lawyers, however, are arguing that not only is the former president innocent of the charges brought against him, but that his opponents have no grounds to bring them.
The lawyers insists that rather than pursue a legal matter, Democrats are simply using the mechanism of impeachment as way to intimidate their opponents.
No call to violence
“In this Country, the Constitution — not a political party and not politicians — reigns supreme,” Castor and Schoen said in their brief.
“But through this latest Article of Impeachment now before the Senate, Democrat politicians seek to carve out a mechanism by which they can silence a political opponent and a minority party. The Senate must summarily reject this brazen political act,” they contended.
Castor and Schoen also rejected the allegation that Trump incited “violence against the Government of the United States” during his Jan. 6 rally remarks.
“Notably absent from his speech was any reference to or encouragement of an insurrection, a riot, criminal action, or any acts of physical violence whatsoever,” they wrote.
The lawyers continued, “The only reference to force was in taking pride in his administration’s creation of the Space Force. Mr. Trump never made any express or implied mention of weapons, the need for weapons, or anything of the sort.”
The lawyers went on to call out Democrats for “feigning horror at the president’s choices of words considering some of their own members recent public comments.”
Among the examples of belligerent rhetoric from Democrats was a 2018 speech by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) in which she called on supporters to “create a crowd” and harass any members of the Trump administration that they might come across.
In another instance, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) publicly called for “unrest in the streets” last summer at the same time that violence was occurring following the death of George Floyd in police custody.