According to media reports, attorneys for Donald Trump said Tuesday that the House’s impeachment of the former president “is facially and substantively flawed, and otherwise unconstitutional.”
In a response to House Democrats’ brief claiming Trump was responsible for the riots, attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen called for either the single article of impeachment against Trump to be dismissed “with prejudice,” meaning the case cannot be brought again, or for the Senate to acquit him.
Portions of the U.S. Constitution dealing with impeachment require “that a person actually hold office to be impeached,” they write in one of their answers to Democrats’ arguments. While Article II, as the attorneys reference, says the president “shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” Article I also states that a judgment in an impeachment case “shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit” and other penalties under law.
I emphasized the word “and” in the previous paragraph, because the “and” (rather than or) indicates that the “disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit” follows as part of a judgment by the Senate in the impeachment case, IF the impeached individual is found guilty as charged by the House of Representatives. That requires a 2/3 vote by the Senate.
In their response, Trump’s attorneys denied claims that the former president “incited the crowd to engage in destructive behavior” outside the White House as Congress convened to count the Electoral College votes. “It is denied that the phrase ‘if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore’ had anything to do with the action at the Capitol as it was clearly about the need to fight for election security in general, as evidenced by the recording of the speech. It is denied that President Trump intended to interfere with the counting of Electoral votes,” they wrote.
Castor and Schoen also denied that the former president endangered national security, Congress or the national tradition of a peaceful transition of power. “It is denied he betrayed his trust as president, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States,” they wrote. “Rather, the 45th president of the United States performed admirably in his role as president, at all times doing what he thought was in the best interests of the American people.”
YOU CAN READ THE FULL RESPONSE HERE: