• By The Financial District


Lawyers for Donald Trump on Monday blasted the impeachment case against him as an act of “political theater” by Democrats, whom they accused of exploiting for their own party’s gain the chaos and trauma of last month’s riot at the US Capitol.

In a brief filed on the eve of the Senate impeachment trial, lawyers for the former president attacked the case on multiple grounds, foreshadowing legal and constitutional arguments they intend to present when the trial opens in earnest on Tuesday, Lisa Mascaro and Hope Yen reported for the Associated Press (AP).

They suggest that Trump was simply exercising his First Amendment rights when he disputed the election results and argue that he explicitly encouraged his supporters to have a peaceful protest and therefore cannot be responsible for the actions of the rioters.

They suggest the Senate is not entitled to try Trump now that he has left office, an argument that is contested by even some conservative legal scholars, and they deny that the goal of the case is about pursuing justice.

However, trial lawyers have said that Trump had encouraged his zealots to protest what he had expected to be a “rigged” election six months before the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol siege and a textual analysis of his statements would show he was egging them to “fight like hell” against the “rigging” in an election held under his administration.

“Instead, this was only ever a selfish attempt by Democratic leadership in the House to prey upon the feelings of horror and confusion that fell upon all Americans across the entire political spectrum upon seeing the destruction at the Capitol on Jan. 6 by a few hundred people,” the lawyers wrote in a brief obtained by AP.