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Trump’s lawyers call impeachment unconstitutional ‘vengeance’

Trump’s lawyers call impeachment unconstitutional ‘vengeance’”

But in a sign that they want to get to a Senate vote as quickly as possible, Trump's lawyers say they will use as little as three or four hours to state their own case, when under the rules they are allowed up to 16 hours spread across two days.

Democratic senators, along with Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were among those shown using the word in past speeches and on television. Instead, they said, he was simply telling his supporters to press Congress for reforms to the election process - something he was entitled to do. The vote could come as early as Saturday.

Throughout the presentation of their case, the Democratic House managers argued that Trump failed to quell the riot by his supporters at the Capitol and had incited them to commit violence against then-Vice President Mike Pence.

But in trying to draw that equivalency, the defenders minimized Trump's monthslong, efforts to undermine the election results and his exhortations to followers to do the same. His lawyers lingered on Democrats' using as evidence Trump telling his supporters to "fight like hell" in his speech preceding the January 6 attack on the Capitol, and they played reels of selectively edited video of Democrats saying the word "fight" to normalize Trump's language. "This was not the first time Donald Trump had inflamed and incited a mob".

Mr. Castor said Mr. Trump was merely concerned that some ballots in Georgia had been fraudulently cast and wanted Mr. Raffensperger to "find" them.

And since it doesn't take a criminal act to impeach a president, it doesn't matter whether Trump's words on January 6 amount to incitement in violation of the law, they wrote.

Lawyer Michael van der Veen called impeachment proceedings against the former president a "politically motivated witch hunt" by the Democrats. "Countless politicians have spoken of fighting for our principles".

Tommy Tuberville's account of a call he had with Trump that day, during which he says he informed Trump that Pence had been evacuated from the chamber. The false equivalency ignored the context of Trump's incendiary comments, but seemed to resonate with some Republican Senators. "The First Amendment does not apply in impeachment proceedings, so it can not provide a defense for President Trump", 144 professors including noted First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams and Reagan administration Supreme Court lawyer Charles Fried wrote last week.

He noted he was not showing the video of Democrats to condone Trump's words nor was it about "what-about-ism". "We were invited here", said one Capitol invader.

Donald Trump's insurrection incitement charge is a "monstrous lie", defence lawyers said as they presented evidence in the US Senate.

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"Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?"

They did not, however, answer all of Republicans' questions.

"Hatred is at the heart of the house managers' fruitless attempts to blame Donald Trump for the criminal acts of the rioters based on double hearsay statements of fringe right wing groups based on no real evidence other than rank speculation", van der Veen said.

The managers have argued that incitement is not protected speech.

Yet legal scholars have suggested that it's Trump lawyers who are ignoring the Constitution.

The day saw one moment of bipartisanship, as the Senate voted unanimously to award a congressional gold medal to Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman.

The Democrats had presented new video footage of the riots on both Wednesday and Thursday, taking senators step by step through the events of the day of the riot.

Trump is on trial in the U.S. Senate on a charge of inciting the January 6 insurrection by supporters who stormed the seat of Congress in Washington to stop lawmakers from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden's election victory, resulting in the deaths of five people, including a police officer.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah were spotted going into a room in the US Capitol that Trump's lawyers were using to prepare for their arguments. Cruz told reporters that the senators were discussing legal strategy - something that would never be permissible in a criminal case.



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