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Senate Begins Second Impeachment Trial, Trump Attorneys Plan to Use Dems Own Words Against Them

02-09-2021
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President Trump is facing an impeachment trial in the US Senate

The Senate convened as a court of impeachment at 1 p.m. today for the second impeachment trial of former President Donald J. Trump.  

This trial is almost certain to end in Trump's acquittal, just like the first impeachment attempt in 2020. But over the next few days, the Democratic House impeachment managers will argue that the former president should be barred from ever holding federal office again, alleging that he committed the impeachable offense of "incitement of insurrection" for his speech on the day of the January 6th Capitol Hill riot.  
 
President Trump's lawyers will make the case that impeaching a president who has already left office is unconstitutional, that his speech ahead of the Capitol riot is protected by the First Amendment, and that the rioters acted on their own accord.
 
The trial begins with a debate and a vote on whether or not impeaching a president who is no longer in office is constitutional. The vote just needs to pass with a simple majority in order for the trial to proceed, and with five GOP senators already indicating they believe it is constitutional, the trial is almost certainly a guarantee.

BELOW: Watch the Impeachment Trial LIVE Beginning at 1 p.m.:

If the vote passes and the trial proceeds, the Senate will adjourn until 1 p.m. tomorrow when arguments will begin. Each side will be given 16 hours to present their case over two days. 
 
House impeachment managers plan to show videos reminding the senator jurors what they lived through on January 6th, and they will make the case that President Trump is "singularly responsible" for the siege of the Capitol.  
 
President Trump's lawyers previewed their defense in a 75-page brief on Monday. 

They plan to argue his use of the word "fight" almost two dozen times in his January 6th speech is a common political term meant to be taken figuratively.

They'll also point to the fact that since the FBI and law enforcement knew there was a threat to the Capitol days before the rally and the Capitol breach began about 20 minutes before Trump's speech was over, the rioters acted on their own accord. 
 
"When you have the President of the United States give a speech and says that you should peacefully make your thinking known to the people in Congress, he's all of a sudden a TV villain," President Trump's lead attorney Bruce Castor told Fox News.
 
Castor says they plan to use Democrats' own words against them, too, in order to make the case Trump's speech is protected by the First Amendment.
 
"There's a lot of tape of cities burning and courthouses being attacked…cheered on by Democrats," continued Castor.  
 
Forty-five Republicans including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have already indicated in a vote last week that they believe the trial is unconstitutional, making a conviction extremely unlikely.
 
"This is unconstitutional because the president is in Florida, he's not in office," argued Sen. Graham on CBS' Face the Nation.  

WATCH  Heritage Foundation Legal Expert Compares Democrats' Second Impeachment of Trump To Stalin's Show Trial of Political Opponents

Democrats argue that even though Trump is no longer the president, he must be held accountable for his actions on January 6th. 

"Some people say, oh let this go away," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). "Oh no. When something as horrible, as dastardly that happened on January 6, you cannot sweep it under the rug."
 
Meanwhile, Georgia officials are now investigating President Trump's phone call to the secretary of state over election results there which could also become part of this trial.

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