House Dems expected to make their impeachment case in pre-trial brief
By BENJAMIN SIEGEL and KATHERINE FAULDERS, ABC News
(WASHINGTON) — House Democrats on Tuesday are expected to make their case for convicting former President Donald Trump on a single article of “incitement of insurrection” in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in a pre-trial brief submitted to the Senate — arguing that the chamber’s action is needed to prevent him from holding elected office in the future.
Democrats will file their brief by 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, one week before Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial begins in earnest on Feb. 9.
It’s the first time Democrats will formally lay out their argument against Trump since transmitting the charge against him to the Senate to kick off trial proceedings.
Trump was impeached by the House on Jan. 13 on a single article for “incitement of insurrection” following the violent siege at the U.S. Capitol that left one police officer and four others dead and left members of Congress and their staffs fearing for their lives. The insurrection was preceded by a Trump rally when he told his followers to head to the Capitol and repeatedly said they should fight for him.
Democrats plan to detail Trump’s actions in the months leading up to the insurrection, attempting to paint a picture of a president who drew his supporters to Washington with the outright intention of them seeking to overturn the election by force if necessary, sources familiar with the brief said, and depicting the riot as the product of a months-long campaign to overturn the results.
To help argue their case, they are expected to cite videos and social media posts, along with law enforcement records and court documents stemming from the arrests of rioters from across the country who stormed the U.S. Capitol. Trump’s own words could also be invoked — both from the rally outside the White House on Jan. 6 and on his recorded phone call with the Georgia Secretary of State, where he repeatedly pressured him to alter the results of the election in the state because he falsely claimed it was “not possible” for him to have lost.
Trump is expected to file his own formal response to Democrats’ impeachment article on Tuesday by noon.
His response comes after his entire legal team quit over the weekend, in part, because of disagreements over the legal strategy, according to sources. On Sunday, Trump announced he had hired two new lawyers to lead the team, Bruce Castor Jr. and David Schoen.
Trump’s legal brief is due on Feb. 8.
Copyright © 2021, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.