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Trump Lawyer Lays Into Dems' Impeachment Push: 'As Undemocratic as You Can Get'

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Democrats are using the upcoming impeachment trial of Donald Trump as a political “weapon” to bar the former president from seeking office again and are pursuing a case that is “undemocratic” and unconstitutional, one of his lawyers says.

Trump faces trial next week on accusations that he incited insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

The House passed a single article of impeachment against Trump one week before he left office. If he is convicted, Congress could bar him from holding public office again.

The chances of conviction are slim, as 45 Republican senators voted against moving forward with the trial, more than enough to acquit the former president.

Whether the Senate trial is constitutional is a point of contention because of the unique circumstances: Never before has a president faced an impeachment trial after leaving office.

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Democrats say there is precedent, pointing to an 1876 impeachment of a secretary of war who resigned in a last-ditch attempt to avoid an impeachment trial. The Senate held it anyway.

Trump attorney David Schoen’s appearance on Fox News on Monday night previewed some of the arguments he plans to make at the trial. He called the case needlessly divisive.

“It’s also the most ill-advised legislative action that I’ve seen in my lifetime,” Schoen said.

Trump is the first president in American history to be impeached twice. He was impeached last year over his contacts with the Ukrainian president, but was acquitted by the Senate.

Do you think the impeachment is simply being used as a political ploy?

Impeachment, Schoen said, “is the weapon they’ve tried to use against him.”

The new case is an effort to bar Trump from ever running for office again, Schoen said, “and that’s about as undemocratic as you can get.”

The Constitution specifies that disqualification from office can be a punishment for an impeachment conviction.

Schoen, a criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, and Bruce Castor, a former county prosecutor in Pennsylvania, were announced as Trump’s legal team on Sunday evening, one day after it was revealed that the former president had parted ways with another set of attorneys in what one person described as a mutual decision.

In an interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Schoen said he did not plan to argue that Trump lost the election because of fraud, as Trump has repeatedly insisted, and would instead argue that the trial itself is unconstitutional.

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He also said he’ll make the case that his words were protected by the First Amendment and did not incite a riot.

House Democrats plan to lay out what happened on Jan. 6 in detail. They are expected to play videos and verbally recount the chaos of the day.

The nine House impeachment managers who will argue the case also are expected to lay out how they believe Trump’s actions over the previous several months led up to and eventually incited the riot.


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