Trump’s impeachment defense to attack trial, lawyer says By Reuters

© Reuters.  Top U.S. diplomat for refugees to leave post

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: US President Donald Trump rallies to challenge the certification of the 2020 US presidential election results by the US Congress in Washington.

By Karen Freifeld (Reuters) – Donald Trump’s lawyers will focus on “procedural objections” during his impeachment case in the United States Senate next week, including challenging the idea that the former president may face a trial after leaving office, said one of his lawyers. Trump is accused of inciting an assault on the United States Capitol in which five people were killed, including a police officer. Attorney Bruce Castor Jr. condemned the United States Senate proceedings that were due to begin on Tuesday as “unconstitutional,” and told Reuters by phone late Thursday: “We are trying to win a case with a lot of objections from process”. “This is material from ‘Law School 101’. This is not advanced legal treatises in bound volumes that are used in the Supreme Court as references,” said Castor. It may well be enough to win the case in the 100-member Senate, where Trump’s fellow Republicans appear to deny rival Democrats the total 67 votes they need to convict Trump. Republicans say they do not have the authority to prosecute Trump since he left office on January 20. On January 6, Trump urged a crowd of supporters to go to the Capitol and told them to “fight like hell.” and he repeated his false claims that the November elections were stolen from him. The resulting uproar disrupted Congressional certification of President Joe Biden‘s electoral victory and sent lawmakers underground. Most constitutional law experts say that impeachment is lawful after a president leaves office. They assert that presidents who commit misconduct at the end of their terms should not be immune to the same process that the United States Constitution created to hold them accountable. Because the Constitution makes clear that impeachment proceedings can result in disqualification from future office, there is a live issue that the Senate must resolve, they say. Castor and his co-director David Schoen were hired Sunday after Trump parted ways with his former defense team due to disagreements over strategy. The new team’s first presentation, a 14-page response Tuesday to the impeachment article passed by the House of Representatives on January 13, misspelled “United States” as “United States” in its salute to the United States Senate. Trump is only the third president of the United States to be indicted and the first to be indicted twice and face trial after leaving office. Castor did not respond directly to claims made by the nine House Democrats who will prosecute the case that multiple news reports indicated Trump was “delighted” to see the unprecedented violence on television. “However, the president’s reaction has nothing to do with whether there is any link between what he did and what the rapists did,” Castor said. Trump on Thursday rejected a request to testify in his impeachment process. House members handling the case have yet to say whether they will call witnesses or how long the trial will take.

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