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Photo: Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images

House impeachment managers on Tuesday made their case for the indictment of former President Trump in a brief, arguing that he pushed his supporters into a "frenzy," while dubbing him "singularly responsible" for the deadly siege at the Capitol on Jan. 6.

What they're saying: The Democratic managers argue that Trump's actions were not protected by the First Amendment, stating, "If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be."

  • "It is impossible to imagine the events of January 6 occurring without President Trump creating a powder keg, striking a match, and then seeking personal advantage from the ensuing havoc," they wrote.
  • "President Trump’s responsibility for the events of January 6 is unmistakable," the House impeachment team added. "President Trump's effort to extend his grip on power by fomenting violence against Congress was a profound violation of the oath he swore."

The state of play: The impeachment trial begins on Feb. 9, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) will lead the effort to convict Trump and bar him from holding office in the future. Trump's defense will be led by lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr.

The backdrop: Forty-five Senate Republicans, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), supported an effort to dismiss his trial earlier this month, arguing it would not be constitutional to convict a former president.

  • House managers rebutted the constitutionality question, writing: "The Constitution governs the first day of the President’s term, the last day, and every moment in between. Presidents do not get a free pass to commit high crimes and misdemeanors near the end of their term."

The other side: Trump's legal team responded on Tuesday, "The Senate of the United States lacks jurisdiction over the 45th President because he holds no public office from which he can be removed, and the Constitution limits the authority of the Senate in cases of impeachment to removal from office..."

  • They further argue, "The Article of Impeachment misconstrues protected speech and fails to meet the constitutional standard for any impeachable offense."
  • The team says the article presented by the House was also made too broad, making it difficult for senators to indict.
  • "Because the Article at issue here alleges multiple wrongs in the single article, it would be impossible to know if two-thirds of the members agreed on the entire article, or just on parts, as the basis for vote to convict."

Go deeper

Jan 31, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump announces new legal team for second impeachment trial

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Trump announced on Sunday that lawyers David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor Jr. will lead his defense at his upcoming impeachment trial.

Why it matters: The hiring comes a day after news broke that South Carolina lawyers Butch Bowers and Deborah Barbier had left the team, due in part to the fact that Trump wanted them to argue the election was stolen rather than focus on the constitutionality of the trial, CNN reported.

Feb 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Fees — not just strategy — blew up Trump's legal team

President Trump boards Air Force One for the final time. Photo: Pete Marovich - Pool/Getty Images

Disagreements over legal strategy weren't the only reason Donald Trump's defense team collapsed just days before his second impeachment trial, Axios has learned.

What we're hearing: The notoriously stingy former president and his lead lawyer, Butch Bowers, wrangled over compensation during a series of tense phone calls, sources familiar with their conversations said. The argument came even though Trump has raised over $170 million from the public that could be used on his legal defenses.

Updated Feb 2, 2021 - Politics & Policy

AOC reveals she's a sexual assault survivor while discussing Capitol riots

Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images/Pool

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) said during an Instagram live Monday night that she's "a survivor of sexual assault" and likened Republicans who said the country should "move on" from the U.S. Capitol insurrection to "abusers."

Details: "The reason I'm getting emotional in this moment is because the folks who tell us to move on, that it's not a big deal, that we should forget what's happened, or even telling us to apologize, these are the same tactics of abusers," said a tearful Ocasio-Cortez.