Speed Reads

impeachment round 2

Trump's lawyers issue 8-part response to House impeachment managers

Former President Donald Trump's new impeachment lawyers Bruce Castor and David Schoen on Tuesday issued an eight-part, 14-page response to the brief filed by House impeachment managers earlier in the day that deemed Trump "singularly responsible" for inciting the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

There wasn't much unexpected in the defense's response, but it provides a glimpse of how they'll approach next week's Senate trial. Castor and Schoen appear committed to two central arguments, the first being that impeaching Trump after he's already out of office his unconstitutional. Many legal scholars believe it is indeed possible to try and convict an ex-president in the Senate, but there's no precedent, and the vast majority of GOP senators have signaled they concur with Castor and Schoen. That opinion seems to be the driving force behind what many expect will be an acquittal.

The other major component is Castor and Schoen's argument that Trump's actions and comments in the lead up to the Capitol breach, including his claims that the presidential election was fraudulent, were protected by the First Amendment and therefore not impeachable. The impeachment article, they write, "misconstrues protected speech" and violates Trump's "right to free speech." Read the full brief in the thread below. Tim O'Donnell