“It will be more of a criminal prosecution of violent crimes because it is,” said one of the advisors. “It’ll tell the story, the whole story of how the President instigated it. January 6th was the culmination of this incitement, with his behavior that resulted in his words taking on meaning and context. “
The preview of the House impeachment executives comes as the Senate kicks off the process on Tuesday with a four-hour debate on whether it is constitutional to try a former president – the first step in a process that is slated to last only a week seems likely to lead to Trump’s acquittal.
While the Senate is expected to uphold the constitutionality of the process on Tuesday, most GOP senators will likely vote for the process to be unconstitutional. Last month, 45 out of 50 Senate Republicans voted in favor of a motion that would have effectively stalled the process on procedural grounds. The vote indicated Trump’s likely acquittal as at least 17 Republicans would have to join all Democrats to convict Trump.
Top advisors to the House’s impeachment executives said they were confident they will prevail in the constitutional vote and will urge Senators to clear the matter and urge them to judge Trump on the facts of their case instead of sticking to the constitutional argument.
Nevertheless, the procedural objections are a central theme of Trump’s defense strategy. His lawyers, led by Bruce Castor, have alleged that the Constitution does not specifically provide for a former president to be tried for impeachment.
The House impeachment managers are expected to cite scattered precedents for such an action, as well as the bipartisan consensus among legal scholars who say it is indeed a constitutional exercise. Proponents of this argument note that the constitution expressly states that the Senate “has sole power to attempt any impeachment”.
Tuesday’s arguments will be led by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), Senior Property Manager, followed by Representatives Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) And David Cicilline (DR.I.), senior members of the judiciary of the House Committee.
The managers plan to check by name Chuck Cooper, the longtime GOP attorney who wrote in a Wall Street Journal, that the Senate has the power to convict Trump even though he’s now a private individual.
The managers also intend to refute Trump’s defense for admonishing potential rioters to “act peacefully” and stress that the term “once during his speech” was used as part of a month-long campaign Trump used false claims to argue that the election was stolen and that he rerun on January 6, knowing that at least some in the crowd had violent intentions.
The managers also plan to undermine the efforts of Trump’s attorneys to capitalize on statements made by prominent Democrats that they claim also incite violence. While some Democrats may have made “flawed” comments, the aides noted that none had spent months launching a concerted campaign based on lies about electoral fraud while holding the unique position of commander in chief.
The aides said they had no illusions that Senate Republicans would break the ranks in sufficient numbers to condemn Trump, but that the strength of their case would make it difficult for them to acquit him: “We’re going into this with our eyes open Thing into it. ”