Trump lawyers deny he encouraged riots in Capitol building

Trump lawyers deny he encouraged riots in Capitol building
Donald Trump encouraged supporters to "walk down to the Capitol" on 6 January. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers have responded to his impeachment charges, saying the former US president’s support stormed Congress in Washington DC on 6 January of their own accord.

Donald Trump’s trial in the Senate is due to begin on Tuesday after he was impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives last month.

Mr Trump is charged with “inciting insurrection” in a speech to supporters ahead of the deadly riot.

The former president says he will not testify.

Five people died when a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol building, forcing politicians and staff to hide in offices.

Mr Trump is the only president in US history to have been impeached twice and one of only three to have been impeached at all.

In a pre-trial brief released on Monday, Mr Trump’s lawyers said that FBI documents had shown that the riot was planned days in advance, meaning that Mr Trump cannot have encouraged the violence.

They also insist the trial is unconstitutional because Mr Trump has left office and is now a private citizen.

They hit out at the nine “impeachment managers” – Democrats from the House of Representatives who will lay out the case for prosecution – accusing them of “intellectual dishonesty and factual vacuity” in the way they portrayed Mr Trump’s address to his supporters.

The lawyers described the trial as a “brazen political act” and “political theatre” by Democrats that was intended to “silence a political opponent and a minority party”.

They wrote: “This impeachment proceeding was never about seeking justice.”

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