WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a response to the latest impeachment being conducted by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, former President Donald J. Trump’s legal team has a message for the two Democrats.
“I’m not President, I’m a private citizen and you can’t impeach me,” he said in a response to the impeachment filing.
The impeachment of Trump, an exercise used to remove a sitting elected person from office, his legal team said is illegal and unconstitutional.
“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 as the prerequisite active remedy allowed the Senate under our Constitution,” Trump said in his official response to the U.S. Senate. “The Senate of the United States lacks jurisdiction over the 45th President because he holds no public office from which he can be removed rendering the Article of Impeachment moot and a non-justiciable question.”
Trump’s lawyers contend that any attempt to impeach him under the Article of Impeachment initiated in the House of Representatives, it will have passed a Bill of Attainder in violation of Article 1, Sec. 9. Cl. 3 of the United States Constitution.
He also said the impeachment process is based solely on an alleged free speech violation, which the President contends he did not order, ask or suggest that anyone at his January 6th rally, storm the U.S. Capitol and later condemned the attack.
“The Article of Impeachment misconstrues protected speech and fails to meet the constitutional standard for any impeachable offense,” Trump response said. “The House of Representatives deprived the 45th President of due process of law in rushing to issue the Article of Impeachment by ignoring it own procedures and precedents going back to the mid-19th century. ”
The former President also contends that the impeachment, while unconstitutional also lacked due process in the House of Representatives.
“The lack of due process included, but was not limited to, its failure to conduct any meaningful committee review or other investigation, engage in any full and fair consideration of evidence in support of the Article, as well as the failure to conduct any full and fair discussion by allowing the 45th President’s positions to be heard in the House Chamber,” Trump argued. “No exigent circumstances under the law were present excusing the House of Representatives’ rush to judgment. The House of Representatives’ action, in depriving the 45th President of due process of law, created a special category of citizenship for a single individual: the 45th President of the United States. ”
He added that to further hold an impeachment hearing against a private citizen is a very dangerous precedent to set and could jeopardize the First Amendment right to free speech for other officeholders around the country to be charged and tried without due process for speaking their opinions and beliefs.
“Should this body not act in favor of the 45th President, the precedent set by the House of Representatives would become that such persons as the 45th President similarly situated no longer enjoy the rights of all American citizens guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. The actions by the House make clear that in their opinion the 45th President does not enjoy the protections of liberty upon which this great Nation was founded, where free speech, and indeed, free political speech form the backbone of all American liberties,” the President said. “None of the traditional reasons permitting the government to act in such haste (i.e exigent circumstances) were present. The House had no reason to rush its proceedings, disregard its own precedents and procedures, engage in zero committee or other investigation, and fail to grant the accused his “opportunity to be heard” in person or through counsel – all basic tenets of due process of law. There was no exigency, as evidenced by the fact that the House waited until after the end of the President’s term to even send the articles over and there was thus no legal or moral reason for the House to act as it did. Political hatred has no place in the administration of justice anywhere in America, especially in the Congress of the United States.”