The Office of Donald Trump announced Tuesday through the 45th President’s counsel, Bruce L. Castor, Jr. and David Schoen– that they filed a response to the Article of Impeachment lodged against the former president by the United States House of Representatives.
The 45th President was impeached by the U.S. House on January 13 and charged with “incitement of insurrection” over the riot that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, though the House did not hear from one single witness nor did they wait for an investigation. The House voted 232-197 to impeach Trump, including ten Republicans.
Opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial will begin the week of February 8. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans, who had pushed for a delay to give former President Donald Trump a chance to organize his legal team and prepare a defense.
The 45th President’s attorneys are denying that Trump incited the January 6 riot at the Capitol or tried to interfere with the formalizing of Joe Biden’s reported election win. Their responses are part of a brief filed with the Senate ahead of the impeachment trial scheduled to begin next week.
“It is denied that President Trump incited the crowd to engage in destructive behavior,” Trump’s legal team wrote in part. They also said his words to the protesters: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore” were protected by his First Amendment right of free speech.