Key arguments by Trump’s lawyers ahead of impeachment trial

FILE - In this July 7, 2015, file photo, Commissioner Bruce Castor, a former Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Norristown, Pa. Former President Donald Trump stands trial before the Senate on an impeachment charge that accuses him of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. His lawyers foreshadowed in a 78-page memorandum on Monday a range of legal and factual arguments they intend to make at trial. Among those arguments is that the trial is prohibited by the Constitution, that Trump did not incite the riot at the Capitol and that his words are protected by the First Amendment. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
FILE - In this July 7, 2015, file photo, Commissioner Bruce Castor, a former Montgomery County, Pa., District Attorney, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Norristown, Pa. Former President Donald Trump stands trial before the Senate on an impeachment charge that accuses him of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. His lawyers foreshadowed in a 78-page memorandum on Monday a range of legal and factual arguments they intend to make at trial. Among those arguments is that the trial is prohibited by the Constitution, that Trump did not incite the riot at the Capitol and that his words are protected by the First Amendment. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump stands trial before the Senate this week on an impeachment charge that accuses him of inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

His lawyers in a 78-page memorandum on Monday detailed a range of legal and factual arguments that they intend to make at trial.

Some of the highlights:

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ARGUMENT: TRUMP DID NOT INCITE THE INSURRECTION

Defense lawyers are adamant that Trump did not incite the riot when he addressed a huge crowd of supporters at a rally that preceded it.

They accuse House impeachment managers of cherry-picking Trump’s statements from an hourlong speech by highlighting only those that Democrats see as helpful to their case, pointing out repeatedly that he had told his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard."

They argue that even the statement that has attracted the most notoriety — “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore” — was figurative in the general context of election security, not an invocation to violence. And they suggest Trump couldn't have himself incited the riot given the indications law enforcement had before Jan. 6 of the potential for violence that day.