Rep Neguse now debunks Trump's "First Amendment defense."

Trump's defense is based on
šŸ”¹misreading the law
šŸ”¹distorting the Constitution, and
šŸ”¹misconstruing the facts.

First: the "fact" Trump asserts is that he was an ordinary guy giving a politically unpopular speech.

1/
The First Amendment doesn't allow a president to incite an insurrection based on the lie that the election was rigged against him. (Duh, right?)

The Defense doesn't actually claim the president can do that.

They say Trump didn't do any of this.

2/
From Rep. Raskin: In addition to Trump's First Amendment defense having nothing to do with the facts, the First Amendment can't be a defense to impeachment.

First problem: He was a public official with lots of power.

3/
There are things a private citizen can say without fear of prosecution under the First Amendment, for example, swearing allegiance to a foreign power.

The president can't do that without risking the ruin of the Republic.

4/
Trump himself fired people who said things that he didn't like. A teacher who suddenly advocates totalitarianism can be fired.

(Aside, the way Trump tries to distort the First Amendment always makes me go šŸ˜”šŸ’£)

5/
Raskin is reminding everyone that this is not a criminal trial, so standards like Brandenburg don't apply, but actually, in fact NOBODY can do what Trump did without facing criminal prosecution.

What's the Brandenburg test? So glad you asked. See:
law.cornell.edu/wex/brandenburā€¦

6/
Raskin: The purpose of the First Amendment is truth-seeking and to protect all of our rights.

Trump was actually trying to undermine these rights.

So the idea that the First Amendment protects a president's attack on the Constitution is upside down.

7/
Summary of what Raskin is saying: Trump incited an attack on Congress, attacked the freedom of speech of Congress on Jan. 6, and sought to undermine the sovereignty of the people.

It is therefore absurd for Trump to accuse Congress of trying to infringe HIS rights.

8/

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More from @Teri_Kanefield

9 Feb
There are no due process procedures for impeachment mandated by the Constitution. The House decides how it will impeach, and the Senate decides the rules for the trial.

The Fifth Amendment requires due process before a person can be deprived of life, liberty or property.

1/
An impeachment trial is not a criminal trial.

The Constitution specifically says a president can be indicted (criminal) after being removed from office.

Impeachment isn't about losing life, liberty or property.

2/
Trump is complaining that he was denied due process because the article was hurriedly drafted before a lengthy inquiry. He also claims that a president cannot be put on trial after he leaves office.

These two claims together create a last-minute coup exception.

3/
Read 4 tweets
8 Feb
(Thread) Trump's Trial Brief

Over the Cliff Notes

This brief, which distorts both the facts and the law, is vintage Trump: a mishmash of bogus defenses and misrepresentations.

The brief is here: context-cdn.washingtonpost.com/notes/prod/defā€¦

The brief opens by presenting Trump as a victim ā¤µļø
The brief cherrypicks the facts and claims that Trump quickly denounced and urged only a peaceful protest.

The brief concludes that none of it was Trump's fault.

This "conclusion" is reached by selecting a few facts and ignoring everything else.

1/
We saw this strategy in the first impeachment: Focus on the single telephone call (in this case, a single speech), ignore all the surrounding facts and circumstances, and conclude that the call (or speech) fails to prove the allegation.

This isn't how facts are analyzed.

2/
Read 28 tweets
8 Feb
(Thread) Dominion's lawsuit against Rudy Giuliani

Subtitle: Fun With Defamation Law

The complaint against Giuliani is here:
assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2046ā€¦

Dominion's claim that Giuliani enriched himself by falsely claiming that dominion fixed the 2020 election.
To win, the plaintiff must prove:

šŸ”¹A false statement purporting to be fact
šŸ”¹publication or communication of that statement to a third person
šŸ”¹fault amounting to at least negligence
šŸ”¹damages, or some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement

1/
Dominion recounts facts to show thought up an "ideal" lie for showing the election was stolen:

So show that Giuliani knew these were lies, Dominion notes that he never raised these lies in court because he knew they were lies.

2/
Read 16 tweets
7 Feb
Thread: The Smartmatic Lawsuit: Over the Cliff Notes

The complaint is here: smartmatic.com/uploads/Smartmā€¦

Attached is a list of the plaintiffs and the damages sought. The number usually given is $2.7 billion, but if this case goes to trial and the defendants lose, it's possibly more.
To win, the plaintiffs must prove:

šŸ”¹A false statement purporting to be fact
šŸ”¹publication or communication of that statement to a third person
šŸ”¹fault amounting to at least negligence
šŸ”¹damages, or some harm caused to the person or entity who is the subject of the statement

2/
I: THE LIE

The lie goes like this: Smartmatic was a Venezuelan company under the control of corrupt dictators from socialist countries. Smartmaticā€™s election technology and software were used in many of the states with close outcomes. . .

3/
Read 22 tweets
3 Feb
It looks like my blog and website will be down for 2-3 days šŸ˜¢

@bluehost deleted my blog and website and it will take a while to get it restored.

Whaaaat?
My website and blog are back up.

Tagging them on Twitter may have helped šŸ˜‰

Took 21 hours to restore.
I spoke too soon.

Images are not up yet, but it's getting there.
Read 4 tweets
2 Feb
(Thread) Over the Cliff Notes

The House Managerā€™s Impeachment Pre-Trial Brief

Itā€™s here: judiciary.house.gov/uploadedfiles/ā€¦ (77 pages)

I. Introduction

Right away, the House Managers steer clear of a pitfall they face: Having this trial play out as if itā€™s a criminal trial.
This isn't a criminal trial. Trump betrayed his oath of office.

The Constitution makes clear criminal prosecution can happen later. This trial can result only in removal from office and/or inability to hold future office.

So, for example, the standard of proof is lower.

1/
The introduction gives an overview of the facts, and the facts are damning.

ā€œTrump used his bully pulpit to insist that the Joint Session of Congress was the final act of a vast plot to destroy America.ā€

"Fight like hell [or] you're not going to have a country anymore."

2/
Read 25 tweets

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