US House Democrats, Trump lawyers file legal briefs in impeachment case

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, in Washington, U.S.

A group of House Democrats and former President Donald Trump’s lawyers respectively filed legal briefs in an impeachment case.

The Democrats, known as the impeachment managers, accused Trump of inciting the chaotic and deadly violence on the US Capitol last month, while urging the US Senate to convict him and bar him from holding office again, Xinhua news agency reported on Tuesday.

Trump’s legal team argued the impeachment case is unconstitutional as the Republican had already left office.

The Senate trial of the Trump impeachment is expected to start next week.

The House, where Democrats have a majority, voted to impeach Trump over “incitement of insurrection” on January 13, a week after the Capitol riot and a week before the official end of his presidency.

Trump is the first and only US president to be impeached twice by the House.

The lower chamber impeached Trump in 2019 after an inquiry triggered by a whistleblower complaint that raised concerns about the White House’s interactions with Ukraine. The Republican-led Senate later acquitted the president, allowing him to continue holding office.

The US Constitution provides the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and that “the Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.”

Through the impeachment process, the US Congress charges and then tries an official of the federal government for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Conviction can only happen in the US Senate and requires at least two-thirds of its members, or 67 senators, to vote in favour of at least one article of impeachment after a trial. The chamber is now evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.

No US president has ever been convicted by the Senate following an impeachment.

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