Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense lawyer said the effort to convict him following his impeachment in the House is “completely unconstitutional.”
David Schoen explained his many problems with the process in a Monday night interview with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, among them partisanship and a violation of the right to freedom of expression.
“I think President Biden missed a great opportunity to be a statesman and to demand that this thing be called off, frankly,” he said. “This is the political weaponization of the impeachment process. There was a rush to judgment.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others have an agenda to “bar President Trump from ever running for president again,” Schoen argued. He called the move “about as undemocratic as you can get” and a “slap in the face” to Trump voters.
“This is a very, very dangerous road to take with respect to the First Amendment, putting at risk any passionate political speaker,” he said, adding later in the interview, “Sen. [Chuck] Schumer promised a fair and full trial. You can’t [have one] when you know that the juror and the judge are biased going in.”
Schoen’s addition to the Trump legal team was announced on Sunday. He and Bruce Castor joined the defense after Trump’s former lead lawyers left, reportedly over a disagreement on a legal strategy.
Trump was impeached by the House last month before he left office on a single charge of incitement of insurrection in connection to the siege of the U.S. Capitol. The Senate trial is set to begin on Feb. 9.
A majority of battleground voters want Congress to move on from impeaching Trump, according to a January 12 memo from the pollster John McLaughlin of McLaughlin & Associates.
The memo found 60 percent of all voters view impeachment as “another waste of time and money.”
A whopping 77 percent believe Congress should prioritize dealing with the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, with less than a quarter preferring to prioritize impeaching Trump.
The survey comes as Democrats hurtle toward another impeachment effort against Trump, accusing him of inciting the protests that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on January 6th.
A whopping 45 Republican senators voted in favor of a motion introduced by GOP Sen. Rand Paul last week to dismiss the impeachment article against Trump as unconstitutional.
The point of order, which was defeated 55-45, argued that the Senate does not have the constitutional authority to try a president after he has left office.
Though the motion was not upheld, it suggests that the Senate will not have the requisite 67-vote supermajority to convict Trump in a second impeachment trial, in which 17 Republicans would have to vote with the Democrats.
“Hyper-partisan Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history. Instead of doing the nation’s work with their new majorities in the House, the Senate, and the executive branch, Democrats are wasting the nation’s time on a partisan vendetta against a man no longer in office,” Paul said.