The legal team representing former United States president Donald Trump has filed its legal brief ahead of Tuesday's start of the Senate impeachment trial, and according to legal experts, it is filled with "falsehoods," "mischaracterized" work, "flat-out misrepresentations," quotes from an internet conspiracy site, and typos.
Former Department of Defense Special Counsel Ryan Goodman, now a Chaired Professor NYU Law, puts it bluntly: "Trump brief is filled with falsehoods that Republican Senators personally know to be untrue."
Trump brief is filled with falsehoods that Republican Senators personally know to be untrue.
Brief: Trump acted "swiftly" to quell the violence Sen. Graham: “It took him awhile to appreciate the gravity of the situation" “The president saw these people as allies in his journey" pic.twitter.com/AsMML0Frsp — Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) February 8, 2021
He adds that there were also "many reports of Republican members of Congress frantically trying to get Trump to issue a strong statement to get the insurrections to leave the Capitol."
2. Graham quote is from this WaPo report, which is cited in the House Managers brief (p.31).
Also many reports of Republican members of Congress frantically trying to get Trump to issue a strong statement to get the insurrections to leave the Capitol.https://t.co/FYXcUhRbwX — Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) February 8, 2021
Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, now an MSNBC/NBC News legal analyst and University of Alabama law professor says, unflatteringly, "Trump's lawyers continue to stay on brand."
Slate's Mark Joseph Stern points to Michigan State University College of Law professor Brian Kalt, who is quoted by Trump's legal team, "quite badly."
👇Law professor cited heavily in Trump's new brief—for the proposition that late impeachment is unconstitutional so the Senate must acquit—says Trump's lawyers "misrepresent what I wrote quite badly." In reality, he concluded late impeachment and removal are constitutional. https://t.co/e4c1DVWCDl
— Mark Joseph Stern (@mjs_DC) February 8, 2021
Kalt goes on to say there are "multiple examples" of "flat-out misrepresentations" of his work. Law & Crime says Kalt is "widely viewed as the leading expert in constitutional law dealing with the presidency, presidential pardons, impeachment, succession, and the 25th Amendment – and notes Trump's legal team cited him 15 times.
There are multiple examples of such flat-out misrepresentations. The worst is page 30. They write, "When a President is no longer in office, the objective of an impeachment ceases."79
N.79 starts: "Kalt at 66." What I actually wrote on 66 (discussion continuing onto 67): 3/4 pic.twitter.com/7zGKNPaxM2 — Brian Kalt (@ProfBrianKalt) February 8, 2021
Kalt says the Democratic House managers cited his work "honestly," but Trump's team was "disingenuous and misleading."
Again, my article presented all of the evidence I found on both sides, so there was lots for them to use fairly. They didn't have to be disingenuous and misleading like this.
The House managers' brief cited my article a lot too and, to their credit, did so honestly. 4/4 — Brian Kalt (@ProfBrianKalt) February 8, 2021
Trump's legal team actually cites Gateway Pundit, a far right wing conspiracy theory website whose founder was once known as the "stupidest man on the internet." Twitter permanently suspended the Gateway Pundit account over the weekend.
Trump's impeachment brief cites Gateway Pundit pic.twitter.com/Bgs4eKMauz
— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) February 8, 2021
And, of course, there are typos.
Trump's lawyers AGAIN spelled "United States" wrong. They once again wrote "Unites States." Second time in two weeks. Typo is on page 7: https://t.co/Fc0sEkCTso pic.twitter.com/GtZYV8Z97e
— Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) February 8, 2021