Trump's impeachment defense has already been undermined by his own allies: analysis

Donald Trump's defense team says the former president was "horrified" by the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6. They also contend that it's "absolutely not true" that Trump failed to quell the violence quickly enough.

But according to the Washington Post, that "revisionist history" conflicts with the timeline of events on Jan 6, "as well as accounts of multiple people in contact with the president that day, who have said Trump was initially pleased to see a halt in the counting of the electoral college votes."

"The assertion that Trump acted swiftly and out of genuine horror as his supporters ransacked the Capitol is largely a side note to his lawyers' defense," the Post's Rosalind Helderman and Josh Dawsey report. "In their 78-page brief, they focused on two legal arguments: that the Constitution does not allow for the conviction of an impeached former officeholder and that Trump's speech to the crowd on Jan. 6 was political rhetoric protected by the First Amendment."

Trump's defense could give an opening to House impeachment managers, allowing to potentially call witnesses who could rebut the claim that Trump was intent on calming his supporters. Additionally, there's a significant contingent of White House aides who were reportedly horrified by Trump's conduct that day.

The Washington Post noted that some defenders of Trump have already expressed dismay about his failure to respond to the situation. "It took [Trump] awhile to appreciate the gravity of the situation," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said shortly after the insurrection.

Read the full article over at The Washington Post.