Trump's lawyers just crushed the GOP's top argument against impeachment in legal brief
Donald Trump speaking with supporters at a "Make America Great Again" campaign rally at Phoenix Goodyear Airport in Goodyear, Arizona. (Gage Skidmore)

While reading excerpts of President Donald trump's impeachment defense, MSNBC Rachel Maddow read some specifics that eliminate a key GOP argument against the impeachment.

Over the weekend, it was reported that former President Donald Trump lost his legal team when they disagreed on the defense strategy. The old team wanted to focus on the "constitutionality" argument, which says that Trump can't be impeached because he's no longer in office. Instead, Trump wants to argue that he is innocent because he won the 2020 election.

The brief submitted by the Trump legal team Tuesday argues that President Joe Biden wasn't legitimately elected as the president of the United States.

"The whole brief, for one, never once describes Donald Trump as the former president," Maddow observed. "It describes him over and over again as the 45th president, as if he is still the president. They never describe him as the former or previous president. Apparently, he thinks he still is the president."

While Maddow didn't notice it, that's a huge problem for Trump and the Republican officials in the Senate. If the Republicans argue that Trump can't be impeached as a former president and Trump says he's still the current president, it eliminates the Republican argument he can't be impeached. Regardless of what Republicans say in this case, they fly in the face of Trump. They have to either agree he's the president and thus he can be impeached, or argue he's not the rightful president, against Trump's claims.

"The brief argues that the election results that voted Trump out and Biden in, it argues that those results are, and I quote, 'Suspect,'" Maddow continued. "It argues that when President Trump told his supporters on the day of the attack that he had actually won the election in a landslide, well, they argue in their brief today that there's no evidence to say that's false. Who can say, really? That claim that President Trump won the election somehow and that President Biden isn't really the president, he's a pretender and he's stolen it, and Trump is the rightful president. I mean, that was the basis for the mob attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6th. The former president is still trying to advance that claim. He spelled out today in black and white, typos and all, that that's going to be part of his defense in his impeachment trial that starts next week."

See the video of Maddow reading the brief below:

Trump's impeachment defense