Former President Donald Trump's lawyers dismiss the impeachment case against him as "political theater," rejecting the premise that he incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
In a brief filed on Monday, the team said Trump did not encourage violence, as the House impeachment managers argue, and that his comments at the rally ahead of the riot were protected by the First Amendment. They also say that Trump should not be tried as a former president, a claim many constitutional scholars disagree with.
The impeachment managers say Trump's months of rhetoric falsely warning of widespread voter fraud fueled the actions on Jan. 6, where extremists breached the Capitol complex to disrupt the official Electoral College vote count.
The defense brief comes a day before the start of the trial. Read the brief in full below. (Read the prosecution's argument here.)