Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin presents case to convict Trump

Rep. Jamie Raskin addressed what he says are legal flaws in former President Donald Trump’s defense.
26:40 | 02/11/21

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Transcript for Lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin presents case to convict Trump
And some eastern reduce its explained why president trumps. Must ditch First Amendment arguments got nothing to do with the actual facts of the case. He's been impeached for inciting violent insurrection against the government. Incitement to violent insurrection is not protected. Buying free speech. There is no First Amendment defense to impeachment. For high crimes and misdemeanors. The idea itself is a sore. Ended the whole First Amendment smokescreen is it completely irrelevant distraction. From the standard of high crimes and misdemeanors. Governing a president who is violated his oath of office yet president trump. We know but has a good way of treating up is down and wrong is right. He tried to pull off the biggest election fraud. In American history by overturning the results of the twice won election even as he insisted. That is owned fraud was in fact an effort to stop the steel. To stop a fraud. A vast considered conspiracy that he blamed on. Local and state officials of both political parties the media. Election officials the judiciary federal state. Members of congress many others anybody who wouldn't go along with them. Was part of the conspiracy. He violate his oath of office by inciting mob violence to prevent congress from counting Electoral College votes is were assigned to dupe. But the twelfth amendment and electoral count act. Even as he attacked vice president pants at a rally. Four. Violating his oath of office. And going along with an egregious assault on democracy. Now he argues that the congress is violating. His free speech rights when he woo is Donald Trump who incite an insurrection is to attack against us. That halted speech and debate on the floor of the house in the senate and during the peaceful transfer of power and that imperiled. The very constitutional order that protects freedom of speech in the first place. Along with all of our our that our fundamental rights. It's a matter of lot. To matter of logic president from some brazen contempt. To invoke the first of them and now who won't hold up in any way. The basic flaw of course is that it completely ignores the fact that he was the president United States public official. He swears an oath as president the nobody else wears in exchange he's giving greater powers than anybody else in the entire country. May be on earth. Here she promises to preserve. Protect. And defend the constitution United States. And our government institutions. And our people. And is it we all know the power we Entrust to people. In public office in government office especially our president comes with special obligations to uphold the laws. In the integrity of our republic. And we all swear that. The president. Publicly. Or president. Publicly on a daily basis advocated. Replacing the constitution. With a totalitarian form of government. And urged states to secede from the union in swore an oath of loyalty to a foreign leader or foreign government. Well as a private citizen. You couldn't do anything about people using those words to advocate totalitarianism. To advocates secession from the union. To swear an oath of personal loyalty to a foreign leader or foreign government or country you couldn't that's totally protected if you tried to prosecute somebody for that. It's frustrate you would moose. But it is simply inconceivable. Un thinkable. That a president to do any of these things. Get happens were nose to foreign. Governments or leaders advocate totalitarianism advocate secession cannot be impeached for. It's just unthinkable that could happen with that violate their first amendment rights. The opposite view pressed here by president fronts council would leave the nation powerless to respond to a president. Who uses the unmatched. Power. Privilege. And prestige of his or her office. The famous bully pulpit in ways to at risk do rule in of the republic. All for his or her own ambition. And corruption. And lust for power. Everyone should be clear there's nothing remotely exotic about what we're saying it should be common sense. To everybody common sense. About this understanding the First Amendment as it applies to public servants cops firefighters teachers everybody across the land. My daughter who I mentioned earlier truck she's a teacher and a public school. Courts have said. Teachers teach but if they go off script and they start advocating totalitarianism. Treason or what have you. They're not living up. To the duties of their office is teacher they can be fired everybody knows that. And it happens all the time. By the way. Including two cops and firefighters and people on the front lines happens all the time. In fact. It happened countless times to people fired by president trump for their statements or ideas. About things including one election fraud. Not long ago. There are people in the government. Who lost their jobs because the president didn't like what they said or what they read. As I mentioned yesterday and I can't help but repeated Justice Scalia got it exactly right on this he he wrote on these cases about. How the First Amendment affects people who take on a public office. Who take on public import employment. And he summed it up like this he said you can't ride what the cops put route further robbers. Can ride with the cops but root for the Roberts that's what Justice Scalia said. And when it comes to the peaceful transfer of power to the rule long. To respecting an election outcomes. Our president whoever he or she is must choose the side of the constitution. Mosques. And not the side of the insurrection. Or the crew or anybody was coming against us. And it he or she chooses the wrong side I'm sorry. There's nothing the First Amendment or anywhere else in the constitution they can excused your betrayal of your oath of office. It's not a free speech question. But there's more. Let's play make believe in pretend that president trapped or just a run of the mill private citizen as my colleague mr. Meagher said just another guy at the rally. Who's just expressing a deeply unpopular opinion. Because we shouldn't overlook the fact that while there were thousands of people that violent mob they represent a tiny tiny tiny. Parts of less than 1% of the population in the vast majority of the American people reject the kind of seditious mob violence. That we saw on generous acts. But let's say. That yours is another guy in in the crowd that today. It is a bedrock principle. Stand nobody. Nobody can incite a riot. First Amendment doesn't protect it. Key case Brandenburg vs Ohio. There's no First Amendment protection for speech directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and likely to produce such action. And for all the reasons you've heard based on the voluminous comprehensive. Totally un refuted and we think he irrefutable but we were eager to hear our colleagues based all evidence you've heard. And for all the reasons you've heard. That definition. Of proscribed Opel speech. Fits president trumps conduct perfectly. This is a classic case. Of incitement. And you'll take my word for it. The 144 free speech lawyers mr. reduced mentioned who include many of that nation's most dedicated most uncompromising. Free speech. Advocates and like mr. trump of course but. These people agree that there is a powerful case for conviction. Under the Brandenburg standard even if the president United States or just to be treated like some guy in the crowd. And they act the First Amendment is no defense to the article of impeachment leveled against the former president. And I mentioned the Brandenburg standard up eggs applies here of course it doesn't since this is in impeachment it's not a criminal trial. And there's no risk of jail time let's be clear about that the president doesn't go Joseph for one week one day one hour or one minute. Based on impeachment and conviction. And disqualification from further office. Come rather I mention it to emphasize that obsolete nobody in America would be protected. By the First Amendment if they did all the things that dom from. Did nobody made Donald Trump run for president in swear an oath to preserve protect and defend the constitution. On January 20 2017 but when you dear to. By virtue of swearing the oath and entering. This high office he took upon himself a duty to affirm really take care that our laws would be faithfully. Acts a Q did. Under his leadership. All of the laws. The laws against. Federal destruction of property. All of the loss. We expected him and everything he said and everything needed to protect and preserve and defend our constitutional system. Including the separation of powers. But instead. He betrayed us and is represented Cheney said. He was the greatest betrayal of a presidential oath in the history of the United States of America. The greatest. As I mentioned yesterday president trumpet is not even close to the proverbial. Citizen who falsely shouts fire in a crowded feeder. He is like the now proverbial. Municipal fire chief who incites I mob. Two ghosts at the feet are on fire and not only refuses to put out the fire but encourages the mob. To keep going. As the blaze spreads. We would hold that fire chief accountable. We would forbid him from that job ever again and that's exactly. What must happen here there are hundreds of millions of citizens who can be president Donald Trump. Has disqualified himself and you must disqualify him to. Just like the fire chief. Who sends the mob president truck perverted his office by attacking the very constitution he was sworn to uphold. In fact that's one reason why this free speech rhetoric of this trial is so insidious. His conduct. Represented the -- and devastating in dangerous assault fired government official. On our constitution. Including the First Amendment in living memory. We wouldn't. I've free speech. Or any other rights if we didn't have the rule of law. Peaceful transfer of power and a democracy. Where the outcome of the election. It's accepted by the candidate who lost. We thought it. All the way up until 20/20. And essential purposes of the First Amendment are democratic self government. And civic truth seeking. Two purposes. The president trump sought to undermine not advance. In the course of his conduct as we have definitively. Demonstrated this trial. The violence he incited threaten to all of our freedoms. It threatened the very constitutional order that protects free speech due process religious free exercise the right to vote equal protection. And the many other fundamental rights that we all treasure and cherish as citizens of the United States. The First Amendment does not create some super power immunity from impeachment for president who attacks the constitution. In word indeed. While rejecting the outcome of an election he happened to lose. If anything. President comes conduct was an assault on the First Amendment and vehicle production rights that millions of Americans exercise when they voted last year. Often under extraordinarily difficult and arduous circumstances. Remember the First Amendment protects the right of the people to speak about the great issues of our day. To debate during elections and then to participate in politics by selecting the people who will be our leaders and remember in American democracy. Those of us who aspire in attained a public office. Are nothing but the servants of the people. Nothing not the masters of the people we no kings here we know is ours. Cure the people govern president Ford said the people. Most important words of the constitution of the firstly we the people. But all of this. All this means little if a president who dislikes the election results can incite. The violence to try to replace and usurp. The will of the people. As expressed in the states. Ignored the judicial branch of government. And then Iran over the legislative branch of government. With the mob president Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors. Sought to nullify. The political rights and sovereignty of the American people. Our right as a people to deliberate. To form opinions to persuade each other to vote. And then get to decide. Who our president will be. The sovereignty of the people. That's an attack on the First Amendment I would say. In addition. President transactions. We're direct attack on our own Freeman speech here in the capital members of congress are sent here to speak for their constituents. That's what we ever own little mini free speech clause the speech and debate clause. That's literally our job we come hearing. Represent the views of our people the attack the president compensated force members of congress to stop speaking. Until literally flee for our lives and the lives. Of our staffs and our famines. The man whose statements and actions halted speech in congress. Speech related to the peaceful transfer of power has no right. No right to claim that free speech principles prevent a disembodied. From exercising it's constitutional powers. To hold him accountable. For his offense accounts us. You know Voltaire said. Famously. In our. Founders knew it I may disagree with everything you say but I will defend with my life you're right to say president trump says. Because I disagree with everything you say I will overturn your popular election and incite insurrection. Against the government. And we might take a moment to consider another Voltaire insight. Which a high school teacher of mine told me when a student asked when was the beginning and do you might meant and she said I think it was when Voltaire said. Anyone who can make you believe absurdities. Can make you commit atrocities. There's no merit whatsoever to any of the free speech rhetoric that empty free speech rhetoric he may hear from president Trump's lawyers. He tapped the First Amendment he attacked the constitution he betrayed his oath of office president don't have any rights to do that. It's forbid. So there are republic maze survived the people are far more important than that. Depressed and he asked you to create which would allow any future president to do precisely what he did is self evidently dangerous. Can sit there can be no doubt none at all the president lacks any First Amendment excuse for defense or immunity he incited. A violent insurrection. Against our government he must be convicted of. Parents are asking wrapping up the First Amendment arguing right there. And now I'm gonna call up a represented team. Who'll explain why. Contrary to president's claims the house provided him with all the process that was due to him in this impeachment. Oh I'm sorry that mr. Lu is going to do. Thank you for your time in your attention. We all heard president Trump's attorneys on Tuesday. And as part of president trumps efforts to avoid talking about his own conduct. To avoid talking about any thing. Related his constant Joseph crime we expect. That president from will raise process objections. His due process claims are without merit. Under the constitution. The house has quote the sole power of impeachment. Dep provision confirms. That a house functions as a grand jury Horry prosecutor. The house besides whether to bring chargers. Now on other impeachment case is the house has provided surgeon deliberative. And procedural privileges to. The person being impeached. But those exactly that privileges. They are discretionary. The house has the power to decide its own rules. How it wants to pass the article or impeachment. And in this case the house debated the article of impeachment. And passed it on a bipartisan. Vote. I'm a former prosecutor I just want to act that. I can't operate duty site where they bring charges. And when you see a crime committed in plain view. Prosecutors don't have to spend months investigating before they bring charges. I note that in this case infect hundreds of people have been arrested and charged by prosecutors. For the violence and Jeremy sex. There is no reason for the house to wait to impeach the man at the very top. Ten incited the violence. Else like ever side to the house had good reason to move quickly. This was an oxygen circumstance. This was not a case. When he was hit and conduct. Or some conspiracy to required months and maybe years an investigation. This case is not raise very complicated legal issues. The gravity of their presence conduct demanded the clearest of responses from the legislature. Practically given that the president was still an office at the time the house approved this article. And rumours of further violence echoed around the country. They still would do. To must be FC no doubt that congress will act decisively against a president that incites violence against us. That is why the house move quickly here and president trump who created that emergency. Cannot be heard to complain that the house impeach him too quickly for the Ebert who see he costs. Another point on the due process question. Earlier in this trial present Trump's attorneys suggested. That the house somehow deliberately delayed the transmission of this article of impeachment. That is simply not accurate. When the house adopted this article impeachment on a bipartisan vote. We were ready to begin trial. But a sign that was not in session at the time. And when we inquired as to our options. Senate officials told us clearly and in no uncertain terms. Dead at the clerk of the house. Attempted to deliver the article of impeachment to the secretary of the senate before the senate reconvened. At the clerk of the house would have been turned back at the door. That's why the trial did not begin then. It's no other reason why the president's objections of due process are meritless. And finally let me just Coakley who. That. You all are going to see and have seen a full presentation of evidence. By the house and you're gonna hear a full presentation. By their presence attorneys you're going to be it would ask questions. The senate. Has the sole power to try ala impeachment. President trump history CV any and all process that he is due. Right here and this chamber. Democrats appear to be moving quickly now through there are arguments. Taking on me or does he heard from the president's team and. Thank senators in just a moment my colleague mister crews will return to show that we've established with overwhelming evidence the president from engaged in high crimes and misdemeanors. Before mr. Lugar's comes up though I'd like to emphasize what should be non controversial point but is really key to understand. If we have proven to you the conduct that we've alleged in this article. Then president trump has indeed committed a high crime and misdemeanor under the constitution. Incitement instruction under these circumstances is undoubtedly in the words of towards Mason from the constitutional convention he grace. In dangerous offense against the republic. Indeed it is hard to think. Of a greater or more dangerous offense against the republic. Then this one. So what to be very precise about this. I hope we all can agree today. That if it gave president. Dozen sites a violent insurrection. Against the government he can be impeached for it. I hope we all can agree that that is a constitutional crime. Another key points about why don't president Trump's lawyers may be arguing otherwise the question here is not. Whether president trump committed a crime. Under. Federal code word DC law or the law of any state impeachment. Does not result in criminal penalties. As we keep emphasizing. No one spends a day in jail there are not even criminal or civil fight us. Centuries of history not to mention the constitutional text structure or. In original intent and understanding. All confirm to teaching James Wilson another framer who wrote that impeachment offenses. Com not within the sphere of ordinary jurisprudence simply put. Impeachment was created for purpose separate and distinct from criminal punishment. He was created to prevent and deter our elected officials who swear an oath to represent America. But then commit dangerous offenses against our republic. Doubts a constitutional crime. And senators what greater offense could one commit. Then to insight he violence erection insurrection. And our seat of government. During the peaceful transfer of power. In circumstances where violence is foreseeable were a crowd is poised for violence to provoke a mob of thousands to attack us. With weapons and sticks and polls. To bludgeon. And beat our law enforcement officers intent. And to do so while seeking to stop us from fulfilling our own notes our own duties to uphold the constitution. By counting the votes from our free and fair elections and then to sit back. And watching to light. As insurrection S attack us. Violating a sacred oath and engaging in a profound. Jerrold good dereliction and desertion of duty. How can we assure that our commander in chief will protect preserve and defend us and our constitution if we don't hold a president. A council Bourne a circumstance like this. What is impeachable conduct if not this a challenge to ought to think about it if you think this is unimpeachable what it's. What would be. President Trump's lawyers endorses breathtaking assertion that his conduct and inciting these events was totally appropriate. And this and that a quits Donald Trump than any president could incite and provoke insurrection very violence. Against us again. If you don't finance. They high crime and misdemeanor today. You have set a new terrible standard for presidential. Misconduct in the United States of America. The only real question here is the factual one do we prove that Donald Trump well president of the United States in cited a violent insurrection against the government. Incitement of course is an inherently bad taste and fact intensive judgment. Which is why we commend you all for your scrupulous attention to everything that took place. For we believed to we've shown you overwhelming evidence in this case that would convince anyone using their common sense. That this was indeed. Incitement. Meaning that Donald Trump's conduct encouraged violence the violence was foreseeable. And he acted willfully. In the actions that encouraged violence.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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