In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said there was absolutely “zero” chance that the Senate would vote to convict Donald Trump on the spurious impeachment charges brought by the House of Representatives last month. Paul decried the entire trial as a “partisan farce” that betrays not only the Constitution but any semblance of a reasonable legal standard of guilt.
Paul said, in fact, that if Trump were to be considered guilty of incitement on January 6th, many other Democrats would be imperiled as well. For instance, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who made highly charged remarks about the Supreme Court during a pro-abortion rally last year.
“If we’re going to criminalize speech, and somehow impeach everybody who says, ‘Go fight to hear your voices heard,’ I mean really we ought to impeach Chuck Schumer then,” Paul said. “He went to the Supreme Court, stood in front of the Supreme Court, and said specifically, ‘Hey Gorsuch, Hey Kavanaugh, you’ve unleashed a whirlwind. And you’re going to pay the price.’ This inflammatory wording, this violent rhetoric of Chuck Schumer was so bad that the chief justice, who rarely says anything publicly, immediately said this kind of language is dangerous as a mob tried to invade the Supreme Court.”
Paul said that while Schumer defended his remarks, saying he simply meant that Republicans would pay a “political price” for anti-abortion decisions, that just went to show that the charges against Trump were baseless.
“People are going to have to judge for themselves…are we going to potentially prosecute people for political speech?” Paul said.
In a brief to the Senate on Monday, the former president’s lawyers said that his House accusers are suffering from Trump Derangement Syndrome.
“Through this latest Article of Impeachment now before the Senate, Democrat politicians seek to carve out a mechanism by which they can silence a political opponent and a minority party,” they wrote. “The Senate must summarily reject this brazen political act.”
The lawyers argued that Trump clearly did not incite anyone to “commit lawless acts” on the 6th.
“[House impeachment managers] claim that he could be responsible if a small group of criminals (who had come to the capitol of their own accord armed and ready for a fight) completely misunderstood him, were so enamored with him and inspired by his words that they left his speech early, and then walked a mile and a half away to ‘imminently’ do the opposite of what he had just asked for, is simply absurd,” they wrote.
Trump’s constitutionally-questionable impeachment trial will begin on Tuesday.