Trump's Impeachment Brief: Defense's Argument Ahead Of Trial : Trump Impeachment Aftermath: Updates Lawyers for the former president say that he did not directly call for violence in his remarks to supporters on Jan. 6 — and that in any event he should not be on trial. Read the brief in full.
NPR logo READ: Trump's Impeachment Defense Brief

READ: Trump's Impeachment Defense Brief

Former President Donald Trump and Melania Trump leave the White House on Jan. 20, President Biden's Inauguration Day. Trump is facing an impeachment trial in the Senate this week. Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Donald Trump and Melania Trump leave the White House on Jan. 20, President Biden's Inauguration Day. Trump is facing an impeachment trial in the Senate this week.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

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.)