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686 People Prayed
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LEGAL EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON NEW IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP

Father, we ask that You show Your presence in a powerful way through this situation. Help us to see Your Mighty Hand at work in our nation right now.

It’s unlikely that former President Donald Trump “incited” the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol under the legal standards of First Amendment jurisprudence, according to constitutional law experts who spoke to Just News. However, they say, the politics of impeachment may still mean Trump will face trial in the United States Senate.

The Democrat-led House of Representatives earlier this month voted in favor of a single article of impeachment charging the former president with “incitement of insurrection” stemming from a fiery speech he gave just before the riot. Trump thus became the first U.S. president to be impeached twice. . . .

Questions of timing aside, in interviews with Just the News, legal experts argued that decades of First Amendment jurisprudence suggest that the president’s words that day are unlikely to have constituted “incitement” that day, at least by the standards of U.S. constitutional law.

Eugene Volokh, a constitutional law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, argued that, per the full text of Trump’s speech, the president’s words “[do] not seem likely to be viewed as incitement under the First Amendment.”

“As a general matter, when speech leads some in the audience to act violently, that doesn’t make it incitement,” Volokh told Just the News.

“It’s not enough that someone acts violently, or even that the speaker acted recklessly,” he continued. “Rather, the test is that it has to be intended, and likely, to promote imminent lawless conduct.” . . .

Volokh noted, however, that the issue might ultimately be immaterial when it comes time for the Senate to hear the impeachment charge.

“You might say that his speech violated not so much the law as it violated his duties,” he said. “So that’s a separate question, as is whether you can impeach someone for something that’s not a crime.”

Volokh’s broad assessment was echoed by Roger Pilon, the B. Kenneth Simon Chair in Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute’s Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies.

“If a former President Trump were in a court of law, charged with incitement of a crowd to ‘imminent lawless action,’ based on his January 6 remarks before the crowd that then stormed the Capitol, he would probably prevail,” Pilon told Just the News. “First because his remarks occurred when he was president, and second because they would probably not meet the standard for incitement [under Brandenburg].”

“But,” Pilon noted, “that is not the standard for impeachment, conviction, and removal from office, which in the end is a political standard — whether in toto his actions, including that speech, render him unfit for office.” . . .

When reached via phone on Wednesday, O’Neill said that the “context” of Trump’s speech, rather than any one particular line, might satisfy the criteria for a successful legal prosecution apart from the question of impeachment.

“If we’re just focusing on the imminence requirement [of Brandenburg], I think the facts in Trump’s case indicate that a prosecutor could satisfy the imminence requirement,” O’Neill told Just the News. “He literally told them to go down the street to the Capitol. And the timing was perfect to interfere with the counting of electoral votes. So I think from a prosecutor’s standpoint, the standard that’s usually the most difficult to satisfy [imminence] can actually be satisfied in Trump’s case.”

“The difficulty in Trump’s case will be proving express advocacy of lawless behavior,” O’Neill continued. “Trump never said, ‘Go stop the count.’ But juries are allowed to consider context of a speaker’s remarks.” He argued that the supporters in the audience who went on to participate in the Capitol riot “were summoned to Washington to do Trump’s bidding. They knew it.”

“They were going down there to stop the electoral count,” O’Neill argued. “That’s why they were invited.”  . . .

As multiple experts noted, of course, proving that Trump did or did not commit incitement under Brandeburg may ultimately factor very little in the Senate’s debate on the matter. Howard Schweber, a professor of American politics at the University of Wisconsin, pointed out that, political theory aside, “an impeachment decision is a political one.”

The “background discussion of Brandenburg standards for incitement may actually be a distraction,” Schweber noted, “as the word ‘incitement’ has other, less technical uses.”

“In the ordinary rather than the technical legal sense of the term,” he argued, “the case that President Trump engaged in ‘incitement’ is very strong … Senators who favor conviction argue that a different, less formal standard applies because impeachment is designed to provide a way to remove and to prevent future officeholding by bad actors.”

If Trump is convicted by the Senate, it would be the first impeachment conviction of a U.S. president in the country’s history, as well as the first Senate impeachment trial to take place after a president has left office.  . . .

(Excerpt from Just the News. Article by Daniel Payne. Photo Credit: The White House flickr.)

What do you think about these legal experts’ opinions?

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11 Replies to “LEGAL EXPERTS WEIGH IN ON NEW IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT TRUMP”

  1. It is proven by time stamps that The President was speaking to his followers as the wrong doers were already in motion and moving in on the capital. No way they could have walked all the way down there to be part of that. Tell all the truth. Since when do we have to prove innocence. The accuser is supposed to prove guilt without a shadow of doubt. God will prevail in this shameful shameful plot.

    Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
    Romans 8:33‭-‬39 NKJV

    Amen! 8
  2. This President has been persecuted more than any President in history. I can fathom the hatred the demos have for President Trump. These demos as well as some of the repsare evil The senate is overstepping their boundaries. Volokh’s comments are the only ones I can align my beliefs and thoughts.

    Amen! 2
  3. Please call your state Senators to speak on behalf of President Donald J. Trump against another impeachment hoax. I still call him President because Biden is illegitimate president. Even the Republican politician betray him on January 6. How awful. Our President Donald J. Trump has endure so much hate from this country and all he wanted was to do what was best for America. Has defend the unborn and put God back in this country. Shame that their were Christians voted for Biden. God sees you. Always vote for politicians that have Godly values.
    Please fast and pray for this nation. God is a God of the impossible and He is Righteous.

    Amen! 13
  4. This is strange! There is evidence and tweets that this insurrection was planned days in advance of President Trump’s speech! Some of the Capital police were involved in the insurrection also. If we allow this travesty to take place then we are as guilty as pelosi and her evil crowd! Call your senators and insist this 2nd impeachment LIE on our President be stopped immediately! If not, find out when your state senators and representatives are up for re-election and let them know if they do not squelch this mess we will campaign and make sure they are out of office! Enough is enough! In fact a bunch of us need to begin preparing to run for the Senate and House during the next election! Time more Christians were in office!
    FATHER GOD help America in JESUS Name!!!

    Amen! 43
  5. Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi and the leftist Democrats do not want to unify the country. They falsely tried to impeach Donald Trump with a false narrative of Russian Collusion that turned out to be a hoax. They are trying for a second time to falsely and unconstitutionally impeach Donald Trump.

    Joe Biden on the other hand is facing a real impeachment after his first day in office.

    Marjorie Taylor Greene, freshman Republican, has drawn up articles of impeachment. Her press release on impeaching Joe Biden from her government website is shown below. It is lengthy but bears reading.

    Greene Introduces Articles of Impeachment Against President Joe Biden

    January 21, 2021 
    Press Release

    Washington D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene introduced articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden for his corrupt actions involving his quid pro quo in Ukraine and his abuse of power by allowing his son, Hunter Biden, to siphon off cash from America’s greatest enemies Russia and China.

    Congresswoman Greene released the following statement:

    “President Joe Biden is unfit to hold the office of the Presidency. His pattern of abuse of power as President Obama’s Vice President is lengthy and disturbing. President Biden has demonstrated that he will do whatever it takes to bail out his son, Hunter, and line his family’s pockets with cash from corrupt foreign energy companies.

    President Biden is even on tape admitting to a quid pro quo with the Ukrainian government threatening to withhold $1,000,000,000 in foreign aid if they did not do his bidding. President Biden residing in the White House is a threat to national security and he must be immediately impeached.”

    The case against President Joe Biden is vast and detailed:

    Joe Biden abused the power of the Office of the Vice President, enabling bribery and other high crimes and misdemeanors, by allowing his son to influence the domestic policy of a foreign nation and accept various benefits—including financial compensation—from foreign nationals in exchange for certain favors.

    The evidence of widespread knowledge, corruption, and collusion on behalf of the Biden family with foreign nationals is clear and compelling.

    As Vice President, Joe Biden was the senior Obama Administration official overseeing anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine. Hence, any illegal activity involving corruption conducted by Hunter Biden within or in relation to Ukraine would fall under the purview of the Office of Vice President Biden and the Obama State Department’s anti-corruption efforts. In fact, many State Department officials within the Obama Administration repeatedly registered reservations about Hunter Biden’s role on the board of a corrupt company. Thus, any instances of corruption on behalf of Hunter Biden via his role as a board member of the Ukrainian-operated Burisma energy firm were intentionally not investigated or covered up. 

    In 2016, Ukraine’s top anti-corruption prosecutor, Viktor Shokin, had an active and ongoing investigation into Burisma and its owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. At the time, Hunter Biden continued to serve on Burisma’s board of directors. According to news reports, then Vice-President Biden “threatened to withhold $1 billion in United States loan guarantees if Ukraine’s leaders did not dismiss [Shokin].” After that, Ukraine’s Parliament fired Shokin.

    During his father’s vice presidency, Hunter Biden built many business relationships with foreign nationals and received millions of dollars from foreign sources, seemingly in exchange for access to his father. The financial transactions which Hunter engaged in illustrates serious counterintelligence and extortion concerns relating to Hunter Biden and his family.

    President Biden gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of government. Through blatant nepotism, he enabled his son to influence foreign policy and financially benefit as a result of his role as Vice President. He supported his son engaging in collusion with Chinese Communist party-linked officials. He allowed his son to trade appointments with his father and other high-ranking administration officials in exchange for financial compensation. He permitted his son to take money from Russian oligarchs, including Elena Baturina, the wife of the former mayor of Moscow.

    Amen! 34
  6. I agree with the legal experts that President Trump did not incite the crowd. I would also like to see what evidence has been uncovered to show that this was planned days ahead and who was involved. I am not sure who “the oath keepers” are but if they were involved that would show incitement by Non Trump supporters.

    Amen! 23
    1. Their nets for impeachment for Donald Trump will end up being nets that their illegal president, Joe Biden will find himself in and his party will not recover their shame of their part in it.
      He made a pit and digger it and is fallen into the ditch which he has made. His mischief shall return upon his own head and his violent dealing shall come upon his own pate. Psalm 7:15, 16.

      Whosoever diggers a pit shall fall Theron; and he that role the a stone, it will return upon them..( or them?). Proverbs 26: 27.

      He that dig get his spit shall fall into it and whosoever breakthrough an hedge, a serpent shall bite him. Ecc. 10:8

      For us, the Lords faithful servants:
      They have prepared a net for my (our) steps; my (our) soul (s) bowed down; they have dogged a pit before me (us), into the midst whereof they are fallen themselves. Selah. Psalm 57:6..()..are Shirley’s personalizing interpretation.
      Let not the water flood overflow me (us),neither let the DEEP swallow me (us) up, and let not the pit shut her mouth upon me (us). Psalm 69:15

      The proud have digged pits for me (us), which are not after Thy law…Psalm 119: 85.

      Amen! 17
      1. Thanks Shirley. These verses you shared remind me of Haman.

        “Haman even went so far as to build a gallows at his house so that he could hang Mordecai, who saved Your Majesty’s life. And it’s seventy-five feet tall!” “Hang Haman on it!” the king commanded. So Haman was hanged on the gallows that he had built for Mordecai.” ‭‭Esther‬ ‭7:9-10‬ ‭GNT‬‬

        So shall it be, I decree in Jesus name, that the wicked instead will suffer demise for the evil they planned against the righteous.

        Amen! 11

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