New Trump legal team hints at impeachment defense

Former President Donald Trump announced a new impeachment legal defense team who are offering a taste of their strategy for Trump's second Senate impeachment trial next week. (Feb. 2)

Video Transcript

DONALD TRUMP: I just want to say goodbye. Hopefully it's not a long goodbye. We'll see each other again. Thank you all very much.

- What we're expecting to see from President-- former President Donald Trump's legal team is there is a deadline by which they have to respond to the charge in the article of impeachment. There was one article of impeachment that was passed by the House. And in it, he's accused of inciting the mob that stormed up to the Capitol on January 6. And he has not been seen publicly since the 20th of January, when he arrived back in Florida.

So I doubt that he will be in person participating. He did not participate in person in the 2019 impeachment trial. The look may be a little bit different, because the Senate is operating under rules, similar conditions, that most of us are operating under, physical distancing, wearing masks. Some of the reporting shows that the first legal team parted ways with the former president because he apparently wanted the team to argue election fraud.

Many of the claims that he made in the post-election period that we all know were untrue, that many courts refused to entertain, even the Supreme Court, state election officials certified that the elections in their states were fair, were not fraudulent, and that Joe Biden won many of those states.

So that's one strategy that we may see, or this other defense that's been emerging of late, which is that it is unconstitutional in the eyes of some, especially many Republicans, who are arguing that it's unconstitutional to hold this impeachment trial, because Donald Trump is no longer in office.

I think the most likely outcome will be the same as the first impeachment trial, which will be that the Senate will not vote to convict Donald Trump. But on the separate motion to try to prevent Donald Trump from running for office ever again, that vote just requires a simple majority. So all you would need there are 51 votes.

That one seems a little bit more likely to happen, given that you already had five Republicans willing to go ahead with the trial and not only willing to go ahead with the trial, but also just being very angry over the events that transpired on January 6 and the president's role in encouraging those events to happen.