Trump’s Lawyers Claim He Did Not Incite Riots By Saying ‘Fight Like Hell’
Donald Trump’s lawyers have claimed the former president did not incite the Capitol riots by telling his supporters to ‘fight like hell’.
Trump’s second impeachment trial is set to begin this week after he was charged with ‘incitement of insurrection’ following the January 6 riots, which resulted in five deaths.
In the hours before the riot took place, Trump addressed a crowd at his ‘Save America’ rally, during which he told supporters to ‘fight like hell’. He continued, ‘And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.’
While some Trump supporters may have considered this an invitation to riot, Trump’s legal team have argued that he urged those gathered in Washington DC to support him to be peaceful.
In a brief filed today, February 8, the lawyers argued that Trump was speaking metaphorically when he referenced fighting, and that he did not call for any violence.
Per CNN, the lawyers wrote:
Of the over 10,000 words spoken, Mr. Trump used the word ‘fight’ a little more than a handful of times and each time in the figurative sense that has long been accepted in public discourse when urging people to stand and use their voices to be heard on matters important to them; it was not and could not be construed to encourage acts of violence.
The lawyers claimed that to characterise Trump’s ‘fight like hell’ statement alone as ‘incitement to insurrection’ is to ‘ignore, wholesale, the remainder of Mr. Trump’s speech that day, including his call for his supporters to ‘peacefully’ making their ‘voices heard’.’
The quote referenced by the lawyers saw Trump state that he knew ‘everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard’.
As well as dismissing the possibility that Trump’s statements incited the riots, his legal team argued that the impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president.
They also accused House Democrats of engaging in ‘political theatre’, stating:
This was only ever a selfish attempt by Democratic leadership in the House to prey upon the feelings of horror and confusion that fell upon all Americans across the entire political spectrum upon seeing the destruction at the Capitol on January 6 by a few hundred people.
Instead of acting to heal the nation, or at the very least focusing on prosecuting the lawbreakers who stormed the Capitol, the Speaker of the House and her allies have tried to callously harness the chaos of the moment for their own political gain.
Trump’s trial is set to begin tomorrow, February 9.
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