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CNN legal analyst on Trump impeachment defense: ‘You don’t have a First Amendment right to lie’

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A CNN legal analyst, when asked about the legal brief filed Tuesday by former President Donald Trump‘s lawyers ahead of his February 9 impeachment trial, said that people “don’t have a First Amendment right to lie.”

Exactly one week following a violent mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the House of Representatives voted 232-197 to charge then-President Trump with “incitement of insurrection.”

Shortly before the Capitol assualt to stop Congress from certifying the state’s Electoral College votes and President Joe Biden‘s 2020 victory, Trump and his staunchest allies held a “Save America” rally in front of the White House. There, he and his allies made comments continuing to allege that widespread fraud stole the election from him as well as remarks many have cited as inciting the subsequent riot.

Legal analyst Jennifer Rogers was asked by CNN host John King to comment on the 14-page brief from Trump’s legal team arguing that the upcoming impeachment trial is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office and that what Trump said at the January 6 rally was protected by the First Amendment.

“Yeah, those are wrong and they’re well countered by the very long brief the House filed earlier today,” Rogers said.

“You don’t have a First Amendment right to lie, you don’t have a First Amendment right to put people in danger, and he did both of those things,” she added.

Rogers also said that the much longer brief filed by House Democrats covered the jurisdictional arguments.

“It’s not surprising that, in only 36 hours with what are clearly not [Trump’s] A-listers of defense lawyers, they weren’t able to come up with compelling arguments,” Rogers continued. “But it also highlights that there really aren’t any compelling defense arguments here at all.”

Recently, Trump parted ways with a group of attorneys who were formerly set to defend him, but on Sunday named two new attorneys to lead his defense: David Schoen and Bruce L. Castor.

While Rogers said that Trump’s legal brief was “mostly what was to be expected,” she noted that the one thing to surprise her was that the brief claims that a person cannot prove that the 2020 presidential election results were valid and thus one cannot accuse Trump of lying about his repeated allegations.

“Insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable jurist could conclude that the 45th President’s statement were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false,” the brief reads under the section titled “Answer 4,” per The New York Times.

“You can definitely prove” that the results were valid, Rogers said about that, adding that it “has been done.”

Rogers, a former federal prosecutor, is most likely referencing the over 60 court cases filed by Trump’s team and his allies that failed to properly demonstrate that such alleged widespread election fraud occurred.

RELATED: Case Denied: Supreme Court Declines to Hear Texas Complaint

MORE ON IMPEACHMENT: Lindsey Graham: If Dems want impeachment witnesses, GOP will call on FBI to testify

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Tolerant Left: Rhodes college Alumni for reproductive rights calls for Justice Coney Barrett’s removal from hall of fame

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The tolerant left is calling for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett to be removed from her alma mater’s hall of fame. An alumni group from Barrett’s former school, Rhodes College, created a petition to have Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett removed from the college’s hall of fame over.

The group’s reasoning stems back to the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. 

It’s unclear when the alumni group came into existence, but now deem themselves the “Rhodes College Alumni for Reproductive Rights.” The group has pushed college President Jennifer Collins ad the school’s director of community standards to have Barrett’s hall of fame accomplishment withdrawn due to her “public breach of the honor code.”

The letter, written this month, claims Barrett’s testimony during her confirmation hearing in October 2020 conflicted with her vote in Dobbs, which overturned Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to an abortion.

“We find any claim by Justice Barrett during her nomination hearings that she would consider the potential detrimental effect of overruling precedent on a given individual to be disingenuous and misleading. She’s told us herself that if one stays true to originalism and the text of the Constitution, it is immaterial as to whether an action could result in widespread chaos or trampling on the reliance interests of millions of Americans. Dobbs and the current state of women’s health care post-Roe confirms this,” the signatories wrote in the petition.

Signatories also accuse Barrett of being “one of the biggest current threats to our fundamental rights, the stability of our nation, and our democracy.”

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley rebuked the group, saying they are relying on “the false claim that Barrett misled the Senate on her views on Roe.”

 

Rhodes College told the Washington Examiner it had no comment on the request.

“We are aware that some alumni are soliciting signatures for a letter regarding Justice Amy Coney Barrett. The letter has not yet been delivered to Rhodes, so we have no comment at this time,” Rhodes College said in a statement.

 

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