This story is published in a content partnership with POLITICO. It was originally reported by Andrew Desiderio on politico.com on February 2, 2021. Former US president Donald Trump bears “unmistakable” responsibility for the deadly January 6 attack on the Capitol and should be barred from holding federal office, the House’s impeachment managers argued in their opening salvo for the Senate’s coming trial. A week before the Senate is slated to put the ex-president on trial for a second time, the House’s first legal brief outlines a weeks-long campaign by Trump to overturn President Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory based on unsubstantiated claims of election fraud – culminating in the insurrection at the Capitol while lawmakers were certifying Biden’s win. “President Trump’s pursuit of power at all costs is a betrayal of historic proportions,” the House wrote in its opening brief. “It requires his conviction.” Trump’s legal team filed its first official response to the House’s impeachment charge later on Tuesday, denying that the former president sought to subvert the election results and incited the violence at the Capitol. Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor and David Schoen, also advanced the former president’s false claims that the election results were “suspect,” asserting that Trump has a First Amendment right to express that view. “Insufficient evidence exists upon which a reasonable jurist could conclude that the 45th president’s statements were accurate or not, and he therefore denies they were false,” Castor and Schoen wrote, adding that Trump “denies” it is false to say he won the election “in a landslide”. Castor and Schoen only joined Trump’s legal team in the last few days, after the initial defence lawyers pulled out over disagreements about whether to buttress Trump’s false claims about the election. Trump names new lawyers to lead impeachment defence The House impeached Trump a week after the January 6 attack, charging him with inciting the insurrection and writing in Tuesday’s brief that he did so using “incendiary and violent language” that put at grave risk the lives of the same senators now serving as jurors in the case against Trump. “It is one thing for an official to pursue legal processes for contesting election results,” the House managers wrote. “It is something else entirely for that official to incite violence against the government, and to obstruct the finalisation of election results, after judges and election officials conclude that his challenges lack proof and legal merit.” The House’s legal brief also directly addresses the arguments from Trump’s allies that the Senate has no constitutional right to put a former president on trial. Indeed, 45 out of 50 Republican senators voted last week that trying an ex-president on impeachment charges is unconstitutional, creating a significant hurdle for the House as it seeks to convince at least 17 Republican senators that Trump should be convicted of the charge against him. Conviction requires the support of two-thirds of the chamber, or 67 senators. Pushing back against this claim, the House managers noted that the Constitution gives the Senate the “sole power to try all impeachments”, and said refusing to put a former president on trial gives future presidents a licence to commit impeachable offences in his or her final days in office and then simply resign to evade accountability. “It is unthinkable that those same framers left us virtually defenceless against a president’s treachery in his final days, allowing him to misuse power, violate his oath, and incite insurrection against Congress and our electoral institutions simply because he is a lame duck,” the House managers wrote. The former president’s allies have also asserted that Trump’s First Amendment rights to free speech shield him from responsibility for his elevated rhetoric leading up to January 6. The House’s brief pushes back on that argument, asserting that “the First Amendment does not apply at all to an impeachment proceeding” because the Senate “must decide whether to safeguard the nation’s constitutional order by disqualifying an official who committed egregious misconduct”. Trump sends message to Senate Republicans ahead of trial Central to the House’s argument is that Trump’s public statements and actions threatened American democracy at its core in a way that the US has never seen in modern times. The brief implicitly pushes back against the argument – advanced by some Democrats – that the Senate should not be spending so much of its time on an impeachment trial that appears likely to be headed toward an acquittal. “Since the dawn of the republic, no enemy – foreign or domestic – had ever obstructed Congress’ counting of the votes,” the brief states. “No president had ever refused to accept an election result or defied the lawful processes for resolving electoral disputes. Until President Trump.” Read Politico’s story .