Democrats' impeachment filing: Trump 'threatened the constitutional system'

House Managers walk to the US Senate to deliver the Articles of Impeachment against US President Donald Trump on Capitol Hill on January 15, 2020, in Washington, DC. By Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, CNN

(CNN) -- The House impeachment managers argue former President Donald Trump should be convicted for inciting the insurrection at the Capitol last month and barred from holding future office, charging that his actions "threatened the constitutional system that protects the fundamental freedoms we cherish."

The House managers laid out their case against Trump in a pre-trial legal brief filed Tuesday morning, in which they accused Trump of stirring up violence against Congress in an attempt to upend the peaceful transfer of power. They also provided a constitutional defense for holding an impeachment trial of a former president.

"President Trump's responsibility for the events of January 6 is unmistakable," the House impeachment team wrote. "President Trump's effort to extend his grip on power by fomenting violence against Congress was a profound violation of the oath he swore. If provoking an insurrectionary riot against a Joint Session of Congress after losing an election is not an impeachable offense, it is hard to imagine what would be."

The House's brief is the first of several legal filings ahead of the start of the trial on February 9. Trump's response to the trial summons, in which he is expected to argue that the trial is unconstitutional, is due at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

The legal briefings will provide the backdrop for a case in which the House impeachment managers face a skeptical Senate Republican conference. Last week, 45 of the 50 GOP senators voted to support dismissing the trial on constitutional grounds, a sign that the 67 votes required for conviction are unlikely to materialize.

In their brief Tuesday, the House managers pushed back on the Republican claims, arguing that there is ample history and precedent to hold a trial for Trump.

"There is no 'January Exception' to impeachment or any other provision of the Constitution," the managers wrote. "A president must answer comprehensively for his conduct in office from his first day in office through his last."

House Democrats noted that Trump was impeached while he still was president, pushing back on Senate Republican arguments that Congress cannot impeach a former official. Still, they argued there's precedent for impeaching former officials, too, as there have been a handful of cases in US history.

The House's impeachment brief also made the case for the Senate to bar Trump from holding future office. If the Senate convicts Trump, which requires a two-thirds majority, it can also hold a vote to prevent him from holding office again.

"Constitutional history, text, and structure, as well as prior Congressional practice, all confirm that the Senate has jurisdiction to try President Trump," the managers wrote. "So does common sense. While sworn to faithfully execute the laws — and to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution — President Trump incited insurrection against the United States government. His conduct endangered the life of every single Member of Congress, jeopardized the peaceful transition of power and line of succession, and compromised our national security."

This story is breaking and will be updated.

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