Former President Trump’s legal team seems to think proofreading is overrated.
Hardly a week after submitting a legal brief for Trump’s looming Senate impeachment trial that misspelled the words “United States,” they made exactly the same blunder again on Monday in the pre-trial brief laying out their defense.
The 78-page brief referred to the country Trump used to lead as the “Unites States” on page 7. While falling short of perfect, the misstep still marked something of an improvement from their last go, when the team screwed up the name of the country twice, including on the first page.
“President’s Trump speech on January 6, 2021, was not an act encouraging an organized movement to overthrow the Unites States government,” the new document reads.
And so it goes with Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, which is set to begin on Tuesday. Trump’s team argued in Monday’s filing that the attempt to convict him in a Senate trial after his term has ended violates the Constitution, even though plenty of constitutional scholars dismiss that argument.
Trump’s lawyers also claimed that when he urged attendees at his Washington DC rally on January 6 to “fight like hell,” he was just using a figure of speech. Democrats impeached Trump for allegedly inciting the mob that laid siege to the U.S. Capitol Building immediately after leaving Trump’s rally.
“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 legal team wrote, in a sentence that conspicuously did not include a period at the end of it.
The filing on Monday marked just the latest spelling fiasco among the many rushed legal documents that Trump’s supporters have banged out during their various attempts to reverse Trump’s 2020 election defeat and, now, forestall his conviction in his second impeachment trial.
For example, pro-Trump lawyer Lin Wood filed a document in December challenging Georgia’s election results in which he verified his statements under “plenty of perjury”—instead of writing, “under penalty of perjury.”
In fairness to Trump’s new lawyers, they’ve been working under tight deadline pressure since signing up to work for the president a little over a week ago. They arrived hours after their predecessors, Trump’s original legal team, all quit over reports that Trump insisted they argue the election was stolen from him, instead of pushing more technical, constitutional grounds.
Last week, Democrats dared Trump to testify under oath at his own impeachment trial, although their offer was quickly rebuffed as a “public relations stunt” by Trump’s lawyers.