Trump invokes free speech as defense in impeachment articles (abuse of power etc). But first off, impeachment time management : Accessory penalties notwithstanding (perpetual disqualification), the US Impeachment Court needs to finish and decide within 115 hours from now or 52 hours from Monday 8am or else, the decision will be assailed on jurisdictional grounds. There is this neat, old trick to solve this however … (read thru the end) Based on news reports: Trump’s defense in his impeachment case (“abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress” as culpable violations of the Constitution) is that: his “incitement”, which may have led to the DC riot, was “protected speech” (a First Amendment issue).
Note however that this is an impeachment proceeding based on how the President discharged the functions of his office – not a criminal case, and not a case of being priorly restrained or being censored.
But first off: The impeachment court, if it does not finish and decide by 12:00 noon of Wednesday, January 20, 2021 (the automatic expiration of the term of the President) — when Trump is no longer President — would obviously face jurisdictional issues : No President to convict anymore.
Proponents argue that the impeachment court would not be ousted of jurisdiction beyond the term of the President because there is an accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from office. It is an accessory penalty. The accessory dies with the principal penalty.
Fine. If you want to — go ahead. Gather your constitutional law experts to argue that the impeachment court with no President to convict stands on accessory penalties.
Should such an accessory penalty be imposed in a conviction decision handed down after 12:00 noon of Wednesday (when there would have been jurisdictional issues), Trump, later on, if he is minded to run for office again, would try to get a ruling from the Supreme Court, in a proper case, that such a decision, handed down after 12:00 noon of Wednesday, was made by an impeachment court that no longer had jurisdiction, thus, void.
The impeachment court therefore has 115 hours from now or 52 hours starting Monday 8am to finish and decide.
The Trump lawyers are expected to try to dribble the ball upcourt and downcourt, left-court and right-court.
My legal advice to you to obviate any jurisdictional issue is: 1.Chop-chop. 52 hours. Go. Or… 2.Second alternative legal advice but don’t quote me on this : There is a neat, old trick of freezing the congressional clock in legislation. You might want to look into this. (don’t say i said this)