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Constitutional scholars to Congress: The First Amendment does not protect former President Trump in the upcoming impeachment proceedings.

During next week’s impeachment trial, President Trump’s lawyers plan to argue that the First Amendment protects the former president from being convicted and disqualified from office. The nation’s top constitutional law and First Amendment scholars from across the political spectrum have joined forces to refute Trump’s First Amendment defense as plainly wrong. 

Although we differ from one another in our politics and disagree on many questions of constitutional law (including First Amendment law), we agree that any First Amendment defense raised by President Trump’s attorneys would be legally frivolous. The First Amendment does not apply in impeachment proceedings. And even if it did, President Trump’s alleged actions—if proven by the Impeachment Managers at trial—would fall well outside the protections of the First Amendment.

For a PDF of this document click here.

The letter was organized in part by Protect Democracy and was covered by The New York Times.