“The facts are compelling and the evidence is overwhelming,” said the filing, according to a press release from House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-NY.
“After months of spreading his Big Lie that he won a landslide victory in the 2020 election … President Trump summoned, assembled and incited a violent mob that attacked the Capitol,” said the statement.
Their invocation of the term “the big lie” references a line in Hitler’s 1925 book Mein Kampf, by way of James Murphy’s 1939 English translation:
“All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility…”
The passage explains that a grandiose falsehood is more plausible than many smaller ones because most people would not think to lie about something so big.
It has since been used many times to criticize leftist regimes, including an American anti-Soviet film in the 1950s and a 2017 book by conservative scholar Dinesh D’Souza that traces the Nazi roots of the American Left.
Because the concept has been so readily used against them, leftists historically have been more averse to invoking the term.
However, they have increasingly used it over the past year to counter Trump’s accusations that they the spread of the coronavirus to justify authoritarian lock-downs and, in turn, push to illegally expand mail-in voting and loosen election integrity laws, which allowed them to execute a coup during the 2020 election.
In effect, Democrats such as Nadler and socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., have proceeded to spread the talking point that Trump’s allegation of their “big lie” was actually a “big lie” unto itself.
Trump’s attorneys issued a response of their own to the article of impeachment shortly after the House Democrats’ filing.
In it, they previewed the arguments they intend to use to dismantle the case, which will rest most likely on arguing the irrelevance of the charges since he is no longer in office.
However, the filing also appeared poised to delve into the extensive allegations of vote fraud should the Democrat impeachment managers opt to go that route.
Lawyers working on Trump’s behalf amassed considerable evidence of vote fraud to refute the false claim that he was lying. However, they were never able to present their legal case since judges—up to and including the US Supreme Court—dismissed them all for procedural reasons such as lack of standing and laches (meaning they waited too late to file).
The impeachment effort may, in effect, achieve what members of the House and Senate were unable to do on Jan. 6 by laying out the evidence of vote fraud.
However, the strategy could be risky if it puts off a sufficient number of GOP senators.
While 45 of the 50 have already voted on a measure saying the impeachment is illegitimate, the loss of a dozen senators would potentially result in a conviction, barring Trump from seeking re-election in the future.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC, warned Democrats during a Monday appearance on Fox News that if they attempted to call witnesses in the Senate after the unprecedented House proceedings, the spectacle could be drawn out for months, keeping Trump in the spotlight despite Democrats’ disingenuous calls for unity and healing.
“I think we know what happened that day,” Graham said.
“But if you open up that can of worms, we’ll want the FBI to come in and tell us how people actually pre-planned these attacks and what happened with the security footprint at the Capitol,” he continued. “You open up Pandora’s box if you call one witness.”