Categories: Politics

Trump team wraps up a short impeachment defense long on falsehoods



Former President Trump’s protection attorneys echoed the combativeness of their consumer Friday, punctuating their arguments with falsehoods and misrepresentations as they sought to recast his actions main as much as the mob violence on the Capitol.

Trump’s workforce sprinted via their protection on the Senate impeachment listening to, hoping to shortly transfer the proceedings to a vote. Republicans have already signaled they’re unlikely to offer sufficient votes to safe a conviction.

The 2½-hour presentation was peppered with inaccuracies and false claims. Throughout one line of argument, Trump’s attorneys said that the primary rioter arrested within the Jan. 6 rebel was not a supporter of Trump, however of the leftist antifa motion. There isn’t any proof to help the assertion.

Legal professional Michael van der Veen additionally argued that Trump inspired his supporters to respect the electoral faculty rely and to protest solely peacefully, a declare straight contradicted by bountiful proof.

“To assert that the president in any means wished, desired or inspired lawless or violent habits is a preposterous and monstrous lie,” van der Veen stated. The protection workforce repeatedly sought to solid Trump’s encouragement of the rioters on the Capitol as the identical model of constitutionally protected speech that each one politicians regularly use to rally supporters round their coverage and political priorities.

At one level, the protection workforce tried to underscore the purpose by enjoying an 11-minute video with varied clips of Democrats utilizing the phrase “combat” spliced collectively. It was complimented with clips of Trump speaking in regards to the want for legislation and order in the course of the protests that erupted over racial violence over the summer time, whereas Democrats expressed help for the protesters.

“It seems like they’re erecting straw males to then take them down, moderately than cope with the truth that the occasions of the sixth occurred, together with Donald Trump doing nothing to guard this place,” stated Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) throughout a break.

The protection attorneys’ arguments had been seen by not less than some Republican lawmakers as an enchancment over their meandering efficiency in opening remarks earlier within the week. The attorneys spent a lot of their time Friday targeted on authorized arguments, making the case that Trump’s phrases had been protected by the first Modification and that his actions on Jan. 6 didn’t meet the definition of incitement.

“The protection is extra on their sport at present than what I noticed the opposite day,” stated Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in the course of the break. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, expressing the sentiment of Trump loyalists who’re keen to maneuver to a vote and shut the trial down, stated “the president’s attorneys blew the Home managers’ case out of the water. They only legally eviscerated their case.”

The Trump workforce used only a fraction of the 16 hours allotted for the protection, a pointy distinction from the method taken by Home Democrats prosecuting the case in opposition to Trump.

The Democrats spent 10 hours over two days methodically constructing a case round harrowing video that recounted the mob violence that overtook the Capitol on Jan. 6. It included never-before-shown safety footage highlighting how dangerously shut rioters got here to face-to-face confrontations with lawmakers, together with scenes of senators sprinting away from the mob.


The presentation unsettled lawmakers and put allies of Trump in an ungainly spot. It left tv information saturated with the recent footage of the rebel, together with the previous president’s rally cries, tweets and false claims main as much as the mob overrunning the Capitol. Additionally highlighted was Trump’s failure to take significant motion to guard lawmakers and restore order because the violence unfolded.

But, many Republicans stay anxious in regards to the political penalties of crossing Trump and argue the impeachment course of ought to apply solely to a sitting president. It stays unlikely Democrats can win over the 67 senators they should convict Trump.

“This case sadly is about political hatred,” van der Veen instructed the Senate jurors. “It has change into very clear the Home Democrats hate Donald Trump. Such a political hatred has no place in our political establishments, and positively no place in legislation.”

One other Trump lawyer, David Schoen, argued that the impeachment course of was a sham that denied Trump due course of. Schoen accused Home managers of manipulating the proof, speeding the trial and failing to share safety footage with the general public and the defendant earlier than dramatically unveiling it at trial.

Trump’s workforce and Senate Republicans, nevertheless, agreed to the timeline for the trial. And Democrats stated the safety footage had been obtainable to Republicans forward of time, although Trump’s attorneys dispute that .

Protection attorneys argued that when Trump inspired the rioters to show their anger on the lawmakers within the Capitol, his intention was for them to coalesce round discovering candidates to problem them the the subsequent election , not bodily violence.

“You knew what the president actually meant,” Schoen stated. “He meant the group ought to demand motion from members of Congress and help main challenges.”

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, a Trump loyalist who has already made clear he plans to vote to acquit, stated Home managers didn’t show Trump incited the group.

“The Home managers targeted an amazing deal on the president utilizing phrases like ‘combat’ or ‘combat like hell,’ ” Cruz stated. “Nicely, if that constitutes incitement, then each single political candidate in America is responsible of incitement, as a result of I assure you all 100 senators in that chamber have stood on the stump and stated we have to ‘combat’ or ‘combat like hell.’”

Cruz was amongst a bunch of GOP senators who met with Trump’s attorneys Thursday night time, regardless that they’re jurors within the trial. “We had been discussing their technique for tomorrow and we had been sharing our ideas, when it comes to the place the argument was and the place to go,” Cruz instructed reporters.

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