Trump lawyers blast impeachment trial as Democratic witch-hunt

Tanya Simon
February 13, 2021

The outcome of the quick, raw and emotional proceedings are expected to reflect a nation divided over the former president and the future of his brand of politics in America.

"Every single one of you, and every one of you", Mr Trump's lawyer David Schoen said, pointing at lawmakers and the House members prosecuting the case. Angus King, the independent from ME, weighing his vote.

Mr. Castor said Mr. Trump was merely concerned that some ballots in Georgia had been fraudulently cast and wanted Mr. Raffensperger to "find" them.

The House managers, serving as the prosecutors in Trump's Senate trial, said the former president's phone call with Tuberville and subsequent tweet showed that he did not try to stop the violent mob despite knowing how dire the situation was for his vice president.

By Herrera Beutler's account, McCarthy called Trump frantically on January 6 as the Capitol was being besieged by thousands of pro-Trump supporters trying to stop Congress from counting Electoral College votes that would confirm his loss. The incident left five people dead, including a Capitol Police officer.

If Trump is acquitted, the Senate could decide to censure him or even vote to bar him from holding public office again. Hundreds of rioters stormed into the building, taking over the Senate and some engaging in hand-to-hand, bloody combat with police. The multimedia presentations throughout the trial just reinforced how both sides could look at the same clips of speech and come away with two opposing interpretations of meaning. Democrats appear all but united toward conviction.

Trump is the first US president to be impeached twice and the first to face trial after leaving office. The charge is singular, incitement of insurrection.

In a whirlwind defense, Donald Trump's impeachment attorneys aired a litany of grievances Friday, arguing the former president bore no responsibility for the deadly attack on the US Capitol while accusing Democrats of "hatred" and "hypocrisy".

Defending him before the Senate, Mr. Trump's legal team on Friday repeatedly tried to equate his exhortations for supporters to descend on the Capitol and overturn his election loss with speeches by Democratic politicians, in which they called on people to "fight" for progressive policies.

"You can't incite what was already going to happen", van der Veen said.

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The use of the words "fight" or "fighting" is exceedingly common in political speech. Trump "would create a new precedent" for other former officials such as Mrs. They also suggested Democrats were hypocrites for impeaching Trump after some had previously voiced support for racial justice marches last summer, some of which turned violent.

Democratic senators shook their heads at what many called a false equivalency to their own fiery words. And they offered some alternative facts to make their point. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.

The Democrats are unlikely to gain a conviction, as few Republican senators have come out against Trump, who remains popular among Republican voters.

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the lead impeachment manager, said the hypothetical question "has no bearing on this case". "We know that this is what happened". "And the president chose not to", Republican Senator Bill Cassidy told reporters.

Republicans maintain the proceedings are unconstitutional, even though the Senate voted at the outset of the trial on this issue and confirmed it has jurisdiction. Currently, all but six Republican senators have indicated that they do not believe the trial is constitutional.

Collins and Utah Sen.

After that, the prosecution and defense teams get two hours each for closing statements. They leaned into a point the prosecutors had made asking exactly when did Trump learn of the breach of the Capitol and what specific actions did he take to bring the rioting to an end?

At the same time, the House managers showed how some of the rioters acted in response to Trump's exhortations.

Senators sought to confirm whether Trump knew Vice President Mike Pence, who was presiding over the certification, was endangered by the Capitol attack when he sent a Twitter message criticizing him.

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