Former President Donald Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen ended his defense saying the impeachment trial is ‘a complete charade from beginning to end’.
“This impeachment has been a complete charade from beginning to end. The entire spectacle has been nothing but the unhinged pursuit of a long-standing political vendetta against Mr. Trump by the opposition party,” he said, the CNN reported.
“Democrats were obsessed with impeaching Mr. Trump from the very beginning of his term. … And now they have conducted a phony impeachment show trial when he’s a private citizen out of office,” he added.
In his closing remarks, the legal team claimed their client’s words on the day of the Capitol insurrection were taken out of context, according to NPR.
“At no point did you hear anything that could ever possibly be construed as Mr. Trump encouraging or sanctioning an insurrection,” he said. “The act of incitement never happened. He engaged in no language of incitement whatsoever on Jan. 6 or any other day following the election.”
House managers said Trump’s speech to his supporters on January 6 urged them to ‘fight like hell’ and encourage them to invade the Capitol where lawmakers were counting electoral college votes.
“No matter how much truly horrifying footage we see of the conduct of the rioters, and how much emotion has been injected into this trial, that does not change the fact that Mr. Trump was innocent of the charges against him,” Van der Veen said.
He also accused Democrats of inspiring the rioters that attacked the Capitol, the Daily Mail reported.
“Many of the people who infiltrated the Capitol took pictures of themselves and posted them on social media,” he said.
“To some, it seems, they thought it was all a game. They apparently believe that violent mobs, destruction of property, rioting, assaulting police and vandalizing historic treasures was somehow now acceptable in the United States,” van der Veen continued.
“Where might they have gotten that idea? I would suggest to you that it was not from Mr. Trump.”
“I submit to you that it was month after month of political leaders and media personalities, bloodthirsty for ratings, glorifying civil unrest and condemning the reasonable law enforcement measures that are required to quell violent mobs,” van der Veen said as he accused the Democrat managers of ‘doctoring’ evidence.
“They fabricated evidence. They made it up. They never addressed that in their closing, as if it were acceptable. As if it were alright. As though that’s the way it should be done here in the Senate of the United States of America.”
The lawyer further said: “As we’ve shown, the House managers were caught creating false representations of tweets, manipulating videos and introducing into the record completely discredited lies just as the “fine people” hoax as factual evidence.”
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