Ways Trump's Lawyers Challenged His Impeachment Charge

Michael van der Veen an attorney for former president Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial in the Senate at the US Capitol in Washington Feb. 12 2021

After a two-day effort by Democrats to sync up Trump's words to the violence that followed, including through raw and emotive video footage, defense lawyers suggested that Democrats have typically engaged in the same overheated rhetoric as Trump.

"Because the House rushed through this impeachment.there's nothing at all in the record on this point", defense lawyer Michael van der Veen claimed.

Addressing the former president's aides and former Vice President Mike Pence, Beutler added, "If you have something to add here, now would be the time".

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The phone conversation between Tuberville and Trump has become a key part of the timeline of the former president's behavior during the riot as senators continued to hold the Trump's impeachment trial on Friday. Bernie Sanders after the Vermont lawmaker asked if he believed Trump lied about having won the 2020 USA election. During the question period after arguments ended, Republican Senators Susan Collins of ME and Murkowski asked Trump's team to clarify "exactly when did President Trump learn of the breach of the Capitol, what specific actions did he take to bring the rioting to an end, and when did he take them?" Far from inciting violence, van der Veen argued, Trump exhorted his followers to march to the Capitol to "peacefully and patriotically to make your voices heard". Another email of van der Veen's emphasized Trump's corrosive influence on the integrity of the election system. "They spent no time at all in connecting legally the attack on the Capitol to the 45th President of the United States".

Interestingly, van der Veen's website continues to advertise itself in the spirit of last summer's lawsuit.

Then Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, the president pro tempore of the Senate who is presiding over the trial, interjected and called for the Senate to come to order.

But lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin pointed out that the Republican leader had been encouraging extremism even in the lead-up to Election Day by constantly undermining public faith in the election process.

Separately, van der Veen at one point complained that the impeachment trial was his "worst experience in Washington".

Trump lawyers blast impeachment trial as Democratic witch-hunt

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler said in a statement House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told her he spoke with Trump as rioters were storming the Capitol.

House prosecutor Joe Neguse made the case that Mr Trump was "not just some guy" making a controversial speech - he was a president addressing supporters who were "poised for violence [and] he struck a match".

He went on to accuse the House managers of having "completely, from the beginning of this case to right now, done everything except answer that question: the question they brought before you, the question they want my client to be punished by".

After this, senators were given four hours to ask questions of the two sides. And the answer is, he advocated for peaceful, patriotic protest.

"If you see it their way, yes", Mr. van der Veen said, referring to the House Democratic impeachment managers. Remember, all of the evidence is - this was premeditated.

Was the attack preplanned?

The almost weeklong trial has been delivering a grim and graphic narrative of the January 6 riot and its consequences for the nation in ways that senators, most of whom fled for their own safety that day, acknowledge they are still coming to grips with.

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.

The Trump defense team sought to rebut the core allegation against the former president: that the "insurrection" was the direct result of Trump's long history of incitement of violence that culminated in his January 6 speech, in which he urged his followers to "fight like hell" to stop Biden from becoming president. Over and over again, it's been contested.

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