Impeachment Day 4 – Defense Quickly And Skillfully Destroys Dems’ Case Against Trump

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Michael van der Veen, lawyer for former President Donald Trump
Michael van der Veen, lawyer for former President Donald Trump

In the course of one extraordinary hour, the defense team for former President Donald Trump thoroughly demolished the impeachment case against him that House Managers spent two days alleging.

It was a resounding and humiliating defeat.  The defense could have rested its case after the first 60 minutes.  It was over.  They won hands down.  In the end, Trump’s lawyers used less than three hours of their allotted 16 hours before effectively resting.

The brilliance of the defense was the use of videotape to exonerate Trump.  They beat prosecutors at their own game.  The clips showed the shameful hypocrisy of both the managers and Democrats who have absurdly accused Trump of inciting an insurrection by using the terms “fight” and “fight like hell” when he spoke to a crowd of supporters on January 6, 2021.

The damning video presented by the defense showed each and every House Manager voicing the identical words (and in the same context) that Trump had used —as a political metaphor.  Democrat Senators were also seen repeatedly using “fight” and “fight like hell.”  Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) uttered it more than 50 times.  Vice President Kamala Harris invoked the words close to 70 times.

But it didn’t stop there.  President Joe Biden, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), and scores of other prominent Democrats were heard hurling rhetoric that was far uglier than anything Trump said on January 6th.  Some even wished aloud that they could punch Trump in the face.  Biden envisioned beating him up.

By their own twisted incitement standard, all those Democrats would be evicted from office.  But as Trump lawyer David Schoen told Senators at the conclusion of the video montage, “Don’t worry…you didn’t do anything wrong.”  Schoen was right, at least in a legal sense.

Another series of video clips showed Democrats seeming to tolerate, condone, and encourage the violence that consumed American cities last summer.  This was juxtaposed with the hideous scenes of the violence itself —assaults, batteries, looting, vandalism, arson, and wholesale destruction of property.  There were murders, too, but this was not shown.

The defense team handily destroyed the House Managers’ ancillary argument that Trump should be convicted because he ginned up emotion by wrongfully telling his supporters that the election result was rigged or stolen.  On the television screens Senators took a trip down memory lane as numerous Democrats, including Pelosi and former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, claimed the same thing in a past election result they didn’t like.  Checkmate.

The most devastating moment came when Schoen accused his counterparts of unconscionable dishonesty and duplicity.  “House managers manipulated evidence, deceptively edited videos, and falsely represented tweets,” he declared.  And then he proceeded to prove it with undeniable evidence.

Armed with a collection of visuals, Schoen showed how an important tweet by Trump appeared to have been significantly altered and how numerous videos involving the former president had been cleverly doctored to transform exculpatory evidence into incriminating evidence.  If this were a court of law, the prosecutors would be held in criminal contempt and tossed in the hoosegow.

Van Der Veen put it best when he said, “This sham impeachment threatens political speech everywhere.”

The centerpiece of Trump’s defense rested on the actual words he used on the day of the riots.  House Managers deliberately concealed those words during their two-day presentation of evidence.  Once again, video exposed their malice.  Trump was seen telling his supporters to behave “peacefully and patriotically” as they made their “voices heard” in support of Republicans who were challenging the electoral votes.

Never once did Trump encourage or advocate violence or destruction of property, as Democrats have persistently asserted.  Their impeachment, said Schoen, “is driven by hatred, vitriol, and political opportunism.”  In a thirst for vengeance against a man they have long loathed, they deprived Trump of due process, contorted the evidence against him, and lied about what truly occurred.

Their ultimate goal is to prevent Trump from ever running for president again.  As defense attorney Michael Van Der Veen reasoned, “They want congressional control over which private citizen can run for office…they want to disqualify a political opponent.”  He condemned this as nothing more than “constitutional cancel culture.”  He is absolutely correct.

The defense readily acknowledged that the violence that took place at the Capitol Building was despicable.  But in their rush to judgment, Democrats plotted to exploit that tragedy for partisan gain.  In the process, they attempted to strip Trump of his primary defense under the First Amendment.  They sought to punish him by impeachment for exercising his right to free speech.

Van Der Veen put it best when he said, “This sham impeachment threatens political speech everywhere.”