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    Republican senators are facing a historic choice after both sides in the impeachment trial of former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE rested their case Friday. No-one expects the number of Republicans who defy Trump to reach the total required for conviction — 17, assuming all Democrats vote the same way. But the final vote, expected Saturday or Sunday at the latest, will be a key test of the mood in a divided party. Sen. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Punish Trump or risk a repeat, warn Democrats FBI asks for help in identifying rioter amid impeachment trial The Hill's 12:30 Report: Republicans privately discuss trial votes MORE (R-Utah) became the only senator ever to vote to...
    Lawmakers in the Senate chamber on Friday gave Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman a standing ovation following the question and answer session of former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE's impeachment trial. Following senators' questions posed to both the House impeachment managers and Trump's legal team, Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerNewly released footage shows Schumer's 'near miss' with Capitol rioters There's more to repairing federal courts than Supreme Court expansion  Five things Biden should do to tackle the climate emergency MORE (D-N.Y.) took to the floor and announced that he would ask the chamber to pass legislation to award Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal. "In the weeks after the attack on January the 6th, the world learned about the incredible, incredible bravery of officer...
    By MARY CLARE JALONICK, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Most every Senate juror has said they will listen to the evidence in Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, but most minds were likely made up before the trial began. Democrats would need a minimum of 17 Republicans to vote with them to convict Trump of incitement of insurrection, and that appears unlikely. Still, Democrats say they are holding out hope that they will win over enough Republicans to convict the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, in which five people died. If Trump were convicted, the Senate could take a second vote to ban him from running for office again. A final vote is likely on Saturday. Here's a look at the Republicans whom Democrats are eyeing as they make final arguments in the case: THE FREQUENT TRUMP CRITICS Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska,...
    By TED ANTHONY, AP National Writer Was he calling for a fight, or was he calling for a “fight”? In American political speech — and particularly in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and the discussions around it — words matter. But beyond that is another axiom: Context, it seems, can be everything. Yes, Trump used pointed, intense words that aroused supporters’ emotions. Yes, he deployed the notion of battle as potent political metaphor. Yes — he might have gone too far for some. His attorneys acknowledged all of that during their combative defense at his impeachment trial Friday. But what the 45th president didn’t do on that day in January, when he stood near the White House and used the words “fight” or “fighting” 20 times as he tried to overturn a legitimate election was this, his lawyers insisted: He didn’t cross the lines of free speech and wade into literal...
    Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team showed video clips of congressional Democrats objecting to the counting of electoral college votes in 2017 on the third day of impeachment hearings. “Not only President Trump’s speech on January 6, but indeed his entire challenge to the election results, was squarely focused on how the proper civic process could address any concerns through the legal and constitutional system,” said Trump attorney Michael T. van der Veen. “The president brought his case for state and federal courts, the U.S. Supreme Court, the legislatures, the electoral college, and ultimately the U.S. Congress.” “In the past, numerous other candidates for president have used many of the same processes to pursue their own election challenges,” van der Veen continued. “As recently as 2016 the Clinton campaign brought multiple post-election court cases, demanded recounts, and ridiculously declared the election was stolen by Russia.” Van der Veen then shifted...
    Michael van der Veen, one of the attorneys defending former President Donald Trump in his Senate impeachment trial, accused House impeachment managers Friday of attempting to intimidate Trump’s lawyers. Van der Veen noted that lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) had introduced a letter from 140 law professors who claimed that Trump’s First Amendment defense was not only wrong, but “frivolous.” That, he said, had specific consequences: The House managers have made several references to this letter, signed by 140 partisan law professors, calling Mr. Trump‘s First Amendment defense legally frivolous. This is really an outrageous attempt to intimidate Mr. Trump’s lawyers. Whenever a lawyer advances a truly frivolous argument, they may violate professional ethical rules and could be subject to discipline. This letter is a direct threat to my law license, my career, and my family’s financial well-being. These law professors should be ashamed of themselves, and so should the House managers. How dare you?  Do you really hate Donald Trump so...
    (CNN)Former President Donald Trump's lawyers showed the Senate multiple videos of Democratic politicians saying they would "fight" to argue that Trump's rhetoric on January 6 did not incite the rioters who attacked the Capitol afterward.But the public could not see how the lawmakers reacted.The TV cameras are controlled by the Senate itself and are focused on the person speaking, and at times show the full dais or chamber during a break. So only those in the chamber can see how the impeachment jury responds to attorneys and evidence.Artist Bill Hennessy is in the Senate chamber, delivering scenes from what the cameras won't or can't show. Here are some sketches from Friday:Questions from senators are read during the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump on February 12, 2021.Democratic senators watch as Trump attorney David Schoen plays a video during the impeachment trial on February 12, 2021.Democratic senators watch as Trump...
    WASHINGTON - Lawyers for Donald Trump on Friday wrapped up their presentation in defense of the former U.S. president in his second Senate impeachment trial, denying he helped incite a deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol and arguing the trial is a politically inspired and illegal “witch hunt.”   Lawyers for Trump made their case in three hours Friday, choosing not to use the full 16 hours allocated.  “The article of impeachment now before the Senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance,” Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen said.  “Like every other politically motivated witch hunt the left has engaged in over the past four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence and the interests of the American people,” van der Veen added. Trump’s attorneys told senators that the former president had every right to dispute his election loss to...
    By Eric Tucker, Lisa Mascaro and Mary Clare Jalonick | Associated Press WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers accused Democrats of waging a campaign of “hatred” against the former president as they sped through their defense of his actions and fiery words before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, hurtling the Senate toward a final vote in his historic trial. The defense team vigorously denied on Friday that Trump had incited the deadly riot and said his encouragement of followers to “fight like hell” at a rally that preceded it was routine political speech. They played dozens of out-of-context clips showing Democrats, some of them senators now serving as jurors, also telling supporters to “fight,” aiming to establish a parallel with Trump’s overheated rhetoric. “This is ordinarily political rhetoric that is virtually indistinguishable from the language that has been used by people across the political spectrum for hundreds...
    During the fourth day of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, attorneys for the former president went on the offensive by playing clips of Madonna, Johnny Depp, and several prominent Democrats including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris promoting physical violence. David Schoen, one of the attorneys representing Trump, introduced the montage during the Senate trial Friday. He said that some of the Democrats accusing Trump of inciting violence are hypocrites. “We need to show you some of their own words,” he said. The video included a clip of Madonna giving a speech at the Women’s March on Washington in 2017, during which she said, “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” In another clip, Johnny Depp pondered out loud, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” Depp made the comment during an appearance at the Glastonbury Festival in England in 2017. Watch below: Schoen’s montage...
    The Senate on Friday passed legislation to award Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman the Congressional Gold Medal for his actions responding to the violent Jan. 6 riot. The Senate passed the legislation unanimously as it wrapped up the fourth day of former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE's impeachment trial. The Senate broke out in applause for Goodman, who was in the chamber on Friday. "Officer Goodman is in the chamber tonight. Officer Goodman, thank you!" pic.twitter.com/xaLdMKbwIJ— CSPAN (@cspan) February 12, 2021 Goodman has been praised as a hero for leading the mob away from an immediate entrance to the Senate chamber on Jan. 6 as staffers were racing to lock down the chamber. New video this week from...
    WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for Donald Trump defended him against impeachment Friday by accusing Democrats of waging a campaign of "hatred" against the former president and manipulating his words in the lead-up to the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol. Their presentation included a blizzard of their own selectively edited fiery comments from Democrats.The Trump legal team characterized the impeachment case as a politically motivated "witch hunt" - an outgrowth, they said, of years of efforts to drive him from office - and they sought to reduce the case to Trump's use of a single word, "fight," in a speech preceding the Jan. 6 riot. They played dozens of clips showing Democrats, some of them senators now serving as jurors, using the same word to energize supporters in speeches railing against Trump."You didn't do anything wrong" in using the word, Trump attorney David Schoen told the senators. "But, please, stop the...
    WASHINGTON -- Donald Trump's impeachment lawyers accused Democrats of waging a campaign of "hatred" against the former president as they sped through their defense of his actions and fiery words before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, hurtling the Senate toward a final vote in his historic trial.The defense team vigorously denied on Friday that Trump had incited the deadly riot and said his encouragement of followers to "fight like hell" at a rally that preceded it was routine political speech. They played dozens of out-of-context clips showing Democrats, some of them senators now serving as jurors, also telling supporters to "fight," aiming to establish a parallel with Trump's overheated rhetoric."This is ordinarily political rhetoric that is virtually indistinguishable from the language that has been used by people across the political spectrum for hundreds of years," declared Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen. "Countless politicians have spoken of...
    (CNN)More than a month after the violent insurrection at the US Capitol, the Senate's impeachment trial got underway. Meanwhile, legislators worked to confirm Biden Cabinet nominees and election officials certified the final unresolved House race of the 2020 election. Monday Security at US Capitol on high alert for Trump impeachment trial Georgia secretary of state's office launches investigation into Trump's phone call New York certifies Claudia Tenney's victory in last unresolved House race of 2020 THE POINT -- NOW ON YOUTUBE! In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics. Click to subscribe! Tuesday Michigan state Senate leader apologizes for calling Capitol riot a hoax Merrick Garland, Biden's pick for attorney general, has confirmation hearing set for February 22 Trump unhappy with his impeachment attorney's performance, sources say Read MoreWednesday GOP senators signal they...
    (CNN)This week's impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump was historic for many reasons -- including its length.With the defense wrapping its arguments on Friday, senators say it's very likely this impeachment process will be over this weekend, with a vote expected at 3 p.m. Eastern on Saturday. That's even shorter than the previous record for shortest impeachment trial ever (21 days) set by Trump's first impeachment.This impeachment trial unfolded completely differently. From the jump, impeachment managers leaned heavily and effectively on video evidence. So much so that the defense scrambled to craft their own videos for use during Friday's arguments. THE POINT -- NOW ON YOUTUBE! In each episode of his weekly YouTube show, Chris Cillizza will delve a little deeper into the surreal world of politics. Click to subscribe! Despite the scramble, all signs point to Trump's defense securing the Republican support needed to acquit...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Most every Senate juror has said they will listen to the evidence in Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, but most minds were likely made up before the trial began. Democrats would need a minimum of 17 Republicans to vote with them to convict Trump of incitement of insurrection, and that appears unlikely. Still, Democrats say they are holding out hope that they will win over enough Republicans to convict the former president for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, in which five people died. If Trump were convicted, the Senate could take a second vote to ban him from running for office again. A final vote is likely on Saturday. Here’s a look at the Republicans whom Democrats are eyeing as they make final arguments in the case: THE FREQUENT TRUMP CRITICS Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Ben Sasse of Nebraska, Mitt...
    Former President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team delivered a speedy rebuttal to two days of arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers on the "incitement of insurrection" charge. Trump's defense, signaling confidence that far fewer than 17 Republicans will join with Democrats to meet the two-thirds requirement for conviction, used only a few of the 16 hours they were allowed to present their arguments. Here are highlights from day four of Trump's impeachment trial. Video montage-a-rama Much of Trump's impeachment defense revolved around playing multiple super-clipped video montages. One video spliced together clips of Democratic politicians saying that they need to "fight" for various political political causes, a rebuttal to impeachment manager focus on Trump telling supporters that they needed to "fight like hell" to "stop the steal." Other supercuts included statements from Democrats telling supporters that they need to make members of Congress uncomfortable...
    Former House Democratic Counselor Daniel Goldman criticized former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team on Friday, calling their arguments “pathetic,” and claimed that an “objective” trial would have a “30-second guilty verdict.” Goldman appeared on MSNBC’s special coverage of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial where he gave his analysis on the defense’s presentations. (RELATED: MSNBC Reporter Claims Some Republicans May Vote To Convict Trump Because They Can’t ‘Stomach’ That He ‘Left Them For Dead’ In Capitol Riot) “There is a defense here that they touched upon but didn’t really hit hard, which would require Donald Trump to take some acceptance of responsibility in order to get off of these charges,” Goldman began. “That would be something along the lines of emphasizing his video on January 7th, where he condemned the rioters, and basically saying, I did not intend for them to take my words this way. That was not at...
    By ERIC TUCKER, LISA MASCARO and MARY CLARE JALONICK WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers accused Democrats of waging a campaign of “hatred” against the former president as they sped through their defense of his actions and fiery words before the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, hurtling the Senate toward a final vote in his historic trial. The defense team vigorously denied on Friday that Trump had incited the deadly riot and said his encouragement of followers to “fight like hell” at a rally that preceded it was routine political speech. They played dozens of out-of-context clips showing Democrats, some of them senators now serving as jurors, also telling supporters to “fight,” aiming to establish a parallel with Trump’s overheated rhetoric. “This is ordinarily political rhetoric that is virtually indistinguishable from the language that has been used by people across the political spectrum for hundreds of years,”...
    House impeachment manager Jamie Raskin said Friday during the Donald Trump impeachment trial that the former president’s lawyers should let him testify if they want to clear up some lingering questions. Some of the responses the Trump lawyers gave Friday were to say the Democrats rushed the process without getting all the facts — something they even said when directly confronted on the former president’s actions during the riot. Raskin said Friday in response, “The counsel for the president keep blaming the House for not having the evidence that’s within the sole possession of their client, who we invited to come and testify last week.” House impeachment managers sent a request for Trump to testify. The Trump team rejected it and called it a publicity stunt. “Rather than yelling at us, and screaming about how we didn’t have time to get all of the facts about what your client did,...
    More On: impeachment Trump team trolls Democrats with clips of repeated vows to ‘fight’ Trump impeachment defense says ‘reportedly’ is not evidence of anything Trump’s legal team presents opening arguments at impeachment trial Trump impeachment trial: Day 4 schedule, time and how to watch Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders clashed with one of former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial defense attorneys on Friday after asking him if President Biden won the 2020 election. Sanders asked in a written note submitted during the question period of Trump’s trial, “Are the prosecutors right when they claim that Trump was telling a ‘big lie’ or in your judgment did Trump actually win the election?” Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen asked incredulously, “My judgement? Who asked that?” “I did!” shouted Sanders, who lost the 2020 Democratic primary to Biden. “My judgment is irrelevant in this proceeding. It absolutely is,” van der Veen said,...
    New York : The House of Representatives accused the former president Donald trump in january for “Incitement to insurrection” regarding the assault on the Capitol that occurred on January 6, which resulted in five deaths and multiple injuries. Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial began Tuesday in the Senate. Trump is accused of inciting his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol, where they proceeded to besiege the building and tried to go after lawmakers, in an effort to stop Congress from certifying the president’s 2020 election victory. Joe biden. Trump has been claiming that the election result was fraudulent, for several months. Impeachment managers serving as prosecutors argued this week that Trump intentionally incited the violent attack on Capitol Hill on Jan.6. Recently released footage showed the attack on the Capitol, including security camera clips showing members of Congress fleeing from people wielding firearms, baseball bats and riot shields...
    (CNN)Former President Donald Trump's lawyers mounted an aggressive defense Friday in Trump's second impeachment trial -- and made multiple false and misleading claims to bolster their case. Arguing that Trump did nothing to incite the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, the lawyers distorted the facts about both what happened that day and what happened in the past. Here is a fact check of some of their claims: Defense team misleadingly omits Trump remarks defending violence Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen highlighted comments from Democrats that he suggested had promoted or defended violence. Trump, he argued, is different than these Democrats. Read More"Contrast the President's repeated condemnations of violence with the rhetoric from his opponents," van der Veen said. He then played a video that juxtaposed clips of Trump condemning violence, and calling himself an "ally of all peaceful protesters," with some selectively edited clips of Democrats....
    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 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...
    By BRIAN SLODYSKO, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 U.S. Capitol while accusing Democrats of “hatred” and “hypocrisy.” The defense team, which wrapped up its arguments in just over three hours, said Trump was engaged in “constitutionally protected speech” when he spoke at a rally that immediately preceded the violence on Jan. 6 that left five dead. Echoing themes often heard in conservative media, they called the impeachment trial a “witch hunt” and accused Democrats of elevating a destructive “cancel culture” to the halls of Congress. 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. “It has become very clear that House Democrats hate Donald Trump,” said...
    Sen. Bill CassidyBill CassidyGOP senators praise impeachment managers but say Trump will be acquitted The Hill's 12:30 Report: Republicans privately discuss trial votes The GOP senators likely to vote for Trump's conviction MORE’s (R-La.) office says he is weighing his decision on the impeachment trial vote after Cassidy was seen Friday with a draft statement that showed support for former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE’s acquittal.  The photo of the draft, which was taken by a Washington Post photographer, showed it saying, “The House Managers did not connect the dots to show President Trump knew that the attack on the Capitol was going to be violent and result in the loss of life.” Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.,...
    More On: Trump impeachment hearings Trump team trolls Democrats with clips of repeated vows to ‘fight’ Trump defense shows clips of House Dems objecting to 2016 results Mitt Romney praises Capitol cop for ushering him to safety during riot Wyoming GOP censures Liz Cheney over Trump impeachment vote Legal take: ‘Tanking’ the Impeachment Trial Democrats’ bid to impeach President Donald Trump, observes law prof Jonathan Turley at USA Today, resembles “NFL tanking” — i.e., when a team tries to lose to secure a better draft pick. The trial, after all, seems “designed more to enrage than convict”: First the House staged a “snap impeachment,” with no hearing, investigation, witnesses or chance for Trump to respond. Democrats impeached him for “incitement of insurrection,” not reckless or negligent conduct leading to the riot — making a conviction “highly unlikely.” They then waited weeks, without calling witnesses. In the Senate, they laid...
    Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett (D-VI) pivoted off of a question about the message the Senate would send by acquitting former President Donald Trump to call out the not-so-subtle focus on Black women marching and protesting in his defense counsel’s video evidence. During the fourth day of Trump’s impeachment trial, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) asked about a past example of Congress impeaching and convicting a former Secretary of War who had already left office.  Plaskett, the lone non-voting delegate from the territory U.S. Virgin Islands, addressed the Minnesota Democrat’s point, but then spent the latter half of her allotted five minutes to discuss her own personal response to the impeachment defense, which she implied was trafficking in the “angry Black women” stereotype. “Let me also bring something else up,” Plaskett said. “I’ll briefly say that defense counsel put a lot of videos out in their defense, playing clip after clip of Black women talking about fighting for...
    Michael Van der Veen, an attorney for former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE, got into a verbal scuffle with Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSenators show signs of fatigue on third day of Trump trial Khanna calls for further action from Biden on Yemen Progressive groups call on Pelosi, Schumer to prioritize women in COVID-19 relief package MORE (I-Vt.), after the progressive lawmaker asked him during Friday's impeachment trial question-and-answer session if he believes Trump won the 2020 election. Sanders submitted a question noting that the House impeachment managers have claimed that Trump was carrying out a "big lie," repeatedly stating that he actually won the election instead of now-President BidenJoe BidenWashington Post economics reporter: Federal Reserve counters arguments that...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 5:40 p.m. The lead House prosecutor in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial appears to have had enough of the defense argument that the former president wasn’t responsible for inciting the deadly Capitol siege. “Get real,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland. The defense lawyers have been arguing that Trump didn’t mean it when he told a rally to go to Congress and “fight like hell” for his presidency as lawmakers were certifying Joe Biden’s election. “How gullible do you think we are?” Raskin said Friday. “We saw this happen.” The defense has tried to compare his words to those used by other Democratic politicians fighting for health care or other priorities. The argument is drawing eyerolls from the senators on the Democratic side of the aisle. Senators are posing questions to the lawyer as...
    Reuters February 12, 2021 0 Comments Donald Trump’s lawyers on Friday said Democrats had provided no evidence the former president incited last month’s deadly U.S. Capitol riot and had used his second impeachment trial to settle political scores. Trump is on trial in the U.S. Senate on a charge of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection by his supporters who stormed the seat of Congress in Washington to stop lawmakers from certifying Democratic President Joe Biden’s election victory, resulting in the deaths of five people including a police officer. Trump’s lawyers argued that his remarks, including a fiery speech that day urging supporters to “fight like hell” to stop the election certification, were protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which ensures the right to free speech. “This trial is about far more than President Trump. It is about silencing and banning the speech the majority does not...
    Former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE's defense team on Friday denied that Trump knew his then-vice president, Mike PenceMichael (Mike) Richard PenceThe Memo: Punish Trump or risk a repeat, warn Democrats Impeachment managers wrap case with new warning on Trump Democrats argue Trump will incite violence again MORE, was in danger during the Capitol attack on Jan. 6."The answer is no," Michael van der Veen said flatly on the Senate floor. "At no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger." The remarks came in response to a question from two Republican senators, Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Memo: Punish Trump or risk a repeat, warn Democrats FBI asks for help in identifying rioter...
    The Senate will begin the fourth day of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump Friday afternoon. Friday will feature Trump’s defense will argue that the 45th president did not incite an insurrection on January 6, when Congress was certifying the 2020 election. Trump’s legal team will contend that impeaching a former president is unconstitutional, there was no due process during the impeachment proceedings, Trump was merely exercising his First Amendment rights, and Democrats are guilty of controversial speech and refused to concede elections in the past. Follow Breitbart News for more coverage of the Senate impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 U.S. Capitol while accusing Democrats of “hatred” and “hypocrisy.” The defense team, which wrapped up its arguments in just over three hours, said Trump was engaged in “constitutionally protected speech” when he spoke at a rally that immediately preceded the violence on Jan. 6 that left five dead. Echoing themes often heard in conservative media, they called the impeachment trial a “witch hunt” and accused Democrats of elevating a destructive “cancel culture” to the halls of Congress. 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. “It has become very clear that House Democrats hate Donald Trump,” said Michael van der...
    The question and answer period continues true to form: lies and evasions from Team Trump and a solid performance from the House impeachment managers but for the lingering question of why they aren’t calling witnesses—something the questions have repeatedly if inadvertently highlighted the need for. The impeachment trial is being aired on major television news networks and streamed on their websites. Daily Kos will have continuing coverage.
    Donald Trump did not know Mike Pence was in danger from the MAGA mob, his defense lawyer claimed Friday, despite Senator Tommy Tuberville saying he told the president that his vice president has been removed from the Senate chamber. 'The answer is no. At no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger,' attorney Bruce Castor said during the senator Q&A portion of Trump's second impeachment trial.  Republican Senator Mitt Romney, who had a close run in with the MAGA mob on January 6th, posed the question to the prosecution and defense: 'When President Trump sent the disparaging tweet at 2:24 P.M. regarding Vice President Pence, was he aware that vice president had been removed from the Senate by the Secret Service for his safety?' Castor denied Trump knew and said: 'What the president did know is that there was a violent riot happening at the...
    Donald Trump's defense team argued Friday that the former president's speech to rioters on Jan. 6 was "far from promoting insurrection" and violence, instead casting blame on Democrats for using similar language and accusing them of "political hatred" toward their client. In abbreviated oral arguments lasting three hours, Trump attorneys asked senators, sitting as both jurors and witnesses to the Capitol riots, to dismiss the case and acquit Trump, calling the article of impeachment against their client "an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance." "Like every other politically motivated witch hunt the left has engaged in over the past four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence and the interest of the American people. The Senate should promptly and decisively vote to reject it," Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen said. "It is constitutional cancel culture."[ READ: Democrats Lay Out Trump’s ‘Pattern and Practice of...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 5 p.m. A House impeachment manager says she questions why lawyers for former President Donald Trump played multiple video clips of people of color or women talking about fighting in a political context. Del. Stacey Plaskett of the U.S. Virgin Islands told senators Friday that she noted a particular focus in the lawyers’ presentation on “Black women like myself who are sick and tired of being sick and tired for our children, your children, our children.” Trump’s lawyers have argued that his words exhorting his supporters to fight the election are protected by the First Amendment. They repeatedly showed clips on Friday of Rep. Maxine Waters of California, who is Black. Democratic impeachment managers say Trump’s Jan. 6 speech was the culmination of a monthslong campaign to sow doubt about his election loss...
    Former President Trump's legal team took just about three hours Friday of their 16-hour allotted time to mount a defense for his impeachment charge of "incitement of insurrection" for the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Attorney Bruce Castor closed out the arguments on the fourth day of the trial by arguing that the mob that stormed the Capitol to stop the counting of President Biden's Electoral College victory wasn't even an insurrection.  "Clearly, there was no insurrection," Castor told the Senate jurors. "Insurrection is a term of art, defined in the law it involves taking over a country, a shadow government, taking the TV stations over and having some plan on what you're going to do when you finally take power. Clearly, this is not that." TRUMP IMPEACHMENT DEFENSE TEAM PUTS DEMOCRATS ON TRIAL FOR PAST HOT RHETORIC: 'STOP THE HYPOCRISY' Castor said Trump and his entire legal team denounce the violence that day and believe the actions...
    Political analyst Matthew Dowd received backlash Friday by tweeting an image of a deadly pileup on a Texas highway to mock former President Donald Trump's impeachment defense team.  At least six people died and dozens more were injured in Thursday's 133-vehicle accident on Interstate 35W in Fort Worth. Road conditions due to frozen rain were cited as the cause of the pileup, according to local reports.  Dowd, however, admitted he chose not to read the story that accompanied the photograph he chose in to poke fun at Trump's attorneys as they made their case before the Senate. "I saw this picture in the news today. I didn't read the story. Was this picture one of trumps [sic] impeachment defense team presentation?" Dowd asked.  ABC'S TERRY MORAN COMPARES 'PERSONALIZED POWER' TRUMP HAS OVER GOP TO A 'FÜHRER' AMID IMPEACHMENT TRIAL Dowd, a self-identified "proud independent" who almost exclusively attacks conservatives, was slammed by critics on social media.  MSNBC'S...
    Key Republican senators on Friday are raised questions about when former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE knew a mob of his supporters had breached the Capitol, and what steps he took after that. In one of the first questions offered during the question-and-answer period of the Senate impeachment trial, Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Republicans privately discuss trial votes The GOP senators likely to vote for Trump's conviction The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - New video of riot unnerves many senators MORE (R-Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsGOP senators praise impeachment managers but say Trump will be acquitted The Hill's 12:30 Report: Republicans privately discuss trial votes President Biden must compromise...
    The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump reaches its conclusion amid debate over how best to turn the page on the ubiquitous and polarizing figure who occupied the White House for the last four years. For Democrats, the answer is obvious: convict Trump for inciting an insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 and disqualify him from ever running for office ever again. Otherwise, Trump may repeat his claims of stolen elections, or some future political figure may try to turn their supporters on Congress, the counters of the Electoral College votes, after losing a close race. Some Republicans agree. But many others see impeachment as keeping Trump in the headlines after he has already left office, at the expense of other more pressing legislative business. “Trump is gone,” said a GOP strategist. “Let’s move on.” “Move on” was the battle cry of Democratic opponents of then-President Bill...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 4:30 p.m. Senators are submitting written questions to the prosecution and the defense in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. One of the first questions came from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have been critical of Trump’s actions. They asked Trump’s lawyers to lay out in detail what Trump did to stop the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and when Trump first learned the building had been breached. Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen did not answer directly, instead accusing Democrats of denying Trump due process during the impeachment process. “The House managers did zero investigation and the American people deserve a lot better than that,” he said. Trump’s defense wrapped up their opening arguments earlier Friday, telling senators the impeachment...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 4:30 p.m. Senators are submitting written questions to the prosecution and the defense in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. One of the first questions came from Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, who have been critical of Trump’s actions. They asked Trump’s lawyers to lay out in detail what Trump did to stop the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, and when Trump first learned the building had been breached. Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen did not answer directly, instead accusing Democrats of denying Trump due process during the impeachment process. “The House managers did zero investigation and the American people deserve a lot better than that,” he said. Trump’s defense wrapped up their opening arguments earlier Friday, telling senators the impeachment...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — A key element of former President Donald Trump’s defense is the argument that he can’t be convicted by the Senate because the Jan. 6 speech that House prosecutors say incited the attack on the Capitol is protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment. But many legal scholars dispute that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech applies to impeachment proceedings at all or that it protects Trump even if it does have some bearing on his impeachment. The First Amendment argument was part of a defense that sought to cast the impeachment as motivated by Democrats’ hatred of Trump, but that also conceded he had lost the election — something the former president has never done. The trial moved into a question-and-answer session Friday, with final arguments and a vote to follow, possibly as early as Saturday. “There is no doubt Mr. Trump engaged in constitutionally protected speech...
    GOP Sens. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy CNN's Cuomo knocks Cruz for breast milk tweet during impeachment: 'Do your damn job' The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - New video of riot unnerves many senators MORE (S.C.) and Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy GOP senators praise impeachment managers but say Trump will be acquitted CNN's Cuomo knocks Cruz for breast milk tweet during impeachment: 'Do your damn job' MORE (Texas) huddled briefly with Trump's legal team on Friday. The two GOP senators were spotted heading into a workspace being used by the former president's lawyers during a brief break in the impeachment trial. Neither senators commented to reporters when they left the meeting. Cruz and Graham, as well as Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeGOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team...
    Former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE’s legal team closed their defense in the impeachment trial after speaking for less than four hours on Friday, accusing Democrats and the news media of a double-standard. The lawyers said Democrats had themselves used violent rhetoric about the social justice protesters, contested Trump’s Electoral College victory, and questioned the outcome of past elections. They repeatedly aired footage of the GOP’s biggest antagonists, including 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonTrump DOJ officials sought to block search of Giuliani records: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - New video of riot unnerves many senators Hillary Clinton: Trump acquittal 'will be because the jury includes his co-conspirators' MORE, Senate...
    WASHINGTON - Lawyers for Donald Trump defended the former U.S. president Friday in his second Senate impeachment trial, denying he helped incite a deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol and arguing the trial is a politically inspired and illegal “witch hunt.”  “The article of impeachment now before the Senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance,” Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen said.  “Like every other politically motivated witch hunt the left has engaged in over the past four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence and the interests of the American people,” van der Veen added.  WATCH LIVE Trump’s attorneys told senators that the former president had every right to dispute his election loss to President Joe Biden and that Trump’s 70-minute speech just minutes before the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol did not amount to...
    (CNN)After two days of House impeachment managers making their case for the conviction of Donald Trump on a charge of incitement, the former President's legal team got its chance on Friday.The core of the Trump team's defense was that his words at the January 6 "Stop the Steal" rally were just that: words. And that those words were far from an incitement that led to the violent insurrection at the Capitol. I watched the proceedings -- and took notes on what mattered most. My takeaways are below (and be sure to check out my takeaways from Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3). 1. Words matter. Except when they don't: Trump's lawyers tried to make two diametrically opposed arguments to dispel the idea that the former President was culpable for the January 6 Capitol riot. On the one hand, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen suggested that the President using...
    The remains of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, murdered in the Trump insurrection, being carried out of the U.S. Capitol Donald Trump’s impeachment defense began and ended Friday, filled with repetitive, amateurish, dishonest videos and arguments. His lawyers failed to refute the rock-solid case of the House impeachment managers, but they’re not worried, because, thanks to Republican partisanship, they never thought they had to do so. The impeachment trial now moves on to the question-and-answer period. It will be aired on major television news networks and streamed on their websites. Daily Kos will have continuing coverage.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 3:20 p.m. The defense attorneys for Donald Trump have wrapped up their presentation in the former president’s impeachment trial. Lawyers argued for three hours Friday that Trump didn’t incite the Jan. 6 rally crowd to riot at the U.S. Capitol and that his words were merely figures of speech. They say the case against Trump was a political witch hunt by Democrats and was not valid because he is no longer in office. Their truncated defense barely used the full time allotted, 16 hours over two days. Many senators minds appear already made up. Trump is accused of incitement of insurrection in the mob siege at the Capitol. Five people died. Senators will next be able to ask the lawyers questions when the trial resumes. ___ HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT...
    A prominent liberal super PAC on Friday will launch an ad campaign targeting several GOP senators urging them to vote to convict former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE in his impeachment trial. American Bridge 21st Century, through its nonprofit affiliate group Bridge Project, will send out digital ads and texts urging constituents of GOP senators to call their offices and urge them to vote to convict Trump over his alleged role inciting the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol.  The plans, shared exclusively with The Hill, will target nine GOP senators: Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Republicans privately discuss trial votes The GOP senators likely to vote for Trump's conviction The Hill's Morning Report -...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 3:20 p.m. The defense attorneys for Donald Trump have wrapped up their presentation in the former president’s impeachment trial. Lawyers argued for three hours Friday that Trump didn’t incite the Jan. 6 rally crowd to riot at the U.S. Capitol and that his words were merely figures of speech. They say the case against Trump was a political witch hunt by Democrats and was not valid because he is no longer in office. Their truncated defense barely used the full time allotted, 16 hours over two days. Many senators minds appear already made up. Trump is accused of incitement of insurrection in the mob siege at the Capitol. Five people died. Senators will next be able to ask the lawyers questions when the trial resumes. ___ HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT...
    PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Social media is once again poking fun at Bruce Castor’s defense of former President Donald Trump during his second impeachment trial before the U.S. Senate. During Friday’s hearing, the former Montgomery County district attorney mistakenly confused Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. We checked the tapes and yes, Bruce Castor just mistakenly confused Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (left) with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (right). #impeachmentTrial pic.twitter.com/UNxyNMdWTY RELATED: Marciarose Shestack, First Woman Anchor In Philadelphia, Celebrates 90th Birthday On Monday! — Ed OKeefe (@edokeefe) February 12, 2021 Trump was infamously recorded asking Raffensperger to overturn Georgia’s presidential election, which President Joe Biden won by just over 11,000 votes. Twitter took notice after Castor confused the Steelers quarterback with Raffensperger. #ImpeachmentTrial So Castor says Ben Roethlisberger is GA Secy of State now??? Say what???? pic.twitter.com/IzZj1pZfs8 — TeeLee (@TeeLee53) February...
    Former President Donald Trump’s defense team took aim at Democrats on Friday, arguing they had relied on “press reports and rumors” to make their case against Trump. Faced with a “significant lack of evidence,” Trump attorney Michael van der Veen argued, House Democrats serving as impeachment managers turned “often to press reports and rumors.” “They ever relied on the words of Andrew Feinberg, a reporter who recently worked for Sputnik, the Russian propaganda outlet,” van der Veen said, referencing Virgin Islands Delegate Stacy Plaskett (D), who cited a claim by Feinberg that Trump should have anticipated unrest in the Capitol on Jan. 6 before they happened. Feinberg worked for Sputnik during the 2016 election, but was fired in 2017. He later penned a column for Politico claiming he was fired for “refusing to report lies.” “The frequency with which House managers relied on unproven media reports shocked me as I...
    House impeachment managers “accidentally” added a blue check verification to a pro-Trump tweet used in the Senate trial of the former president, but aides condemned the charge by defense lawyers that they manipulated video evidence. Senior House Democratic aides for the managers acknowledged a graphic they displayed during the trial showing a pro-Trump tweet, “accidentally had a blue verification checkmark,” but said the content of the tweet was “entirely accurate.” “If anything, it is further evidence of President Trump’s attention to and knowledge of what was being openly planned on January 6 by his followers, even those without Twitter verifications," a senior Democratic aide said. The tweeter, Jennifer Lynn Lawrence, this week said her Twitter account does not have the blue check mark that the social media giant uses to indicate a “verified” account. The impeachment managers used two of her tweets in the trial. One of them,...
    Former President Trump's legal team used a spliced video montage of prominent Democrats saying "fight" taken out of context as evidence in their opening arguments on Friday of Mr. Trump's impeachment trial. The videos drew rebukes and even prompting laughter from some Senate Democrats. After accusing the House impeachment managers of using videos of Mr. Trump out of context as evidence, Trump's legal defense played the video of Democrats, including some of the 2020 presidential candidates such as Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, attempting to equate their words to Trump's rhetoric during the January 6th rally. "You didn't do anything wrong," said David Schoen, one of Trump's lawyers. "It is a word people use, but please stop the hypocrisy." Democrats did not take this line of argument seriously. Warren tweeted a video montage of her rally appearances shortly after Mr. Trump's lawyers...
    CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Friday afternoon tore into the Trump impeachment lawyers’ defense, calling their presentation outright “stupid” and likening it to a “Sean Hannity mixtape.” Countering the compelling and meticulous presentation from the House impeachment managers, which featured chilling never-before-seen video of the insurrectionist Capitol riot, former President Donald Trump’s attorneys argued that Democrats have also said “fight” during political speeches, therefore somehow nullifying Trump’s dangerous rhetoric. “Not the most constitutionally sophisticated argument, fair to say,” Tapper said during a break in the Senate impeachment trial, adding that one of Trump’s attorneys is a personal injury lawyer. “We have months and months and months of the ‘Big Lie’ of the election lie, and today was basically a legal demonstration of whataboutism,” he added. “What about the time that this congressman said this, the time that this losing candidate said that? Times that there was no violence that followed...
    A poll from YouGov and The Economist has found that former President Obama was named the best U.S. president while former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE was named the worst. Obama barely beat Abraham Lincoln as best U.S. president with 18 percent. Trump was at 13 percent with people naming him the best president.  Among the worst, Trump got the highest percentage at 46 percent while Obama got the second highest at 24 percent.  Trump ended his presidency on what some would call a disastrous note as his approval rating leaving office was at its lowest point ever.  Trump hit that rating after months of peddling election conspiracy theories and being impeached by the House again for “incitement...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 3 p.m. Democrats in the Senate chamber chuckled and whispered among themselves as Donald Trump’s defense team played videos of them saying “fight” over and over again at the former president’s impeachment trial — an effort to counter Trump’s call to his supporters to “fight like hell” before they laid siege on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. Arguing that Trump did not incite the insurrection, as the House has charged, the lawyers played videos of Democrats saying the word “fight” without any context, calling for protests after Black men and women were killed by police officers and challenging the results of the presidential elections that Republicans won. At a break in the proceedings, Democrats said it was a distraction and a “false equivalence” with their own behavior. “Donald Trump was warned, if...
    Lawyer Michael van der Veen on former President Donald Trump’s impeachment defense team said Friday that because the Capitol riot was “apparently premeditated,” “you cannot incite what was already going to happen.” Van der Veen said a minor amount of people intending to cause harm took advantage of the protest. He said radicals took advantage of the protest and planned the Capitol riot, referencing “publicly available reporting.” (RELATED: Trump ‘Not Happy’ With Defense Team’s First Showing In Impeachment Trial) “One of the first people arrested was a leader of antifa. Sadly, he was also among the first to be released. From the beginning, the president has been clear,” van der Veen said. “The criminals who infiltrated the Capitol must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.” He added, “The fact that the attacks were apparently premeditated, as alleged by the house managers, demonstrates the ludicrousness of the incitement...
    Democrats dismissed former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE's defense team's accusation that they “created false representations” with video and tweets during the Senate impeachment trial.  During opening arguments on Friday, one of Trump's defense lawyers, David Schoen, alleged that House impeachment managers, including Rep. Jamie RaskinJamin (Jamie) Ben RaskinGOP senators praise impeachment managers but say Trump will be acquitted The Memo: Punish Trump or risk a repeat, warn Democrats Managers seek to make GOP think twice about Trump acquittal MORE (D-Md.), had used tweets with irrelevant dates and verification and confused the term "cavalry" with "calvary" in one post.  One senior aide on the House impeachment team noted that Trump's tweets are only available via the archive...
    New York Assemblyman Michael Montesano (R) will request for the state’s legislature to consider impeaching Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) after a top aide for the governor reportedly admitted to withholding data on coronavirus nursing home deaths to avoid a federal investigation. “We’ve been calling for subpoenas and a hearing for quite a while,” Montesano said in an interview with Fox News. “This news of the last several days is extremely troubling to me and I’m going to be asking today for his resignation and I’m also going to be asking the legislature to look into, to explore filing articles of impeachment against the governor if he doesn’t resign.” The New York Post first reported Thursday that Cuomo’s top aide, Melissa DeRosa, revealed in a call with Democrat lawmakers that Cuomo officials did not publish data on the coronavirus death toll in nursing homes due to fears that the figures were “going to be...
    Former President Trump's legal team tried to put Democrats on trial Friday by repeatedly playing clips of their past hot rhetoric and accusing liberals of setting a new "dangerous double standard" when it comes to Trump. Trump's attorneys said the former president's speech before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot where he told backers to "fight like hell" was in no way an incitement to violence and they called out each of the House impeachment managers and each Democratic senator for making similar statements. "Every single one of you, and every one of you," David Schoen, a Trump attorney, bellowed at Democrats in the chamber at the end of an 11-minute video featuring clips of each of them saying "fight."   "That's okay. You didn't do anything wrong. It's a word people use, but please stop the hypocrisy." Lawyer David Schoen speaks during Trump impeachment trial on Friday, Feb. 12. Friday...
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    Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyer Michael T. van der Veen presented clips of Madonna and Johnny Depp to help make the case against convicting the former president, earning swift mockery on Twitter. The defense attorney presented a montage of clips showing Democratic politicians and public figures condemning Trump — often using proactive language such as, “I feel like punching him.” Many of the clips focused on elected officials, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), promising voters that they would “fight” for them. Other clips showed Democrats using stronger language, such as President Joe Biden saying, “I wish we were in high school, I could take him behind the gym.” The montage, however, did highlight comments from some questionable figures, such as Madonna and Johnny Depp, who, of course, are not elected officials. “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” Depp said to a crowd at te U.K.’s 2017 Glastonbury music festival — which earned him...
    By ERIC TUCKER, LISA MASCARO and MARY CLARE JALONICK WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for Donald Trump opened his impeachment defense Friday by accusing Democrats of waging a campaign of “hatred” against the former president and manipulating his words in the lead-up to the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol. Their presentation included a blizzard of their own selectively edited fiery comments from Democrats. In hours of arguments, the Trump legal team characterized the impeachment case as a politically motivated “witch hunt” — an outgrowth, they said, of years of efforts to drive him from office — and they sought to reduce the case to Trump’s use of a single word, “fight,” in a speech preceding the Jan. 6 riot. They played dozens of clips showing Democrats, some of them senators now serving as jurors, using the same word to energize supporters in speeches railing against Trump. “You didn’t do anything...
    Calls for former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE to be convicted in his second impeachment trial came in the form of a sky banner flying over his Mar-a-lago residence on Friday as his attorneys mount their defense in Washington. Reporters shared images of the banner reading "CONVICT TRUMP AND LOCK HIM UP" to Twitter. All-caps banner flying over Trump’s resort in Palm Beach as his defense team begins its presentation today: “CONVICT TRUMP AND LOCK HIM UP.” pic.twitter.com/MfhDxHGLKc— Jim AcostaJames (Jim) AcostaSarah Huckabee Sanders touts Trump endorsement Sarah Huckabee Sanders's run for governor an early test for Trump allies CNN's Acosta reacts to Huckabee Sanders gubernatorial bid: 'This campaign is going to be gaslit' MORE (@Acosta)...
    More On: Trump impeachment hearings Trump defense shows clips of House Dems objecting to 2016 results Mitt Romney praises Capitol cop for ushering him to safety during riot Wyoming GOP censures Liz Cheney over Trump impeachment vote Big Tech’s war on indie news and other commentary WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers turned the tables on House impeachment managers on Friday, playing damning footage of Democrats over and over vowing to “fight” or “fight back” against Trump and Republicans to highlight their alleged “hypocrisy.” Impeachment managers used a series of CCTV videos of the Jan. 6 riot to show just how close pro-Trump marauders came to lawmakers and clips of Trump’s speeches to allege he had a history of encouraging violence. But the former president’s counsel came right back at them during their first day of arguments on Friday, accusing them of selectively quoting the former president. ...
    Lawyers representing former President Donald Trump demolished the Charlottesville “very fine people” hoax on Friday in his Senate impeachment trial, playing the full video in which Trump said neo-Nazis should be “condemned totally.” House impeachment managers played a selectively-edited video of Trump’s 2017 remark on Thursday, repeating a false claim that Trump had referred to murderous neo-Nazi rioters as “very fine people.” Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) tried to argue that Trump had encouraged or condoned violence by his supporters. But Trump defense lawyer David Schoen destroyed that claim: There’s that famous quote, like one of the house managers said, “A lie will travel halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its shoes on.” Well, this lie traveled around the world a few times, and made its way into the Biden campaign talking points, and ended up on the Senate floor. The...
    Savannah Rychcik February 12, 2021 0 Comments A Missouri newspaper is accusing Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley of bringing “additional embarrassment” to the state after supporting former President Donald Trump amid his impeachment trial. “The Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump should be an opportunity for Missouri Sens. Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley to redeem themselves for blindly supporting a man whose conduct was indefensible,” the editorial board wrote in an op-ed published on Wednesday. They added, “Instead, they continue bringing additional embarrassment to the state after having flirted with the abolition of democracy in favor of keeping a dictator wannabe in the White House.” The editorial board went on to argue Hawley is the “Senate’s biggest cheerleader” when it comes to supporting Trump’s claims he won the election and how he should not take responsibility for the riots at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. ...
    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Thursday that it is “crystal clear” to everyone involved that former President Donald Trump will not be convicted in his Senate impeachment trial. “I think the end result of this impeachment trial is crystal clear to everybody … Donald Trump will be acquitted,” Cruz predicted Thursday. “And every person in the senate chamber understands there are not the votes to convict him.” Cruz made the comment after House impeachment managers completed their presentation arguing for Trump to be convicted of “inciting an insurrection” leading up to the Capitol Hill siege last month that resulted in several deaths. Cruz’s Republican colleague Sen. Lindsey Graham agreed that Trump would be acquitted and said he has told the president he has nothing to worry about. “I think his team will do better, can do better,” Graham said to reporters. “I reinforced to the president the case is...
    What's that old saying? The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over while expecting a different outcome. Yeah, actually, that isn’t the most apt description of Senate Republicans, who are all but certain to repeat the same mistake they made just one year ago: acquitting Donald Trump of slam-dunk impeachment charges.    Nope, insanity is much too kind an explanation when it comes to GOP lawmakers' incessant cowardice regarding Trump. Endlessly craven, congenitally lazy, indubitably stupid—those descriptions, or some combination of the three, all work. You see, after five years of thinking they could simultaneously hug Trump and let him burn himself out without getting scorched in the process, they have once again settled on an unsupported conclusion that just happens to justify total inaction on their part to solve their Trump problem. The new rationale goes something like this: House Democrats have done such...
    Madison Summers February 12, 2021 0 Comments Trump’s defense team is coming out swinging, slamming the claim former President Donald Trump “encouraged” violence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 is a “monstrous lie.” “To claim that the president in any way wished, desired or encouraged lawless or violent behavior is a preposterous and monstrous lie,” Michael van der Veen, an attorney for Trump, said during Friday’s Senate impeachment trial. Van der Veen then pointed to Trump’s tweets on that day where he told protesters to “stay peaceful” and “no violence because we are the party of law and order” in defense. Watch the video below: "To claim that the president in any way wished, desired or encouraged lawless or violent behavior is a preposterous and monstrous lie," Trumps legal counsel says during the #impeachmenttrial. https://t.co/D2izN4zffb pic.twitter.com/hGOaRJrQuX— ABC News (@ABC) February 12, 2021 NBC News fact-checked Trump’s...
    WASHINGTON - Lawyers for Donald Trump have begun their defense of the former U.S. president in his second impeachment trial. They argue he bears no responsibility for the deadly mob attack on the U.S. Capitol and that it is unconstitutional to try him since he has already left office. Trump’s lawyers are appealling to Republican senators by acknowledging Democrats’ arguments that the violence that left five people dead was illegal and unacceptable, but that the former president played no part in inciting the insurrection. WATCH LIVE The attorneys previously said they would need only one day to present their client’s case before the U.S. Senate, although they are entitled to 16 hours over two days. They are mounting the former president’s defense without any testimony from Trump, who has declined to participate in Friday’s session of the trial.  The defense follows a two-day presentation by House Democrats linking Trump’s rhetoric at a rally on Jan. 6 to the actions of the mob that overtook the U.S. Capitol shortly afterward in an attempt to block the certification of the 2020 presidential...
    (CNN)The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump has been a riveting and disturbing drama — even as we know it will almost certainly end with an acquittal. Trumps lawyers strike back at DemocratsImpeachment, after all, is a political process. The Senate majority establishes the rules of the trial, which can determine whether witnesses are called or what evidence is introduced. Oaths to impartiality notwithstanding, senators have throughout history almost always voted along party lines. As Daniel Goldman, the former lead counsel for House Democrats in the first Trump impeachment trial, told me this week on The Axe Files podcast, "It is a misnomer to call it a trial. It bears so little resemblance to what actually happens in a courtroom." That was underscored on Thursday evening when three Republican "jurors" met with Trump's legal team after the House managers wrapped up their arguments. What has been so remarkable...
    The cause of death of Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick — who passed after sustaining injuries in the Capitol attack, and whose death has played a role in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump — remains remarkably unclear. “The insurrectionists killed a Capitol Police officer by striking him in the head with a fire extinguisher,” the House impeachment managers stated in their pretrial memo. The claim appears to have been based on reporting that came out in the aftermath of the attack. But other conflicting reports, including a new one from CNN regarding efforts to bring charges in his death, have challenged it. The claim from Democrats is based on a Jan. 8 story in the New York Times — “Capitol Police Officer Dies from Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage“ — that reported, “At some point in the chaos — with the mob rampaging through the halls of Congress while lawmakers were forced...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 1:15 p.m. Donald Trump’s lawyers are arguing that his words to his supporters who attacked the U.S. Capitol – to “fight like hell” – are common political rhetoric, using a video montage to show almost every single Senate Democrat using the word “fight” in political speeches. The lengthy video featured Vice President Kamala Harris, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and countless other Democrats using the word “fight,” without context. The video also featured most of the Democratic impeachment managers who are prosecuting the case that Trump incited the violent insurrection. Once the video finished, lawyer David Schoen pointed at both the senators and the impeachment managers and told them to “stop the hypocrisy.” The Democratic prosecutors have argued that Trump’s supporters were primed for violence on Jan. 6, the...
    Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyer Michael T. van der Veen pushed the wild conspiracy theory that Antifa was responsible for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, claiming that “a small group who came to engage in violent and menacing behavior hijacked the event for their own purposes.” “According to publicly available reporting, it apparent that extremists of various different stripes and political persuasion, preplanned and premeditated an attack on the Capitol,” he said. “One of the first people arrested was the leader of Antifa. Sadly, he was also among the first to be released.” Van der Veen is presumably referencing activist John Sullivan, who was charged with obstructing law enforcement at the Jan. 6 insurrection. Although Sullivan did organize protests against police brutality this summer, an investigation by The Grayzone labeled Sulllivan as a “notorious instigator,” adding that he was “banished” by the Black Lives Matter movement. Van der Veen also seemed...
    More On: Trump impeachment trial Trump lawyers point to Democratic violence at ‘sham’ impeachment trial Trump’s legal team presents opening arguments at impeachment trial Trump impeachment trial: Day 4 schedule, time and how to watch Dems resume opening arguments on Day 3 of Trump impeachment trial Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial defense lawyers on Friday argued that the Democratic case against him rests on “reported” allegations — and that in a courtroom, he could not be convicted. Attorney David Schoen played for senators a montage of video clips of impeachment managers using the words “reportedly,” “reported” and “reports” over and over to describe Trump’s conduct relating to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, which they have accused him of inciting. “The House managers facing a significant lack of evidence turned often to press reports and rumors during these proceedings. Claims that would never meet the evidentiary standards of any...
    All eyes are on Sen. Bill Cassidy, one of the likeliest Republican senators to join with Democrats and vote in favor of convicting former President Donald Trump on the “incitement of insurrection” impeachment charge. The Louisiana senator, who easily won a second, six-year term in 2020, has said that he has not yet decided how he is going to vote and wanted to wait to hear arguments from both sides. But he signaled that Trump’s impeachment defense has a tough task ahead to sway him to acquit. On the way to the Senate floor for the fourth day of the impeachment trial on Friday, Cassidy said that Democratic House impeachment managers raised "very intriguing questions," such as, "If this is not impeachable, what is?" "Ted Lieu’s comment [that] we have to worry about somebody coming back and losing if this is what they did when they lost...
    Donald Trump’s impeachment defense begins—and is expected to end—today, following two days of argument for his guilt by the House impeachment managers. That prosecution was rock solid, tracing out how Trump set the stage to delegitimize an election he lost, then followed through when he did lose, insisting that the election must have been stolen. They showed that Trump himself chose the date of Jan. 6 for an event—which he promised “will be wild”—calling his supporters to Washington, D.C. on the day Congress met to certify the election results. They showed his repeated pressure and public attacks on Mike Pence, who he wanted to overturn the election. They showed how he encouraged the rally crowd outside the White House to be angry and to march on the Capitol. They showed how the mob received Trump’s instructions, saying it themselves in videos of the Capitol attack and in interviews and court documents since...
    Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers assailed the impeachment proceedings Feb. 12, arguing that they were nothing more than a political hit. Michael van der Veen, a Philadelphia-area criminal defense and personal injury lawyer, described the Article of Impeachment for “incitement to insurrection” as “an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance.” He said that the impeachment “only further divides our nation when we should be trying to come together over shared priorities.” Van der Veen’s first comments echoed statements he and fellow defense attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor made Feb. 9. Trump’s defense lawyers and House impeachment manager argued whether or not the impeachment proceedings were constitutional. Then, the Senate voted 56-44 that the proceedings were constitutional. Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy changed his mind on the constitutionality from an earlier vote, telling CNN that Trump’s attorneys “did everything they could but to talk about the question...
    Former Republican South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy said Friday that Democrats don’t expect to win in the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump — they just want to make the process “as painful as possible” for Republicans. WATCH: “The good news for the president’s lawyers is they can’t lose the case,” Gowdy told Fox News’ “The Faulkner File.” “A high school mock trial team will win this case. The jury is not going to convict Donald Trump.” “However, I’m not convinced that was the Democrats’ point. I think they want to make it as painful as possible for Republicans and, to the extent that he’s the head of the Republican Party, help themselves in 2022 and 2024,” he said. (RELATED: ‘You Cannot Overstate The Loathing’: Brit Hume Says Impeachment Is ‘Half-Baked’ But Based On Hatred For Trump) “So what do [Trump’s] lawyers need to do? Just take Kamala...
    Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) is dead wrong when he says that former President Donald Trump can be impeached for political speech that is protected by the First Amendment, and it speaks volumes about this unconstitutional sham of a Senate impeachment trial. The Democrat House impeachment managers concluded their arguments regarding the former president on Thursday. Knowing the main points the Trump team’s arguments are about to make to the Senate, lead manager Raskin included in his remarks that even if Trump’s words on January 6 were protected by the First Amendment, he can still be impeached and convicted for them.  This is an outrage that would have been unthinkable just a few short years ago. I have already opined on why trying the impeachment of a former president is unconstitutional and what advice I would give Trump.  But Raskin took this sham to a new low of unconstitutionality when he...
    Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), the No. 2 Republican senator, indicated on Friday that he could be open to censuring former President TrumpDonald TrumpNRCC finance chair: Republicans who voted for Trump impeachment will not be penalized Blinken, UN head share first call after US rejoins Climate Accords, WHO GOP senators met with Trump's impeachment team to talk strategy MORE, depending on how the resolution was framed.  Asked about censuring Trump, Thune indicated that proposals are floating around but caveated that it would need be "effective."  "I know there are a couple of resolutions out there. ... I've seen a couple of resolutions at least that I think could attract some support," Thune told reporters.  Pressed if he was saying the resolutions could get support from him, he added: "Yeah."  Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineRepealing the AUMF is Biden's opportunity to end the 'forever wars' Senators show signs of fatigue on third day of Trump trial LIVE COVERAGE: Democrats conclude case against Trump MORE...
    During a Friday appearance on “The Hugh Hewitt Show,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) discussed the Senate impeachment proceedings against former President Donald Trump. Rubio, who is voting to acquit Trump of the allegations of inciting an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol last month, warned the country will “regret” ruling the impeachment of someone no longer in office is constitutional. “Even assuming Congress did have the constitutional power to impeach and remove a former official, it shouldn’t, and here’s why. It’s the creation of a new political weapon that will. We will see used. We’ll regret creating that weapon. One day, it’ll be used by a Democratic Senate to disqualify a former cabinet member who wants to challenge a Democratic incumbent. And one day, it’ll be used by a former Republican, future Republican Senate to disqualify a Democratic vice president from running for president. We’ll regret creating that tool. Donald Trump is...
    Former President Donald Trump’s defense lawyer Michael van der Veen started his defense at Friday's Senate impeachment trial arguing Democrats objected to Trump’s 2016 election win and engaged in their own behavior aimed at incitement. “The article of impeachment now before the Senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance,” van der Veen told Republicans and Democrats gathered for the fourth day of Trump’s impeachment trial. After days of dramatic video footage Democratic impeachment managers presented to show the severity of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by pro-Trump protesters, the defense team played their own montage that showed prominent Democrats making incendiary comments. President Biden, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sens. John Tester and Cory Booker, and Rep. Maxine Waters, were among the Democrats the defense team portrayed on video making arguably inflammatory statements about Trump and in support of the violent and deadly social justice protests...
    More On: Trump impeachment hearings Mitt Romney praises Capitol cop for ushering him to safety during riot Wyoming GOP censures Liz Cheney over Trump impeachment vote Big Tech’s war on indie news and other commentary Letters to the editor — Jan. 28, 2021 Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial defense began Friday with a video montage repudiation of alleged hypocrisy from congressional Democrats. Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen played clips of House Democrats — including lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) — objecting in 2016 to certification of Trump’s electors. “The entire Democratic Party and national news media spent the last four years repeating without any evidence that the 2016 election had been hacked — and falsely and absurdly claimed the president of the United States was a Russian spy,” van der Veen said. The defense attorney said that Trump was not guilty of inciting the mob...
    More On: Trump impeachment trial Trump’s legal team presents opening arguments at impeachment trial Trump impeachment trial: Day 4 schedule, time and how to watch Dems resume opening arguments on Day 3 of Trump impeachment trial Biden says he didn’t watch Trump Senate trial, monitored coverage WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers charged Democrats with launching a “blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance” as they opened their case on Day 4 of the trial Friday. Addressing the chamber, attorney Michael van der Veen played a brutal montage of Democratic lawmakers objecting to Trump’s 2016 electoral college victory and inciting their own brand of political violence. “This appalling abuse of the Constitution only further divides our nation when we should be trying to come together around shared priorities,” van der Veen said, dubbing the trial “constitutional cancel culture.” “Like every other politically motivated witch hunt the left has...
    “So the point I’m trying to make is you don’t even have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this constitutional republic if this body determines that your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds in your role. [...] Because impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office.” No, that’s not Reps. Jamie Raskin or Stacey Plaskett this week laying out the case against Donald Trump. It’s then-Rep. Lindsey Graham in January 1999 speaking as an impeachment manager in the Senate trial of Bill Clinton for lying about sex. On Thursday, Sens. Graham and Ted Cruz and Mike Lee met for an extended period strategizing behind closed doors with the Trump defense team not on how to cleanse and restore the office of the presidency, but how to twist the record to defend Trump...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 12:40 p.m. Donald Trump’s lawyers have opened their arguments in the former president’s impeachment trial with a direct attack on Democrats. Arguing that Trump did not incite the Jan. 6 insurrection of his supporters at the U.S. Capitol, lawyer Michael van der Veen said that the trial is “constitutional cancel culture” by Democrats trying to retain power. He played a video of Democrats calling for protests after Black men and women were killed by police officers and objecting to Trump’s election in 2017. Trump’s supporters violently attacked the Capitol last month after he falsely claimed the presidential election was stolen from him for months and then told them to “fight like hell” as Congress counted the votes. The lawyers are arguing that the trial is unconstitutional, that Trump is protected by freedom of...
    To view past editions of The Hill's 12:30 Report, click here: http://bit.ly/1M1mIfw To receive The Hill's 12:30 Report in your inbox, please sign up here: http://bit.ly/1Tt4hqN  --> A midday take on what's happening in politics and how to have a sense of humor about it.* *Ha. Haha. Hahah. Sniff. Haha. Sniff. Ha--breaks down crying hysterically.    The Hill’s 12:30 Report: Trump’s lawyers begin oral arguments, hoping for a reset | Biden ‘anxious’ to see how Republicans vote | Acquittal may still mean end for Trump’s shot at future office | Trial sights and sounds | Pence's 'nuclear football' in danger on Jan. 6 | Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyBiden takes cautious tack on China as tensions simmer The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by TikTok - Senate trial will have drama, but no surprise ending Biden administration announces plans to rejoin UN human rights council MORE regrets ‘following’ Trump | Says ‘he let us down’ | Bidens decorate White House lawn with giant...
    WASHINGTON -- Lawyers for Donald Trump opened his impeachment defense Friday by strenuously denying he played any role in inciting the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, blasting the case against him as political vengeance and part of a yearslong Democratic "witch hunt."An attorney for the former president told senators that Trump was entitled to dispute the 2020 election results and that his doing so, including in a speech that preceded the assault on the Capitol, did not amount to inciting the violence that followed."Nothing in the text could ever be construed as encouraging, condoning or enticing unlawful activity," said Michael van der Veen, one of Trump's attorneys.After a prosecution case rooted in emotive, violent images from the Capitol siege, the impeachment trial shifted to defense lawyers who were prepared to make a fundamental concession: The violence was every bit as traumatic, unacceptable and illegal as Democrats say - but...