Trump Lawyers Present Powerful Arguments Against Impeachment, Ridicule Basis of Proceedings
Feb. 12 , 2021 (EIRNS)—During the second day of the defense’s case during the Trump “show trial,” attorneys for former President Donald Trump presented extremely powerful arguments for acquittal. Was Trump unique in urging his supporters to “fight like hell” (the language in the article of impeachment)? Attorney David Schoen played a lengthy video showing Democrats, during their campaigning, arguing time and again, for people to “fight,” or “fight hard” or “fight like hell,” including a single speech from Kamala Harris in which she used the word dozens of times. Michael Van der Veen argued that all of this speech was legal and covered by the First Amendment. The right to free speech applies not only to the congressmen but also to the President.
More dramatically, he showed clips of some of the more egregious encouragement some federal lawmakers, as well as Vice President Harris, gave to the left-wing rioters who were upending the country prior to the election. This included Rep. Maxine Waters’ calls to create mobs around Trump administration officials were they to venture out in public.
There were clips of Democratic lawmakers—including among the impeachment managers—objecting to the counting of electoral votes in the past. There were clips of Democrats claiming that past elections were fraudulent—most notably Stacey Abrams in 2018 and Hillary Clinton after her 2016 defeat.
He also made the argument that “hate” was wrong wherever it came from, and drew the conclusion that what happened on January 6th, with people, virtually up in arms over the published election results, had occurred in an atmosphere that had been fueled by the years-long hate campaign of the Democrats against the sitting President. And showing the video of President Trump’s actual speech to the demonstrators before they went to the Capitol showed that President Trump had clearly called for a “peaceful demonstration.”
Van der Veen also went after the House managers’ attempt to discourage anyone from taking up President Trump’s defense by presenting a letter from 100 or so lawyers saying that any case presented would be “frivolous,” and given that intentionally presenting a frivolous case, could lead to penalties against the lawyers doing that, this was also a personal threat to them.
Van der Veen’s legal arguments were based on the work of Founding Father James Wilson, one of the first associate justices of the Supreme Court and one of the framers of the Constitution, who wrote extensively on the role of impeachment. Van der Veen characterized the impeachment trial as “an act of vengeance” and used quotes from Wilson to prove that the entire proceeding that was occurring now was absolutely unconstitutional and furthermore impinged on the constitutional rights of the President, who, as an elected official, merited an even more expansive freedom of speech right.
The mischaracterization of Trump’s statements also came to light, including the “very fine people” statement about Charlottesville, whose full context makes it absolutely plain to anyone that Trump was not referring to violent neo-Nazis or white supremacists when he described non-violent demonstrators for maintaining the Robert E. Lee statue.