WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — After only 2.5 hours, former President Donald Trump’s defense team rested their case in the Senate impeachment trial for inciting the insurrection.
Trump’s lawyers attacked the House impeachment managers and Democrats for twisting Trump’s words and taking them out of context. As attorney Michael van der Veen said, “This impeachment is completely divorced from the facts.”
The legal team told senators that “no thinking person” would believe Trump incited the violence at the US Capitol on January 6.
“They selectively edited the president’s words over and over again,” attorney David Schoen said.
Trump’s team said the House impeachment managers were dishonest and left out or downplayed much of Trump’s speech on January 6. They argued the “peaceful gathering” was hijacked by “a small group” of violent protesters. When Trump told people to fight, it was political language also used by Democrats.
“Suddenly the word ‘fight’ is off limits?” van der Veen asked rhetorically. “Spare us the hypocrisy and false indignation.”
Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal said there’s no comparison. When Democrats urged their supporters to fight, it didn’t end with violence and death.
“I think it is plainly a distraction from Donald Trump’s inviting the mob to Washington knowing it was armed,” Blumenthal said.
Friday afternoon, members of the Senate asked questions of both the House managers and Trump’s defense team.
It is likely a final vote on the article of impeachment will happen this weekend.