Trump Lawyers Deliver Mind-Numblingly Stupid Opening Argument


Although their behavior isn’t exactly surprising, the Trump defense team in his ongoing impeachment trial in the Senate is unhinged. During proceedings on Friday, among other inane antics, his team even played a video montage interspersing remarks from the ex-president with remarks from some of his political opponents, who Trump’s lawyers hoped to cast in a negative light. Laughably, the montage included bombastic music that had been edited into the presentation — when Trump spoke, the music sounded triumphant, but when his opponents spoke, the music sounded grim and menacing. It’s like they’re still living in a fantasy world in which Trump is some kind of pseudo-messiah.

As the proceedings got underway, Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen complained to Senators as follows:

‘The article of impeachment now before the Senate is an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance. This appalling abuse of the Constitution only further divides our nation when we should be trying to come together around shared priorities. 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. The Senate should promptly and decisively vote to reject it. No thinking person could seriously believe that the president’s January 6 speech was in any way an incitement to violence or insurrection. The suggestion is patently absurd on its face. Nothing in the text could ever be construed as encouraging, condoning, or enticing unlawful activity of any kind.’

Check out his comments below:

Here’s the reality: as House impeachment case managers have repeatedly established, Trump’s incitement of violence goes well beyond his January 6 remarks, when he told his supporters to “fight like hell.” For months, Trump pushed lies to his supporters about the integrity of the 2020 presidential election, and the rioters used these lies as a pretext. At the rally where Trump spoke on January 6, attendees shouted “Storm the Capitol!” and “invade the Capitol building.” The connection between Trump’s rhetoric and the violence is obvious. There’s no legitimate arguing with people who stubbornly insist otherwise.

At another point, Trump’s legal team played a montage of Democratic leaders using the word “fight” in an attempt to prove their claim that Trump’s usage of the word should not be considered inappropriate. However, this montage — like the one before it with the laughably bombastic music — ignored key pieces of context. Pretending like calling for Americans to “fight” COVID-19 is somehow equatable with Trump calling for his supporters to “fight like hell” to save the country from imaginary election fraud is wild.

In the earlier montage, Trump’s legal team included footage of Biden speaking approvingly of “peaceful” protesters and followed up the footage with video of decidedly non-peaceful demonstrators, but pretending like the many actual peaceful protests are some kind of illusion is ridiculous. Holding two thoughts at once should not be this difficult for Republicans! Biden unequivocally condemned all violence and expressed support for the very real peaceful protests, and these two situations are distinct. Watch the wild montage below:

Later on, fellow Trump lawyer David Schoen insisted that there is “significant reason to doubt the evidence the House managers have put before us.” In a feat of pompous self-importance, Schoen added that Trump’s team has “reason to believe” that the House managers “manipulated evidence,” eventually elaborating that his side supposedly has “reason to believe that the House managers created false representations of tweets.” Schoen complained that House managers made so-called re-creations of the ex-president’s tweets — but there’s no way to get first-hand copies of the tweets anymore because Twitter removed Trump’s account due to incitement of violence! Only secondhand recods are available. These people on Trump’s side are just not serious people. They’re partisans, devoted to Trump.