Trump’s Lawyer Gets Laughed At During Humiliating Saturday Opening

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The beginning of the Senate trial proceedings against ex-President Donald Trump didn’t go great for his side on Saturday. At one point, the Senate chamber literally burst into laughter in response to comments from Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen after, amidst a debate over calling witnesses, he insisted that depositions should be taken at his personal office in Philadelphia — which he pronounced as “Philly-delphia,” for some reason. Van der Veen didn’t exactly respond jovially to the laughter — in fact, he kind of freaked out. Where did Trump find these guys? On a “Bad Lawyers Here” listing?

Van der Veen ranted, at one point, as follows:

‘If he does [call witnesses], there are a lot of depositions that need to happen. Nancy Pelosi’s deposition needs to be taken. Vice President Harris’s deposition absolutely needs to be taken, and not by Zoom. None of these depositions should be done by Zoom. We didn’t do this hearing by Zoom. These depositions should be done in person in my office in Philadelphia. That’s where they should be done.’

Subsequently, his audience began laughing. Van der Veen angrily insisted in response to the laughter that “that’s the way it works, folks,” putting special emphasis on the word “folks,” for some reason. He then patronizingly — and rather angrily, while making somewhat aggressively flailing hand gestures — discussed “civil process.” Check out footage of the moment below:

Before Van der Veen’s fury, lead House impeachment case manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) announced that his team wished to hear testimony from Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.), who has revealed that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) relayed a very troubling conversation that he had with then-President Donald Trump on the day of the rioting at the Capitol on January 6. According to Herrera Beutler’s secondhand accounting, Trump told McCarthy that the people swarming the Capitol building were “more upset about the election than you are,” as if he explicitly supported their actions. This apparent support, of course, isn’t exactly new — on the day of the rioting, Trump said that “these are the things and events that happen” when a presidential election victory is stolen — which didn’t actually happen, of course, but Trump nevertheless justified the violence.

Raskin commented as follows:

‘There’s nothing unusual about [discussing witnesses]. I think we’ve done an exceedingly thorough and comprehensive job with all the evidence that was available. Last night, this was breaking news… The information that came out last night by Congresswoman Beutler apparently backed up by contemporaneous notes that she had taken I think will put to rest any lingering doubts raised by the president’s counsel, who now says he wants to interview hundreds of people.’

Watch Raskin below:

The Senate eventually approved calling witnesses, with a handful of Republicans — including Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and others — in support of the move.