Over the weekend, the Senate impeachment trial of ex-President Donald Trump drew to a close with seven Republicans joining all 50 members of the Democratic caucus in voting to convict Trump — and on Saturday, around the end of the trial, Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen appears to have stolen coasters that were seemingly provided as part of formal furnishings for the trial by the Senate. The Washington Post itself noted the incident, sharing that, after arguments concluded, “Van der Veen did return to the lectern, where he appeared to pocket Senate coasters.”
Check out footage of the moment below:
Trump's impeachment lawyer steals coasters from the Senate chamber pic.twitter.com/JAbXjKBxBf
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) February 15, 2021
Van der Veen is a personal injury lawyer from the Philadelphia area, and his private practice background aptly reflects the haphazard nature of Trump’s impeachment trial defense team.
Besides Van der Veen, the team also included David Schoen — a lawyer for Jeffrey Epstein — and Bruce Castor, a former Philly area district attorney who refused to bring a case against Bill Cosby over his sexual predation, claiming insufficient evidence. A Castor successor brought and won a case against Cosby, who’s now in jail — and Castor once sued one of Cosby’s victims, Andrea Constand, claiming that her push for consequences for Cosby and an accompanying defamation lawsuit against Castor unfairly cost the Trump lawyer his role as district attorney because of bad publicity. After more than several years out of office, Castor lost an election in 2015 in which he sought to regain the position.
The actual arguments from Trump’s defense team weren’t more compelling than their backgrounds. Van der Veen attracted attention for his repeated expressions of anger, including after House impeachment case managers called to include witness testimony in the trial. After Van der Veen insisted in response that he’d want to take depositions of people like Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris at his personal office in Philadelphia — which he pronounced as “Philly-delphia,” for some reason — the Senate chamber burst into laughter. Van der Veen did not take kindly to this reaction — in fact, he freaked out, screeching at the Senate about what he called “civil process.”
This is quite the temper tantrum
— Angry Staffer (@Angry_Staffer) February 13, 2021
At another point in the Senate trial, Castor attracted attention for a rambling opening argument in which he — among other things — characterized Nebraska as a “judicial thinking place,” spoke nostalgically about record players, and praised the voice of the late Senator Everett Dirksen. The Trump defense was clownery all around.
Trump lawyer Bruce Castor, who is supposed to be arguing that the trial is unconstitutional, is talking about the voice of former Sen. Everett Dirksen, senators who say they represent 'the great state of…' in speeches, and Senate staffers calling their bosses, 'my senator.'
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) February 9, 2021