Calling the impeachment trial a ‘witch hunt’ and a destructive ‘constitutional cancel culture’, lawyers of the former US President Donald Trump opened their defense Friday with angry outbursts and scathing remarks at Democrats during a Senate hearing. Alleging that the impeachment charge against the ex-POTUS is blatantly “unconstitutional vengeance” by the Democratic party, Trump’s attorneys asserted, that the former president bore “no responsibility” for the US Capitol insurrection and that his speech, cited as ‘staunch evidence’ by Dems, was nothing but a ‘constitutionally protected political discourse.’ Trump’s lawyers, furthermore, accused Dems of “hatred” and “hypocrisy” in an outpouring of grievances in a 3-hour argument at halls of Congress.
“It has become very clear that House Democrats hate Donald Trump,” a Philadelphia personal injury attorney on Trump’s team of attorneys, was quoted saying by Associated Press. Further, he alleged, that “hatred is at the heart” of the sitting administration.
“The former President was exercising his First Amendment right to free speech and can't be found at fault,” attorney van der Veen argued, adding that this was the fact that Senate “cannot ignore.” However, in a letter accessed by AP, as many as 150 constitutional analysts purported that the First Amendment did not apply in impeachment proceedings. Further ahead in the impeachment trial, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders asked Trump’s lawyers to re-iterate that Donald Trump had lost the election. “Trump was telling a big lie,” Bernie said, which the lawyers briskly ignored. “You should have been here on Jan. 6.,” lead prosecutor Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md said.
[Impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. Credit: AP]
Accusing Democrats of reducing impeachment to one word—‘fight’ from Trump’s speech, attorneys said that Trump’s speech, wherein he asked his supporters to ‘fight like hell’, was a call for peaceful protest. Furthermore, lawyers played a lengthy montage of footage showing Democratic leaders, including Joe Biden, repeatedly using the similar words “to fight like hell” during public speeches. “There is a fight in front of us,” Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly said on one of the visuals. Meanwhile, in one other speech, Biden was aired saying that he will take Trump “behind the gym” to “beat the hell out of him.” “You didn’t do anything wrong,” Trump attorney David Schoen told the senators, referring to the similar words that the former politician had put to use. He added, “Please, stop the hypocrisy.” With the defense presenting an argument in 3 of the total allowed 16 hours, the trial is pending conclusion and near-certain acquittal for Saturday.