Former US President Donald Trump’s impeachment charge of ‘incitement to insurrection’, according to defence lawyers, is a “monstrous lie”. As Trump’s second historic impeachment trial is ongoing, his defence lawyers presented evidence in front of the US Senate to prove former President’s innocence. Lawyer Michael van der Veen called the entire impeachment proceedings against Trump a “politically motivated witch hunt" by the Democrats.
Donald Trump is accused of causing the riots in the US Capitol on January 6 that left at least five people dead. However, he denies the charge. Even though Democrats went ahead with impeaching Trump and starting a trial for the first time in US history against a former President, most Republicans have again indicated that they will not vote to convict him. The defence team reportedly took less than four hours of its total 16 hours, trying to move the impeachment trial faster. After them, Senators who are now acting as jurors were given four hours to ask questions to both the sides.
Before listening to the defence, the senators also sat through the minute-by-minute accounts featuring audio and video clips presented by Democrat prosecutors who sought to show that the former US President had a pattern of inciting violence and that he failed to prevent the US Capitol riot. However, van der Veen cited some groups that indicated that the violence last month inside the federal building was already planned. Therefore, Trump's lawyer stated, "You can't incite what was already going to happen."
"To claim that the president in any way wished, desired or encouraged lawless or violent behaviour is a preposterous and monstrous lie. In fact, the first two messages the president sent via Twitter once the incursion at the Capitol began were 'Stay Peaceful' and "No violence because we are the party of law and order,'" the lawyer said.
United States House impeachment managers rested their case on the third day of former President Donald Trump’s day three of impeachment trial on February 11 after concluding that the deadly Capitol attack was incited by him throughout his presidency beset by lies and violent rhetoric. The impeachment managers, in front of Senators who are acting as both jurors and witnesses, warned gravely that Trump would remain a grave threat to the American democracy if not convicted during the second historic impeachment trial and barred from holding any federal office in the future.
The impeachment managers declared that the former Republican President is “overwhelmingly guilty” of inciting the insurrection on January 6 riot in one of the most secure buildings of the nation. Congressman, Jamie Raskin, the lead impeachment manager questioned the senators seated silently before him after witnessing graphic visuals of the attack on US Capitol, “If you think this is not impeachable, what is? What would be?”. Raskin further added, “If you don’t find this a high crime and misdemeanour today, you have set a new, terrible standard for presidential misconduct in the United States of America.”