Add news
March 2010
April 2010
May 2010June 2010July 2010
August 2010
September 2010October 2010
November 2010
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011March 2011April 2011May 2011June 2011July 2011August 2011September 2011October 2011November 2011December 2011January 2012February 2012March 2012April 2012May 2012June 2012July 2012August 2012September 2012October 2012November 2012December 2012January 2013February 2013March 2013April 2013May 2013June 2013July 2013August 2013September 2013October 2013November 2013December 2013January 2014February 2014March 2014April 2014May 2014June 2014July 2014August 2014September 2014October 2014November 2014December 2014January 2015February 2015March 2015April 2015May 2015June 2015July 2015August 2015September 2015October 2015November 2015December 2015January 2016February 2016March 2016April 2016May 2016June 2016July 2016August 2016September 2016October 2016November 2016December 2016January 2017February 2017March 2017April 2017May 2017June 2017July 2017August 2017September 2017October 2017November 2017December 2017January 2018February 2018March 2018April 2018May 2018June 2018July 2018August 2018September 2018October 2018November 2018December 2018January 2019February 2019March 2019April 2019May 2019June 2019July 2019August 2019September 2019October 2019November 2019December 2019January 2020February 2020March 2020April 2020May 2020June 2020July 2020August 2020September 2020October 2020November 2020December 2020January 2021February 2021March 2021
123456789
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
News Every Day |

Trump lawyers decry his trial, say Democrats cry 'fight' too

Trump lawyers decry his trial, say Democrats cry 'fight' too

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for Donald Trump opened his impeachment defense Friday by accusing Democrats of waging a campaign of “hatred” against the former president and manipulating his words in the lead-up to the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol. Their presentation included a blizzard of their own selectively edited fiery comments from Democrats.

In hours of arguments, the Trump legal team characterized the impeachment case as a politically motivated “witch hunt" — an outgrowth, they said, of years of efforts to drive him from office — and they sought to reduce the case to Trump's use of a single word, “fight,” in a speech preceding the Jan. 6 riot. They played dozens of clips showing Democrats, some of them senators now serving as jurors, using the same word to energize supporters in speeches railing against Trump.

“You didn't do anything wrong" in using the word, Trump attorney David Schoen told the senators. “But, please, stop the hypocrisy.”

The Trump defense team left out that what Trump was doing in telling his supporters to “fight like hell” was to undermine an election that the states and Congress declared was free and fair, basing his exhortations on false attacks on the integrity of voting systems. Instead, they said, he was simply telling his supporters to press Congress for reforms to the election process — something he was entitled to do.

The case is speeding toward a conclusion and near-certain acquittal, perhaps as soon as Saturday. The defense arguments and the quick pivot to the Democrats' own words deflected from the central question of the trial — whether Trump incited the assault on the Capitol — and instead aimed to place impeachment managers and Trump adversaries on the defensive .

After a two-day effort by Democrats to sync up Trump's words to the violence that followed, including through raw and emotive video footage, defense lawyers suggested that Democrats have typically engaged in the same overheated rhetoric as Trump.

But in trying to draw that equivalency, the defenders minimized Trump's monthslong, efforts to undermine the election results and his exhortations to followers to do the same. Democrats say that long campaign, rooted in a “big lie,” laid the groundwork for the mob that assembled outside the Capitol and stormed inside. Five people died.

Without Trump, who in a speech at a rally preceding the violence told supporters to “fight like hell,” the violence would never have happened, Democrats say.

“And so they came, draped in Trump’s flag, and used our flag, the American flag, to batter and to bludgeon," Rep. Madeleine Dean, one of the impeachment managers, said Thursday as she choked back emotion."

Trump's defenders told senators that Trump was entitled to dispute the 2020 election results and that his doing so did not amount to inciting the violence. They sought to turn the tables on prosecutors by likening the Democrats' questioning of the legitimacy of Trump's 2016 win to his challenge of his election loss. When Trump implored supporters to “fight like hell” on Jan. 6, he was speaking figuratively, they said.

“This is ordinarily political rhetoric that is virtually indistinguishable from the language that has been used by people across the political spectrum for hundreds of years,” said Michael van der Veen, another Trump lawyer. “Countless politicians have spoken of fighting for our principles.”

The defense team did not dispute the horror of the violence, painstakingly reconstructed by impeachment managers earlier in the week, but said it had been carried out by people who had “hijacked” for their own purposes what was supposed to be a peaceful event and had planned violence before Trump had spoken.

“You can't incite what was going to happen,” he said.

Acknowledging the reality of the January day is meant to blunt the visceral impact of the House Democrats' case and quickly pivot to what Trump's defenders see as the core — and more winnable — issue of the trial: Whether Trump actually incited the riot. The argument is likely to appeal to Republican senators who want to be seen as condemning the violence but without convicting the president.

Anticipating defense efforts to disentangle Trump's rhetoric from the rioters' actions, the impeachment managers spent days trying to fuse them together through a reconstruction of never-been-seen video footage alongside clips of the president's monthslong urging of his supporters to undo the election results.

Democrats, who concluded their case Thursday, used the rioters’ own videos and words from Jan. 6 to try to pin responsibility on Trump. “We were invited here,” said one Capitol invader. “Trump sent us,” said another. “He’ll be happy. We’re fighting for Trump.”

The prosecutors' goal was to cast Trump not as a bystander but rather as the “inciter in chief” who spread election falsehoods, then encouraged supporters to come challenge the results in Washington and fanned the discontent with rhetoric about fighting and taking back the country.

The Democrats also are demanding that he be barred from holding future federal office.

But Trump's lawyers say that goal only underscores the “hatred” Democrats feel for Trump. Throughout the trial, they showed clips from Democrats questioning the legitimacy of his presidency and suggesting as early as 2017 that he should be impeached.

“Hatred is at the heart of the house managers’ fruitless attempts to blame Donald Trump for the criminal acts of the rioters based on double hearsay statements of fringe right wing groups based on no real evidence other than rank speculation," van der Veen said.

Trump's lawyers note that in the same Jan. 6 speech he encouraged the crowd to behave “peacefully,” and they contend that his remarks — and his general distrust of the election results — are all protected under the First Amendment. Democrats strenuously resist that assertion, saying his words weren’t political speech but rather amounted to direct incitement of violence.

The defense lawyers also returned to arguments made Tuesday that the trial itself is unconstitutional because Trump is no longer in office. The Senate rejected that contention as it voted to proceed with the trial.

On Thursday, with little hope of conviction by the required two-thirds of the Senate, Democrats delivered a graphic case to the American public, describing in stark, personal terms the terror they faced that day — some of it in the very Senate chamber where senators now are sitting as jurors. They used security video of rioters searching menacingly for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Vice President Mike Pence, smashing into the building and engaging in bloody, hand-to-hand combat with police.

They displayed the many public and explicit instructions Trump gave his supporters — long before the White House rally that unleashed the deadly Capitol attack as Congress was certifying Democrat Joe Biden’s victory.

Several Republican senators, including Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, conferred Thursday with Trump’s lawyers. Cruz told reporters that the senators were discussing legal strategy -- something that would never be permissible in a criminal case. There’s no rule against the Senate jurors strategizing with the lawyers in an impeachment trial, though Democrats can use it to raise questions about impartiality.





Read also

Republicans move to try and IMPEACH Cuomo after ‘sex harassment’ and nursing home ‘bombshells’

Teen Mom Kailyn Lowry’s ex Chris Lopez is ‘taking a break’ from social media as fans speculate he’s not Creed’s father

Men and Women’s Sprints and NIT Championships All Canceled




News, articles, comments, with a minute-by-minute update, now on Today24.pro



Today24.pro — latest news 24/7. You can add your news instantly now — here
News Every Day

Worlds First Fishing Speedrun