Andrew BuncombeFri, 12 February 2021, 6:24 pm
Donald Trump’s impeachment is an “unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance” that amounts to a witch hunt, the former president’s lawyers have argued.
A day after Democrats concluded their case against Mr Trump, during which they played video showing the violence that swept the US Capitol on January 6, the ex-president’s fiery speech that proceeded, his lawyers played senators clips of Democrats themselves using combative language.
“This appalling abuse of the Constitution only further divides our nation when we should be trying to come together around shared priorities,” said lawyer Michael van der Veen.
“Like every other politically motivated witch hunt, the left has engaged in over the past four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence, and the interests of the American people. The Senate should promptly and decisively vote to reject it.”
He added: “No thinking person could seriously believe that the president’s speech on January 6 was an incitement to violence or insurrection. [It] is absurd on its face.”
A second lawyer David Schoen alleged that Democrats had “manipulated” evidence played to the Senate.
He claimed Democrats had “reconstructed” some of Mr Trump’s tweets without informing senators they had done so. He said the appearance of “blue ticks” on the Twitter accounts of individuals who do not have one was proof of something underhand.
Many on social media argued that the Democrats’s condensing of some of the former president’s claims into a package, did not equate to manipulation,
Mr Schoen also played senators a package of Democrats repeatedly using the word “fight”, seeking to equate it to Mr Trump’s comments on the the morning of January 6, when he told supporters: “We fight like hell and if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”https://platform.twitter.com/embed/Tweet.html?dnt=false&embedId=twitter-widget-8&frame=false&hideCard=false&hideThread=false&id=1360286781665607683&lang=en-gb&origin=https%3A%2F%2Fuk.yahoo.com%2Fnews%2Ftrump-ally-nikki-haley-turns-125352176.html&theme=light&widgetsVersion=889aa01%3A1612811843556&width=550px
Commentators pointed out that one of the examples used in what was quickly labelled a “fight club” package, was a comment from Democratic senator Chuck Schumer about “fighting the health crisis of Covid.”