WASHINGTON – Attorneys for former President Donald Trump are refuting the case brought by House impeachment managers as they take turns presenting arguments on the fourth day of his trial.
“The impeachment article now before this Senate is an unfair and blatantly unconstitutional act of political revenge,” attorney Michael van der Veen told the camera in his opening remarks.
“This appalling abuse of the Constitution only further divides our country when we should be trying to unite around shared priorities,” he continued.
“Like every other politically motivated witch hunt that the left has been involved in in the last four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts,” van der Veen said, before playing a brutal montage of Democratic lawmakers who object to Trump’s victory in the electoral college in 2016.
He maintains that the impeachment “represents a serious threat to the freedom of expression of the political leaders of both parties, at all levels.”
“The Senate must be very careful about the precedent that this case will set,” Van Der Veen said.
The former president’s defense team has 16 hours to present its case, but chief impeachment attorney David Shoen said they would likely only use three to four hours to present their arguments.
This means that a vote on whether to convict or acquit the former president could take place Saturday night if the chamber moves on to the question and answer portion later on Friday.
Many Republican lawmakers were unmoved by the two days of arguments by House attorneys, which relied on dramatic footage, never seen before, to show just how close the troublemakers were to lawmakers when they stormed Capitol Hill on the 6th. from January.
Republican senators said impeachment managers failed to persuade them to convict Trump on the charge that he incited the insurrection, suggesting that Democrats will almost certainly not get the 67 votes they need to convict.
The president’s legal team is expected to argue that Trump is innocent of the accusation of inciting the insurrection and that Democrats stood by while some of their own leaders called for violence against conservatives during the Trump administration and during the unrest in the last summer.
“I think at least you will be moved by what you see and you will get a much better picture of what is happening,” Schoen told Fox News in a preview of his arguments, adding that he would expose the “hypocrisy” of impeachment managers.
“Everyone in that room and in the House will look bad,” he continued. “Our politicians will look bad if this goes ahead and that is very unfortunate.”
If the defense concludes its case on Friday afternoon, the trial will move to four hours of questioning from senators before a four-hour debate on whether to call witnesses.
Trump declined an invitation to testify and no other witnesses have been called. The camera will then hear two hours of closing arguments from each side.
Forty-five Republican senators voted last month that impeachment of a former president is unconstitutional, and only one Republican has changed positions since the trial began.
Democrats need 17 Republicans to cross the hall and vote with them to impeach Trump and meet the two-thirds majority required to convict, but it seems almost certain that the former president will be acquitted a second time.