What we learned from the fourth day of the impeachment trial


previous president Donald J Trump The lawyers opened and closed Isolation Defense within three hours on Friday. They described the House of Representatives’ accusation against Mr. Trump as “a hideous and absurd lie”, and their arguments won the praise of Republican senators. After the defense break, the senators brought questions to each side. Closing arguments are due to begin on Saturday, likely to be followed by a quick ruling.

Here are the takeaways from The fourth day of Mr. Trump’s trial.

Republican senators praised Mr.Trump’s defense for three hours, as his attorneys accused House of Representatives impeachment directors of taking the former president’s words and actions out of context, complained about what they saw as unfair media coverage of their client, and provided many of Trump’s letters, Trump’s talk points and accounts.

It was as if Mr. Trump was presenting his defense himself. Lawmakers hailed it as a massive improvement in the muddled and disorganized argument presented by one of his attorneys, Bruce L Castor Jr., on Tuesday, a performance that drew widespread criticism. Angered Mr. Trump.

Defense attorneys said House directors manipulated their client’s words and indicated Mr. Trump’s invitation to his supporters in his January 6 speech “to make your voices heard peacefully and nationally.”

“The house managers took from that,” said Mr. Castor. “Go down to the Capitol and stop the riots.”

Castor said that was not what Mr. Trump was asking his supporters to do: “He wanted them to support the fundamental challenges.”

Michael T. van der Vein, one of Mr. Trump’s attorneys, said the former president defended law and order, choosing a phrase the president used time and time again.

Mr. Van der Vein said: “Trump has done the opposite in calling for outlaw action, and vice versa.” “He has explicitly called for peaceful action in the Save America march.”

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was interested in defense.

“The president’s lawyers blew up the case of the house managers out of the water – they legally removed their case,” he told reporters. Johnson was among the Republican lawmakers who planned January 6 To challenge the outcome of the Electoral College From Mr. Biden’s victory. But his plans changed after the attack.

Senator Lisa Murkowski, Republic of Alaska, told reporters that the defense had made a “much stronger offer” than it had presented earlier in the week. Ms. Murkowski voted with the Democrats to find a constitutional trial by the Senate for a former president, and Democrats hope They can count on it to vote to condemn Mr. Trump.

Lawyers for the former president began their defense by attacking the case of impeachment directors in the House of Representatives, targeting several persuasive video shows by Democrats throughout the week.

The attorneys produced separate screens for the senators, with footage showing House directors showing during the first three days of the trial with what the defense said had actually happened. Many are rated “managers” and “realities”.

“Like every other politically motivated witch hunt in which the left has participated over the past four years, this trial is far from the facts, evidence, and interests of the American people,” said Mr. Van der Vein.

House directors used video footage to tell the January 6 story with the words of Mr Trump and the rioters. They showed scenes of what was happening outside the Senate room when senators – in the same place where the trial was held – were rushing to safety and playing recordings of distress calls from officers who outnumbered the violent mob.

Mr. Trump’s defense team provided a quick video of Democrats saying the word “fight” in their political speeches, challenging the House’s main argument that Mr. Trump instigated the January 6 attack by telling his supporters to “fight” in a speech before urging them to walk to the Capitol Building. .

Earlier in the week, house managers played a video of that speech, including Mr. Trump saying, “We are fighting like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you won’t have a country anymore.”

Mr. Trump’s lawyers contend that this pictorial language is common among politicians, as evidenced by the video montage, which they assert that it included all House directors as well as Democratic senators using phrases such as: “You don’t get what you don’t get” don’t fight for. “Take part in this battle.” “We will fight when we must fight.” “We are in this fight for our lives.”

The last clip from one of the fight reels was Kamala Harris, Senator at the time, on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in April 2018.

DeGeneres asked Mrs. Harris: “If you had to get stuck in the elevator with President Trump or Mike Pence or Jeff Sessions, who would it be?”

Mrs. Harris replied, “Should any of us get out alive?” She laughs at her host and the audience.

Mr. Van der Vein sighed deeply as the video ended.

A Democratic lawmaker objected to the montage.

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware told reporters during the recess, “Yes, we all at times used the word“ fight. ”But he said that the Democrats did not ask people to fight before their supporters launched an attack.

Trump’s advocacy team argued that the Democratic-led House of Representatives provided “surprising” impeachment when charges were brought against Mr Trump. High crimes and misdemeanors To incite disobedience. Lawyers for the former president said that the House of Representatives failed to fully investigate the events of January 6, which resulted in denying their client due process.

“Jiminy Crickets, there are no fair procedures in this procedure whatsoever,” said Mr. Van der Vein during the question-and-answer portion of the trial on Friday afternoon.

Mr. Van der Vein was talking about the House of Representatives investigation, as there are no “enforceable rights” due process rights. But his view is a reminder that the impeachment trial is completely different from the judicial trials that people know in the country’s court systems. Impeachment trials They are political measures.

For example, in this trial, Senator Patrick J. Leahy of Vermont is the presiding judge, witness to the events that are the subject of the trial and a member of the jury. The defense indicated that this would be a conflict of interest in any other courtroom.

On Thursday, three Republican senators – members of the jury at this trial – met with Mr. Trump’s defense team to discuss the strategy, a highly inappropriate move in courtrooms outside the Senate hall.

Several of the jurors at this trial had made their decisions long before the proceedings began, just as they did last year in the first impeachment trial of Mr.Trump.

Then the ruling fell almost entirely on party grounds, and the same thing is expected to happen this time and in future impeachment measures. Like Alexander Hamilton Described in one of the Federalist papers, Impeachment crimes are “those crimes that result from misconduct by public men, or in other words, from abuse or violation of some public trust.”

He continued, “It is of a nature that can be called political expediency,” “because it is mainly related to the immediate damage to society itself.”

Contribute to reporting Luke Broadwater, Glenn Thrash, Maggie Haberman And the Adam Liptak.

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