Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers assailed the impeachment proceedings Feb. 12, arguing that they were nothing more than a politically motivated hit.
Michael van der Veen, a Philadelphia-area criminal defense and personal injury lawyer, described the Article of Impeachment for “incitement to insurrection” as “an unjust and blatantly unconstitutional act of political vengeance.” He said that the impeachment “only further divides our nation when we should be trying to come together over shared priorities.”
Van der Veen’s first comments Friday echoed statements he and fellow defense attorneys David Schoen and Bruce Castor made Feb. 9, when Trump’s defense lawyers argued that the impeachment proceedings were not constitutional. House impeachment managers disagreed.
Then, the Senate voted 56-44 that the proceedings were constitutional. Republican Louisiana Sen. Bill Cassidy changed his mind on the constitutionality from an earlier vote, telling CNN that Trump’s attorneys “did everything they could but to talk about the question at hand.” (RELATED: These Six Republicans Voted That Trump’s Impeachment Trial Is Constitutional)
“This impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence, and the interests of the American people,” van der Veen continued. In that way, it is “like every other politically motivated witch hunt the left has engaged in over the past four years,” he claimed.
Trump’s lawyers are not expected to use all 16 of the hours they have been allotted for their defense, even though House impeachment managers, led by Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, did. Impeachment managers need 67 votes for a conviction, likely meaning that 17 Republicans would have to join all 50 Democrats in convicting Trump.