CNN analyst John Avlon made the case Monday that former President Donald Trump’s defense lawyers could face “recourse” for the “lies” they told during the Senate impeachment trial.
“The velocity of lies from Trump’s lawyers was stunning even by recent standards. To be fair, they didn’t have a lot to work with. They only used two and a half hours of the 16 they had been allotted, and they spent fully one-quarter of it on video. Mostly whataboutism mash-ups designed to deflect on Democrats. The remainder of their statements, though, required a boatload of fact checks,” Avlon began.
“There were a litany of easily disproven lies, like saying there was no evidence the 2016 election was hacked, repetitions of Trump’s false claims of fraud in Georgia, saying that the rioters didn’t attend Trump’s rally speech, or claiming that the attack came from extremists of various different stripes and political persuasions,” he continued.
Avlon went on to say that the most “egregious lie” was when attorney Michael van der Veen said that Trump was never informed that former Vice President Mike Pence was ever in any danger during the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. (RELATED: Jake Tapper Believes Nothing ‘Would Be Different’ In The Senate If Pence Was Killed In Riot)
Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville said that Trump called him during the attack on the Capitol and he informed Trump that Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber. Trump’s lawyers claimed during the trial that Tuberville’s account was “hearsay.”
“We know that politicians are accountable only to voters, but what’s the recourse for lawyers? Well, as it turns out, in Pennsylvania where two of Trump’s lawyers are members of the bar, there is a requirement that lawyers practice candor towards the tribunal,” Avlon continued. “It says specifically that a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact, and penalties range from private reprimand, to public censure, to suspension, and even disbarment.”
“This is rare, but so are impeachment trials. Look, maybe it’s no surprise that defending the big lie requires lots of smaller lies, but it’s a mistake to take it all in stride. That just defines deviancy down,” he concluded.