Trump legal team to show clips of Dems encouraging violence in impeachment defense
02/09/2021 // Cassie B. // Views

A lawyer for former president Donald Trump has said that his defense will show videos of Democrats encouraging violence at his Senate impeachment trial.

Attorney Bruce Castor told Fox News' Laura Ingraham that they would be presenting videos showing Democratic Congress members calling for violence against officials with the Trump administration and law enforcement.

These clips will counter videos the Democrats are expected to show of the rioting at the Capitol as well as the speech Trump gave at a rally prior to the January 6 attack.

House Democrats have charged Trump with inciting violence by claiming election fraud and urging his supporters to protest at the joint session of Congress certifying the results of the election. They claim that he mobilized his voters to make the attacks.

Ingraham asked: “Will you then respond with Maxine Waters, a number of other Democrat officials not speaking out about the Antifa and other extremist rallies over the last summer?”

Rep. Waters (D-Calif.) called on supporters at a 2018 rally to confront Trump officials publicly in protest of the administration’s child separation policy.

“I think you can count on that,” Castor replied. He also mentioned that there is footage of “cities burning, and courthouses being attacked, and federal agents being assaulted by rioters in the streets, cheered on by Democrats throughout the country,” a likely reference to the continued unrest in Portland, Oregon.

The legal team has also pointed to a statement made by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at a news conference in 2018 about the Trump Administration’s immigration policy. On that occasion, she said: “I just don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country. Maybe there will be.”


Trump’s legal team has said that House impeachment managers are cherry-picking statements from Trump’s hour-long speech at a rally ahead of the riots, focusing only on those that help their case while ignoring his repeated requests in the same speech to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Trump's lawyers will also argue that the statement that has attracted the most attention, “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” was figurative and referred to election security in a general context rather than serving as a call to violence. They also plan to argue that law enforcement already had indications that there was a potential for violence on January 6 well ahead of the day, which makes it unlikely it was Trump’s speech that incited the violence.

Trump's primary defense is that he's no longer in office

However, this is not expected to make up his primary defense. Instead, his lawyers will be taking the approach that the Senate lacks jurisdiction over the matter. In the proceedings, which are set to get underway today, they will argue that the Senate should not be hearing an impeachment trial because Trump is no longer in office. The Constitution, they say, does not extend impeachment power to be used against private citizens. Because the punishment for being convicted is removal from office, it is essentially a moot point.

Castor said: “By the House impeachment resolution logic, they could go back and impeach Abraham Lincoln. They could impeach Donald Trump if he was dead because he's not in office."

Republican senators have been encouraging Trump to avoid focusing on claims about the election in his defense, but his legal team has said that he did not try to subvert the results of the election and that giving his opinion about the elections is his First Amendment right.

Sources for this article include:

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