President Trump’s lead impeachment lawyer says he will use video evidence of democrat rhetoric as a defense for President Trump.
Trump lawyer Bruce Castor appeared on Laura Ingraham’s show, where he discussed the issue.
Castor was asked if he would respond to democrats like Maxine Waters for not speaking out over the violence from left-wing groups such as Antifa and Black Lives Matter this last Summer.
“I think you can count on that.”
“There’s a lot of tape of cities burning and courthouses being attacked and federal agents being assaulted by rioters in the streets, cheered on by Democrats throughout the country.”
Donald Trump’s lead impeachment attorney on Friday suggested he’ll take aim at Democrats’ own words in his arguments during the former president’s Senate impeachment trial next week.
Fox News host Laura Ingraham asked Trump attorney Bruce Castor if he’ll be using “dueling video” with Democrats expected to make their case that Trump incited the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection by using video clips of rioters and Trump’s rally remarks on the Ellipse.
“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?” Ingraham asked.
“I think you can count on that,” Castor said. “If my eyes look a little red to the viewers, it’s because I’ve been looking at a lot of video.”
Earlier in the segment with Ingraham, Castor alleged “there’s a lot of tape of cities burning and courthouses being attacked and federal agents being assaulted by rioters in the streets, cheered on by Democrats throughout the country,” seemingly referring to ongoing unrest in Portland, Ore.
Trump repeatedly pushed hard against the nationwide racial justice protests last year, railing in particular against the Black Lives Matter movement.
Portland saw more than 100 days of protest around a federal courthouse in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in May. Trump misleadingly blamed violence in the city on the far left while downplaying far-right groups’ role.
Castor, who will defend Trump alongside attorney David Schoen, continued: “Many of them in Washington are using really the most inflammatory rhetoric possible to use. And certainly there would be no suggestion that they did anything to incite any of the actions.”
Trump’s lawyers responded with their own filing that denied that he had incited the riot by disputing the election results or by exhorting his followers to “fight like hell.” In any event, they said, the trial was unconstitutional now that Trump has left the White House.
The dueling filings offer the first public glimpse of the arguments that both sides intend to present at the impeachment trial, Trump’s second. They show how Democrats will look to explicitly fault Trump for his role in the riot and to also make the case that his behavior was so egregious as to require permanent disqualification from office. On the other side will be challenges to the trial’s constitutionality and claims that Trump’s speech was protected by the First Amendment.
“It is denied that President Trump ever endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government,” defense lawyers wrote in a 14-page brief.
The Constitution specifies that disqualification from office can be a punishment for an impeachment conviction.
“This is not a case where elections alone are a sufficient safeguard against future abuse; it is the electoral process itself that President Trump attacked and that must be protected from him and anyone else who would seek to mimic his behavior,” the Democrats wrote.
The Democrats drew heavily on the words of prominent Republicans who have criticized the former president. Among them are Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, who voted for Trump’s impeachment and said there has never been a “greater betrayal” by a president, and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who said Trump “provoked” the rioters.
“The only honorable path at that point was for President Trump to accept the results and concede his electoral defeat. Instead, he summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue,” the Democrats wrote in their 77-page brief.
Opening arguments in the Senate impeachment trial for Donald Trump on the charge of incitement of insurrection for the Capitol riot will begin the week of Feb. 8.
Still, Republicans have signaled that acquittal is likely, with many saying they think Congress should move on and questioning the constitutionality of an impeachment trial – Trump’s second – now that he has left office. In a test vote in the Senate last week, 45 Republicans, including McConnell, voted in favor of an effort to dismiss the trial over those constitutional concerns.
As for Democrats, there is plenty of evidence of them inciting and excusing violent behavior.