Impeachment: Trump’s Call to Georgia Secretary of State Not Connected to Riot

Date: 2021-02-12 21:30:07

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Donald Trump’s lawyers closed their arguments in the former president’s impeachment trial with a direct attack on Democrats on Friday.

Arguing that Trump did not incite the Jan. 6 insurrection of his supporters at the U.S. Capitol, lawyer Bruce Castor said the goal of Democrats is to “eliminate a political opponent.”

Lawyers for Trump defended him against impeachment by accusing Democrats of waging a campaign of “hatred” against the former president and manipulating his words in the lead-up to the deadly siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Their presentation included a blizzard of their own selectively edited fiery comments from Democrats.

In hours of arguments, the Trump legal team characterized the impeachment case as a politically motivated “witch hunt” – an outgrowth, they said, of years of efforts to drive him from office.

“We have a complete lack of evidence for the article of impeachment presented by the House managers. So why are we here? Politics. Their goal is to eliminate a political opponent, to substitute their judgment for the will of the voters.” Castor told the senators.

The Trump defense team left out that what Trump was doing in telling his supporters to “fight like hell” was to undermine a national election after every state had verified its results, after the Electoral College had affirmed them and after nearly every election lawsuit filed by Trump and his allies had been rejected in court.

Instead, they contended, he was telling the crowd to support primary challenges against his adversaries and to press for sweeping election reform – something he was entitled to do.

The case is speeding toward a conclusion and near-certain acquittal, perhaps as soon as Saturday.

The defense arguments and the quick pivot to the Democrats’ own words deflected from the central question of the trial – whether Trump incited the assault on the Capitol – and instead aimed to place impeachment managers and Trump adversaries on the defensive.

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