LIVE: Donald Trump’s Attorneys Begin Defense Arguments in Senate Impeachment Trial

Date: 2021-02-12 21:13:52

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(Feb. 12) Watch live as former President Trump’s attorneys begin their defense arguments in the Senate impeachment trial on Friday, February 12, 2021, in Washington, D.C.

Donald Trump’s lawyers begin their defense of the former president in his Senate impeachment trial on Friday, after House Democrats spent two days portraying him as a lawless, unrepentant inciter of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol who shouldn’t hold public office again.

Lawyers for the former president are expected to argue that he didn’t provoke the violence and will show video footage of prominent Democrats using fiery language in political speeches to highlight what they say is a double standard being applied to him.

Trump attorney David Schoen said the defense might need only three or four hours on Friday for an opening argument. A person familiar with the strategy said the lawyers decided to slim down their presentation based on what they heard Thursday as House managers concluded their case. Schoen said the trial “could be over Saturday.”

“We’re just putting on the evidence, the evidence speaks for itself,” he said, calling the Democrats’ impeachment effort “a politically partisan process.”

After the House managers concluded their arguments, Schoen met for about an hour Thursday night with several Republican senators. He defended having a discussion with lawmakers who are also jurors in the case, saying, “That’s the practice here. There’s nothing about this thing that has any semblance to due process whatsoever.”

Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah were among the senators in who met with Schoen, Trump adviser Jason Miller said during interview with Newsmax on Friday. Miller said the three senators had “some very good ideas” pertaining to Trump’s defense and that “it was a real honor to have those senators come in and give us some additional ideas so we’re appreciative for that.”

The trial is all but certain to end with Trump’s acquittal. A conviction would require 17 Senate Republicans to join with Democrats and independents in finding Trump guilty to reach the two-thirds majority necessary. Even the Senate’s No. 2 Democrat said he saw little indication that many Republicans would back conviction.

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