A lawyer for Donald Trump says everyone acknowledges the horror of the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol last month but that the former president wasn’t responsible for it.
Watch van der Veen’s remarks in the player above.
“Mr. Trump is innocent of the charges against him,” Michael van der Veen said in his closing arguments on the Senate floor in the impeachment trial of Trump.
He said there was no evidence that Trump incited an “armed insurrection” to “overthrow the U.S. government” and to think that Trump would have wanted that is “absurd.” He said the event on Jan. 6 was supposed to be peaceful but that a small group hijacked it for their own purposes.
Van der Veen also repeated the arguments from Friday that other politicians have engaged in incendiary rhetoric, though impeachment managers noted that none of those speeches precipitated an attack on the U.S. government.
“As a nation we must ask ourselves: how did we arrive at this place where rioting and pillaging would become common place?” van der Veen said. “It was month after month of political leaders and media personalities, bloodthirsty for ratings, glorifying civil unrest and condemning the reasonable law enforcement measures that are required to quell violent mobs.”