Earlier this week, Democratic House impeachment managers pointed out that then-President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “fight” 20 times during his speech that preceded their deadly assault on the U.S. Capitol.
Opening their defense of Trump at his Senate impeachment trial Friday, the former president’s lawyers played a 10-minute video of Democrats, including some of the impeachment managers and senators serving as jurors, saying the word “fight” in speeches and on television hundreds of times.
The clips were short and played without context — something Trump’s defense team had just accused the impeachment managers of doing in their presentation. Nonetheless, David Schoen, one of Trump’s lawyers, said the montage showed the “hypocrisy” of the case against the former president.
“You didn’t do anything wrong,” Schoen said of Democrats featured in the footage. “That’s a word people use. But please stop the hypocrisy.”
In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity earlier this week, Schoen suggested those calls to “fight” didn’t result in violence because Democrats simply aren’t as fervent as Trump supporters.
“They’re using rhetoric that’s just as inflammatory, or more so,” he said. “The problem is, they don’t really have followers, you know, their dedicated followers and so — you know, when they give their speeches.”
In their case, the Democratic impeachment managers laid out a months-long campaign by Trump to discredit the results of the 2020 presidential election, and argued that his rhetoric laid the groundwork for the violence that transpired on Jan. 6. Ignoring that, Trump’s lawyers focused their defense on what the former president said at the rally that day. Yet they also played video of Trump praising lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who spoke prior to Trump and whipped his crowd up in a frenzy by calling for a “trial by combat.”
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