- Trump’s defense team used less than three of their 16 allotted hours to present their case.
- Both the impeachment managers and the defense team completed their arguments in three days.
- After senators get a chance to ask questions of both sides, they could vote as early as Saturday.
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Former President Donald Trump’s defense lawyers on Friday used only about 2 1/2 of their 16 allotted hours to present arguments in Trump’s impeachment trial.
The House on January 13 impeached Trump on a charge of inciting the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol.
After two days of presentations by Democratic House impeachment managers, Trump’s lawyers, Bruce Castor Jr., Michael van der Veen, and David Schoen, argued in Trump’s defense, claiming that the former president’s speech at the “Save America” rally preceding the riot was protected under the First Amendment to the Constitution.
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The defense heavily relied on trying to falsely equivocate Trump’s statement telling supporters to “fight like hell” in defiance of the 2020 election results to Democratic politicians, including many senators who were present for the trial, and even celebrities saying they word “fight” in political speeches. The attorneys relied heavily on video montages to drew this comparisons.
Castor, who spoke last, ended the defense’s presentationby defending Trump’s comments to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger in a January 2 phone call, during which Trump peddled misinformation and misrepresentations of Georgia’s election policies and asked Raffensperger to overturn the presidential election in the state. He implored him to “find” around 12,000 votes needed to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the state.
House impeachment managers used approximately 10 of their 16 hours, excluding recesses and dinner breaks, presenting through most of Wednesday and then until about 4:30 pm on Thursday.
The Senate is now holding a four-hour period for Senators to ask questions of the impeachment managers and defense counsel, with lawyers for both sides given five minutes to respond to each question.
House impeachment managers did not push for a vote to call witnesses to testify so the Senate could vote on Trump’s conviction or acquittal as early as Saturday.
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