Donald Trump’s attorneys uttered lies and presented out-of-context clips in their defense of the former president on Friday — but several Republican senators said they were impressed and convinced by the legal team’s arguments.
Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) told reporters that Trump’s legal team had “legally eviscerated” House managers’ case.
“The president’s lawyers blew the House managers’ case out of the water,” Johnson said, referring to the arguments laid out earlier this week by House prosecutors against Trump.
“Quite honestly, if I were the president’s lawyers, I’d just rest the case right now,” he added.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) also gave kudos to Trump’s legal team, saying attorneys gave a “much stronger presentation” compared to their opening arguments earlier this week.
The attorneys were “very organized in what they’ve presented and how they’ve done it,” she said.
Murkowski was one of just six Republican senators who voted “yes” on the question of whether holding an impeachment trial after Trump left office was constitutional. She said Thursday that she found the evidence provided by the House prosecutors “pretty damning,” but insisted she had not yet made a decision as to whether she’d vote to impeach.
In their arguments on Friday, Trump’s lawyers pushed lies insisting the former president never promoted violence during his time in office. They showed out-of-context video clips of Democrats using the word “fight,” completely unrelated videos of Black Lives Matter protests, and falsely claimed that “antifa” stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. ― not, as evidence shows, hundreds of Trump supporters.
At one point, Trump attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. asserted that the rioters’ attack was “clearly” not an “insurrection” ― even though the Department of Justice, while Trump was still president, described the attack as “an insurrection attempting to violently overthrow the United States Government.”
Despite these discrepancies, Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) described the arguments of the Trump team as a “really well-done defense.”
Other Republican senators are also expected to rally behind Trump’s defense team. At least three of them — Ted Cruz of Texas, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Mike Lee of Utah — were seen meeting with Trump’s lawyers on Thursday. Cruz and Graham were again spotted on Friday entering the room where Trump’s attorneys were preparing their arguments.
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