Trump impeachment: Defence team calls trial a ‘politically motivated witch hunt’


Donald Trump’s defence lawyers are presenting evidence in the US Senate, denying charges he incited insurrection in the Capitol riots of 6 January. In his opening remarks, lawyer Michael van der Veen called the impeachment a “politically motivated witch hunt”. The team has indicated it may take up only four of its 16 hours, and so move the impeachment trial to a speedy end. They are expecting an acquittal, as most Republicans have indicated they will not vote to convict Mr Trump. Five people died amid the Capitol riots, and Democrats have accused Mr Trump of inciting supporters to attack the Capitol building to stop Joe Biden’s election victory being certified. Senators sat through two days of minute-by-minute accounts featuring video and audio footage, as Democratic prosecutors sought to show that Donald Trump had a pattern of condoning violence, did nothing on the day to prevent the riot, and had expressed no remorse. They argued that an acquittal could see a repeat of the attack on Congress.(NU)…[+]