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Trump attorney Michael van der Veen argued Friday that the former president's comments on January 6 were"ordinary political rhetoric that is "virtually indistinguishable from the language that has been used by people across the political spectrum for hundreds of years." In addition to trying to make the case that Democrats have said similar things, van der Veen also called impeachment an "act of political vengeance" and "constitutional cancel culture."  Van der Veen also falsely claimed Mr. Trump's first two tweets on January 6 called for peace, although Mr. Trump's first non-video tweet after the assault was to blast former Vice President Mike Pence's lack of  "courage." Trump lead attorney David Schoen alleged Mr. Trump did not receive due process because he did not see the House impeachment managers' video montage, although the Democrats said had provided it. In addition to showing Mr. Trump's tweets and speeches, they showed video footage from January 6 that had never been seen by the public before that showed how close the insurrectionists were at times to lawmakers and to Pence.After accusing the House impeachment managers of using videos of Mr. Trump out of context as evidence, Trump's legal defense played the video of Democrats, including some of the 2020 presidential candidates such as Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, attempting to equate their words to Trump's rhetoric during the January 6th rally."You didn't do anything wrong," said David Schoen, one of Trump's lawyers. It involves taking over a country, a shadow government, taking the TV stations over and having some plan on what you're going to do."He also chastised Democrats for failing to connect the assault to Mr. Trump, saying the "only question that needs to be answered is was Donald Trump responsible for inciting the violence that came to this building?"The Pennsylvania attorney also repeated the claim that the managers selectively edited and manipulated the evidence they presented."Political hatred has no place in the American justice system and certainly no place in the Congress of the United States," he said.Castor played video clips of President Joe Biden at rallies and in speeches declaring his administration will stand against violence and for law-and-order, juxtaposing them with video of Democrats that had been played throughout the day. They know that."Castor said evidence that Mr. Trump did not incite the violence at the Capitol lies with his "admiration" for law enforcement and distaste for rioters and political violence."His long-standing hatred for violent protectors and his love for law and order is on display, worn on his sleeve every single day he served at the White House," he said.Castor called Mr. Trump the most pro-police and anti-mob president in history. That is what this trial is really about."After less than three hours of the 16 in all allotted to them, Castor then rested the case in defense of Mr. Trump."This concludes the formal defense of the 45th president of the United States to the impeachment article filed by the House of Representatives, " he said.The Senate is now in a brief recess.— Melissa Quinn and Kathryn Watson  The Senate is taking a 15-minute break.Trump attorney Michael van der Veen claimed the Democrats' case is "about political hatred," even though 10 Republicans joined Democrats to impeach Mr. Trump, making it the most bipartisan impeachment of a president ever. Why wasn't it released through law enforcement and the Department of Justice?" Schoen said.He also took aim at the impeachment managers for relying on media reports during their presentation and said there is "reason to believe" the Democrats created "false representations of tweets." While Democrats requested Mr. Trump voluntarily testify about the events of January 6 during the proceedings, Schoen and lawyer Bruce Castor have rejected the request."President Trump did not incite the horrific terrible riots of January 6," Schoen said.Schoen argued the violence perpetrated by Mr. Trump's supporters were in contrast to the former president's law-and-order message. He also said "political opportunism" and "hatred" for Mr. Trump led Democrats to rush impeachment through the House.Arguing the former president was denied due process in the proceedings, Schoen said he and Mr. Trump's lawyers were denied the opportunity to test the integrity of the evidence used against him and accused Democrats of attempting to disenfranchise more than 74 million people who voted for Mr. Trump in November.Schoen also accused Democrats of a "double standard" and then played a montage of comments from Democrats, including President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and actors using violent language about Mr. Trump. The Trump attorney claimed Mr. Trump wanted the process to play out according to the "letter of the law."Senior aides to the Democrats' House impeachment managers' team still won't say if the impeachment managers plan to call witnesses to make their case that former President Trump should be convicted for inciting an insurrection. In a call with reporters Friday morning, the aides sought to rebut three of the arguments that the former president's lawyers have indicated they will make to defend the former president: That the trial is unconstitutional because the former president is now a private citizen, that Mr. Trump's speech is protected by the First Amendment, and that Democrats have used similar inflammatory political language. Nor should there be."Cruz, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator Mike Lee met with Mr. Trump's attorneys on Thursday evening to discuss their legal strategy.President Biden, asked by a reporter Friday morning about his predecessor's Senate impeachment trial, said, "I am just anxious to see what my Republican friends do and if they stand up." In response to another question about whether he would be speaking with any of them about how they should vote, he curtly said that no, he would not.The president, first lady Jill Biden and their dogs were making a visit to the White House North Lawn to see the first lady's overnight Valentine's display with large heart-shaped messages calling for "Love," "Unity," "Amor" and "Gratitude."Republican Senators Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Mike Lee, all jurors in President Trump's Senate trial, met with his legal team Thursday night for what Cruz called a "friendly" meeting."We were discussing their strategy for tomorrow, and we were sharing our thoughts in terms of where we thought the argument was and where it should go," Cruz said Thursday.

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