When Donald Trump’s legal team started arguing on day two of the trial, The Daily Mail reported that Trump’s attorney Michael Van der Veen once called him “a goddamn crook”.
According to the report, Van der Veen’s comments came while working on a 2019 case in which a student was accused of hacking IRS databases in order to obtain Donald Trump’s tax records.
The current defense team was put together in a hurry. David Schoen and former Montgomery County, Pennsylvania District Attorney Bruce Castor only got on board last Sunday.
Van der Veen was also called in last week to help.
Trump’s legal team say Democrats are doing “political theater” arguing the impeachment process is unconstitutional as he is no longer President https://t.co/fB5kHULC9J
– CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) February 8, 2021
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A strange addition
Van der Veen’s former client said he was not sure if the “crook” comments were an attempt to make him more comfortable or if they were Van der Veen’s real beliefs.
Van der Veen has denied the allegation.
NEW: Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen denies having previously referred to the President as an “FG crook” the day after a former client reminded him to have made this statement.
The customer tells my colleague @anna_orso today that he stands by his memory.
More here: https://t.co/PnBdwehmgr pic.twitter.com/jnjvXYnzk1
– Jeremy Roebuck (@jeremyrroebuck) February 10, 2021
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Even more curiously, a Washington Post report stated that Van der Veen sued Trump last year for claiming that mail-in-voting was “ripe for fraud” when “there is no evidence to support these claims”.
Conservative commentators have often marveled aloud at some of Trump’s attitudes. This will undoubtedly raise many questions.
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Trump Legal Team has a shaky start?
In a report by Politico, sources close to Trump say the former president was not happy with the legal team’s performance.
Bruce Castor has been widely criticized for his performance.
Castor gave a disjointed 45 minute opening speech that confused many as Castor seemed to often struggle to find a point.
One of the confusing strategies was Castor, who stated that Donald Trump lost the election fairly.
This was a departure from reports that neither Castor nor Schoen planned to mention a stolen election, but instead argued the constitutionality of an impeachment path against an incumbent president.
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz also didn’t have good things to say about the team’s first day, saying they don’t do well.
Of Castor, Dershowitz said: “I have no idea what he’s doing.”
“There’s no argument – I have no idea what he’s doing,” @AlanDersh said of Trump’s defense attorney Bruce Castor, who spoke “nicely” to US Senators – about Newsmax TV’s “American Agenda”. https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/7P7uVk5X19
– Newsmax (@newsmax) February 9, 2021
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President Trump unhappy and frustrated
Sources close to Trump claim, according to multiple outlets, that as defense attorneys weaved through opening statements, the president appeared frustrated as they shyly responded to the charges.
The source also said that Trump saw the team’s performance as a missed opportunity and was also bothered by public criticism of his lawyers.
This wasn’t a promising start for the defense today. The house was more polished and effective. The defense needs to streamline the narrative and focus the points for the future.
– Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) February 9, 2021
The Politico report also found that Castor had actually admitted to changing plans based on how well the property managers’ arguments were received.
First, Schön would submit opening statements, the change was made at the last minute.
An aide to former President Trump reportedly stated, “This is about pulling the temp off the Democrats’ emotionally charged opening argument before the hammer is turned on the unconstitutional nature of this impeachment witch hunt.”
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