The Senate reassembled at 2:34 p.m. Hearing the last part of the arguments from Mr. Trump’s legal team presented by Attorney Bruce Castor.
Castor initially rejected the characterization that there was even an uprising in the US Capitol, saying: “There was clearly no uprising. Insurrection is an art term defined in law. It involves taking over a country, a shadow government. Take over The TV channels and plan what you’ll do. “
He also punished the Democrats for failing to link the attack to Mr. Trump. The only question that needs to be answered was whether Donald Trump was responsible for inciting the violence that came into this building.
The Pennsylvania attorney also reiterated claims that the managers selectively edited and tampered with the evidence they presented.
“Political hatred has no place in the American judiciary, and certainly no place in the United States Congress,” he said.
Castor played video clips of President Joe Biden at rallies and speeches declaring his government would speak out against violence and for law and order, and contrasted them with videos of Democrats played throughout the day.
“Make no mistake and I’ll repeat it now and every time I’m ever asked, January 6th was a terrible day for our country. The attack on this building shocked us all,” Castor said. “President Trump did not instigate or cause the terrible violence on January 6, 2021. You know that.”
Castor said evidence that Mr. Trump did not instigate violence in the Capitol lies in his “admiration” for the law enforcement and aversion to rioters and political violence.
“His longstanding hatred of violent protectors and his love of law and order can be seen and worn on the sleeve every day he served in the White House,” he said.
Castor called Mr. Trump the police and anti-mob president of history. However, it took three days for the White House to lower the flag of the Capitol Police officer who died after injuries during the January 6 events.
Castor also tried to clean up Mr Trump’s remarks at the rally on the morning of Jan. 6, parts of which were played by the property managers in their presentation. Castor said the former president merely warned Republican senators, and members of the House of Representatives could face primary challengers if they did not object to the vote count and incite violence.
“The first path that the property managers came up with that you wanted to close is the criminal path,” he said. “But what the president said was the American way.”
While trying to demonstrate that the violence in the Capitol was deliberate and not at the urging of Mr Trump, he failed to notice that the former president repeatedly went to Twitter to invite his followers to Washington to rally on Jan. 6 .
“The January 6 speech did not cause the disturbance. The president did not cause the disturbance,” he said. “He has not explicitly or implicitly encouraged the use of force or lawlessness, but in fact called for the peaceful exercise of the First Amendment rights for every American to peacefully assemble his government and seek redress for grievances.”
Castor also admitted another point of ignorance: he is unsure whether his own testimony is under oath.
“I don’t know whether we’re under oath here,” said Castor during his arguments.
Castor tried to defend Mr. Trump’s telephone conversation with Georgian Foreign Secretary Brad Raffensperger, saying it was “not unusual” for the former president to speak to a state’s top election official. During the call, Mr. Trump urged Raffensperger to “find” 11,780 votes and said, “There is nothing wrong with saying that you recalculated.” The former president lost to Mr Biden with 11,779 votes.
“Let’s be clear. This process is about far more than President Trump,” said Castor. “It’s about silencing and banning the speech that the majority disagree with. It’s about canceling 75 million Trump voters and criminalizing political positions. That’s what this process is really about.”
After less than three hours of the total of 16 assigned to them, Castor re-established the case in Mr. Trump’s defense.
“That completes the formal defense of the 45th President of the United States against the impeachment article tabled by the House of Representatives,” he said.
The Senate is now on a brief pause.
– – Melissa Quinn and Kathryn Watson