Former US President Donald Trump's defense team have concluded their arguments during the fourth day of his second impeachment trial at the Senate.
According to The Hill, the team argued that the former president's rhetoric amounted to constitutionally protected speech. Attorney Michael van der Veen rejected an argument by House managers that an impeachment proceeding -- by virtue of being a political rather than legal trial -- need not be governed by First Amendment precedent.
"House managers' suggestion that the First Amendment does not apply to this impeachment process is completely untenable... Ignoring the First Amendment would conflict with the senator's office, it would also conflict with well-settled Supreme Court precedent and ignore the intent of the Framers of the Constitution," he said.
Trump's attorney David Schoen accused Democrats of refusing to accept the results of past elections, saying they're being hypocrites by expressing outrage over Trump's election claims.
During the trial, Schoen also played the video of top Democrats warning that election machines cannot be trusted or refusing to concede their own election losses, reported The Hill.
He also alleged that Democrats had used violent rhetoric during the civil unrest over the summer of 2020 over the death and shootings of several Black Americans including George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and "creating false representations" in their case against Trump for his role in the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol.
Meanwhile, Van der Veen said the former president was speaking metaphorically when he told his supporters to "fight like hell" to take the country back.
"Countless politicians have spoken of fighting for our principles. Joe Biden's slogan was 'battle for the soul' of America. No one believes that the use of this political terminology was the incitement of political violence," said the attorney.
Trump is undergoing the trial for his role in inciting the deadly insurrection at the US Capitol last week. However, the upper chamber in Congress is unlikely to secure the two-thirds majority necessary to convict Trump that would bar him from holding office again.
However, only six Republicans voted that the trial itself was constitutional earlier this year. The Senate determined on Tuesday on a 56-to-44 vote that it has jurisdiction to try former president.
( With inputs from ANI )
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