Arguing that Trump did nothing to incite the insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, the lawyers distorted the facts about both what happened that day and what happened in the past.
Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen highlighted comments from Democrats that he suggested had promoted or defended violence. Trump, he argued, is different than these Democrats.
“Contrast the President’s repeated condemnations of violence with the rhetoric from his opponents,” van der Veen said. He then played a video that juxtaposed clips of Trump condemning violence, and calling himself an “ally of all peaceful protesters,” with some selectively edited clips of Democrats.
Facts First: This argument and video were misleading by omission. Trump has indeed condemned violence and called for peaceful protest, but he has also repeatedly applauded or defended violence and aggressive behavior.
Trump’s lawyer falsely claims Trump’s first two tweets during the Capitol attack urged calm
Van der Veen claimed that “the first two messages the President sent via Twitter once the incursion of the Capitol began” urged people to “stay peaceful” and called for “no violence.”
Facts First: This is not true.
Trump’s “stay peaceful” tweet at 2:38 p.m. and “no violence” tweet at 3:13 p.m. were his second and third tweeted messages after the Capitol was breached, not his first. Trump’s first tweet was at 2:24 p.m.: “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving States a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify. USA demands the truth!”
Rioters had already entered the US Capitol building by the time of the Trump tweet about Pence.
No, the media wasn’t lying that there was hacking during the 2016 election
Van der Veen claimed that Washington officials other than Trump are the ones who used reckless and inflammatory rhetoric. He claimed: “The entire Democratic Party and national news media spent the last four years repeating without any evidence that the 2016 election had been hacked.”
If van der Veen was suggesting that the “entire Democratic Party and national media” spent four years falsely alleging that hackers altered actual votes or vote totals in the 2016 election, that would not be true either. We can’t speak for every word uttered by every Democrat or every journalist since 2016, but it is clearly inaccurate to say that the entire party or entire media spent four years pushing such a claim. The national discussion about hacking during the 2016 election focused on the actual, confirmed hacking that targeted the Democrats’ computer systems.