Trump Defense Thinks Security Footage Should Have Been Made Public Before Trial
Donald Trump’s impeachment defense attorney, David Schoen, argued Friday that it was wrong to use never-before-seen security footage to support convicting the former president, not only because his client had not previously watched the video, but also because the public had not.
In the CSPAN clip below, Trump’s defense can be seen arguing that his client should have seen the security footage before his trial. (He does not address whether, as President at the time, Trump made any effort to view security footage or otherwise seek information about the breach and the attack on the safety of legislators.)
David Schoen on never-before-seen footage used by House Impeachment Managers: "Why was this footage never seen before? Shouldn't the subject of an impeachment trial, this #ImpeachmentTrial President Trump, have the right to see the so-called new evidence against him?" pic.twitter.com/0OfZoo91SE
— CSPAN (@cspan) February 12, 2021
Bizarrely, Schoen also goes on to argue that the footage should have been released publicly, deflecting from his client’s guilt or innocence by leveling a vague accusation against the House impeachment managers.
More importantly, the riot and the attack on this very building was a major event that shocked and impacted all Americans. Shouldn’t the American people have seen this footage as soon as it was available?
In fact, Schoen’s defense has leaned heavily on this strategy — instead of focusing on the effect of Trump’s words, he has focused on pointing fingers at others. He has shown videos of other politicians (specifically Democrats) using the word “fight” in a political sense, suggesting that this somehow negates the context of Trump’s directive to his fan base to ‘fight harder’ after marching to the Capitol.
Now, more decontextualized footage of heated political rhetoric: Some by politicians, some by celebrities, all underscored by scary music.
The Trump attorney prefaced the supercut by claiming this isn't whataboutism.
— Adam Klasfeld (@KlasfeldReports) February 12, 2021
He has also brought up Black Lives Matter, offering the suggestion that these protests, even the ones that turned destructive, are somehow equivalent to an actual attempt to overthrow the U.S. government.
None of this actually addresses whether the impact of Donald Trump’s words is directly connected to the outcome, in which his supporters stormed the Capitol building with intent of doing harm to U.S. legislators and preventing the certification of the U.S. Presidential Election.