During an appearance on FNC’s “America’s News HQ” following former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial acquittal Trump’s defense attorney Michael Van Der Veen reacted to the U.S. Senate’s verdict, describing the events of the day before as being pivotal in his client’s victory.
“Nothing really surprised me,” he said. “What had happened was the day before, we demolished their case, and they were like a dying animal that we had trapped in the corner. And so, this morning, their last gaps were swinging out at us trying to save their case, and it didn’t work. So we were kind of expecting them to pull on something.”
“There was a stipulation the night before,” Van Der Veen continued. “They pulled it out from under the rug at about ten minutes before we walked into the Senate chamber this morning. We’re, you know, we’re trial lawyers. We’re used to taking anything that comes our way. And we shift, pivot, adjust and move forward. And that’s exactly what we did.”
Van Der Veen would not discuss Trump’s reaction but only offered that Trump had “a good day in court.”
“I would assume that that is what he’s doing,” he said. “He had a good day in court today. He was vindicated. He was found not guilty. The political witch hunt that they had that the Democrats had thrown at him was defeated, so he should feel quite pleased.”
He said the approach with Trump’s defense was multifaceted, given senators sought different views on reaching a “not guilty” decision.
“That’s a really good question because it was very interesting,” he added. “We had to go with all four grounds of acquittal because different senators had different interests. And, you know, for example, some senators, due process was absolutely important to them. Other senators, just the fact that they were unable in any way to put on a case and prove the merits of their case held the day. I do think there were a large number that still thought there was no jurisdiction here.”
“And they were right when they thought that way,” Van Der Veen continued. “And, of course, the Senate Rule 23, it’s in black and white. They live by these rules. So certainly, that was something they could hang their hat on, though, too. To get to two-thirds, to beat the two-thirds and get the win in this, we had to really be strategic about what senators were going to be listening to what arguments.”
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