2nd impeachment trial of former President Trump nears end

Defense lawyers argue former President Trump not responsible for Capitol insurrection

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former President Donald Trump’s defense team wrapped up its case Friday and senators finished their phase

of asking questions to both sides in the impeachment proceedings.

Trump’s attorneys argued he is not responsible for inciting the violent insurrection at the Capitol,

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insisting that those who participated acted on their own.

“This unprecedented effort is not about Democrats opposing political violence. It’s about Democrats trying to disqualify their political opposition,” defense attorney Michael van der Veen said.

The prosecution has used Trump’s own tweets and speeches to argue he inflamed his supporters for months before the Jan. 6 violence at the Capitol.

The defense argued that the former president is protected under free speech.

An acquittal seems likely because Democrats are not expected to get enough Republican support for a conviction, which requires two-thirds of senators present to vote “guilty.”

“One of the questions I hope Republicans would ask themselves is: whatever decision you make, would that decision be different if these domestic terrorists had killed Vice President (Mike) Pence as they intended to do?” Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) asked.

After closing arguments are presented, a final vote could come Saturday afternoon.

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