Verdict expected as Senate reconvenes for Trump impeachment trial

Michael van der Veen attorney for former President Donald Trump answers a question submitted by a Senator during the fourth day of the impeachment trial of the former president on charges of inciting the deadly attack on the US Capitol on Capitol Hill

Her account of the call between McCarthy and Trump, first reported by CNN, addressed a crucial question in the impeachment trial: what Trump was doing and saying privately while the Capitol was being overrun. He denies the charge. The vote could come as early as Saturday.

The defence team took less than four of its 16 hours, trying to move the impeachment trial to a speedy end. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, asked the first question, the two centrists known for independent streaks.

In arguments this week, Democratic members of the House of Representatives showed videos and shared tweets they said made clear Trump had set the stage for the violence by falsely claiming the election results were fraudulent and egging on his supporters with his rhetoric long before January 6.

They argued that an acquittal could see a repeat attack on Congress.

"The Senate can not ignore the First Amendment", said van der Veen.

The mob then charged the Capitol building, disrupting the certification. In fact, the first two messages the president sent via Twitter once the incursion at the Capitol began were "Stay Peaceful" and "No violence because we are the party of law and order, '" the lawyer said.

Trump's lawyers argued that the former President's speech the morning of the January 6 riot had not met the legal standard of the Brandenburg test to qualify as criminal incitement, so his words were protected by the First Amendment.

Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah were spotted going into a room in the US Capitol that Trump's lawyers were using to prepare for their arguments.

One very odd moment during day 4 of the Trump impeachment trial Friday was when Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen said, "At no point was the president informed the vice president was in any danger".

The impeachment team argues that Trump deliberately stoked national tension after losing reelection to Joe Biden on November 3 with a campaign of lies claiming there had been mass voter fraud.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could be impeached as a private citizen and banned from running for office again under the precedent set in the trial of former President Donald Trump, Mr.

The core of the defense team's argument was that the former President's rhetoric did not meet the criminal bar for incitement.

On Friday, Trump's defense also blamed the impeachment on partisanship, accusing Democrats of "political hatred".

For the defence, less could be more, as it already seems clear that enough Republicans will stick by the former president to assure a not guilty verdict.

The impeachment managers hoped the graphic shots of violent rioters, fleeing lawmakers and crushed police would bolster their case that Mr Trump had incited the riot. "He did not have speech that was inciteful to violence or riot".

But lead impeachment manager Jamie Raskin pointed out that the Republican leader had been encouraging extremism even in the lead-up to Election Day by constantly undermining public faith in the election process. It's about the future. Six Republican senators sided with Democrats.

Neither side has so far announced an intention to call witnesses, leaving senators on track for final arguments and a vote as soon as Saturday. They sought to turn the tables on prosecutors by likening the Democrats' questioning of the legitimacy of Trump's 2016 win to his challenge of his election loss.

The House managers, serving as the prosecutors in Trump's Senate trial, said the former president's phone call with Tuberville and subsequent tweet showed that he did not try to stop the violent mob despite knowing how dire the situation was for his vice president.

The defense attorneys countered in a short three hours Friday that Trump's words were not meant to incite the violence and impeachment is nothing but a "witch hunt" created to prevent him from serving in office again.