Speaking with CBS News’ Lana Zak Saturday following the acquittal of former President Trump in the impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate, Trump’s attorney Michael van der Veen blasted the media, saying, “You are bloodthirsty for ratings.” At the end of the interview, van der Veen simply tore off his microphone and dropped it.
Zak began the exchange accusing, “Throughout the trial, you denied that Mr. Trump had a role in inciting the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol. First of all, you argued that there was no insurrection, but during your closing arguments you seemingly admitted that there was, in fact, an insurrection, using that word, saying that that was not up for debate. What role did the former president play —”
Van der Veen interrupted, “No. You didn’t understand the case. I used the word insurrection—”
Zak: I’ll give you the opportunity to clarify, sir.
Van der Veen:
Sure, I used the word insurrection in my closing argument when closing the charging documents. What happened at the Capitol on January 6 is absolutely horrific. But what happened at the Capitol during this trial was not too far away from that. The prosecutors in this case doctored evidence. They did not investigate this case and when they had to come to the court of the Senate to put their case on, they hadn’t done any investigation. They doctored evidence. It was absolutely shocking I think when we discovered it and we were able to expose it and put it out; I think it turned a lot of senators. The American people should not be putting up with this, they need to look at who these House managers were and look to see whether these were the folks they want representing them. It was shocking to me, wouldn’t have believed it.
Zak: Let’s follow up with a point that you’re making about the House managers, as you say, doctoring evidence. And the argument —
Van der Veen: They didn’t deny it. They didn’t deny it. I put in front of them three times —
Zak: To be clear for our viewers, what you’re talking about is a checkmark that’s a verification on Twitter that did not exist on that particular tweet, a 2020 that should have actually read 2021, and the selective editing, you say, of the tapes. Is that the doctored evidence of what you’re speaking?
Van der Veen: Wait, wait, wait, wait , wait, wait, wait. That’s not enough for you? That’s not enough for you?
Zak, smirking: Sir, I’m not a juror in this trial, I just want to be clear for our viewers, is what you’re referring to, because not everybody has been following —
Van der Veen: Wait, wait, wait, wait. No, listen. It’s not okay to doctor a little bit of evidence.
Van der Veen: Respectfully–
Zak: I have not said it is. I want to be clear for our viewers. I want to be clear for our viewers about what exactly you’re saying when you say doctored evidence.
Van der Veen :
Ma’am, your question is turned. What has to happen, the media has to start telling the right story in this country. The media is trying to divide the country. You are bloodthirsty for ratings, and as such, you’re asking questions now that are already set up with a fact pattern. I can’t believe you would ask me a question indicating that it’s all right just to doctor a little bit of evidence. There’s more stuff that we uncovered that they doctored, to be frank with you, and perhaps that will come out one day. …
What should happen is someone should look at the conduct of these House managers. It’s unconscionable, aside from all of the due process violations that my client had. And the media should be looking at that in a square, straight way. A straight way. When I watch the news, I watch one station and it’s raining. I watch another station at the same time and it’s sunny. Your coverage is so slanted, it’s gotta stop. You guys have to stop and start reporting more like PBS does rather than a TV news show that doesn’t have any journalistic integrity at all.
What I’m telling you is that they doctored evidence, and I believe your question says, “Well, it’s only a Twitter check and changing a year of date here.” They switched the date of a Twitter a year to try to connect it to this case. That’s not a small thing. ma’am. The other thing they did is they put a check mark on something to make it look like it was a validated account when it wasn’t. And when they were caught, they didn’t say anything about it. They didn’t even try to come up with an excuse about it. And that’s not the way our prosecutors or our government officials should be conducting themselves.
And the media shouldn’t be letting them get away with it, either. I’m tired of the biased media on both sides, Left and Right. What this country wants, what this country needs, is this country to come together; to take the Left and the Right and find a middle ground and start responsibly being our public officials, our elected officials. And one of the reasons why they do it is because of the media. Because the media want to tell their narrative, rather than just telling it is. And frankly, I’m tired of it. I’m not in front of your cameras all the time, but what I’ve been subjected to this last week —
Zak: I will remind you that what I said was that for our viewers who have not been following all of the hours of this trial, to be clear about what you are speaking about.
Van der Veen: I’m speaking about the House managers’ failure to prove their case. That’s what I’m telling you; they weren’t able to prove their case.
Zak stated, “You have won the acquittal of your client.”
Van der Veen: Yes. I did.
Zak: And if you want to continue to talk about this conversation we can have that discussion.
Van der Veen: I don’t need to.
Zak: But for me to ask a question, for me to ask a question, to clarify for our viewers —
Van der Veen: A slanted question. A slanted question that was set up to say “It’s okay for them to cheat.” That was your question. “Isn’t it okay for them to cheat? It’s just a little bit.”
Zak: I didn’t say that.
Van Der Veen: You said, “To be fair,” it was only a check on the Twitter. That’s what you said. You gotta live by your words.” That’s the problem. The media has got to start living by the truth and not try to create a narrative.”
Zak: Michael van der Veen.
Van der Veen: Citizen.
Then van der Veen dropped the mic on the ground.
“The suburban Philadelphia home of one of the attorneys defending former President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial has been vandalized with graffiti. Detective Scott Pezick of the West Whiteland Township Police Department in Chester County said the graffiti were reported around 8 p.m. Friday at the home of attorney Michael van der Veen. The Philadelphia Inquirer posted a photo showing the word ‘Traitor’ in red paint at the entrance of the driveway and an arrow pointing to the home,” NBC Philadelphia reported.
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