David Schoen and Bruce Castor, lawyers for former President Donald Trump, have denied that the violence at the Capitol on Jan. 6 amounted to an insurrection, a stunning claim that contradicts even the Justice Department and the bipartisan version of events.
The assertion from Bruce Castor, Trump’s lead attorney for the Senate’s impeachment trial on Friday, February 12, was among several statements that stunned the congress as the former president’s defense team rested its case using just three of the 16 hours it was allotted.
“Clearly, there was no insurrection,” Bruce Castor told senators as part of a presentation.
FBI court filings referred to the January 6 events as an “insurrection,” and Republican congressional leaders have used the same characterization.
Castor also suggested that the riots were orchestrated ahead of time, rather than an organic reaction to Trump’s speech earlier that morning.
“President Trump’s words couldn’t have incited the violence at the Capitol,” Castor added.
Trump’s lawyers then blamed the House for not undertaking an investigation into the events but instead blaming Trump.
They also said there was no evidence that Trump knew that former vice president Mike Pence was in danger when he tweeted an attack on the then-vice president — even though the Capitol siege was widely televised.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), the lead impeachment manager, said the “evidence is in the sole possession of their client,” referring to Trump, who last week declined an invitation from the House to testify as part of the trial.
Trump’s second impeachment trial will likely end today, February 13, with a final vote expected on Saturday.
The House has charged Trump with a single count of, incitement of insurrection, and hope to convict him, an unlikely scenario as a handful of GOP senators are likely to join Democrats to vote to convict Trump.