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Michael van der Veen, one of former President Donald Trump’s defense attorneys, tore into the mainstream media and Democratic House impeachment managers in an explosive interview on Saturday that ended with the attorney ripping off his microphone and walking away.
CBS News host Lana Zak began the interview by asking van der Veen whether he believes Trump will face more charges beyond impeachment, and accused the attorney of admitting that Trump incited an “insurrection.”
Van der Veen responded by dismissing the question as “political rhetoric,” and then corrected Zak — and pointed out that Democratic House impeachment managers “doctored evidence” against Trump.
Van der Veen said:
I used the word “insurrection” in my closing argument when quoting 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, because 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 are the folks they want representing them. It was shocking to me. Wouldn’t have believed it.
The “doctored evidence” that van der Veen referred to included edited tweets and selectively edited video. Democrats denied manipulating evidence.
What happened next?
That is when the interview went completely off the rails.
After Zak seemingly minimized the actions of Democratic House impeachment managers, van der Veen tore into the media.
“The media is trying to divide this country. You are bloodthirsty for ratings,” the lawyer said. “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.”
Van der Veen continued:
What should happen is somebody 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 that at 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 got to 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 a 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 checkmark 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 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,” van der Veen declared, “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 wants to tell their narrative rather than just telling it like it is.”
After additional back-and-forth, van der Veen accused Zak of asking a “slanted question that was set up to say, it’s OK for them to cheat. That was your question.”
Zak denied the allegation.
“That’s the problem. The media has to start living by the truth and not try to create a narrative,” van der Veen went on to say.
That’s when van der Veen ripped off his microphone, dropped it, and then walked away.