Shortly after former President Donald Trump was acquitted by the Senate on Saturday, one of his impeachment defense lawyers appeared on CBS News, where he unleashed a devastating takedown on those in mainstream media who he accused of ignoring the truth in favor of ratings.
According to the Washington Examiner, attorney Michael van der Veen spoke with CBS’s Lana Zak on Saturday in the wake of his client being cleared of a single article of impeachment that alleged Trump “incited” a riot at the U.S. Capitol last month.
There, van der Veen accused the mainstream media of being “bloodthirsty for ratings” as Zak appeared to push back on his claim that evidence used by Democratic House impeachment managers during Trump’s trial was “doctored.” Take a look:
“They did not investigate this case”
“The prosecutors in this case doctored evidence. They did not investigate this case,” van der Veen charged Saturday, according to a transcript from CBS. “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.”
The lawyer was referring to allegations that Democrats had selectively edited footage of the riot in order to paint Trump in a negative light, as well as an image of a tweet shown by House managers during the trial that appeared to have been altered to make it seems as though the user who posted the message had a “blue check” from Twitter verifying their account. The designation “connote[s] a certain status,” according to Fox News, and tends to be reserved for public figures of some sort.
“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,” van der Veen told CBS. “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.”
“Bloodthirsty for ratings”
That’s when things got heated. “To be clear for our viewers, what you’re talking about now is a checkmark, a verification on Twitter that did not exist on that particular tweet 2020 that should have actually read 2021. And the selective editing, you say, of the tapes,” Zak pressed, according to the Washington Examiner.
“Wait, that’s not enough for you?” an irate van der Veen shot back. “That’s not enough for you? Wait, wait, wait. No, no, no.”
After a period of cross-talk, the attorney launched into an indictment of the mainstream media. “The media has to start telling the right story in this country,” he said. “The media is trying to divide this country. You are bloodthirsty for ratings.
“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,” the attorney added. “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.”
According to the Examiner, the interview concluded with van der Veen throwing his microphone to the ground and walking off camera.