Lawyers representing former President Donald Trump demolished the Charlottesville “very fine people” hoax on Friday in his Senate impeachment trial, playing the full video in which Trump said neo-Nazis should be “condemned totally.”
House impeachment managers played a selectively-edited video of Trump’s 2017 remark on Thursday, repeating a false claim that Trump had referred to murderous neo-Nazi rioters as “very fine people.” Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) tried to argue that Trump had encouraged or condoned violence by his supporters.
But Trump defense lawyer David Schoen destroyed that claim:
There’s that famous quote, like one of the house managers said, “A lie will travel halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to put its shoes on.” Well, this lie traveled around the world a few times, and made its way into the Biden campaign talking points, and ended up on the Senate floor. The Charlottesville lie, “very fine people on both sides.” Except that isn’t all he said, and they knew it then, and they know it now. Watch this.
He then played the full video:
He concluded: “This might be today the first time the news networks played those full remarks in the context. And how many times have you heard President Trump has never denounced white supremacists? Now you in America know the truth.”
Schoen also noted that the House impeachment managers had manipulated other evidence, which would ordinarily be such a severe violation of the rules that it would expose them to disciplinary sanctions by a court.