Trump’s impeachment attorney goes viral after exchange with CBS reporter

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Michael van der Veen, one of former President Trump’s lawyers at the impeachment trial, went viral Saturday after an interview with CBS News’ streaming service called CBSN.

The lawyer, who had just won his case, was interviewed by Lana Zak, an anchor from the network, who he accused of trying to downplay Democrat impeachment managers who he said doctored evidence during the trial.


The interview seemed to get tense after Zak asked him about beginning his defense by stating that there was no “insurrection” at the Capitol, but then– in his closing argument, “seemingly admitted that there was, in fact, an insurrection.” She said he used the word during the argument.


Van der Veen shot back and said she did not understand the case. He said he only used the word “insurrection” when he quoted the charging documents.

“What happened at the Capitol on Jan. 6 was absolutely horrific,” he said. “But what happened at the Capitol during this trial was not too far away from that.”

He said the Democrat impeachment managers failed to do their homework and—desperate to make a case—”doctored evidence.”

Zak followed up his answer by clarifying for viewers that he was referring to allegations that the impeachment managers put the wrong date in a tweet, selectively edited videos and added a blue checkmark on a Twitter account submitted as evidence. Zak’s defenders said she was doing her job as a journalist to get her audience up to speed about what exactly van der Veen was referring to.


But van der Veen took her explanation as an attempt to downplay a serious allegation against the prosecutors in the case. He asked her: those allegations “aren’t enough for you?”

Zak told him that she is not a juror in the trial, but van der Veen tied the comment to the bias in the media.

“It’s not OK to doctor a little bit of evidence,” he said.

She responded, “I did not say that it was OK.”

“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, and as such, you’re asking questions now that are already set up with a fact pattern. I can’t believe that you would ask me a question indicating that it’s alright to doctor just a little bit of evidence. There’s more stuff that we uncovered that they doctored, to be frank with you.”

He said the media should be looking into the allegation in a “square, straight way.”

“Your coverage is so slanted…it’s gotta stop,” he said.

A senior impeachment aide said the inclusion of a fake blue check verification mark on tweets that were presented at the Senate trial was an accident. The tweets showed comments from Jennifer Lynn Lawrence who was retweeted by Trump. The two tweets that were exhibited included blue check marks next to Lawrence’s name. He also accused the impeachment managers of changing the date on a tweet in an effort to tie it to the deadly riot.

Van der Veen said the media, in general, is playing a leading role in the country’s divide because it plays for an audience, and politicians play for these news outlets for favorable coverage.

Van der Veen was praised by many conservatives on social media.

Zak was credited online for allowing van der Veen to discuss the issue. She also repeated that she did not attempt to make the Democrat case against Trump. Van der Veen was accused of unfairly mocking Zak, and also taking his microphone off during the interview.

He said her question was slanted and indicated that “it’s OK for them to cheat.”

Fox News’ Sam Dorman contributed to this report


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