Michael van der Veen, one of former President Donald Trump’s defense lawyers in his Senate impeachment trial, argued on Feb. 12 that Trump’s speech prior to the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol is protected by the First Amendment.
Van der Veen cited several court decisions protecting free speech. In one case he quoted, the court said that “every idea is an incitement, and if speech may be suppressed when it might inspire someone to act unlawfully, then there is no limit to the State’s sensorial power.”
Van der Veen spoke as the former president’s defense team offered their case for why the Senate should acquit Trump on the charge of inciting an insurrection for his role in the Capitol attack. Trump was impeached by the House in January, while he was still in office.
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