The suburban home of one of the attorneys who defended former President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial had been vandalized, authorities said.
Detective Scott Pezick of the West Whiteland Township Police Department in Chester County, Philadelphia, confirmed to The Associated Press that the vandalization of attorney Michael van der Veen’s home was reported to authorities at around 8 p.m. on Friday.
A photograph from the scene showed someone had spray-painted “traitor” in the driveway of van der Veen’s home.
As of Saturday, no arrest has been made, Pezick told the news wire, adding that police are present in the area to deter “anything from happening.”
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that a group of protesters had also targeted van der Veen’s Center City law office, chanting, “When van der Veen lies, what do you do? Convict. Convict.”
Van der Veen told reporters that he was aware his home was attacked, adding that he did not want to go into the details of the attack to prevent others from following suit.
“My home was attacked last night—windows broken, spray paint, really bad words spray-painted everywhere,” he said, adding, “I’ve had nearly 100 death threats.”
“The thing is, you guys don’t know me but you know I’m not a controversial guy. I’m not politically minded so to speak. I’m a trial lawyer and I represent people’s interests in court. That’s what I do. I love doing it. And I’m disappointed that that is the result of just me doing my job,” he added.
Van der Veen delivered closing remarks on Saturday, where he argued that the second impeachment trial against Trump was a “complete charade from beginning to end,” fueled by partisan hatred against the former president.
“At no point did you hear anything that could ever possibly be construed as Mr. Trump encouraging or sanctioning an insurrection,” the lawyer said on the Senate floor.
“The act of incitement never happened. He engaged in no language of incitement whatsoever on Jan. 6 or any other day following the election.”
House Democrats during the trial argued that Trump was responsible for the Jan. 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol for rehashing claims that the 2020 presidential election was tainted by irregularities and allegations of voter fraud and for telling his supporters to “fight like hell.” However, the impeachment managers’ argument left out parts of the speech where Trump told his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Trump’s legal team argued that protesters who breached the Capitol had acted on their own volition. They also argued that the former president’s remarks were protected by freedom of speech. Senate Republicans pointed out that if words like “fight like hell” constitute incitement, then “every single political candidate in America is guilty of incitement.”
“Because I guarantee you, all 100 senators in that chamber have stood on the stump and said we need to ‘fight or fight like hell,'” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said on Thursday.
The Senate on Saturday ultimately voted 57-43, resulting in an acquittal for the former president. Democrats needed 67 votes in order to convict Trump.
All Democrats voted to convict him. Seven Republicans joined their Democrat colleagues.
Trump responded to the acquittal by expressing gratitude to his supporters while pointing out that Democrats are “given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree.”
“I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate,” he said.