As his impeachment trial in the Senate continued and prosecutors presented videos of the ex-president encouraging violence, Donald Trump hit the links at one of his golf courses in Florida on Thursday.
His defense team is also reportedly trying to take a load off, considering shortening their presentation to as little as three hours so it would be “short, tight and direct,” compared to days of arguments so far from Democrats.
The former president headed to the Trump International Golf Club West Palm Beach on Thursday, the Washington Examiner reported, just as House impeachment managers began wrapping up their main arguments. They called the president’s fiery speech on 6 January before the riots at the Capitol a “classic case of incitement.”
“There’s no first amendment protection for speech directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action, and likely to produce such action,” said lead prosecutor Jamie Raskin, a Maryland Democrat. “Based on all the evidence you’ve heard, and all the reasons you’ve heard, that definition of prescribable speech fits president Trump’s conduct perfectly. This is a classic case of incitement.”
The president and his allies seem insistent on showing that Mr Trump isn’t that worried about the trial. Jason Miller, one of his former senior advisers, said on Wednesday the former president, the only one in history to be impeached twice, was in a “really great mood” while watching the trial.
But behind the scenes, Mr Trump has reportedly been furious with both his lawyers and a lack of pro-Trump voices on TV defending him, so he decided to merge the two problems into a solution.
After previously “screaming at the TV” while watching his attorneys make their opening statements, he reportedly dispatched his lawyer David Schoen to Fox News during the impeachment to speak out in his defense.
Golf has played a weirdly prominent role in the impeachment trial so far.
Ted Lieu, one of the House impeachment managers, hammered Republicans who had argued Mr Trump deserves a “mulligan.”
“Some people have argued that President Trump made a mistake,” he said on Thursday. “That he gets a mulligan. But we know President Trump didn’t make a mistake. Because, you see, when you or I make a mistake and something very bad happens, we would show remorse.”
The comments were a reference to an interview senator Mike Lee, a Utah Republican, gave to Fox News, where he said the president deserved a mulligan.
“It’s not different, these are outgrowths of the same natural impulse that exist from time to time among anyone in this business and in many other businesses,” Mr Lee said on Fox News. “Look, everyone makes mistakes, everyone is entitled to a mulligan once in a while.”
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