Trump impeachment lawyer defending man in Capitol riot

Politics

FILE – In this Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, violent insurrectionists loyal to President Donald Trump scale the west wall of the the U.S. Capitol in Washington. Many of those who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6 cited falsehoods about the election, and now some of them are hoping their gullibility helps them in court. Attorneys for several defendants facing charges connected to the deadly insurrection say they will raise their client’s belief in conspiracy theories and misinformation, either as an explanation for why they did what they did, or as an attempt to create a little sympathy. (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

A lawyer who defended former President Donald Trump during his impeachment trial against a charge of inciting the riot at the U.S. Capitol is now representing a man charged alongside other members and associates of the far-right Oath Keepers extremist group in the Jan. 6 attack.

Michael van der Veen, a Philadelphia-based attorney, filed a motion this week to appear in Washington D.C.’s federal court to represent Jason Dolan, a Florida man recently added to the Department of Justice’s largest conspiracy case stemming from the deadly riot.

Van der Veen was part of the team that represented Trump during his historic second impeachment trial in the U.S. Senate that resulted in the former president’s acquittal earlier this year. Trump was impeached by the House on the sole charge of incitement of insurrection one week after the riot.

Van der Veen didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on Tuesday.

At one point during the impeachment trial, van der Veen drew laughs from senators when he said that any witness depositions should be done in person in his office in Philadelphia.

“I don’t know why you are laughing,” a visibly angered van der Veen said. “I haven’t laughed at any of you and there’s nothing laughable here.”

In his closing argument, van der Veen called the impeachment a “complete charade,” though he denounced the Capitol breach as a “heinous act on the home of American democracy.”

“The entire team condemned and have repeatedly condemned the violence and law-breaking that occurred on Jan. 6. In the strongest possible terms we’ve advocated that everybody be found, punished to the maximum extent of the law,” he said.

Dolan, 44, a former Marine from Wellington, Florida, is among 16 members and associates of the Oath Keepers who are charged with conspiring to block the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory. Dolan, who prosecutors say used the moniker “Turmoil,” was arrested late last month.

Several Oath Keepers, wearing helmets and reinforced vests, were seen on camera shouldering their way up the Capitol steps in a military-style stack formation on Jan. 6. Prosecutors say Dolan and another defendant joined with the stack toward the top of the steps and the group forcibly entered the Capitol.

After the riot, prosecutors say Dolan was among several Oath Keeper defendants seen gathered outside the building with the leader of the extremist group, Stewart Rhodes, who is referred to only as “Person One” in court documents. Rhodes has not been charged in the attack.

More than 450 people across the U.S. have been charged so far in the riot. Prosecutors have narrowed in on the Oath Keepers and another far-right extremist group, the Proud Boys, as they try to determine how much planning went into the attack.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Trending Stories

Covid-19 County by County tracker
Download Our App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss