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Trump impeachment trial exposed ‘dirty laundry’

2/18/2021, 6 p.m.
In former President Trump’s second impeachment trial, his lead lawyer barely concealed his client’s racism, sexism and anti-Semitism. He directed ...

In former President Trump’s second impeachment trial, his lead lawyer barely concealed his client’s racism, sexism and anti-Semitism. He directed special vitriol toward Vice President Kamala Harris and House Impeachment Manager Congressman Jamie Raskin.

The lawyer, Michael van der Veen, endlessly repeated visual images of Vice President Harris, essentially depicting a Black woman gone rogue, and portrayed Congressman Raskin, who is Jewish, as morally and professionally bankrupt.

The defense played Mr. Trump’s video of Vice President Harris encouraging partisans to “fight” many more times than images of others. The former president’s counsel also accused Congressman Raskin of being a liar, engaging in “impeachment lust,” being “intellectually dishonest” and arguing like “a first-year law student.” Counsel denigrated him as a criminal who “manufactured and doctored evidence” and engaged in “prosecutorial misconduct.”

In pursuing this legal tactic, the defense team for former President Trump defaulted to a confederate-style conservatism characteristic of the antebellum South. That socioeconomic system saw life through the lens of white supremacy and a rural land-holding gentry like that of feudal times in Europe.

In the South, Black people were considered morally and intellectually inferior, incapable of much personal improvement. Women were seen as natural servants of their men’s wishes. In Europe, Jews were considered rapacious city bankers who charged usurious interest rates and took little thought for others outside their own culture.

Times have changed, Mr. van der Veen. This trial inadvertently exposed the dirty laundry of the Trump wing of the Republican Party and actually did the nation a favor.

KIMBALL SHINKOSKEY

Woods Cross, Utah