Laughter in Senate angers Trump lawyer

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WASHINGTON: Trump impeachment lawyer Michael van der Veen told senators that if Democrats wished to call a witness, he will ask for at least 100 witnesses and will insist they give depositions in person in his office in Philadelphia. His animated statement was met with laughter from the chamber, which visibly angered van der Veen. “There’s nothing laughable here,” he said. The trial is being held in person, but lawmakers are wearing masks and the coronavirus pandemic has halted most normal activity, including close contact in offices for depositions. In many civil and criminal cases, such work is handled via conference call.

Closing arguments are expected Saturday in the impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump. But lead Democratic prosecutor Jamie Raskin of Maryland has asked for a deposition of Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler over fresh information. She has widely shared a conversation she had with House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy over Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 as the mob was rioting over the presidential election results.