John Avlon's "Reality Check" examines the potential recourse against Trump's lawyers for "filling up the dishonesty scorecard" during the impeachment trial in the Senate.
"Donald Trump was acquitted but he was not vindicated. This was the most bipartisan impeachment trial vote in American history. Seven Republicans voting to convict the ex-president for inciting an insurrection." But, as Avlon explained "the velocity of lies from Trump's lawyers was stunning even by recent standards."
After noting that "they didn't have a lot to work with" and only used "2 1/2 hours of the 16 they'd been allotted" with a fourth of that being videos of Democrats in a lame attempt to deflect from Trump, Avlon rightfully suggested that the remainder of their statements "required a boatload of fact-checks, from flat-out falsehoods, to surreal whoopers, like saying Trump was the most anti- mob rule president this country has ever seen."
"And there were a litany of easily disproven lies, like saying there was no evidence the 2016 election was hacked -- repetitions of Trump's false claims of fraud in Georgia. Saying that the rioters didn't attend Trump's rally speech, or claiming that the attack came from extremists of various different striped and political persuasions," Avlon continued, before calling out the most egregious falsehood told by Trump lawyer Michael Van Der Veen, where he blatantly lied that Trump wasn't aware of the fact that Mike Pence was in danger.
After tossing Van Der Veen's own words back in his face about intellectual dishonesty being "downright scary," Avlon asked, "We know that politicians are accountable only to voters, but what's the recourse for lawyers?"
Avlon went on to explain the potential perils for Trump's lawyers at the state level. "As it turns out in Pennsylvania, where two of Trump's lawyers are members of the bar, there is a requirement that lawyers practice "candor towards the tribunal."
"It says, specifically, that a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of material fact, and penalties range from private reprimand to public censure, to suspension and even disbarment. Now, this is rare but so are impeachment trials."
Republicans have passed the buck, expecting others to clean up their messes for them. We'll see if there's any accountability for Trump's lawyers as Avlon suggested there might be here.