Former President Donald J. Trump’s lawyers opened and closed their impeachment defense in a span of three hours on Friday, drawing praise from Republicans. Senators then submitted questions to each side. They are expected to vote on whether to convict or acquit Mr. Trump on Saturday.
Here are takeaways from the fourth day of the trial.
The Trump defense often echoed Trump himself.
Lawmakers praised Mr. Trump’s lawyers’ performance as a huge improvement over the rambling and disorganized argument presented on Tuesday by one of the lawyers, Bruce L. Castor Jr., a performance that was widely panned and infuriated Mr. Trump.
The defense lawyers said the House managers manipulated their client’s words from his Jan. 6 speech, leaning heavily on Mr. Trump’s single use of the word “peacefully” as he urged backers to march to the Capitol while minimizing the 20 times he used the word “fight.”
Mr. Castor said, “The House managers took from that: ‘Go down to the Capitol and riot.’”
But that is not what Mr. Trump was asking his supporters to do, Mr. Castor said: “He wanted them to support primary challenges.”
The former president stood for law and order, Michael T. van der Veen, one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, said, picking up a phrase the president has used repeatedly.
“Mr. Trump did the opposite of advocating for lawless action, the opposite,” Mr. van der Veen said. “He expressly advocated for peaceful action at the Save America rally.”
Trump’s lawyers went on the offensive with videos of their own.
The former president’s lawyers began their defense by attacking the House impeachment managers’ case, taking aim at many of the compelling video presentations the Democrats made throughout the week.
The lawyers produced split screens for senators, juxtaposing footage that House managers showed during the first three days of the trial with what the defense argued really happened. Many were labeled “MANAGERS” and “REALITY.”
“Like every other politically motivated witch hunt the left has engaged in over the past four years, this impeachment is completely divorced from the facts, the evidence and the interests of the American people,” Mr. van der Veen said.
The intent behind the word ‘fight’ came up a lot.
Mr. Trump’s defense team presented a rapid-fire video montage of Democrats saying the word “fight” in their political speeches, challenging a key House argument that Mr. Trump incited the attack on Jan. 6 by telling his supporters to “fight” in a speech just before urging them to march to the Capitol.
Earlier in the week, House managers played video of that speech, including Mr. Trump saying: “We fight like hell. And if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Mr. Trump’s lawyers maintain that this figurative language is common among politicians, as evidenced by the video montage, which they asserted included all the House managers as well as the Democratic senators using phrases such as: “You don’t get what you don’t fight for.” “Get in this fight.” “We will fight when we must fight.” “We are in this fight for our lives.”