A lawyer representing former President Donald Trump throughout his second impeachment trial sued him final yr for claiming mail-in ballots had been rife with fraud regardless of having “no evidence” to assist such assertions.
The title and signature of Michael T. van der Veen, a private damage legal professional based mostly in Philadelphia, appeared on Trump’s pretrial legal brief final week, together with legal professionals Brian Castor Jr. and David Schoen.
Last yr, van der Veen represented Melvin Johnakin ― then an impartial candidate for a U.S. House seat representing a part of Philadelphia ― in a lawsuit in opposition to Trump and Louis DeJoy, the U.S. postmaster common.
In his lawsuit, filed in August in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Johnakin alleged Trump’s rhetoric in opposition to mail-in voting and DeJoy’s obvious efforts to impede mail processing and supply infringed on his and others’ proper to vote.
“These actions follow the appointment of DeJoy, a Republican Party and Trump campaign megadonor, in May 2020 as Postmaster General and his assumption of the office on or about June 16, 2020,” van der Veen wrote within the criticism.
“These actions also arise in an environment subject to repeated claims by President Donald J. Trump that voting by mail is ripe with fraud, despite having no evidence in support of these claims,” he added, “and lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign to stop mail-in voting in states such as Nevada and Pennsylvania.”
Johnakin sought a ruling that may require Trump and DeJoy to “take all necessary steps to ensure that absentee and other mail-in ballots are delivered to election officials in a timely manner.” The go well with was settled in late November. DeJoy has thus far remained postmaster common underneath the Biden administration.
In their authorized transient filed final week, van der Veen and Trump’s different protection attorneys argued partly that the First Amendment ensures Trump the best to “address public controversies such as voting irregularities.”
Van der Veen’s position in final yr’s lawsuit was first resurfaced by The Washington Post. The lawyer didn’t instantly reply to HuffPost’s request for remark.
Castor, a former Pennsylvania prosecutor, joined Trump’s protection crew in January after being employed by van der Veen’s legislation agency the earlier month. Schoen, Trump’s different impeachment legal professional, is predicated in Atlanta.
Both Castor and Schoen made arguments through the first day of Trump’s Senate impeachment trial Tuesday. Van der Veen didn’t, and it’s unclear whether or not he was current.
The protection crew’s efficiency drew criticism and mockery from each Democrats and Republicans for its at instances rambling and barely coherent message. Trump was reportedly livid over his legal professionals’ presentation.
Calling all HuffPost superfans!
Sign up for membership to grow to be a founding member and assist form HuffPost’s subsequent chapter