Donald Trump’s lawyer went with a unique defense at his impeachment trial by playing clips of Madonna and Johnny Depp, much to Twitter’s confusion and amusement.
Donald Trump‘s impeachment trial defense hearing was… something to behold. The former president’s lawyer, Michael Van der Veen, attempted to argue that by telling his followers to “fight like hell” before the January 6 siege on Capitol Hill, he was exercising his right to free speech. He then played a nine-minute compilation of Democratic politicians like Senator Elizabeth Warren, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Vice President Kamala Harris using the word “fight” in conversations pertaining to Trump. He also, puzzlingly, included clips of Madonna and Johnny Depp.
— Forbes (@Forbes) February 12, 2021
Madonna and Johnny are, of course, not elected officials and therefore not held to the same standards as the President of the United States. “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” Depp said to a crowd at the 2017 Glastonbury music festival. The remark garnered backlash from both sides of the aisle and he apologized for making what he called “a bad joke.”
The Madonna clip showed the “Ray of Light” singer telling a crowd at the 2017 Women’s March that, “I have thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” She later explained on Instagram that she was speaking metaphorically. “I know that acting out of anger doesn’t solve anything. And the only way to change things for the better is to do it with love,” she added. Van der Veen was mocked on Twitter as his three hour-long defense of the former president unfolded.
Man, I’m so mad at Johnny Depp and Madonna for inciting that violent insurrection.
— Ben McKenzie (@ben_mckenzie) February 12, 2021
— blue skies (@suchblueskies) February 12, 2021
“Man, I’m so mad at Johnny Depp and Madonna for inciting that violent insurrection,” Gotham star Ben McKenzie tweeted. “Ok, they’ve finally convinced me. Johnny Depp and Madonna should be removed from office,” a Twitter user wrote. “When were Madonna and Johnny Depp elected to Congress? #ImpeachmentTrial,” another person tweeted, adding a gif of the singer sipping tea.
Twitter users were giving major props to CNN’s Jim Acosta for landing the political pun of the day: “This was whataboutism. There were false claims throughout the afternoon — sort of a ‘papa don’t impeach’ defense.”