Philadelphia attorney Michael T. van der Veen, one of the lawyers representing Donald Trump in the impeachment trial sued him last year for attempting to suppress mail-in voting with last-minute changes at the U.S. Postal Service and made other disparaging remarks about the man he now represents.
In 2019, van der Veen represented Justin Hiemstra who was accused of attempting to hack into the IRS to obtain Donald Trump’s tax returns by faking a student loan application for Tiffany Trump.
Hiemstra recalled a conversation he had with van der Veen in which the lawyer called Trump a “fucking crook.”
“I’m not sure if [those comments] were made to make me feel more comfortable, or if they were his actual opinions,” Hiemstra told the Philadelphia Inquirer. But “he definitely came off as fairly anti-Trump in the context that I knew him.”
Less than a year later, in the run up to the 2020 election van der Veen represented Melvin Johnakin, an independent House candidate, in his suit against Trump and Postmaster General Louis Dejoy.
He accused Trump and DeJoy of plotting to slow mail delivery, in particular to disenfranchise urban voters living in minority-populated, largely Democrat districts.
‘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, and lawsuits filed by the Trump campaign to stop mail-in voting in states such as Nevada and Pennsylvania,’ van der Veen wrote in the suit according to the Daily Mail.
He also donated money to some prominent Pennsylvania Democrats including Trump critic Sen. Casey, the Washington Post reports. Van der Veen also criticized Pennsylvania Republicans for trying to “unfairly and illegally intimidate voters.”
But, he’s not the only lawyer on the team singing a different tune. William J. Brennan, the other Pennsylvania based lawyer who is known for defending priests charged with sexually abusing children, was contemplating dropping a client when it surfaced that he was a member of the mob that stormed the Capitol.
“What I saw inside the Capitol building was a disgrace,” he said at the time.
In a joint interview with the Inquirer on Tuesday they both said their personal views about Donald Trump has nothing to do with their decision to join his legal team and vowed to give him “the representation he can get.”