Watch CBS News

Exclusive: Philadelphia Attorneys Van Der Veen, Brennan Explain Their 'Dead Bang Winner Argument' In Donald Trump Impeachment Trial

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Two Philadelphia attorneys who represented Donald Trump in his impeachment trial are back in Center City, celebrating the historic acquittal. CBS3's Joe Holden spoke exclusively to Michael van der Veen and Bill Brennan about what it took to win the case.

The lead counsel for the former president has been forced to take some additional security measures.

A Philadelphia police officer dropped in to let van der Veen know he was assigned to keep an eye out. Contractors were installing surveillance cameras on a street pole.

The Philadelphia defense attorney's gig as lead counsel for former President Trump has earned him death threats.

"Well, the client engaged my firm," van der Veen said.

The client is Trump. And both van der Veen and attorney Bill Brennan said there was no pressure to push the narrative of stolen elections.

"We never got a call from the client saying do this or don't do that. We figured out what the defense was," van der Veen said.

"If that issue, stolen election, was even hinted about, I was out," Brennan said.

"We figured out what the defense was, totally constitutional defenses, due process, First Amendment, we were right on with them, we spanked them with it too," van der Veen said.

The former president on Saturday was acquitted in his impeachment trial on Capitol insurrection. The defense team had eight days in what they say was warp speed preparation.

"This was a client who needed representation," Brennan said.

Van der Veen says the trial's outcome was the result of a "dead bang winner argument."

But hanging in the air was his closing argument and a curious pronunciation of "Phillydelphia."

"Phillydelphia is something I say often, it's actually a point of oration. Often I will pronounce something differently to make an effective point," van der Veen said. "Folks in my office or my kids will tell you I always talk about Phillydelphia."

"It is true. It's because he's from New England and I'm from Kensington, and I say Philadelphia," Brennan said.

Both Brennan and van der Veen say things will eventually calm down. Van der Veen's schedule is pretty full, he has a trial upcoming at the Criminal Justice Center in just a few weeks.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.