Among the latest of pop culture references made in the impeachment hearings of Donald Trump, the former president’s lawyers cited quotes by Madonna and Johnny Depp with regards to a defense. The president is facing charges of incitement of insurrection concerning the January 6 storming of the capitol which was allegedly instigated by Trump’s accusations that the 2020 presidential election was affected by voter fraud.
The lawyers speaking in defense of Trump equated the quotes from the pop star and actor to robust speech, requesting that the president’s remarks also be treated the same way. Trump’s lawyer Michael Van der Veen showed a video at the hearing that included Madonna saying that she had “thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House.” The artist later mentioned that she was not serious about taking such action and that she was speaking figuratively, saying, “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.”
Depp was also shown making a self-proclaimed “bad joke” when he asked a crowd of people, “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?” The attorney explained during the legal proceeding that he “did not show you their robust speech to excuse or balance out the speech of my client, for I need not.” He goes on to elaborate, “I showed you the video because in this political forum, all robust speech should be protected and it should be protected evenly.”
Run the Jewels and GZA were both quoted in the impeachment hearings recently by delegate Stacey Plaskett, in addition to a pop reference to Madonna earlier in the proceedings.
Trump’s first impeachment resulted in acquittal, much to the distain of artists such as Amy Lee of Evanescence. The trial concerned charges of abuse of power and obstructions of justice regarding allegations that Trump collaborated with the Ukrainian government to affect the 2020 election.