The legal defense team of former US President Donald Trump on Friday displayed a video clip of prominent political and media figures, including singer Madonna and actor Johnny Depp, saying words that could be suggested as advocating violence.
As the fourth day of Trump impeachment trial unfolded, with the defense team presenting their arguments, one of the team's attorneys, David Schoen, referred to the issue of "heated language" that, House impeachment managers say, was used by Trump.
"The house managers spoke about rhetoric, about a constant drumbeat of heated language. Which I’m sure everyone who is watching expected, we need to share some of their own words", Schoen said before playing the video.
The clip showed a range of prominent figures that included incumbent President Joe Biden, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Representative Maxine Waters and even Madonna and Johnny Depp. The latter two, in particular, were heard making dubious and oblique remarks.
Madonna, in the video, says she "thought an awful lot about blowing up the White House", while Depp is shown questioning: "When was the last time an actor assassinated a president?".
Both, however, expanded on their remarks in 2017 at the time that they made them.
After an anti-Trump rant, Madonna said that she did "not promote violence and it's important people hear and understand my speech in its entirety rather than one phrase taken wildly out of context". Depp apologized about his apparent joke following condemnation from the White House.
“I apologize for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump,” he said. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.”
Reacting to the video, some netizens pointed out that Madonna and Depp are "not even elected officials", as was Trump on 6 January.
"And if they were at the podium insisting a mob needed to take back their county right before said mob sacked the Capitol, that argument might have merit", one user wrote. "Oh, who am I kidding. Madonna and Depp aren't elected officials. This argument has zero merit no matter how you stretch it."
Ok, they've finally convinced me. Johnny Depp and Madonna should be removed from office.— It's James and the Awful Truth (@TweetFiction) February 12, 2021
I've wanted to punch [Trump] out MANY times and I'm a mild mannered, middle aged woman. However, I'm not standing at the podium as the leader of the free world urging an angry mob of my own supporters to march up Capitol Hill just in time for the certification vote. He IS guilty.— JJMahoney (@JJensenMahoney) February 12, 2021
Right and how many of them took trump out and beat him in the locker rooms? How many of them told their followers to storm the capital in a failed attempt to overturn democracy and they actually did?— Dager (@Dager1669) February 12, 2021
Others supported the arguments, saying that mainstream media ignore it when "Democrats and celebrities advocate violence".
Many Democrats and Celebrities advocated for violence but that gets ignored by the mainstream media— Gary Young (@GaryYou35735926) February 12, 2021