Vandals have stepped up attacks on political officials’ homes this year as the country descends into chaos. Recently, Mitch McConnell and Nancy Pelosi had their homes spray-painted and damaged. Now non-political figures are being targeted.
The suburban Philadelphia home of Michael van der Veen, one of former President Trump’s defense attorneys, was vandalized on Friday night, according to The Hill.
Van der Veen spoke to the reporters Saturday after the Senate acquitted Trump of incitement with a final vote of 57-43, with seven Republicans breaking ranks to vote with the Democrats. He told a press pool about the damage his home sustained.
“My home was attacked. I’d rather not go into it because it would encourage other people to do it more, but you know, I’ve had nearly 100 death threats,” he told a press pool.
Van der Veen said he’s far from a “controversial guy” and is not a political figure.
“My home was attacked last night – windows broken, spray paint, really bad words spray-painted everywhere. And the thing is, you guys don’t know me, but you know I’m not a controversial guy. I’m not politically minded so to speak,” he said.
“I’m a trial lawyer and I represent people’s interests in court. That’s what I do. I love doing it. And I’m disappointed that that is the result of just me doing my job,” van der Veen added.
CBS Philly photographed the end of van der Veen’s driveway where someone had spray-painted words that read “traitor.”
Detective Scott Pezick of the West Whiteland Township Police Department in Chester County told CBS Philly vandals struck Trump’s lawyer’s home around 20:00 ET Friday.
Pezick said no arrests had been made, but “we’ve been showing a police presence to deter anything from happening.”
Another lawyer on the team, William J. Brennan, told The Philadelphia Inquirer that:
“I’ve been representing controversial clients for 30 years, and I’ve never experienced this type of vitriol.” He said, “We had no political agenda here. We are not partisan warriors. We are criminal defense lawyers who represented a client.”
Later on Saturday, President Joe Biden released a statement in response to Trump’s acquittal by the Senate.
“While the final vote did not lead to a conviction, the substance of the charge is not in dispute,” Biden said.
He also said, “this sad chapter in our history has reminded us that democracy is fragile,” and that “violence and extremism” do not belong in this country.
“And that each of us has a duty and responsibility as Americans, and especially as leaders, to defend the truth and to defeat the lies,” Biden said.
“That is how we end this uncivil war and heal the very soul of our nation,” he said, adding that we all must unify.
… again, Biden makes calls for “unity” as a new wave of violence targets political figure homes, and, anyone associated with Trump.