Trump defense attorney Michael van der Veen’s driveway was marked with graffiti on Friday, hours after the Pennsylvania-based personal injury lawyer first appeared in the Senate chamber to defend former President Donald Trump against impeachment — it’s the latest act of vandalism to hit a U.S. political figure in recent weeks.
An unidentified vandal wrote “TRAITOR” in red paint on van der Veen’s driveway in the Philadelphia area, Detective Scott Pezick from the West Whiteland Township Police Department told Forbes.
Van der Veen’s wife reported the graffiti to police at about 8 p.m. Friday evening, and no suspects have been identified or arrested yet, Pezick said.
No other issues have been reported in the neighborhood, but the family has hired a private security detail and the local police department is keeping a presence in the area to “quell any potential problems,” Pezick said.
Meanwhile, a group of about seven protesters assembled outside van der Veen’s downtown Philadelphia law office on Saturday.
The demonstrators were peaceful and no arrests were made, Corporal Jasmine Reilly from the Philadelphia Police Department told Forbes (van der Veen’s law firm did not respond to a request for comment).
Shortly after the Senate voted to acquit Trump on Saturday, van der Veen told Fox News his home was “attacked,” but he declined to give any further details.
“My entire family, my business, my law firm are under siege right now,” van der Veen said in an interview with Fox News.
Jenna Ellis, an attorney who signed onto the Trump campaign’s unsuccessful efforts to overturn election results, called the reports of vandalism outside van der Veen’s house “unconscionable” and said she’s also dealt with threats.
Several other high-profile figures have dealt with protests or vandalism this year. Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) said “Antifa scumbags” threatened his family on Jan. 4, two days before he contested President Biden’s electoral wins, though police say the protests outside his home that night were peaceful. Plus, both House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) houses were tagged with graffiti in early January.
Van der Veen was a late addition to Trump’s public impeachment defense, appearing before the Senate on Friday and Saturday alongside attorneys Bruce Castor and David Schoen. He used his appearances to chide Democrats and suggest their push to impeach Trump was a partisan exercise, calling the trial “constitutional cancel culture.”
Van der Veen was an unusual pick for Trump’s legal team because he sued Trump last year, accusing the former president of peddling unsubstantiated voter fraud claims.