Mark Zaid — an attorney representing the whistleblower whose complaint against President Donald Trump was used to spur House Democrats' impeachment probe — has come out in defense of controversial tweets he made in 2017, where he called for a "coup" and "rebellion" against the president.
In a statement to Fox News on Thursday, Zaid reiterated that he meant to use the term "coup" and was describing insider resistance against President Trump that he says began "just a week into" the president's term.
What are the details?
On Jan. 30, 2017, Zaid tweeted, "#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately. #lawyers."
#coup has started. First of many steps. #rebellion. #impeachment will follow ultimately. #lawyers https://t.co/FiNBQo6v0S— Mark S. Zaid (@Mark S. Zaid) 1485831260.0
Zaid made a series of similar statements against President Trump on Twitter within months of the president taking office, and those messages have resurfaced in recent days. The president read some of the tweets out loud during a rally in Louisiana Wednesday night, and suggested they are evidence that the impeachment is "all a hoax" and "a scam."
The next morning, the president tweeted, "Based on the information released last night about the Fake Whistleblowers attorney, the Impeachment Hoax should be ended IMMEDIATELY! There is no case, except against the other side!"
Based on the information released last night about the Fake Whistleblowers attorney, the Impeachment Hoax should be… https://t.co/Ynly8kLk8A— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1573135234.0
Also on Thursday, Zaid issued a statement to Fox News in an attempt to clarify what he meant in his controversial messages, and he did not back down, writing:
Those tweets were reflective and repeated the sentiments of millions of people. I was referring to a completely lawful process of what President Trump would likely face as a result of stepping over the line, and that particularly whatever would happen would come about as a result of lawyers.
The coup comment referred to those working inside the Administration who were already, just a week into office, standing up to him to enforce recognized rules of law.