Trump Trial: The Westport Connection

I know you’ve been waiting for an “06880” link to President Trump’s 2nd impeachment trial.

Here it is: defense attorney Michael van der Veen grew up on Lamplight Lane, off Hillspoint Road near Old Mill Beach.

Michael van der Veen, in the 1978 Long Lots Junior High School yearbook, “Lion’s Clause.”

After Long Lots Junior High, he — like his siblings — headed to Choate Rosemary Hall. He graduated from the private school in 1981, then went on to Ohio Wesleyan University, Quinnipiac School of Law and Temple University School of Law.

He’s a founding partner of van der Veen, O’Neill, Hartshorn and Levin in Philadelphia.

Which you or I might pronounce, well, “Philadelphia.” When van der Veen called it “Philly-delphia” earlier today, senators from both parties laughed.

The Philadelphia lawyer had no idea why. But he sure had some words for them.

(Hat tip: Kathleen Fazio)

45 responses to “Trump Trial: The Westport Connection

  1. Well, that’s unfortunate.

    • Jackson Wiechert

      Yeah because god forbid someone has a different opinion or is entitled to a constitutional right and are innocent until proven guilty.

      • Well, yeah, Jackson, folks are innocent until proven guilty. But if you HEAR someone shout “fire!” in a crowded theather with no fire, and then people die because of that shout out, you know goddamned well the person is guilty. And one should have the balls to convict .

  2. I knew a Stuart Van der Veen who would be around age 73. I wonder if they’re related?

  3. Just saw him on TV. Seems like a wonderful and smart guy. Sadly, he and his family and his staff are all being harassed and threatened. Everyone gets a lawyer in this country – even the people we don’t like – and that’s as it should be.

    • Peter Gambaccini

      He seems like an atrocious laughable lawyer on the wrong side of history who couldn’t hold his own at a Westport planning and zoning meeting.

    • Patrick Eastin

      Has there been an aspect to this where someone should not have had legal representation ?

  4. Patrick Eastin

    Philly-delphia . . .

  5. Paid handsomely for his lies, half-truths and alliance-for-cash with the Inciter.
    Unfortunate is a good word. Won’t likely mention that Westport connection in polite cocktail conversation….

  6. Susan Pleschette

    And that’s democracy. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Our country these last four years have been abrasive and judgmental because of who was president. And now, it’s all crickets as 51 executive orders are signed, covid deaths keep climbing, and more jobs are wiped out.

    The same party that calls for peace, unity, equality, and respect, are not so respectful to those who are republicans. Calling them racists and nazis, even a lot of residents in this town have displayed that unruly behavior online. Bullies calling trump a bully. Why stoop to that level?

    He was a terrible speaker, tweeter, made mistakes like everyone else, but at the end of the day, were all human.

    Proud to be a Westporter.

  7. Peter Gambaccini

    I remember brothers Steve and Chris from the Westport schools. Chris was in my class and was an excellent cross country runner and pairs figure skater. Your comment about Choate (as it was then called) explains why he disappeared from Staples.

    • Peter, Maybe the Stuart I mentioned was actually Steve? Would Steve be around 73?

      • Peter Gambaccini

        Yes, Jack. I know there was a Steve. I don’t know of any Stuart. And there was a Chris who would be my age, 70.

        • Peter, That’s the one I knew then, Steven. I’m talking 61 years ago when I was a student at Long Lots. I’m 73. Thanks for clearing that up for me.

  8. Gerald F. Romano, Jr.

    It appears that Good People Did Something
    Gerald F. Romano, Jr.

  9. Dermot Meuchner

    The Three Stooges would have done a better job.

  10. How about Stuart Van der Veen. How many people in Westport with that last name 60 years ago could have lived in town and NOT be his relative? Does anyone remember Stuart and was he a relative? He would have possibly been in the 1965 Staples graduating class.

  11. Philadelphia lawyer is a good and appropriate term. Look it up.

  12. Ugh! Some news isn’t fit to print

  13. So in summation- McConnell came not to praise Caesar but to bury him. McConnell let him off on a technicality and then excoriated him more than Schumer! 57-43 to convict. Bipartisan. The old “Guilty but…”

    The other joke going around is about the Philly-delphia lawyer Van der Veen- as a Westport young basketball player, he had trouble moving to his left.

  14. From Westport and look at the fool’s play he performed today. Shame on you, Van Der who?

  15. Westport Republicans are proud.

  16. YAY .. yet another Westport success story. He’s obviously done quite well. I knew that looked like a Jr High picture! Lamplight Lane .. over by where The Penguin used to be! 🙂

  17. Oh .. I thought you could NOT “impeach” a private citizen in America. I didn’t go to Law School but I thought that was the rule.

    • Come on, Diana! He was impeached while he was still president — remember? The only reason the trial did not take place was that Mitch McConnell decided he could not schedule it until after the inauguration.

  18. A pox on Westport,what a hissy fit he had!

  19. I’m surprised that nobody seems to have noticed that one of his “likes” in his junior high yearbook was…brandy. Somehow I don’t recall the drinking age in Westport being that young (not that it stopped anybody).

    • Jo Shields Sherman

      Everybody loved Brandy back then. He was a wonderfully goofy Irish Setter famous for climbing a tilted tree by the Mill Pond, and “pointing” at the birds higher up.

      • William T. Hampton

        Well, I guess he had to grow up in some town……
        but if he spent his night patting himself on the back thinking
        that he’s responsible for getting the former president off then
        he is one delusional dude. A 2/3 vote wasn’t happening even if a monkey was put into a suit and given the task of mounting a
        “defense”…….but I do hope that he doesn’t get paid and
        has to sue DJT. Oh, that’s right, he has already sued him once —-less than a year ago, but this time he “represented” him.
        Boy, does this attorney exude real “character”!

  20. Great to see the MAGA menagerie at their keyboards again!

  21. Sad to see so many snide Westporter comments 🙏🇺🇸

    • Tom, you’re back! After your comments about Antifa and BLM being violent threats to the country, I kept waiting to read your thoughts on the storming of the Capitol by the Trump supporters who wanted to overthrow the results of the election in support of their cult leader. Who is the actual threat? Do tell.

      • Stupidity must be a magnet for me Chris😂
        never read your final comments if any.
        The actual threat is unlawful mail in ballots and of course Joe filling his pockets from bag man Hunter.
        How’s that working for you guys⁉️
        Love the articulate way Joe speaks.
        Hey Trump ain’t POTUS till 2024 so let’s just rag on good old Joe😂

        • Patrick Eastin

          “The actual threat is unlawful mail in ballots and of course Joe filling his pockets from bag man Hunter.”
          You nor anyone else has proof and has not and cannot substantiate this drivel, these falsehoods.

    • Russell Gontar

      Not nearly as sad as watching trump dispatch a murderous mob to destroy and kill democracy and cops. So much for “blue lives matter.”

  22. Amazing how so many comments completely miss the point of this 06880 post, which seems to have been to ridicule a man because he pronounced “Philadelphia” strangely/wrongly, and didn’t realize that was why people were laughing at him. As per usual, people just kicked off into their own political agendas, with many employing the condecending tone which has unfortunately become a staple of everyday online conversation.

    This whole thing feels like the equivalent of placing someone in stocks in the village square and pelting them with rotten fruit. Rather mean spirited, selective, and unecessary, to be honest. I mean it’s not like our current president has never made any verbal gaffes, now is it?

    • Peter Gambaccini

      I believe it’s pretty clear that the purpose of the post was to let people know that the lawyer came from Westport, that he was the product of the town’s schools, and that many of us knew at least one member of his family personally

      • Bill Strittmatter

        That may be true but if that were the sole reason, the inclusion and framing of the misspeak was somewhat gratuitous.

        In any event, the responses of a few of the commenters are a bit disappointing. Even those guilty of the most heinous acts deserve an attorney, whoever they might be. The country would be worse off if attorneys refused to represent people (or positions) the majority, even vast majority, of people thought guilty (or did not agree with). Ad hominem shots at those attorneys are simply sad.

      • Peter, if the sole purpose of the post was to do as you suggest, it could have, should have, stopped after pointing out those facts. They are indeed interesting enough in their own right. Instead, the post continued on, and proceeded to make fun of Mr. van der Veen’s pronunciation of “Philadelphia”, complete with a video clip of the room laughing at the man. I can’t see any reason for doing that if the sole purpose was to simply make the connection between a major participant in an impeachment proceeding and the town of Westport. It was a clear attempt at ridicule.

  23. “If future generations of law professors want to teach a class in what never to do, the belligerent and self-indulgent performance of Michael van der Veen, one of Donald Trump’s impeachment lawyers, could provide a lot of the video content.” — David Frum

    Read More:

  24. PS: Mr. Watson was awesome!

  25. Jeez, don’t get on Kathleen Fazio’s bad side I guess is the other lesson here.

  26. I acknowledge he was in jr, high, and it was over 40 years ago, but did anyone else notice that one of his dislikes was “people who don’t like girls”?