Politics

Impeachment Day 2 – Democrats Have Yet To Prove A Real Case Of Incitement In Senate Trial

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IOn the second day of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, the Senators only heard from Democratic property managers who spat incendiary rhetoric to advocate incitement. The irony shouldn’t be lost with anyone.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) claimed that Trump had “struck the match of violence” and “doused the flames with kerosene”. All that was missing from the Congressman’s presentation was a photoshopping image of a smoldering Capitol building with Trump holding a used matchbox. But maybe I fell asleep.

Swalwell argued that Trump’s use of the figurative term “fight” really meant a violent “call to arms”. In Swalwell’s Twisted World, Trump’s tweet that history will remember was a secret code for the fight.

Who would have thought allegory could lead to impeachment? (Someone should urge Al Gore to apologize for his old campaign theme, “I will fight for you,” before being belatedly indicted.)

The most confusing moment came when Swalwell played a clip of peaceful protesters singing “Stop the Steal” outside the home of an election official in Michigan and then describing it as “escalating violence!” Wait what

Rep. Stacy Plaskett (D-USVI) accused Trump of being a “white supremacist” and a chartered member of the extremist group “The Proud Boys”. Your supposed evidence was ridiculously lame, but that’s good enough for conviction, isn’t it? Racist trade-offs are always a guaranteed winner in any political place.

MP Madeleine Dean (D-PA) played every single clip of Trump and encouraged the crowd to march to the Capitol on January 6, 2021. Except that she had failed to play the only clip that really mattered – when Trump instructed his supporters to be “peaceful” while “hearing their voices”. Somehow this exculpatory evidence didn’t make the cut. Hmmm … a strange omission.

On Wednesday, a persistent and deliberate issue was unveiled by the Democrats: Trump should be convicted for making a mistake when he publicly stated several times that he had actually won the election. MP Joaquin Castro (D-TX) showed off a collection of tweets and videos in which the then president claimed the election was rigged or stolen.

What Castro and his colleagues overlooked, however, is that in America we have a right to be wrong. We have the right to express false beliefs. We do not prohibit stupid opinions or banish false beliefs.

The public discourse on interesting topics is driven by more, not less, speeches. In America, we don’t ban, censor, or criminalize nasty speech. Even hate speech is protected by law with the first change.

But the Democrats are now giving up what they have long supported. On the surface, they try to punish Trump for what they consider reckless political rhetoric that they disagree with. In truth, they want to punish Trump for hating him.

The caretaker’s presentation on Wednesday revealed a fatal flaw in their case against Trump. They did not provide any evidence to support the “incitement to rebellion” charges. Aside from a deliberately misinterpreted exaggeration, the Democrats have yet to unearth a case in which Trump endorsed or directed certain acts of violence as required by the Incitement Act.

The case against Trump is not only weak, it doesn’t exist either. Former Attorney General Andrew McCarthy made this point when he remarked, “If this were a real trial, you’d have to prove a real case of incitement, and you can’t because it wasn’t incitement.”

And that is the core problem. Impeachment is an inherently political exercise disguised as legal. This enabled House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to strip Trump of his fundamental right to due process. There was no hearing, no evidence, and no opportunity for Trump to defend himself. He was charged by Fiat.

The subsequent process in the Senate is no better. There are no rules of evidence, no real standard of evidence, and no observance of law or justice. Incitement can mean anything Democrats want, even if it bears no resemblance to the law of incitement.

Cleverly edited videos and cherry-picked tweets that would never be allowed in court are fair game in the Senate trial. Sure, Trump’s lawyers could object … but who? Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who leads the process? Leahy found him guilty of instigating violence the day Trump was charged.

They know it’s a kangaroo court when the so-called “judge” is also a juror who has declared his voice to convict before the trial has even started. A gavel in his hand mocks neutral justice.

Fairness in impeachment proceedings? What a curious, almost bizarre idea.

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Robert Dunfee