Impeachment Day 3 – Democrats Rest Their Case With A Flurry Of Redundant, Irrelevant Evidence
Under the theory that no dead horse should be left unbeaten, the Democrats whipped up the same hackneyed arguments as they had made in the first two days in the impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump. Senators must have reached for the NoDoz.
They were forced to endure more of the same videos of rioters, more of the same screenshots of tweets, and more of the same inflated allegations that the former president posed a threat to democracy. If redundancy could be bottled and sold, the property managers would be filthy rich.
After repeating Ad-Nauseam for three long days, Chief Executive, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) found Trump guilty of “instigating a riot” for using the common political phrase, “fight like that Hell “when speaking to a crowd of people supporters on Jan. 6, 2021. Time and again, Raskin revived the phrase, deliberately ignoring the fact that Trump was telling protesters to be” peaceful “.
Raskin never explained the context of “Fight As Hell”. Trump used these words figuratively, not literally … like almost all politicians. In fact, Raskin himself used the same rhetoric. In 2017 he urged a crowd in Maryland to fight “like hell” for liberal and progressive ideas. In a 2019 interview with The Atlantic, Raskin vowed to “fight like hell” for the Constitution. In 2020 he said he would “fight like hell” against Trump’s Supreme Court nomination. Nobody accused Raskin of instigating violence.
And no one ever accused three other Democratic executives (Reps Swalwell, Neguse and Lieu) of instigating violence when they too used “fight” or “fight as hell” as a hyperbolic tool in a war of words. They were never accused because they never intended violence.
Incitement requires a “specific intention” to cause harm. It is known as an incomplete crime that does not need to actually occur, only the intent to cause it.
But where is the evidence that Trump intended protesters to violate Capitol security, attack the police, threaten lawmakers and destroy property? It cannot be found anywhere in his words that day. Watch the speech. You can access it on YouTube or other media platforms. There is no indication of violence. Just the opposite. Trump urged the crowd to act “peacefully” to get their “votes” in support of Republicans in Congress who contested the election result.
Four years ago, Raskin pulled out the exact same parliamentary maneuver. As a member of Congress, he contested the election vote and the seat of Donald Trump as the next president. Raskin’s hypocrisy is glaring. And his manipulation of the evidence was devious. He skillfully edited the video of Trump’s speech so that it purposely excluded Trump’s exonerating words. That was dishonest, but not unexpected.
In a moment of uncommon candor, Raskin admitted that the Democrats did not, and did not have to, meet the statutory standard for incitement. “Because this is an impeachment,” he said. In other words, the Senate can do what it wants and even ditch established legal principles if it so wishes.
Raskin’s rationalization is wrong. Both the law and the constitution (“Major Crimes and Offenses”) provide an important framework for impeachment proceedings. Jonathan Turley, a constitutional law professor who has defended impeachment procedures, rightly remarked: “You are not just dismissing legal principles. And the Democrats have made no effort to come up with a specific case of incitement. “But Raskin and his allies believe that if you call something“ incitement ”that’s how it is.
Much of the nonsense presented by the property managers on Thursday was irrelevant, intangible, hearsay, speculation, and adverse trade-offs. Almost none of this would ever be allowed in a real court. And senators probably know. Many of them are trained in the law. They know garbage when they see it. What is the possible relevance of a speech that Trump gave in 2015 for an event that took place 6 years later? The answer is no. However, the Democrats played the videotape. And many other similar clips.
It is perfectly clear that Democrats wanted to indict Trump for loathing and fearful of him. So they made up a fraudulent incitement with no hope of conviction to harm him and the Republican Party. Their desperation was palpable on Thursday when they closed their case.
Under our system of law and justice, we do not blame anyone or make them legally guilty if another person commits undirected and independent crimes.
They played clips of protesters in the Capitol on January 6. A woman who flew to Washington for the rally said, “We came to DC because Trump asked us to come.” Another said: “Trump wants us here.” With that, Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO) exclaimed: “You see, these people understood that Trump wanted them here.” From there she jumped to the wrong conclusion that the president must have advocated violence because violence had occurred. This was tortured logic.
What DeGette and her colleagues don’t seem to fathom is that it doesn’t matter how a listener perceives a speaker’s words in the event of incitement. What the speaker says and intends is important. Again, there is no evidence that Trump promoted or advocated impending harm.
Under our system of law and justice, we do not blame anyone or make them legally guilty if another person commits undirected and independent crimes. That is fundamental. The examples are numerous.
In 2017, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) raged against Republicans at a rally in Chicago, calling for a political revolution, as thousands of his supporters roared their approval. “Knock the crap out of them!” Shouted Sanders. Days later, a passionate Sanders campaigner and a campaign volunteer opened fire on a group of Republicans, wounding four people and seriously injuring the Republican house whip, Steve Scalise. Was it Sanders’ fault? Did his provocative words trigger the violent attack? Of course not. And no sane person would make such a mad argument.
Was Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), now Majority Leader, responsible for a bunch of abortion activists who attacked the Supreme Court building immediately after he stood on the stairs and allegedly threatened two Associate Justices in a joke? Barely.
Was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) responsible for the escalating anarchist violence last summer when she seemed to imply tolerance, if not consent, when she replied, “People will do what they do”? No.
Or look at the slogans that Democrats like Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) have used that have been well documented. Are you guilty of inciting violence against Republicans when there has been no real harm? No chance. It’s unreasonable.
But in the age of Trump, the standards of reasonableness have disappeared. Trump is responsible for everything. The harsh but obvious truth is that the people who committed violence and destruction in our nation’s Capitol are the only ones responsible for their grotesque and despicable acts. There will always be people who are mad with anger.
Blaming Trump is absurd. It is a shame to accuse him. The rabid Trump haters in Congress should be ashamed.
Unfortunately, they have proven that they have no shame.