hen trial lawyers have a weak case, they ignore the facts and gin-up emotion in a cynical bid to unduly influence the jury. That’s what Democrat House Managers did on Tuesday at the outset of the impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) was barely 3 minutes into his argument when he introduced a 13-minute videotape that had nothing whatsoever to do with the day’s procedural argument on whether the trial itself is constitutional. What was even more objectionable is how blatantly dishonest the video was. It deliberately distorted the evidence of what happened the day rioters invaded the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
The video showed the violence while juxtaposing it with Trump’s speech. But whoever crafted the tape intentionally edited out the exculpatory evidence of Trump urging the crowd to protest “peacefully.” Instead, the editor focused on 3 words that Trump uttered, “fight like hell,” and completely misrepresented its context.
Had Trump’s remarks been played in full, it would have been obvious that he employed the word “fight” not in a literal sense, but in a figurative sense —the same way that lawmakers are constantly using the same word on the floor of Congress when vowing to “fight” legislation or some perceived injustice.
I do not regard Jamie Raskin as a dishonest person. Nevertheless, he knowingly presented and endorsed a dishonest video. He participated in a devious ploy to conceal the truth. It was shameful.
The artifice portends what lies ahead. Democrats cannot possibly prove a case of “inciting an insurrection” as the single Article of Impeachment alleges, because nowhere in Trump’s speech did he advocate violence or destruction of property. He did not encourage people to breach security, launch an assault on the Capitol, attack police, threaten lawmakers, or engage in looting and vandalism. If it were otherwise, Trump would have been criminally charged, as he is now a private citizen. Such a charge would be ludicrous inasmuch as his words do not come close to meeting the legal definition of incitement.
Nancy Pelosi and House Democrats never bothered to conduct an investigation nor examine the facts. Blinded by their hatred of Trump, they made a hasty decision to impeach without holding a single evidentiary hearing. But now we find out in recently filed federal court documents that the attackers planned their assault days & weeks in advance. This is supported by a dozen FBI affidavits. Such evidence wholly undermines the Article of Impeachment and any chance of convicting Trump.
It is impossible for a person to incite a pre-planned event. But none of that mattered to Nancy Pelosi in her rush to impeach Trump. She cooked up the case without waiting to scrutinize the facts.
We already know the outcome of this impeachment charade. There is no chance that Democrats can reach the threshold of 67-votes required to convict. So, like the first misbegotten impeachment of Trump, this fatuous exercise is a colossal waste of time.
All the while Joe Biden sits mute on the sidelines. Having vowed repeatedly to unite the country, he’s allowing a politically divisive impeachment debacle that will only alienate many of the 74 million Americans who voted for Trump.
So much for leadership and promises of healing the nation.