EVEN before we knew for sure that Trump would be acquitted once his lawyers took the floor, it became clear that the Democrats’ strategy to impeach might not have been such a good one after all.
Whatever the facts about January 6, the optics were bad for the Trump cause. As Fox presenter Jeanine Pirro said at the start of her show a few days later,by their actions the rioters smeared and pulled the moral high ground from all the 75million people who voted for Trump.
The media were happy to portray the event as it appeared on the surface, rather than consider that there might have been at least some planning or any agents provocateurs within the mob. It was an absolute gift to Trump’s opponents.
By pursuing the impeachment, however, the Democrats allowed the Trump camp to speak directly to the people, without the filter of the corporate media, just as the former president had done via Twitter for the last four and a half years.
Millions followed the televised proceedings of the impeachment ‘trial’, and when it was the turn of the Trump defence, facts came out which had previously not been heard. Trump’s team took the opportunity to correct the record on ‘Charlottesville’ by presenting in full what the former president had said on the matter, including his clear denunciation of white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Click on the ‘thumbnail’ below to see David Schoen of Georgia in action:
Trump’s lawyer showed how the Democrats’ case involved selective editing of what Trump said on January 6, not only correcting this important part of the evidence, but also demonstrating their deliberate intention to mislead both Senators and the American people. As the video clip below shows, Schoen was able to reveal that what the former President had said in full was: ‘You have to get your people to fight. And if they don’t fight, we’ve got to primary the hell out of those who don’t fight.’ Click on the thumbnail below to see him explaining it.The House managers had ended their clip after the first of these two sentences.
With regard to the events of January 6, evidence was presented of planning, including confirmation by the FBI that the two pipe bombs found in a vehicle parked close to the Capitol Building were planted the night before the riot. They also presented the timeline of events on the day, which does not support the accusation that Trump incited the riot:
11.05am: Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller receives open source reports of demonstrator movements at the Capitol.
11.15am: Police cameras observe crowds forming at First Street, near the Capitol Reflecting Pool.
Noon: Trump takes to the stage more than a mile away from where the riots later take place.
12.49pm: The first barriers at the Capitol grounds are pushed over and the crowd enters the Restricted area.
13.09pm: The Capitol police chief calls the House and Senate Sergeants at Arms and says he wants an emergency declared and the National Guard called in.
13.11pm: Trump finishes speaking.
The full proceedings of the defence are to be found here.
The work done by the Capitol police and FBI to convict the rioters has indeed shown that the vast majority were Trump supporters, but the 200 or so charging documents have also revealed a significant level of planning prior to January 6. The Proud Boys and Antifa both had informants in the other side’s ranks, and apparently the Proud Boys were thus aware that Antifa operatives would be wearing their MAGA hats backwards to identify one another.
Meanwhile, the UK newspaper which I am accustomed to reading (yes, the Telegraph) is not allowing comments under any of its Trump articles, presumably to avoid its readers from offering alternative facts and interpretations, which they are, of late, in the habit of doing. TCW, in contrast, welcomes all polite comments below.