There’s no mistaking that Democrats have pulled out all the stops for their second impeachment of Donald Trump — and there’s probably a reason they’ve made such heavy use of sensational video.
On Wednesday, former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows accused the impeachment managers of spinning Trump’s rhetoric to leave out critical exculpatory details, Fox News reported.
Meadows: “There’s one line”
Democrats finished their second day of opening arguments Thursday, concluding their case that Trump provoked a mob to storm the Capitol after weeks spent claiming the election was stolen.
Their presentation has leaned heavily on dramatics and snappy soundbites, with Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) calling Trump the “inciter in chief,” as Fox noted. Democrats have also been particularly fixated on Trump’s “fight like hell” comment.
As Meadows pointed out, Democrats keep “conveniently” ignoring the moment Trump told his supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically.”
“There’s one line from President Trump’s January 6th speech that Democrats keep conveniently leaving out,” Meadows wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. “Peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Dems not impressed
However, Democrats seemed unimpressed with Meadows’ point.
“In a speech spanning almost 11,000 words — yes, we did check — that was the one time, the only time President Trump used the word peaceful or any suggestion of non-violence,” Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) said, according to the New York Post.
“President Trump used the word ‘fight’ or ‘fighting’ 20 times, including telling the crowd they needed to ‘fight like hell’ to save our democracy,” she added.
Trump likely to be vindicated, anyway
This political jousting could go on forever, but it’s liable to make little difference in the end. Republicans have called the impeachment partisan, vengeful, and pointless, since Trump’s no longer in office. Meanwhile, Trump’s lawyers have focused on arguing that his comments did not cause the riot and that his speech is protected by the First Amendment.
Notably, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) has mentioned that Hillary Clinton advised Joe Biden to never concede “under any circumstances,” as the Post reports, one of many features of the trial that critics consider hypocritical. Others point to cases where Democrats have used inflammatory rhetoric, even using “fight like hell” language.
At any rate, Trump’s acquittal is virtually certain and the trial could be over in a matter of days. At that point, Democrats can complain all they like — it won’t matter.