Before you jump on the “inciting a riot” bandwagon …

Here is 3 pieces of “must read, must view” background material.
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OK, let’s agree that breaching the Capitol was illegal and that the associated deaths were both tragic &  inexcusable (including the female AF vet who was shot dead).

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Now, Pelosi-led Dems are intent on impeaching Trump.

Since there’s only a week to go in his presidency, her motivation must be either (a) dance on his grave, or (3) preclude his running in 2024, or both.

Emotions are still running high, so I encourage everybody to step back, take a deep breath and do 3 things …

1) Watch the video of Trump’s speech or, better yet, read the transcript.

My take: While spending 90% of the time recounting his election grievances, Trump did imply that there was hope for Congress to reverse the election and did encourage people to peacefully march to the Capitol.

We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated.

I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.

Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country.

At no point in the speech did Trump come even remotely close to suggesting any sort of violence … or of breaching the Capitol building.

Note: More relevant snippets from the speech are at the end of this post.

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2) Watch this short video that shows the Capitol Police opening the doors to the Capitol building and allowing the protesters to enter.

This doesn’t diminish that some protesters did illegally enter through a broken window and cause criminal havoc … but, it does raise questions about the police reaction and whether the bulk of the protesters were in the building illegally or reeking seriously disruptive havoc.

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3) Read Jonathan Turley’s analysis: How A Snap Impeachment Could Shatter Our Constitutional Balance

Turley’s Summary:

Like many, I condemned Trump’s speech as it was still being given, calling it reckless and wrong.

However, Trump’s speech does not meet the definition of incitement under the U.S. criminal code.

Despite widespread, justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or a riot.

Rather, he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to express opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to support the challenges being made by some members of Congress.

He expressly told his followers “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Indeed, it would be considered protected speech by the Supreme Court.

The point of this column is to call for greater caution and deliberation before we take this step to consider the basis and implications of this impeachment.

There are real dangers to any opportunistic or hurried use of this option.

There could be evidence to support impeachment on the proposed incitement article but it would have to be found before or after the speech to show an intent to spark rioting or to allow it to continue.

Such evidence would need to be found  through a traditional impeachment inquiry.

Turley’s recommendation:

“There is also the alternative of a joint and bipartisan condemnation of both houses, which would be both justified and unassailable.”

I side with Prof. Turley on this one.

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Here are relevant snippets from the transcript of Trump’s speech … with timestamped references back to the full transcript.

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Here are snippets of Trump’s speech that relate to (1) hope that Congress would reverse the election results, and (2)  encouragement for the protesters to march to the Capitol.

Note: The numbers are timestamps back on thee full transcript:

8:09   if Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election. All he has to do. This is from the number one or certainly one of the top constitutional lawyers in our country. He has the absolute right to do it.

11:25  We’re gathered together in the heart of our nation’s Capitol for one very, very basic and simple reason, to save our democracy.

12:34  If this happened to the Democrats, there’d be hell all over the country going on. There’d be hell all over the country. But just remember this. You’re stronger, you’re smarter. You’ve got more going than anybody, and they try and demean everybody having to do with us, and you’re the real people. You’re the people that built this nation. You’re not the people that tore down our nation.

16:25  Republicans are constantly fighting like a boxer with his hands tied behind his back. It’s like a boxer, and we want to be so nice. We want to be so respectful of everybody, including bad people. We’re going to have to fight much harder and Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us. If he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country because you’re sworn to uphold our constitution. Now it is up to Congress to confront this egregious assault on our democracy.

After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.

We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard. Today we will see whether Republicans stand strong for integrity of our elections, but whether or not they stand strong for our country, our country.

1:03:56  So I hope Mike has the courage to do what he has to do. And I hope he doesn’t listen to the RINOs and the stupid people that he’s listening to.

1:05:43  So today, in addition to challenging the certification of the election, I’m calling on Congress and the state legislatures to quickly pass sweeping election reforms, and you better do it before we have no country left. Today is not the end. It’s just the beginning.

1:10:05  Looking out at all the amazing patriots here today, I have never been more confident in our nation’s future.

1:10:52  We have a deep and enduring love for America in our hearts. We love our country. We have overwhelming pride in this great country, and we have it deep in our souls. Together we are determined to defend and preserve government of the people, by the people and for the people.

1:11:44  Our brightest days are before us, our greatest achievements still wait. I think one of our great achievements will be election security because nobody until I came along, had any idea how corrupt our elections were. …  I said, “Something’s wrong here. Something’s really wrong. Can’t have happened.” And we fight. We fight like Hell and if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.

1:12:43  So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue, I love Pennsylvania Avenue, and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give  our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.

1:13:19  So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue. I want to thank you all. God bless you and God bless America. Thank you all for being here, this is incredible. Thank you very much. Thank you.

 

 

2 Responses to “Before you jump on the “inciting a riot” bandwagon …”

  1. Jody Wise Says:

    Ken,
    I took your suggestion and read the whole grammatically complex😳 transcript. And yes, he never said “ go and attack or storm the capital”. You are correct. Some of the language he chose was a bit ill chosen given an audience already hyped up for a battle. And Rudy’s speech did include pretty direct incendiary language. However as a self proclaimed genius and a demonstrated capable marketer, Trump knew his audience and most likely had seen the clear communication in the Twitter and Facebook sphere enough to know not to put out matches (even unlit ones).

    Additionally, the note you had about the DC capital police ushering “protesters” into the building, two have been arrested today for that. So maybe the DC police were not all focused on their mission of protecting the capital.

    I am, and have been, in awe of your thought process and well considered opinions so I will continue to read and consider your words. On this however, I don’t agree. My votes for president have included Ford, Reagan, and 2 Bushes – not exactly extreme left. I do believe January 6th was a dark day for our country.

    Jody Wise

  2. Jody Wise Says:

    Correction: The police officers are under investigation not arrested. My mistake.

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