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In a segment that sounded almost like anti-Trump fan fiction, CNN claims that the POTUS and several of his key surrogates could be prosecuted for supposedly inciting violence at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, at the Save America rally.
Teeing it up for a CNN legal analyst, anchor Alisyn Camerota wondered, without evidence, whether President Trump could be held criminally liable over his “words that drove that deadly mob to the Capitol building.”
In highlighting various out-of-context statements by President Trump, Don Jr., Rudy Giuliani, and U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks in making a case for potential criminal charges on the theory of inciting a riot, ex-federal prosecutor Laura Coates even had to acknowledge, though, that “there’s a deliberately high bar when it comes to punishing speech.”
Thousands of Trump supporters peacefully showed up for the event to hear the president speak out against certifying the Electoral College results, an event which was horribly and tragically marred by a relatively small group of violent individuals who have been universally condemned, and hundreds are expected to face criminal charges.
No reasonable person disputes that the perpetrators of the violence should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. CNN is the same network that described summer-long rioting as mostly peaceful protests, however, but now argues that the mostly peaceful pro-Trump rally constituted a civil insurrection. Guilt by association was traditionally never part of the American tradition.
CNN has also described Trump’s legal challenge to the election outcome, which included those lawmakers who constitutionally objected to the certification, as a coup.
If you can buy this totally speculative, Dr. Evil or Wizard-of-Oz premise, Coates implied that prosecutors could overcome Trump’s First Amendment free-speech protections by arguing that he “wasn’t really a passive observer, but actually perhaps a seditious conspirator who was trying to manipulate the masses to overturn a lawful election” especially if corroborating witnesses come forward.
Watch and draw your own conclusions:
Apparently, CNN — which the president famously branded as very fake news — also thinks that a Google map of the downtown D.C. makes the potential case against Trump stronger. “So prosecutors draw straight lines. They draw these straight lines why? Because they need to make sure that the conduct caused the result. And here, the rally on the Ellipse seems to go right down Constitution Avenue where the insurrection took place,” Coates added in a brief geography lesson for its viewers.
Charges against those who exercised their First Amendment rights in addressing the crowd seems like a stretch. The left has developed a track record of weaponizing the legal system against Trump and his key supporters, however, so it remains to be seen how this will play out.
In his now-suspended Twitter account, the president immediately condemned the violence that broke out, called for peace, and expressed strong support for law enforcement. Coates also claimed that according to CNN “sources,” which are always reliable, Trump was “borderline enthusiastic” about what happened on Wednesday, which no one with common sense, regardless of their political ideology, can accept.
It’s quite possible that CNN — a network that has devolved into a pro-Democrat infomercial — is aware that its ratings will tank further than they already have after the president leaves office. Thus, the drumbeat to prosecute and/or impeach Trump is a way to squeeze a little bit more juice from the lemon.
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