Former Prosecutor Jeffrey Scott Shapiro: “The president didn’t commit incitement or any other crime. I should know. As a Washington prosecutor, I earned the nickname ‘protester prosecutor’ from the antiwar group CodePink,” Legal Insurrection reports.
Nancy Pelosi’s “premise to impeach President Trump is just as flawed and just as insubstantial as the first one they peddled,” Legal Insurrection reports.
They write hysterically that his January 6th speech incited an insurrection. However, the speech itself “is just like every other Trump speech he’s ever given. Further, if it were some kind of dog-whistle-laden rhetorical masterpiece that only he and his supporters (and the leftist elite, of course) can understand, why did only a tiny percentage of those assembled enter the Capitol, with fewer still taking part in the property theft or destruction, disrespectful behavior, and/or other facets of this imaginary insurrection?”
The speech is DEVOID of any call to violence or insurrection. The Left hordes can’t point to one phrase that makes it so.
Pelosi feels that her cynical political scheme will get enough Republicans and the public to go along with it.
As we know, their crazies can threaten the Right, tell others to threaten them, and in Bernie Sanders’ case, one of his supporters shot and attempted to kill dozens of Republican congressmen on a ball field in Arlington.
IT’S A DANGEROUS GAME
Pelosi and the Democrats are playing a game and are willing to burn down the Constitution, our rule of law to prevent him from running for office again. It’s clearly driven by hate and vengeance.
Jonathan Turley cuts through to the heart of the matter.
With seeking his removal for incitement, Democrats would gut not only the impeachment standard but also free speech, all in a mad rush to remove Trump just days before his term ends.
Democrats are seeking to remove Trump on the basis of his remarks to supporters before the rioting at the Capitol. Like others, I condemned those remarks as he gave them, calling them reckless and wrong. I also opposed the challenges to electoral votes in Congress. But his address does not meet the definition for incitement under the criminal code. It would be viewed as protected speech by the Supreme Court.
. . . . Despite broad and justified condemnation of his words, Trump never actually called for violence or riots. But he urged his supporters to march on the Capitol to raise their opposition to the certification of electoral votes and to back the recent challenges made by a few members of Congress. Trump told the crowd “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices be heard.”
These kinds of legal challenges have been made by Democrats in the past under the Electoral Count Act, and so Trump was pressing Republicans in Congress to join the effort on his behalf. He ended his remarks by saying a protest at the Capitol was meant to provide Republicans “the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country.” He told the crowd, “Let us walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.” Moreover, marches are common across the country to protest actions by the government.
He is repeating exactly what Harvard Law Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz said. The famed attorney said “Pelosi doesn’t know what she’s talking about,”, adding these are efforts to destroy the Constitution, to destroy the President, for the sake of his four or five days left in his presidency.
The legal standard for violent speech is vague and found in Clarence Brandenburg versus Ohio and even that would protect this speech.
The President told the crowd to protest peacefully and never called for violence.
The overwhelming majority at the rally did not riot and when they got to the Capitol, the riot had already been an emergency situation for 56 minutes.
The House under Pelosi is seeking an impeachment based on our First Amendment and she is obviously willing to tear it down.
Their reckless theory, Turley says, “Under their theory, any president could be removed for rhetoric that is seen to have the “natural tendency” to encourage others to act in a riotous fashion. Even a call for supporters to protest peacefully could not be a defense. Such a standard would allow for a type of vicarious impeachment that attributes conduct of third parties to any president for the purposes of removal.”
“Democrats are pushing this dangerously vague standard while objecting to their own remarks given new meaning from critics. Conservatives have pointed to Maxine Waters asking her supporters to confront Republicans in restaurants, while Ayanna Pressley insisted amidst the violent marches last year that “there needs to be unrest in the streets,” and Kamala Harris said “protesters should not let up” even as some of those marches turned violent. They can legitimately argue their rhetoric was not meant to be a call for violence, but this standard is filled with subjectivity.
“. . . . In this new system, guilt is not doubted and innocence is not deliberated. This would do to the Constitution what the violent rioters did to the Capitol and leave it in tatters.”
Jeffrey Scott Shapiro of the Wall Street Journal also weighed in on Pelosi’s incitement lie in his article entitled, “No, Trump Isn’t Guilty of Incitement: Inflaming emotions isn’t a crime. The president didn’t mention violence, much less provoke it.”
The president didn’t commit incitement or any other crime. I should know. As a Washington prosecutor I earned the nickname “protester prosecutor” from the antiwar group CodePink. In one trial, I convicted 31 protesters who disrupted congressional traffic by obstructing the Capitol Crypt. In another, I convicted a CodePink activist who smeared her hands with fake blood, charged at then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in a House hearing room, and incited the audience to seize the secretary of state physically. In other cases, I dropped charges when the facts fell short of the legal standard for incitement. One such defendant was the antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan.
Hostile journalists and lawmakers have suggested Mr. Trump incited the riot when he told a rally that Republicans need to “fight much harder.” Mr. Trump suggested the crowd walk to the Capitol: “We’re going to cheer on brave senators and congressmen and -women, and 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.”
In the District of Columbia, it’s a crime to “intentionally or recklessly act in such a manner to cause another person to be in reasonable fear” and to “incite or provoke violence where there is a likelihood that such violence will ensue.” This language is based on Brandenburg v. Ohio (1969), in which the Supreme Court set the standard for speech that could be prosecuted without violating the First Amendment. The justices held that a Ku Klux Klan leader’s calls for violence against blacks and Jews were protected speech. The court found that Clarence Brandenburg’s comments were “mere advocacy” of violence, not “directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action . . . likely to incite or produce such action.”
The president didn’t mention violence on Wednesday, much less provoke or incite it. He said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Pelosi is trying to set a dangerous precedent for future presidents of any party and it is a direct attack on the First Amendment and our free speech and right to assembly. She is capable of anything and recently tried to arrange for a military coup. Would she use it unequally after eight days from now on other Republicans? You betcha!