During the first day of Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, Democrats tried to present some hard-hitting evidence. They wanted to prove that Trump is guilty, and that their case is not unconstitutional.
Specifically, they claim Trump encouraged his followers to breach the U.S. Capitol on January 6. And to support this argument, Senate Democrats showed a controversial video.
But in doing so, they may have broken the rules.
The video highlighted instances of the former POTUS supposedly encouraging his fans to fight for the Trump administration. Democrats claim he meant this literally.
So, they showed off a compilation video, which clearly put an emphasis on Trump’s strongest statements.
However, former Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz believes they violated the rules, because the video was clearly “manipulated.” If true, this shouldn’t have been allowed.
Via The Daily Wire:
…former Utah GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz asked if the video had violated the Rules of the House of Representatives for the One Hundred Seventeenth Congress that bar videos ‘distorted or manipulated with the intent to mislead the public.’
Go to page 34 of House Rules. Did the manipulated video violate the House Rules?https://t.co/v7eyPYVUNo
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) February 9, 2021
Chaffetz points toward Page 34 in his tweet, and on that page, it’s clear that all delegates are subject to discipline if they tamper with electronic evidence.
The rule states in part:
…a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, officer, or employee of the House may be subject to discipline for the dissemination by electronic means, including by social media, of any image, video, or audio file that has been distorted or manipulated with the intent to mislead the public.
From the instant Democrats showed it at the trial, Republicans like Chaffetz have been pushing back against the video.
They say impeachment-hungry Democrats purposely omitted certain remarks that would’ve hurt their case. For example, Trump reportedly said multiple times that he doesn’t support the riots.
In fact, one of his first tweets concerning the matter called for protesters attacking the Capitol to get “10 years in prison.”
Beyond that, New York GOP Rep. Lee Zeldin reminded everyone that Democrats tried to hide a particular statement — when Trump called for protests to be conducted “peacefully and patriotically.”
As Zeldin said:
The part that they did play of the president’s remarks, of course, end up cutting out the message the president sent to his supporters that day, that those who were heading to the Capitol should do so peacefully and patriotically.
…so many of the House Democrats, they’re for speech with the impeachment — is that they’re basing this primarily on the argument that the president gave a speech that day that incited a riot. And in so many ways that’s actually been disproven by now…
Democrats will keep pointing to that speech as evidence that Trump helped incite the violence.
But at the same time, Republicans will continue to cite instances of the former President coming down hard on anyone who attacked government buildings and officials.
The Senate concluded yesterday that the trial was constitutional (by a 56-44 vote), so they’re pushing forward — but if Democrats are indeed guilty of manipulating that video, the whole proceedings could fall apart.
Trump, by the way, called the trial a “publicity stunt” and refused to testify.
At this point, that’s probably a good idea, as his presence would likely only add to the circus-like atmosphere.
- Former GOP Rep. Jason Chaffetz accused impeachment Democrats of violating a House rule.
- He claims they broke the rule that says electronic evidence can’t be “distorted or manipulated.”
- If true, this could significantly alter the trial, and very likely in Trump’s favor.
Source: The Daily Wire