Close Calls in the Capitol: Two Takes on Impeachment II

Fox News host Laura Ingraham vehemently denied former President Donald Trump bears any responsibility for the mob that attacked the Capitol, before switching gears to pit American versus American in an attempt at painting President Joe Biden as an elitist.

CNN host Don Lemon spent his entire broadcast Wednesday reviewing and describing newly released footage of the attack on Capitol Hill last month, denouncing Republicans as complicit for failing to hold Trump accountable.

(CN) — Fox News host Laura Ingraham is dead-set that former President Donald Trump’s latest impeachment trial is merely the culmination of a long-running Democratic “gotcha” scheme. She claimed during her show Wednesday evening Trump did absolutely nothing to incite the riot on Capitol Hill last month, despite evidence to the contrary.

Ingraham thinks the latest impeachment trial is just another Democratic ploy to decry Trump and his supporters.

CNN’s Don Lemon, on the other hand, places blame squarely on Republicans. Lemon believes if they had called out Trump on his inflammatory rhetoric from the get-go, the entire debacle could have been avoided.

Lemon also spent part of his Wednesday evening broadcast accusing Republicans of standing by while Trump fanned the flames of racial division in the country for his own gain, and should have known something like the storming of the Capitol by pro-Trump insurrectionists on Jan. 6 was bound to occur.

Impeachment part deux

Ingraham said Democrats doctored a video of Trump to make it appear as though he incited the rioters who stormed Capitol Hill.

In a vain attempt to drive that point home, Ingraham played a clip showing the piece of video Democrats removed before presenting it to the Senate during Wednesday’s impeachment trial proceedings, despite nothing significant having been cut, as the video was likely just trimmed for brevity.

David Shoen, Trump’s impeachment defense attorney, argued the video would have been immediately thrown out of a normal court proceeding because it had been edited. But video evidence is edited all the time to remove superfluous content lest jurors fall asleep watching hours of inconsequential nothingness. Shoen and Ingraham went back and forth, mostly speaking over one another to pat Trump on the back, apparently for not inciting a riot in their view.

“The party of Hollywood has put together a series of films designed to make us so upset that we have to have somebody to be upset at, and they’re saying Donald Trump is the right person,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich told Ingraham.

Quickly pivoting to whataboutism, Ingraham claimed Democrats are the real riot-inciters because of protests held immediately after Trump’s win in 2016. Pulling hard on her audience’s heartstrings, she played a clip from that time of protesters chanting “America was never great,” somehow equating one misguided mob to the entire Democratic party. Her point seems to be that Democrats had it out for Trump since day one. Many did, but the fact remains that nobody forced his hand.

Close call

Lemon spent most of his broadcast reviewing video shown today at Trump’s second impeachment trial, shocked that the rioters came so close to members of Congress before they were whisked away to relative safety by Capitol police. The videos show the mob coming within a stone’s throw of Senators Mitt Romney and Amy Klobuchar before turning their rage on the building itself.

When asked if she realized how close she came to being intercepted by the mob, Klobuchar responded: “I don’t consider us lucky. We were blessed because people saved our lives, and those people were those police officers. When you see that video of the one officer writhing in pain, shrieking, to think that he literally put his own body between this angry mob and us, to save us, he defended our democracy.”

Klobuchar said you could hear a pin drop as the videos were played for the Senate. She said it wasn’t so much what Trump did as what he didn’t do. He didn’t call in the National Guard to quell the riot, others did that, despite Trump’s outright insistence on deploying troops when presumed Democratic voters destroyed public property while protesting the nation’s long epidemic of racial injustice last summer.

Two Americas

Ingraham believes average Americans are already suffering under President Biden. As evidence, she cited Biden’s recent blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline, a planned oil pipeline between Canada and the U.S., ignoring the thousands of average Americans who spoke up in opposition to the environmentally risky project.

Ingraham said thousands of Keystone workers are now without jobs and unable to pay their bills, while mocking Biden’s plans to bring new green jobs to the country. The kind of green jobs congressional Republicans would no doubt block public funding for such projects presented to them, without a second thought for those workers.

She’s attempting to pit different groups of working-class people against one another, working-class people who have far more in common with each other than with Ingraham, Trump or Biden.

“But we know what Biden and his handlers do care about — catering to their rich donors and enriching their sleezy family members,” chided Ingraham. Presumably she doesn’t mean rich donors from the fossil fuel industry and their army of lobbyists, or a certain former first daughter who bagged nearly half a billion dollars during her father’s tenure according to recent reports. No, she definitely doesn’t mean them.

The big lie

Lemon thinks Republican politicians are to blame for the Capitol Hill riot because they didn’t check Trump’s unfounded allegations of voter fraud sooner. He said they had every chance to denounce Trump’s rhetoric but chose not to because it was politically expedient — until eventually it wasn’t.

Lemon claimed the rioters were motivated first and foremost by racism because, as he tells it, of Trump’s narrative that brown people were coming to invade white neighborhoods, led by none other than Senator Cory Booker.

While that may not be why the mob believed they were there — most were convinced they were saving the election from being stolen — years of that kind of fear-mongering is a large part of why they so feared Trump leaving office. It’s hard to fathom these “patriots” taking such a stand if irrefutable evidence arose that Biden had been cheated.

Lemon applauded Capitol Hill police officers who escorted members of Congress to safety, such as Officer Eugene Goodman who spent the day running back and forth across the building while breathing bear spray and enduring racial slurs — 15 of them by his own account. Goodman is Black.

“You have senators there, they’re not fighting for the people who were there, who cleaned up the mess. They’re not fighting for the Black folks all around this country whose votes they tried to undermine,” Lemon explained. “That’s the truth of this. That’s what this is all about. That’s what the big lie is.”

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