An interesting opinion piece ran in the Wall Street Journal yesterday by a former prosecutor who has a history of convicting protesters in Washington DC. Jeffrey Scott Shapiro wrote that while it is a crime to incite a riot in the nation’s capital, President Trump is not guilty of doing 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.”
“To peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”
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.”
District law defines a riot as “a public disturbance . . . which by tumultuous and violent conduct or the threat thereof creates grave danger of damage or injury to property or persons.” When Mr. Trump spoke, there was no “public disturbance,” only a rally. The “disturbance” came later at the Capitol by a small minority who entered the perimeter and broke the law. They should be prosecuted.
The president’s critics want him charged for inflaming the emotions of angry Americans. That alone does not satisfy the elements of any criminal offense, and therefore his speech is protected by the Constitution that members of Congress are sworn to support and defend.
Someone send this to Pelosi, because I’m sure it’ll change her mind!
Heh. The despicable Nancy Pelosi doesn’t care about the law or truth. She only cares about her agenda and getting political advantage wherever she can can. In this case, she’s hell-bent on destroying Trump and any future he might have in politics, as well as his MAGA movement that brought him into power. That’s what this impeachment is about, and she’ll go ahead and impeach him a second time even though it’ll never get to the Senate.
I’ve told people until I’ve turned blue in the face that Trump didn’t incite a riot, and I’m glad to see someone who actually knows what they are talking about say the same thing. The riot is on the idiots that perpetrated it and they should all be arrested and punished, as has already started happening.