In the lead-up to Wednesday’s impeachment vote against President Donald Trump in the House, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), who has been appointed as one of the impeachment managers, compared the President to Osama bin Laden.
“Well, Osama Bin Laden did not enter U.S. soil on September 11, but it was widely acknowledged that he was responsible for inspiring the attack on our country and the president, with his words, using the word ‘fight’ with the speakers he assembled that day, who called for ‘trial by combat’ and said we have to ‘take names and kick ass,'” Swalwell said in an interview with PBS NewsHour when asked about claims Trump incited last week’s deadly Capitol riot.
“That is hate speech that inspired and radicalized people to storm the Capitol,” he added.
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Here, the California Democrat is referring to comments made by Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.) respectively at the “Stop The Steal” rally in front of the White House, which Trump also spoke at, before rioters violently stormed the U.S. Capitol.
Trump and the others have defended their remarks at the rally as peaceful.
Swalwell continued, saying: “And when you read the indictments from the U.S. Attorney’s office of people who’ve been arrested, in their FBI interviews they cite that they were called there by the president. They were in the Capitol because the president told them to do so.”
The anchor then asked Swalwell to clarify if he was comparing the President to bin Laden, to which he did not offer a direct response.
“I’m comparing the words of a individual who would incite and radicalize somebody as Osama Bin Laden did to what President Trump did. You don’t actually have to commit the violence yourself but if you call others to violence that itself is a crime,” he said.
The single article of impeachment being voted on sometime Wednesday accuses the president of “incitement of insurrection”—falling under “high crimes and misdemeanors”—for the deadly pro-Trump riot that consumed the grounds and halls of the U.S. Capitol one week ago, on the day Congress was set to certify the states’ Electoral College votes and President-elect Joe Biden’s 2020 election win.
At least 215 House Democrats are joined by a growing list of their Republicans counterparts, notably including the No. 3 House Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney (Wyo.). Trump would be the only president in U.S. history to be impeached twice.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
BREAKING: Trump ordered to pay over $350M, barred from operating his business in NY in civil fraud case ruling
Former President Donald Trump and his business empire faced a significant setback as a New York judge ruled against them in a civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The 92-page ruling, handed down by Judge Arthur Engoron, barred Trump from operating his business in New York for three years and imposed over $350 million in damages.
The case, which unfolded over months of trial proceedings, stemmed from allegations that Trump inflated his assets and engaged in fraudulent practices. Engoron’s ruling cited a litany of charges, including persistent fraud, falsifying records, issuing false financial statements, and conspiracy to commit fraud.
Moreover, the judge imposed restrictions on key figures within the Trump Organization, including Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, barring them from serving in certain corporate roles in New York for a specified period.
Engoron’s scathing assessment of Trump’s testimony during the trial further undermined the former president’s credibility. The judge criticized Trump for evasive responses and irrelevant digressions, highlighting the detrimental effect on his credibility.
In response to the ruling, Trump’s attorney, Christopher Kise, lambasted the court’s decision, alleging political bias and a disregard for established legal principles. Kise argued that the evidence presented during the trial failed to support the allegations of fraud and emphasized Trump’s substantial net worth.
Kise’s assertions were echoed by Alina Habba, another attorney representing Trump, who denounced the verdict as a “manifest injustice” resulting from a politically motivated witch hunt.
Throughout the proceedings, Trump consistently dismissed the trial as politically motivated, accusing both Engoron and James of partisan bias. His legal team also criticized the absence of a jury in the trial, questioning the fairness of the proceedings.
Attorney General Letitia James, who spearheaded the lawsuit against Trump and his organization, portrayed the ruling as a victory for accountability and transparency in business practices. The lawsuit alleged fraudulent conduct and sought substantial financial penalties, a portion of which would contribute to the state treasury.
The fallout from the case extends beyond Trump and his business interests, with implications for the broader business community and the rule of law. The contentious nature of the trial and its outcome underscored deep divisions and raised questions about the integrity of the legal system.
Trump vows to appeal the decision.
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