As a second impeachment trial against former President Donald Trump continues in the U.S. Senate, his 2016 rival has taken the opportunity to weigh in on the proceedings.
According to The Hill, 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton asserted this week that if Trump is acquitted, it would be because Senate Republicans are acting as complicit “co-conspirators” in the ex-president’s alleged crimes.
“It won’t be because the facts were with him”
House Democrats, along with a handful of Republicans, voted last month to impeach the then-president for one count of inciting an insurrection with fiery rhetoric he used in a speech to supporters prior to the violent riot at the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
As The Hill reported, Clinton is now speaking out clearly in support of a Senate conviction based on the accusation. Some of her critics, however, are sure to consider her rationale a form of inflammatory political rhetoric in its own right.
Prior to the commencement of trial proceedings on Wednesday, Clinton leveled her charges against pro-Trump Republican senators in the form of a tweet.
“If Senate Republicans fail to convict Donald Trump, it won’t be because the facts were with him or his lawyers mounted a competent defense,” she tweeted. “It will be because the jury includes his co-conspirators.”
Clinton also tweeted in support of the impeachment effort later the same day, sharing a heavily edited video produced as supposed evidence of the Democratic Party’s case by House impeachment managers.
“With the intent to mislead the public”
The video compiled emotionally charged clips of violence from the breach of the Capitol building juxtaposed with clips from Trump’s speech in a clear attempt to link the two events.
Of course, there was no mention of Trump’s call for his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically” make their case or evidence that the protest had been planned long in advance.
In fact, former Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) tweeted that the video produced by House impeachment managers might be construed as a violation of congressional rules prohibiting the dissemination of “manipulated media” to the public.
Directing his followers to the new House rules package approved on Jan. 3, Chaffetz quoted page 34, which holds that members “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.”
In the end, the political posturing is likely to be moot anyway, since Democrats would need to convince 17 Republicans to vote with them to convict Trump, which appears to be an all-but-impossible task.