Free Speech

Did Trump Commit a Crime When He Riled Up His Supporters Before They Rioted?

Under federal law, incitement to riot does not include "advocacy of ideas" or "expression of belief" unless it endorses violence, which Trump did not do.

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The inflammatory speech that Donald Trump delivered to thousands of his most passionate followers shortly before hundreds of them attacked the Capitol was an act of egotism and recklessness that stood out even in a presidency suffused with both. Was it also a crime?

"The Justice Department said on Thursday that it would not rule out pursuing charges against President Trump for his possible role in inciting the mob that marched to the Capitol, overwhelmed officers and stormed the building a day earlier," The New York Times reports. Michael Sherwin, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, told reporters, "We are looking at all actors, not only the people who went into the building." When he was asked whether those "actors" might include the president, he replied, "We're looking at all actors. If the evidence fits the elements of a crime, they're going to be charged."

It seems pretty clear that Trump's behavior, while outrageous and irresponsible, does not fit the elements of a crime. Under the Supreme Court's First Amendment precedents, inflammatory speech can be punished only in narrowly defined circumstances that go beyond what happened on Wednesday. Under federal law, incitement to riot does not include "advocacy of ideas" or "expression of belief" unless it endorses violence, which Trump did not do.

The Times nevertheless reports that Trump "suddenly realize[d] he could face legal risk for prodding the mob," which persuaded him to record the message he posted on Twitter yesterday, in which he unequivocally condemned the rioters for the first time without reiterating the stolen-election fantasy that motivated them. After insisting in his pre-riot speech the day before that "we will never give up" and "we will never concede," a seemingly chastened Trump did just that, saying, "A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th." He added that "this moment calls for healing and reconciliation."

It was a bit late for that. For more than two months, Trump insisted, over and over again, that he actually won the election by a landslide, that Democrats deprived him of his rightful victory through a massive criminal conspiracy, and that letting them get away with it would destroy democracy and ruin the republic. That message culminated in Wednesday's incendiary speech, during which the president addressed the angry supporters who had gathered for a Trump-promoted "Save America March" aimed at preventing President-elect Joe Biden from taking office.

Trump began his rant an hour before a joint session of Congress convened to ratify Biden's victory. Railing against "this egregious assault on our democracy," he urged his followers to "show strength" and "take back our country" by "marching over to the Capitol building" and "demand[ing] that Congress do the right thing." The "right thing," according to Trump, was overturning the election results by rejecting electoral votes for Biden. But it was clear that Congress was not about to do that, especially after Vice President Mike Pence, who was charged with presiding over the joint session, forcefully rejected the president's specious argument that he had the unilateral power to deliver the outcome Trump wanted.

The result was not hard to predict as thousands of aggrieved and frustrated Trump fans, riled up by the president, streamed toward the Capitol on a mission that was bound to fail. Does that mean Trump, legally speaking, incited a riot?

Under federal law, "to incite a riot" means "to organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot." The crime, which is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison, "includes, but is not limited to, urging or instigating other persons to riot, but shall not be deemed to mean the mere oral or written (1) advocacy of ideas or (2) expression of belief, not involving advocacy of any act or acts of violence or assertion of the rightness of, or the right to commit, any such act or acts."

Even advocacy of illegal behavior, the Supreme Court ruled in the 1969 case Brandenburg v. Ohio, is constitutionally protected speech unless it is both aimed at inciting "imminent lawless action" and likely to do so. The case involved a Ku Klux Klan leader, Clarence Brandenburg, who was accused of advocating violence in the service of a political cause and participating in a gathering aimed at promoting "the doctrines of criminal syndicalism."

The charges stemmed from a KKK rally that featured weapons, hoods and robes, a cross burning, and racist and anti-Semitic rhetoric. "Personally," Brandenburg said, "I believe the nigger should be returned to Africa, the Jew returned to Israel." He also alluded vaguely to the possibility of violent resistance. "We're not a revengent organization," he said, "but if our president, our Congress, our Supreme Court, continues to suppress the white, Caucasian race, it's possible that there might have to be some revengeance taken."

The Court ruled that Brandenburg's speech was protected by the First Amendment. "The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press," it said, "do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."

Given the circumstances, Trump's speech was likely to result in imminent lawless action by at least some of the demonstrators. But were his comments "directed" at that outcome? In other words, did he intend to cause a riot?

The attack on the Capitol, which provoked bipartisan condemnation of Trump's rhetoric, second thoughts by senators who had planned to challenge Biden's electoral votes, disgusted resignations by Cabinet members, and threats of a second impeachment, certainly did not redound to his benefit. That fact does not necessarily illuminate Trump's intent, since he has never been very good at controlling his impulses or anticipating how his unhinged remarks will affect his political interests.

On its face, however, Trump's speech called for nothing but peaceful protest. "We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated," he said. "I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today."

Citing unnamed "officials," the Times reports that Trump "was initially pleased" when some of his supporters "stormed into the Capitol" and that he "disregarded aides pleading with him to intercede." But about 20 minutes after the demonstration turned violent, Trump urged his supporters to "stay peaceful." Half an hour later, he reiterated that message: "I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order—respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue." Later that day, he recorded a message urging the protesters to "go home now," saying "we have to have peace," even while continuing to insist that "we had an election that was stolen from us."

Trump did not advocate violence, even in general terms. If his remarks qualify as incitement to riot, so would similarly fiery rhetoric at other protests that are marked by violence.

In 2016, a Baton Rouge police officer who was injured during a Black Lives Matter demonstration sued one of the movement's leaders, DeRay Mckesson, saying he "incited the violence." A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit after concluding that Mckesson "solely engaged in protected speech" at the protest. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit later revived the lawsuit, but its decision focused on the allegation that Mckesson "directed the demonstrators to engage in [a] criminal act" by blocking a highway, which "quite consequentially provoked a confrontation between the Baton Rouge police and the protesters."

Trump, by contrast, did not commit a crime or urge others to do so, even if the violence that followed his speech was predictable. His opponents may regret establishing a precedent that speakers who neither commit nor advocate violence can be prosecuted for the criminal conduct of people inspired by their words.

NEXT: Trump Never Bothered To Hide His Contempt for the Constitution

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  1. Under federal law, incitement to riot does not include “advocacy of ideas” or “expression of belief” unless it endorses violence, which Trump did not do.

    Jacob, give us a signal if they made you print this against your will.

    1. *Frantically blinking a morse code message while reading a teleprompter*

      1. “couple times a month”

        1. Look downthread where he shit out 10 posts with his sarc/DOL socks and you can see getting shit on this much is getting to him.

          1. Btw DOL, you illiterate sociopath, this is a different person than me.

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              1. Apple, Google, Twitter, and Facebook, unified, an an orgy of spurting fluids, ban all things Trump. Apple attacks “Parler,” a much more libertarian site than Reason.com, with threats to remove their app from their store, if they don’t silence people’s voices that they don’t like, immediately, as in right the fuck now. Google, already removing parler from the google play store, pulls their dick out of “Jack” Dorsey, who in turn, pulls his dick out of “Suckerberg” whose dick he had in the offspring of China, quite literally. Meanwhile, Jacob “Sullen Dick” enters the room and says, “I have a dick. Where can I put it?” Apple replies in a monotone voice, as if of high class and someone unimportant just entered the room, “Right here. You can complete the circle for us.” So offspring of China puts on a strap on, and ramrods that shit right up Sullen’s ass. Sullen pulls an “o” face, followed by a grimace ramrodding his shit into Apple’s ass. Parler in the middle of the circle, chained to the floor on it’s knees, get’s sprayed on in a gigantic foamy shit smelling pull-out and spray event. Semi-conscious, covered in gallons of translucent glistening jizz, Parler says to Sullen Dick, “How can you do this to me?” Sullen Dick immediately slaps parler in the face with his AIDS infested cock while shouting “You supported Trump!” And like a boxer getting punching in the face, a mist of fluids on his face clouded the air, and fell, on the pages of Reason.com.

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            2. Seems like this is annoying you. I can relate.

              Let’s say I believe you.

              Why should I stop, when you do the same exact thing to me, for months? Google: “The golden rule”

              And why do you set yourself up like this? Is it to make me more aware of my parenting style? Thanks, I guess?

              1. Not annoying me at all. How is you being wrong and a hypocrite me setting myself up?

                As far as your parenting style, I just hope if you have any children, they’re not sociopaths like you are.

                1. They’re cute as hell.

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                  2. It’s just as likely that you have children as it is that you were in the military tubby. In other words, zero chance.

                    1. Also, the progs are in the move to silence American speech.

                      https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-55598887

                      Parler is now off the Google Marketplace. Apple Store is next.

                      Better get rid of the democrats while we can.

      2. De Oppresso Liber
        January.8.2021 at 2:11 pm
        Tell me how a war on Inspectors General or a complete disregard for the emoluments clause or sicking your mob on the congress shows respect for the constitution.

        Jacob just did. I bet it hurts you knowing he fucking clowned you openly.

        1. He’ll just ignore it. Like he did when he got caught lying last night.

          1. Looks like you are wrong. Or as you like to say “a lying liar lying pants doo doo head”

            1. “January.8.2021 at 2:39 pm
              Please quote what you are specifically talking about from Jacob”

              Looks like I was exactly right and you ingored it right there liar.

              Again.

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            2. You’ve got to remember that everything you say is dead serious. So if you use hyperbole, exaggerate, or make a joke, and then say something serious that contradicts the statement made in jest, then you’re liar liar pants on fire.

              I can’t tell if these people have no sense of humor, no sarcasm detector, are morons, or just plain dishonest. Not that those things are mutually exclusive.

              1. I think R Mac is genuinely unintelligent. Jesse is a mendacious, unhappy, and unpopular in real life asshole. Nardz is a just a bog standard incel.

                1. I think R Mac is genuinely unintelligent.

                  Yeah, he’s probably one of those guys who will call you stupid if you say something they don’t understand.

                  1.   sarcasmic
                    January.8.2021 at 12:22 pm
                    What he’s doing is no different than how Jesse and others treat anyone who disagrees with them.

                    sarcasmic
                    January.8.2021 at 10:21 am
                    But, but, but the other team did it first!!!1!!!!one!!!1!!

                    ahahahahahahah omfg sarcasmic/DOL is so stupid AHAHAHAHAHAH

                  2. Aw fuck DOL is pissed that Sullum made him look retarded so he busted out his sarcasmic sockpuppet

                    1. Whose sock puppet are you? It’s so hard to keep track.

                    2. If I don’t recognize the name I assume it’s Tulpa.

                    3. In the future, we will all be Tulpa for 15 posts.

                2. De Oppresso Liber
                  January.8.2021 at 2:56 pm
                  I think R Mac is genuinely unintelligent

                  Says the guy who think R. Truth says R Mac.

                  1. Here comes Totally Not R Mac to defend R Mac.

                    1. Oh no, DOL thinks it’s me! What will I do?

                    2. fuck off somewhere else, if we’re lucky

                    3. You’re a discredit loser Jeffy. And a known pedophile enthusiast.

                    4. fuck off tulpa. you’re projecting again. get help

              2. In addition if you contradict the strawman caricature of you that people argue against, then you’re a liar.

                1. Awww you mad he caugjt you lying DOL?

                    sarcasmic
                  January.8.2021 at 12:22 pm
                  What he’s doing is no different than how Jesse and others treat anyone who disagrees with them.

                  sarcasmic
                  January.8.2021 at 10:21 am
                  But, but, but the other team did it first!!!1!!!!one!!!1!!

                  ahahahahahahah omfg sarcasmic/DOL is so stupid AHAHAHAHAHAH

                  1. They deserve to be treated with disrespect because that’s real what they sow. The rest of us are fairly honest.

                2. Sarc, you and the other fags, sock puppets, etc. just shitpost all over every comment section. Yo run any substantive discussion with your lies and bullshit. You are far better suited for WaPo or the like.

        2. Please quote what you are specifically talking about from Jacob.

          1. Here you see him ignoring it just like I said his lying ass would.

            1. I’m supposed to believe this isn’t R Mac?

              I don’t normally play the sock game, but my, is the impression ever spot on.

              1. Here we see sarc doing some pathetic damage control because his stupid ass can’t read six characters.

              2. “I fucked up again and can’t read so you’re a sockpuppet” says sarcasmic

                ahahahahahahahah god how do you feed yourself

                1. What else is he gonna say, he got caught lying and got so mad when I rode him that he attacked the wrong person.

                  Super shitty, so rather than be better he just handwaves it away.

              3. Knock it off sarcasmic we all know it’s you.

              4. I honestly don’t care if you think it’s me, because it’s not, and it makes you look stupid.

                1. Well then you and I finally understand each other.

                  1. I’ve understood you’re a sociopath for some time now. I doubt you understand me at all, but don’t really care.

              5. You always okay the sock game. It’s obvious. I don’t know why you bother.

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    3. I saw a ‘mostly’ peaceful protest. We had those all summer long. What is the big deal?

      1. Except that the conservative narrative was that every protester was rioting and looting and burning, and if not actively engaged in that activity they were still responsible.

        Now conservatives are distancing themselves from the Trump rioters and just a few bad apples who are alone responsible for their actions.

        Intellectual honesty? For the birds.

        1. “Except that the conservative narrative was that every protester was rioting and looting and burning, and if not actively engaged in that activity they were still responsible.”

          That is not at all the conservative narrative.

          Look, I am pissed off at what the board has become. But until you guys look yourselves in the mirror and realize that you are part of the problem, it isn’t going to get better.

          Even when decent conversations start up, you show up just like the trumpaloos to grind this same axe over and over again.

          1. Overt
            January.8.2021 at 3:29 pm

            That is not at all the conservative narrative.

            The conservative narrative is that even though much less than .05% of hundreds of thousands of peaceably gathered conservatives, who lawfully assembled for the purpose of exerting political pressure, broke stuff and in so doing set the conservative cause back decades. And as a result, all conservatives are obliged to sit on their hands in a grand self defeating manner. The conservative slogan should be “We’re not worthy” because we’re not immune from bs criticism.

            And as Sarcasmic pointed out it was a few bad apples which conservatives will normally fall all over themselves applying to bad acts by cops but not extend that same defense to themselves. They even start to eat their own. Doomed to fail with that foolishness. Their demonrat adversaries surely do not subscribe to that nonsense and do not let republicans force their narratives on them, while conservatives open every orifice to accept the demonrat narrative.

            Pretty sure Sun Tzu would strongly advise against such stupidity. Don’t let the enemy define you when it hurts your cause.

            1. The left has mastered the use of shame as a weapon. The solution is to be shameless. Hence Trump.

              So we must all be shameless, and destroy our enemies at every opportunity.

            2. I agree, except there are so many RINOs pretending to be conservatives, and really are statists supporting Democrat policies that give more power to government. It’s also the RINOs along with the Democrats, taking the lead in criticizing conservatives (when some misbehave) and falling over to let the Democrats have their way. You can see them doing things like ensuring enough RINOs vote for more government to get it passed, while allowing some to pretend they support the other side and vote against.

              The RINO’s actions show they’re not conservatives. And conservative voters also are to blame, for allowing RINOs to win the GOP primary. As party insiders and political scientists know, the party insiders pick the candidates. And the GOP (not Trump) is dominated by big government RINOs.

        2. sarcasmic
          January.8.2021 at 3:15 pm
          Except that the conservative narrative was that every protester was rioting and looting and burning

          sarcasmic
          January.8.2021 at 10:21 am
          But, but, but the other team did it first!!!1!!!!one!!!1!!

          ahahah

          omfg sarc CANNOT STOP lolololol

          Intellectual honesty? For the birds.

          ahahahahahahah

          gold jerry!

        3. “Now conservatives are distancing themselves from the Trump rioters”

          Nope, they’re owning it and loving it. This was a major political win that nobody can see yet.

    4. What kind of libertarian writer asks, in a way that expects an affirmative answer, if speech should be criminalized?

      1. Of course it doesn’t. But that’s kinda what’s going on tonight, isn’t it? So it’s something that needs to be talked about, apparently.

    5. I was shocked, as well. Obviously, leftist scum Sullum wants to somewhat restore his credibility after Biden secured the nomination, so he throws out an article in Trump’s favor.

    6. Absolutely ! To try and claim Trump guilty here they would have to acknowledge that Martin Luther King and many others had committed the same offence.

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    9. Trump: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard today.”

      That’s “inflammatory” according to the author. What’s missing here, is a comparison to how Democrat egged on violence against conservatives and who now advocating anyone who questions the integrity of the election, be tried for sedition because they’re bringing questions about the integrity of the government.

      I didn’t expect Reason to promote Biden, but their TDS of Trump seems to have led them there. From my 40+ years as a libertarian, I’d have to say Trump is the most libertarian president in my lifetime. Now we’re about to get a corrupt, statist, who cheated in the election (and no doubt will continue to cheat), along with a lot of other government officials (who will as well), because they want the power. And they’ll be taking away our power of freedom from us. They’re already pressuring big tech to cancel us, and they are.

      1. I hate to burst your bubble, MoreFreedom, but if you’re referring to Biden as having cheated his way into office, you’re dead wrong here. Biden won the 2020 POTUS election fairly, squarely and legitimately and legally, and Trump tried his damnedest to wrest the Election from Biden. Moreover, Trump has created the kind of atmosphere that led to the horrific stuff that happened at the Capitol recently.

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  3. Free Speech
    Did Trump Commit a Crime When He Riled Up His Supporters Before They Rioted?
    Jacob Sullum | 1.8.2021 2:10 PM

    Donald Trump
    Trump Never Bothered To Hide His Contempt for the Constitution
    Damon Root | 1.8.2021 1:52 PM

    This is Reason in 2021.

    1. Yep. Pretty sad. This “angry mob” broke a few windows, took some selfies but otherwise just strolled through the building; even staying within the red velvet restraints like normal visitors. Unlike those mostly peaceful protesters that destroyed billions of dollars in property this summer and killed dozens of people. But, THIS event is the worst day in human history!!! Seriously, Reason writers need some serious fucking help for their TDS.

      1. They did not even make a good bonfire to burn Chuck and Nancy in effigy!

      2. They did kill a police officer.

        1. A police officer died after defending people and property from the riots.

          Yes, if a black man punched a police officer and, after the arrest, the officer collapsed and died, we’d arrest him for assault and try him for murder. However, we’d wait until after the trial or at least until the evidence had been to declare that him a murderer rather than just the victim of an ill-timed heart attack or embolism or whatever.

        2. Did they? I didn’t know his cause of death has been released. Cite?

          1. How are they going to make him a murder victim, and a victim of covid?

            1. JesseAZ was there and spit in his face?
              -sarcasmic

      3. Unlike those mostly peaceful protesters that destroyed billions of dollars in property this summer and killed dozens of people.

        Hey now, we don’t know that they killed those people the way we know that the officer who was treated for his wounds, returned to duty, and then collapsed was killed by the rioters. Anybody could’ve put those bullet in the corpses of those kids outside CHAZ or the knife wounds into the officers that survived before EMS got to the chance to (not) save them.

      4. “Unlike those mostly peaceful protesters that destroyed billions of dollars in property this summer and killed dozens of people.”

        Unlike the Nazis who were responsible for millions of deaths and the destruction of entire cities and countries.

        So how is this relevant?

  4. Who are you and what have you done with Jacob Sullum?

  5. It begins…..

    Analysis: TV providers should not escape scrutiny for distributing disinformation
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/analysis-tv-providers-should-not-escape-scrutiny-for-distributing-disinformation/ar-BB1czyy1

    “Fox and Newsmax, both delivered to my home by your company, are complicit,” NJ state Assemblyman Paul Moriarty texted a Comcast executive on Thursday. “What are you going to do???”

    “You feed this garbage, lies and all,” Moriarty added to the executive, according to a screen grab of the texts he provided me. Moriarty was referring to the fact that Comcast’s cable brand, Xfinity, provides a platform to right-wing cable networks that have for weeks been disseminating disinformation about the November election results to audiences of millions.

    Moriarty has a point. We regularly discuss what the Big Tech companies have done to poison the public conversation by providing large platforms to bad-faith actors who lie, mislead, and promote conspiracy theories. But what about TV companies that provide platforms to networks such as Newsmax, One America News — and, yes, Fox News?

    Somehow, these companies have escaped scrutiny and entirely dodged this conversation. That should not be the case anymore.

    1. Moriarty used to be a “newscaster” on NBC’s Philly affiliate. He’s also my assemblyman, and is very far left. He’s anti-1A, anti-2A, and parrots the prog agenda word for word.

      1. Always with the negative waves, Moriarty. Always with the negative waves.

        1. Hey, Moriarty…take TLC’s advice, if you know what I mean.

      2. Unicorn, you live pretty close by.

        I have Conway and Murphy….two useless uberlibs.

        Moriarty…didn’t he beat a DUI way back when? That dashcam shit?

        1. No, like he told the judge, his friend Moran was driving.

        2. I had to look that up. Yes, he did. He was pulled over by a Washington Township cop, where he used to be mayor.

      3. He sounds like a traitor.

    2. Meanwhile, Apple is threatening to pull Palor from the app store unless the toe the liberal line and ban all the people twitter/facebook are purging en mass.

      1. That’s not at all what their letter stated.

        1. Care to state what their letter said?

    3. We better destroy the democrats before they destroy us. Time grows short.

    4. So Moriarty is admitting that he’s too stupid to understand that there is a bias to all sources of information and that he’d rather have the comfortable feeling of being spoon-fed only one narrative so he doesn’t have to do the hard work of critical thinking…

      Cool…

  6. Cavuto mark?

    The answer is no.

  7. After insisting in his pre-riot speech the day before that “we will never give up” and “we will never concede,” a seemingly chastened Trump did just that, saying, “A new administration will be inaugurated on January 20th.” He added that “this moment calls for healing and reconciliation.”

    Hu he saves himself from legal issues as he quoted “this moment calls for healing and reconciliation.” read more at

  8. Sounds like all he encouraged was constitutionally protected protest.

    1. Well I for one am certainly relieved that the Constitution protects the President because the founders wanted to make sure that government had as much freedom as possible to incite the mob into action.

      1. He has the same right to speak as anyone. There is nothing wrong with inciting a mob into action if that action is lawful protest.

        1. He is the ENFORCER of the right to speak for everyone else. That is very different than everyone else – who can only rely on the 1A to enforce their right to speak.

          There is nothing wrong with inciting a mob into action if that action is lawful protest.

          Cool. Well then as long as Congress decides what is lawful and the Prez decides what they will decide to enforce/not and judges decide to defer – then the constitution and limited government are in great shape.

          Doesn’t surprise me that the We Love Authority wing of libertarians finds reasons to ensure that government itself can’t be held accountable for anything. Because after all, it is really the potential victim here isn’t it.

          1. If you think I’m part of the We Love Authority wing, then I don’t know what to tell you.

            1. JFree claims to be a classical liberal but has a giant blind spot for leftist authoritarianism. The guy blasts Trump – fine. He’s no paragon of liberty. But even the much more liberty-friendly politicians like Rand Paul earn his ire any time they’re mentioned. And yet he is completely silent on the Democrats’ demagoguery and statist policies. He’s even tacitly endorsed various governments’ heavy-handed response to COVID by throwing shade on anyone who questions it, calling them science deniers.

              1. So you spit in old people’s faces too?

      2. “Well I for one am certainly relieved that the Constitution protects the President because the founders wanted to make sure that government had as much freedom as possible to incite the mob into action.”

        How does a sickly piece of lefty shit like you carry around such straw men?

    2. Zeb, I have to agree with you.

      Was it foolish given the circumstances? Yes.
      Did it lead to a horrible outcome? Yes.

      I just don’t see how that speech was any different than a thousand other “take back our country” spirited speeches you always hear when someone doesn’t get their way.

      I mean, the Democrats in Congress literally “bent the knee” to the far, far more destructive BLM protests that are still going on (as of NYE in Portland). Are they all responsible for all that destruction as well?

      I kind of wonder what all those entirely normal people trying to go on with their lives as “mostly peaceful” rioters burn down sections of their city think about this.

      My first thought was “just desserts” for Congress who has done essentially nothing about any of these issues.

      /rant

    3. Legally speaking yes. He is, however, culpable for fomenting the belief that they were stealing the election which precipitated the riot. So morally, he’s not 100% in the clear. Granted, he tried to stop the riot via a pretty weak online video only to have that video stifled and removed by Twitter/Facebook. So ideally he won’t be indicted for what he didn’t do, but he and Twitter/Facebook will all be successfully sued for their part in encouraging the riot.

      1. The problem with “fomenting the belief that the election was stolen”, though, is that he legitimately believes that, as do his supporters. Is he supposed to say “Nah, the election really wasn’t stolen. Those Republican poll watchers who were thrown out? There was nothing wrong with that! The weird statistical anomalies? Sure, they’d bring down CEOs, but these things happen all the time in politics. Go home, you were foolish to believe your vote was stolen!”

        If the 1st Amendment can’t defend belief (even if it’s misguided), then what is it supposed to protect?

        And if the belief is all that wrong, why have the Tech Giants bent over backward to discredit it, and to silence everyone trying to spread it, without any credible debunking? This only gives an air of gaslighting by those in power — thereby confirming that yes, the election was stolen.

  9. The Times nevertheless reports that Trump “suddenly realize[d] he could face legal risk for prodding the mob…”

    There’s going to be a glut of tell-all books about what Trump was thinking at any given event of his term, all of them with anonymous authors.

    1. There’s going to be a glut of tell-all books about what Trump was thinking at any given event of his term, all of them with anonymous authors.

      Who knew that such a megalomaniacal simpleton was so in-depth and complex?

  10. Now that Trump’s getting banished to the political wilderness, he’ll probably be the Democrats’ Goldstein.

  11. Yeah he didn’t commit a crime. He said some irresponsible things but it’s not a crime to be an irresponsible dickhead.

    1. chemjeff….incredibly, this one time I happen to agree with you.

      1. If it were a crime to be an irresponsible dickhead chemjeff would have been jailed long ago.

        1. Now that is how you do a burn. Old school. Good job sir!

      2. Don’t worry. On the other thread he is defending large politically connected corporations silencing a political party. Of course there are a lot of private companies actually funded by the CCP in China too.

  12. Democrats are furiously memory holing their 2020 comments on “peaceful protestors” such as those who attacked the White House this summer. Gotta look centrist now just for a bit longer…

  13. To repeat what I said earlier. Anyone else think it would be halarious if trump addressed the people at capitol Hill “to quote a great president we need to get out and argue with people, we need to punish our enemies”

    1. Again I would argue that he could’ve ‘mad lib’ed Clintons speech from 2018, be delivering the same political aim/message, but still be more culpable:

      “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about. That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing that the Republicans Democrats seem to recognize and respect is strength. I remember what they did to me for 25 years – the falsehoods, the lies, which unfortunately people believe because the Republicans Democrats have put a lot of time, money, and effort in promoting them. So when you’re dealing with an ideological party that is driven by the lust for power, that is funded by corporate interests who want a government that does its bidding, it’s – you can be civil, but you can’t overcome what they intend to do unless you win elections.”

      “The question about impeachment — you know, that will be left to others to decide. I want to stop the degrading of the rule of law. The delegitimizing of elections. One of their priorities should be, let’s protect our elections. Let’s make sure that we have electoral security. Let’s end the suppression of voters. So there is a big agenda if the Democrats[(?)] take over.”

      1. That would have been great.

    2. Trump should plan a giant MAGA rally on Inauguration Day and hijack the Biden festivities.

  14. The Second Amendment advocates violence against oppressive government, the discussion of which is presumably one of the things the Democrats want to ban from social media under the guise of “violent threats”.

    Meanwhile, none of this has much to do with Trump himself anymore. If the Republicans in the Georgia senate races had won, most of this wouldn’t have happened. Average people are genuinely scared of what the Democrats intend to do with their unchecked power–and that’s what’s fueling this. Not any statements by Trump.

    The disrupters concerns are justifiable even if their actions aren’t. The Democrats have made it abundantly clear that they hate the white, blue collar middle class, and they’ve spend the last year trying to be more socialist than each other. Biden’s agenda from his website is a socialist and authoritarian nightmare.

    Now that there is no means to influence policy or any meaningful representation, expect more and more average people to become violent in their attempt to resist the Democrats and their policies.

    Meanwhile, Pelosi has reportedly contacted the Joint Chiefs of Staff about having the military remove Trump from office on the basis of his supposed mental instability. Things haven’t even really started happening yet. The militia movement of the 1990s sprang into existence over far more trivial stuff than this. I repeat: This isn’t about Trump anymore. It’s about the Democrats, their unchecked power, and their awful plans.

    1. When leftists speak about the things they intend to do to you…listen.

      You are 100% correct: This isn’t about Trump anymore. It’s about the Democrats, their unchecked power, and their awful plans.

    2. Do you really feel oppressed? If you do, then you have no idea what oppression is. 😀 😀 😀 😀

      1. Oppression and its corollary, freedom, are on a scale. But you knew that, and instead tried to minimize Ken’s points in the lamest way possible.

        1. Lame points are lame points, so they will be addressed as such. Got a better idea?

          1. Bullshit is bullshit and it will be addressed as such. Got anything other than bullshit? If so, it’s yet to be seen.

      2. Whether I feel oppressed, lethargic, horny, or hungry isn’t the issue, but the idea that people aren’t being oppressed unless the oppression is about as bad as it can get (and makes them feel sufficiently bad) is ridiculous.

        Authoritarianism is using the government to force people to do things against their will, and Joe Biden ran on a campaign of using the government to force us to sacrifice our standard of living on the altar of climate change, using the government to launch an assault on our gun rights like we’ve never seen before, and using the government to force us to sacrifice our private insurance and go on Medicaid. Meanwhile, the Democrats have been threatening to pack the Supreme Court so that the court won’t protect our rights and liberties in the face of such legislation. And those aren’t the only things they want the Supreme Court to let them do.

        The progressives and social justice warriors that run the Democratic party are trying to purge American society of what they call hate speech. Their meaning of “hate speech” goes far beyond the use of racial slurs. They believe that supporting a wall on our southern border is xenophobic, opposing abortion is misogynistic, opposing gay marriage is homophobic, and opposing things like affirmative action is racist. By banning such “hate speech” on social media, and, indeed, trying to cancel anyone who expresses these views from management positions in the private sector, they’re effectively trying to purge society of conservative voices. After all, practically every Republican in the country holds one of those views.

        We haven’t even started talking about the Democrats’ intent to ban violent threats–like believing that the Second Amendment is intended to give us the means to overthrow an oppressive government. We haven’t even started talking about banning “conspiracy theories”, like discussing the evidence that Joe Biden’s son has been peddling influence on behalf of his father since before Joe Biden became the Vice President.

        As a libertarian capitalist, I have a strong qualitative preference for freedom, but all of these things are oppressive and authoritarian regardless of how you, I, or anyone else feels about them. Oh, and if you respond to this, please don’t tell us about your feelings. I might care more about your feelings than I do about you feel about my feelings, but that isn’t saying much. If you want to talk to someone who cares about you feelings, call your mom.

      3. So you’re saying we should wait to lose all our freedoms before we act? That we should only act against 100% full-on totalitarian regimes? And that it’s illegitimate to try to prevent a regime from becoming totalitarian in the first place?

        That’s one messed up notion you have about oppression!

      4. Don’t worry, Sleepy Joe will teach us!

    3. Meanwhile, Pelosi has reportedly contacted the Joint Chiefs of Staff about having the military remove Trump from office on the basis of his supposed mental instability.

      But Trump’s the one trying to pull off a coup.

      1. You sure have a strange definition of “coup”, mister.

        1. You might want to have your sarcasm detector checked, mister.

  15. Keep telling yourself these are merely “Trump supporters” and that when he goes away, they’ll go away. Not that these are a bunch of pissed off people that have had all they can stand and they’re not going to put up with this shit any more. And by “this shit” I mean a lot of the same crap the Libertarians have been ineffectively bitching about for half a century but isn’t going to change until you start slitting some throats.

    1. Trump is the lightning rod that keeps them remotely under control. When Trump is gone, the same passion and rage will exist, with no leadership. I can only wonder what crazy result that will have.

      But I’m sure every Democrat will be shocked that Trump is gone, but the problem keeps getting worse.

      1. But I’m sure every Democrat will be shocked that Trump is gone, but the problem keeps getting worse.

        In the same way that they will be shocked that, despite Biden winning, the Antifa riots continue and the Mayor of Seattle keeps getting punched in the face.

    2. Reason libertarians bitch about the heat, but when faced with a choice between raising the thermostat or turning it slightly down insist the only acceptable option is turning it off and then blame the turn it down squad.

  16. You would also kind of have to be retarded to think that “go to the Capitol and tell them” meant “break down all the barricades and ruin the optics” when Trump deliberately planned a PROTEST for this day months in advance.

    People are absolute fucking morons for thinking Trump had any fault in this. There is absolutely nothing wrong with protesting at the Capitol.

    1. It’s really batshit. Out of 200,000 people (or whatever it really was), what, a hundred or so busted into the building? And that means that Trump and everyone vaguely associated with Trump or the protest is at fault?

    2. Of course he had fault in it. Are you fucking retarded or something?

      1. Of course, how can he have been so blind! Orange man is at fault for everything that goes wrong in the world, including the coronavirus, the economy (but only when it’s bad), hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes, and even that lego that I just stepped on, so of course he’s at fault for some people breaking into the Capitol.

      2. Then so did every Democrat who not only failed to condemn the BLM/leftists rioters but actively encouraged them to get in people’s faces.

      3. Yes, how dare he not realize that every crowd has a few kooks and that they would do something that has severely damaged his image even though he has expressed desire to seek a second term and is eligible and wildly popular!

      4. They were inspired by the actions of Sleepy Joe, not Trump. So maybe he’s the one at fault?

  17. On the one hand, we’re supposed to be upset and afraid because of Trump’s speech.

    On the other hand, Nancy Pelosi appears to have been advocating for a military coup.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Friday that Democrats would move forward with impeachment proceedings if President Trump didn’t quickly leave office, adding that she spoke with the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman about Mr. Trump’s mental fitness . . .
    “If the president does not leave office imminently and willingly, the Congress will proceed with our action,” Mrs. Pelosi said in a letter to House Democrats on Friday.

    Democratic lawmakers are pushing to reconvene the House next week to vote on such a measure and send articles of impeachment to the Senate. She has pushed Vice President Mike Pence to remove the president with the cabinet by using the 25th Amendment. Mrs. Pelosi told Democrats that is the route she wants to see first.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/democrats-intensify-calls-to-remove-trump-after-capitol-riot-11610117456

    President Trump didn’t incite a riot, but discussing the removal of the president from office with the Joint Chiefs of Staff may constitute sedition.

    Advocating the removal of the president from office through the constitutional means of impeachment (or the Vice President using the 25th Amendment) is one thing, but if she advocated removing the president from office with the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a military coup, then she should probably answer for that in court.

    I do not believe that conspiring with the military to overthrow a sitting president is protected by the First Amendment.

    It sure as hell ain’t right.

    1. If I am China, Russia or North Korea….this is the time to make my move. They will think that POTUS Trump is neutered, and have 10 days to do whatever they like before His Fraudulency is sworn in.

      Hope Taiwan has become a porcupine, militarily.

      1. If I am China, Russia or North Korea….this is the time to make my move.

        Iran is already on the ball.

        1. Don’t worry, Sleepy Joe will take care of them!

      2. Why should they bother? On January 21, they will get an invitation to do whatever they want.

    2. Thank god people like you and Trump are headed home in a few days. There is no doubt in my mind you mfers would have half the country locked up and headed to Gitmo if this had been BLM storming and attempting to overturn Trump’s second term. You don’t belong anywhere near power.

      1. Like when they stormed the capitol building during the Kavanaugh hearings?

        1. That never happened.

            1. The real hypocrisy I’m seeing is when the left was canceling people left and right for arguing that the national guard or the military should be used to put down the “social unrest” over the summer. The opinion editor of the New York Times was cancelled because he ran an opinion piece by Tom Cotton arguing for the military to put down the “social unrest” over the summer.

              They’re now all screaming at the Capitol police for failing to use more force. From what we can tell, an unarmed protester was shot and killed unnecessarily during the disruption. Looks to me like there must be a double standard in there somewhere. There’s one standard for the rest of the country and protesters on the left, and another one for Washington DC and protesters on the right.

              1. It is odd how the left is always the benefactor of the double standard in the court of public opinion while the continually claiming to be the victim of a systematic double standard.

                1. That’s just media bias.

                  Defund the media!

                  Everyone should get a Roku player (not Google’s streamer) and find a nice streaming service without any of the major networks or cable news channels we hate. Together, we can make a difference.

                  1. I love being instructed in how to watch television.

              2. Here’s the video of Ashli Barrett being murdered by a plainclothes Capitol cop:
                https://twitter.com/i/status/1347056697899163648

            2. “To dumb to use google….”

              FAR more stupid than that; likely 3 years to get past the 2nd grade.

              1. Hey second grade was hard you move up Tp James and the giant peach, cursive, and precalc

          1. That never happened.

            When you get caught being an idiot and need to lie or obfuscate in an attempt to save face, try to be a bit less strident. A definitive statement like this doesn’t leave you any wiggle room.

      2. Nancy Pelosi inquiring about the military’s support for a coup is sedition (or not) regardless of whether you hate me personally.

        Do you have any reasons why we should assume that Nancy Pelosi’s behavior doesn’t amount to sedition?

        You know.

        Premise
        Premise
        Conclusion

        Here, I’ll give you an example, and maybe you can respond.

        Premise One: Conspiring with the Joint Chiefs to overthrow a sitting president in a military coup may constitute sedition.

        Premise Two: Nancy Pelosi reportedly consulted with the Joint Chiefs in regards to their support for removing President Trump from power.

        Conclusion: Nancy Pelosi may be guilty of sedition.

        You responded to this by pointing out that Ken Shultz is awful and you hate him, but that doesn’t really address any aspect of the argument–because Nancy Pelosi’s behavior either constitutes sedition or not regardless of whether you hate Ken Shultz and he’s awful.

        I understand if you can’t form arguments of your own, but when you address other people’s arguments, you should at least be able to address their premises or conclusion. Is my argument so persuasive that you can’t offer any kind rebuttal that actually addresses the argument, or are you just incapable of putting a reasonable criticism together?

          1. Oh, I was going to say that your premises were too few. She’s been pretty openly seditious since at least 2015. I don’t see how conspiring with the FBI to spy on a Presidential candidate or putting a Supreme Court Justice through a mock trial without evidence isn’t, at the very least, a violation of the oath of office.

        1. Biden sure did help Reagan and Nancy stick them hippies, spics and brown people in prisons and morgues over plant seeds, didn’t he? Ku-Klux Ken, unlike the recipients of such altruistic care, blanks stuff like that right out of the old doublethink park. Would that he were running for office and a hand in the till.

        2. Ken, being a progressive means you must simultaneously accept two opposing premises. Their hypocrisy in innate to their kind.

      3. You don’t belong anywhere near power.

        The feeling’s mutual.

      4. You may be a Trumpista if there is no doubt in your mind…

    3. You might be a Trumpista if you never mention exploiting Ginsburg’s death to immediately use Judge Coney as a coathanger-abortion stalking horse for girl-bulliers like Canuck Cruz, Mittwit or Linseed Graham Cracker as a factor in the Don’s defeat. But that was October, and right then the other, less Ghawdly looter media sent messages to every woman in America with real teeth and a voter’s card. Oh, and sending cops to shoot kids over plant seeds. That must’ve been a real vote-getter for God’s Own Prohibicionistas.

    4. Ku Klux Ken is under considerable stress trying to sell the idea that Jesus looters goood, Antifa looters baaad–especially the implicit corollary article of faith that there is a dime’s worth of difference between God’s prohibitionists wrecking the economy or Pelousy’s lampreys bleeding it white. Yet flanked by as dumb a pack of rednecks with green teeth as ever lied to themselves, here they hang importuning people who (except for Tony) are not interested in initiating deadly force against others. If LP votes are wasted and unimportant, howcum dey still here?

      1. You wanna take him, Ken?

  18. Joe Manchin is now the most powerful US Senator.

    In a recent interview, Manchin said that he opposes eliminating the filibuster, which would prevent Senate Dems from stacking the SCOTUS, adding two more states, and banning fracking.

    Unfortunately, Manchin isn’t a fiscal conservative.

    1. He might switch parties. You never know.

      1. Doubtful. He’s on the winner team with a front row seat. Better odds of a Republican joining us.

        1. Agreed. Likely one of the weasels like Cruz or Hawley.

          1. This was a joke, right? You can’t be this stupid.

            1. Do not underestimate his stupidity.

              It’s stupid all the way down.

              1. Ted Cruz becoming a Democrat stupid? No, not even the small woodland animal that I’m not going to name lest it summons him, is that stupid.

        2. We’ll see…..Pod.

      2. On major votes, Manchin is now the most powerful man in the Senate.

        1. Hope he has good security for his family.

          1. Hope he has better neighbors than Rand Paul did.

            1. More like, hope he has better yard waste etiquette.

              1. The yard waste etiquette has been debunked.

                Try another one.

    2. Manchin is simply rattling the cup.

      And he will not come cheap.

  19. “seems pretty clear that Trump’s behavior, while outrageous and irresponsible, does not fit the elements of a crime. ”

    My sentiments exactly. Remember when you’re in a position to judge others you are entering dangerous territory. One wrong move and you might be the monster.

  20. Once again I note that the comments find Trump blameless. As I have noted there is no one in this country more blameless. He will go to heaven for sure.

    1. Once again I note that the comments find Trump blameless.

      Lie.

    2. He may not be legally liable for the riot, but he sure takes the blame for stirring up the pot.

      1. Now do all the dems who wanted to give BLM room to break things.

        1. You don’t have proof that BLM had anything to do with that, so sarc doesn’t need to respond.

          1. So you’re one of those people who believe that KKK dressed up as BLM/Antifa were responsible for over $2 billion in damages to businesses, then?

      2. But they were inspired by Sleepy Joe, MUCH more than Trump.

    3. I maintain that the ultimate cause of this isn’t Donald Trump’s speech but, rather, the Democrats taking control of both the White House and the senate.

      People are genuinely (and justifiably) frightened of what the Democrats intend to do–to the Supreme Court, to their gun rights, to their healthcare, to the electoral college, and to the economy by way of the Green New Deal.

      The blame for the Democrats taking over the government belongs to the people who are responsible for putting Biden in the White House and giving the Democrats the senate. To whatever extent, Trump contributed to that outcome, he is responsible. To whatever extent journalists contributed to that outcome, they are responsible. To whatever extent you contributed to that outcome with your influence and your vote, you are responsible.

      Mostly what I’m seeing is people trying to blame Trump to dodge their own complicity in this awfulness. And the awfulness isn’t that Trump won’t be in the White House anymore. It’s that the Democrats are in total control of the government, and they intend to do a tremendous amount of damage to our rights, our liberty, and our economy.

      1. They watched the riots, and saw the Democrats egging it on, and then saw that instead of consequences they received electoral reward.

        People are not stupid, they figure out the unwritten rules, then play the game accordingly.

        1. ^^^ THIS is what makes all the pearl clutching so funny.

    4. Once again I note that the comments find Trump blameless.

      OIC, you’re one of those people who think ‘innocent’ is perfectcly synonymous with ‘blameless’. A moron.

    5. “Once again I note that the comments find Trump blameless…”

      Once again, I note that:
      You.
      Are.STILL.
      Full.
      Of.
      Shit.

  21. Meanwhile, Facebook has banned the WalkAway# page for…reasons that they cannot be bother to explain. I guess being apostate to the Democrat Party is now social death.

  22. Trump was inflammatory, but illegal? No more illegal that Maxine Waters call to physically harass Trump officials: https://www.cnn.com/2018/06/25/politics/maxine-waters-trump-officials/index.html

  23. What happened to sullum?

    1. I don’t know, but it’s heartbreaking.

    2. Now that the Republicans’ guy isn’t in power they’re going to rediscover fiscal restraint. It’s their fault Sullum has to side with their deplorable, hypocritical behavior.

  24. It’s strange to me how people clutch their pearls over the rule of law and then go around trying to imprison people for false crimes.

    If war, treason, and inciting a riot can be anything you want them to be, then we’re past the rule of law.

    1. We’re well past the rule of law, in so many ways.

    2. It can even be a Reichstag fire

  25. Did Speaker Pelosi commit a crime when she solicited a mutiny against the lawful commander in chief?

    “This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote.”

    Well????

    Come on Sullum, tell me how this is “different.”

    1. You know a sockpuppet is a Trumpista when he thinks the one thing Biden did right was increase penalties in the War on Dope just before the 1987 Crash and Depression.

      1. I’m still selling those decoder rings on Etsy, if anyone is interested.

        1. This one translates as “I have no meaningful reply, so I’ll just ignore the issue and attempt to change the subject with bullshit, and garbled lies.”

          Unfortunately most of what ‘Hank’ says translates to something similar.

          He’s kinda redundant like that.

  26. Trump should PARDON JOE BIDEN for electoral fraud.

    He can claim to do it in the interest of reconciliation (even though the fraud is obvious) so he can play the bigger man. It will also drive Democrats utterly batshit crazy as they will deny the evidence of fraud and will view the pardon as an insult.

    It’s a win-win.

  27. He may not be ‘criminally’ responsible for the riot, but he’s certainly morally responsible.

    1. They were inspired by Sleepy Joe. Is he morally responsible?

  28. Seems like the concept of “high crimes and misdemeanors” could scarcely be designed for a better set of circumstances.

    Mueller said Trump can’t be prosecuted for normal crimes. So we’re not talking about normal crimes.

    He was impeachable the moment he refused to acknowledge his loss in the election. Technically he’s impeachable for whatever damn reason a House majority wants to impeach him for. He’s probably deserved about 10 of them..

    1. “Technically he’s impeachable for whatever damn reason a House majority wants to impeach him for.”

      Tony want’s to impeach him for MEAN TWEETS.

      1. Mean tweets are the only thing Trump supporters and I agree that he did wrong.

        1. Nope. Trump supporters like the mean tweets. Because speaking truth can sometimes be “mean.” And they are looking for (anybody) to actually speak truth for once.

          1. By truth of course you mean as many lies as can be shoveled into your ear holes before the heat death of the universe.

            1. LOL…good comeback, you really got me…LOL weak.

    2. Tony salivates at the prospect of liquidating his political enemies. His opinion can be safely discounted.

      1. Yet when Trump was elected I didn’t join a mob to try to overthrow his government.

        1. No, but many of your fellow travelers did form mobs, and burned down cities, and threatened even more of the same if President Trump were to be re-elected.

          You DO NOT have the moral high ground here, Tony. In fact, you have just the opposite. I DESPISE what you and your ilk has done to this country. IT IS ANTI-DEMOCRATIC TO ITS CORE.

          1. I do have the moral high ground because my people didn’t storm the US capitol and attempt to overthrow the government.

            1. Your people set up autonomous zones on American soil and shot people who tried to trespass on their imaginary borders. The father of the slain black teen is suing the city that gave them material support.

              According to your hilarious standards on insurrection, BLM would be charged with treason if they staged a die in on the senate floor and delayed the certification vote. You thought the guy in the Bison hat posing inside the senate floor had plans and organization to overthrow the government?

              But it’s like not you insane lib mfers actually care about criminal justice reform. You delight in criminalizing behavior, which is one of the reason why cops in blue states have so much violent encounters with blacks.

              It’s hardly surprising given just often your people kill minorities.

              1. But did we attempt to murder the vice president and however many members of Congress we could get our disgusting fat hands on?

                No?

                I guess I’m still better than them.

            2. FOR ONCE I AGREE WITH TONY!

              You DO have the moral high ground. As our moral superiors, YOU LEFTISTS taught us what a peaceful protest looks like. Those people were just inspired by Sleepy Joe, and applied YOUR learned moral teachings.

              1. Yeah sure you just became a bloodthirsty psychopaths because black people made you do it.

        2. Sleepy Joe inspires mobs on both sides of the aisle. He DID call for unity, didn’t he?

          BIPARTISAN MOB VIOLENCE, INSPIRED BY SLEEPY JOE! 🙂

  29. But wait, the author says that, “The result was not hard to predict “. How can that be if the author also says Trump is not an instigator? This is typical of the Trumpian apologetics we have been getting for 5 years. Trump gives a master class in how to direct others without explicitly giving orders. We all know he was promoting his minions to go cause mayhem because it really was not hard to predict. I agree that it would be a tough sell in a court, however, impeachment has a slightly lower bar. and certainly, we should expect every congressperson to denounce Trump and demand that he resign. They should have been saying this 4 years ago and it is perfectly legal – demand that he resign.

    1. If you think Trump really did want them to storm the Capitol building, then you think there was something to gain. What do YOU think Trump gained by “ordering” that event? The goal would not have been stopping the vote because Trump knew that was impossible. What was Trump trying to accomplish then?

      1. What it DID accomplish — and this is enough to make the suggestion that it was Antifa that instigated it, and not Trump supporters — was an end to a discussion of the evidence of fraud, in particular, while Ted Cruz was outlining it on the floor.

        I find it despicable that Congress cowardly just accepted the results with challenges after the riot. They should have stood firm and made their cases. Instead, they allowed the mob, yet again, silence our voices.

        1. Congress was going to do that whether there was a mob or not.

  30. I don’t know if what Trump did was illegal, but it does seem a little like what Charles Manson did back in the day. One thing is for sure though. Trump is a coward. When he made his little speech the other day, he did say “We’re going to march to the capitol” But low and behold he was nowhere to be found at the capitol. Where did he go? I’m not sure, but like most cowards, he probably went to the white house where it was safe. I guess the loser went to his “Safe Space”. He probably should have said, “I want you all to march to the capitol and fight my fight for me. I gotta go hide now.

    Hahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    1. And now watch as he disavows them.

      I’ve never seen so many people cast under buses so swiftly!

      1. Trump is the best at throwing his people under the bus. But let’s not forget. He was the one hiding in the white house after he told his minions that “We’re going to march to the capitol”. Doesn’t tnat mean that he will also be there? Or do I just not have a good understanding of the English language. 😀 😀 😀

        1. Are you retarded or something? Do you think the President can show up in the middle of a security breach? Fuck, liberals are stupid.

          1. Do you want to earn cash online from your living room, easily work with a laptop for a few hours a day, earn 550-650 euros a day and get paid every week by deciding on your working hours? it is all true and completely changed my life. Then try this. Read More.

          2. Then why did he say he would. Is he retarded or something? He should have just told them to go home after his speech, but he didn’t But we all knew what he was up to. Didn’t we? I knew exactly what was coming next. Although I have to say, that i did think it was gonna be worse than it was. Oh, and you are right, he can’t show up in the middle of a security breach. But he could have gotten there first and stood on the steps of the capitol and told everyone to stay behind the fences and peacefully protest. Or maybe not. Maybe he had gotten them so riled up that even he would have gotten trampled. But then again, that would have been his fault right?

          3. “Are you retarded or something?…”

            I hope that’s rhetorical; your addressing a 5th-grade intellect further damaged by a raging case of TDS.

            1. If 99% of the world hates Trump, then by definition the delusional ones are Trump supporters.

              Sanity is a consensus opinion.

              1. This is completely stupid, for two reasons:

                (1) just because 99% of the population believes something, doesn’t mean that what they believe is sane.

                (2) there is far more support for Trump than just 1%. Thus, if “consensus” is proof of “sanity”, there really is sanity behind support for Trump.

                1. “just because 99% of the population believes something, doesn’t mean that what they believe is sane.”

                  I just explained why it very much does mean that.

                  1. So you’re saying it’s sane to believe the world is flat, even if 99% of the people believe that?

                    I don’t think you have a firm understanding of sanity.

                    1. But 99% don’t believe that.

              2. Half the country voted for him, dipshit.

                Do you know how to count?

                1. He seems pretty popular around the world, too. Massive Trump rallies in Poland and Brazil, they have stuff named after him in Israel.

                  1. You mean all the rightwing fascist states love him?

                    Be a fascist if you want. Just do it quietly and stop voting.

                    I promise, and I mean this, all Joe Biden is going to do to you is give you free money. It’s really not going to be that bad.

                    1. You don’t know what fascism is. But don’t worry, Sleepy Joe will teach you.

                      “and stop voting.”
                      This is a post-election country. Now the race is on to cheat, cheat, cheat like a Democrat! 😉

                    2. It’s cute how you think the people who are being censored are the fascists, while the people who doing the censoring are preserving freedom!

                      It’s quaint, in a bizarre sort of way!

                    3. Oh what a shock a bunch of psychotic Trumpers spun around in a room full of nothing but rubber dicks and discovered an excuse to do yet more treason.

    2. “I don’t know if what Trump did was illegal, but it does seem a little like what Charles Manson did back in the day…”

      Are you the jokester during morning recess?

    3. The Don sounds just like that child-brained anarchist for VP that cost Jo Jorgensen’s campaign the 328% gain of the previous vote count.
      “I know you’re disappointed, but…” bla bla bla excuses excuses

  31. Haven’t read any of Sullums screeds for 2 weeks and won’t bother ever reading his shit again, even though in the past I’ve praised him as Reason’s best reporter. Just came to say Fuck You Jacob. I would suggest that you read the opinion of a real journalist.
    https://greenwald.substack.com/p/violence-in-the-capitol-dangers-in

    1. You know how to get 5000 Landover Baptist rednecks to invade the Capitol?
      —Tell ‘em a black Congressman just snuck into the Whites Only bathroom.

  32. Jacob said the “N” word, Jacob said the “N” word. He must be canceled, fired, and imprisoned.

  33. The left thinks Trump breathing is a crime. Most of the animosity is from the fact Trump never held public office before being elected President. Pelosi, Schumer, Schiff even Mittens all coveted being President, and when Trump walked in after years of their dreams, the envy was to much for them.

    1. “The left thinks Trump breathing is a crime…”

      It’s not only the left; it’s the un-selfaware cultural snobs who think wearing white before Memorial day is a sin worthy of the stockade!
      They are incapable of focusing on anything other than personality; tax cut? Who cares?

  34. It’s time to heal and move forward. There is only a couple of weeks left before Biden assumes office. Talk about charging Trump with inciting a riot, invoking the 25th amendment or another impeachment will only cause more division.

    If Biden was smart he would shutdown this kind of talk in the interest of recovering from the division. If these irrational notions take hold the divide will deepen and resentment between the Left and Right will worsen.

    After a year of lockdowns and riots, there was bound to be violent reaction regardless of who won the presidential election. We all need to take a breath and calm down. There are more important issues to deal with than the election or Donald Trump.

    1. “…Talk about charging Trump with inciting a riot, invoking the 25th amendment or another impeachment will only cause more division…”

      But it worked so well when the Ds made asses of themselves inventing reasons to impeach Trump!

    2. Too late. I have heard Biden’s statements after the riots, and all they have done has been to make me want to see more of them.

      Not that I condone that, mind you. Which makes me even more angry at Biden for stoking the flames.

  35. Maybe Trump didn’t just spout off that speech. Someone could have written it and vetting it to give him plausible deniability if and when violence broke out.

  36. “When tyranny becomes law rebellion becomes duty.”

    1. I am making 10,000 Dollars at home own laptop .Just do work online 2 to 4 hour proparly . so i make my family happy and u can do Check it out whaat i do.Then try this. Read More.

    2. You have an Obama spittoon next to your La-Z-Boy?

  37. No. Because didn’t rile them up. I can’t believe JS can’t see how badly abused this sort of line of reasoning can be.

    1. They were inspired by Sleepy Joe!

  38. The problem any of us see is that no one who has a shred of sense ever uses (openly) direct language calling for violence. Like Mob Bosses, they imply what they want and their “soldiers” fully understand. While that may not be enough for a criminal conviction, it’s enough, should the Dems (and some R’s) chose, to remove him, for he is clearly guilty of inciting this violence. He called people to DC, he told them to “be strong”, he repeatedly exhorted violence in the past, and he was warned the type of people and preparations which were underway and prior to about 4 p.m. on Wednesday, did nothing but rile them up. He’s guilty in spirit, if not in letter, and fortunately, impeachment doesn’t require a criminal act, it requires a decision by Congress that the President is unfit. Trump is clearly unfit. He encouraged sedition, he encouraged his followers to step in to stop a certification of his defeat. These people had guns in the Capitol, they had bombs in their trucks, they beat a cop to death, the smeared excrement on the halls, they pushed police down, yanked barriers out of the police’s hands, tore down barricades. They engaged in felonies during which two people died. They are guilty of murder based on federal laws saying that if you commit a felony and someone dies, you are guilty of murder. So, Trump incited the willing to “be strong” and “not put up with it”, they rioted and beat a policeman. Trump lied to them saying Pence could stop it when he couldn’t, and when Pence didn’t stop it, they THEY RIOTED AND BEAT A POLICEMAN. He is guilty in spirit, and impeachment is a political act. He is not fit and he should be removed. I understand the editorial board of Reason may not agree, but you are looking at the legal lens, only. I can’t say he’d be convicted, people HAVE been convicted on less, but I can say he intended for their to be a riot. It’s as obvious as the fact that he’s not 239 lbs. and that he serially sexually harasses women. He, the President, attempted to prevent the legislature (a co-equal branch) from executing it’s duties. That’s intolerable.

    1. Sorry, all I see is hyperbole, outrage signaling and doublespeak.
      And a lack of paragraph breaks to make your rant even more distasteful to read.

  39. Rioters, riots, invaders, right-wing conspiracy, sedition, seditionists. Not a headline or mention of 1st amendment protestors or a rally for their cause.

    but

    Protesters, counter-protestors, supporters, BLM movement participants, defunding police supporters, rallys, mostly peaceful protests, love rallies.

    Yes, all words matter.

    1. Yeah we’re busy trying to secure the survival of the very constitution you’re referring to.

      The electoral college is a piece of horrific shit but it said Trump lost. You have the first amendment right to disagree, but if you want people to agree with you, try not invading the US Capitol and trashing the place next time. Now not even Lindsey Graham is on his side.

      1. “Yeah we’re busy trying to secure the survival of the very constitution you’re referring to…”

        Shitstain, you wouldn’t recognize the constitution if it offered you lunch.
        You have shown regularly that you have no concept of what is written there or what it means. For instance, you have claimed X ‘is not in the constitution, as if liberties have to be granted by the constitution. Which, of course, they don’t; nowhere in the constitution is listed my right to eat a hot-dog at the ballpark.
        I post this not in the hope that a fucking lefty ignoramus like you could possibly learn from it, but in the hopes of making sure anyone reading your steaming pile of lefty shit understands how fucking idiotic you are.
        Fuck off and die; you’re a pimple on the ass of humanity.

      2. “Now not even Lindsey Graham is on his side.”
        Lindsay Graham is just salty because they made him pee his pants and he embarrassed.

        “but if you want people to agree with you”
        Considering a surprisingly large number of people just don’t give a shit, I’d say they already do. (not that it matters given our post-election country)

  40. You know how to get 5000 Landover Baptist rednecks to invade the Capitol?
    —Tell ‘em AOC hung the crucifixes upside-down.

  41. So, the President of the United States has the right to yell fire in a crowded theater, even though there is no fire…no evidence of a fire…not even a whiff of smoke.

    The man incited the riot, even though he didn’t say it outright, this was his intent. Trump isn’t a stupid man, but he is dumb enough to favor fantasy over fact…which is the mental retardation Republicans need to purge from their ranks.

    Mr. Sullum can rationalize Trump’s behavior all he wants, but the simple fact remains that there was no riot before Trump spoke…

    1. Oh shut up you idiot.

    2. “So, the President of the United States has the right to yell fire in a crowded theater, even though there is no fire…no evidence of a fire…not even a whiff of smoke…”

      There are other lefty assholes willing to help you drag that strawman around, lefty asshole. Just ask.

  42. Listen you fuckheads at Reason. Do you see what Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Google are doing?

    You fucken IDIOTS.

    They haven’t even taken power yet and look at what they’re planning. You’re here obsessing like a bunch of fucken complete retards over Trump who did SQUAT to hurt you and now look at what they’re doing.

    You failed miserable cunts.

    1. America’s night of the long knives.

      1. The settling of family business.

        And Reason is stroking it over Trump. Talk about missing the big picture.

        It’s staggering what’s happening.

      2. The writers at Reason couldn’t give two shits, as they’re suffering from an acute case of TDS. This isn’t a new observation by any means, but Reason has not been a Libertarian magazine in years.

        Eventually, however, the Big Tech overlords will come for Reason. People like Jacob are either too dumb to see it, or think the mob will spare them when they do inevitably come.

  43. Ku Klux Ken is under considerable stress trying to sell the idea that Jesus looters goood, Antifa looters baaad–especially the implicit corollary article of faith that there is a dime’s worth of difference between God’s prohibitionists wrecking the economy or Pelousy’s lampreys bleeding it white. Yet flanked by as dumb a pack of rednecks as ever lied to themselves, here they hang importuning people who (except for Tony) are not interested in initiating deadly force against others. If LP votes are wasted and unimportant, howcum dey still here?

    1. Off your meds eh?

  44. You are a joke, Jacob. No more than Obama did and Biden will. But hey, I understand that only blm and antifa have permission to riot because they need stuff from stores and like to keep warm standing near the roaring flames. Not to mention beating up a few people just to show how tough they are.

    Of course the pukes at CNN were outraged because right riots are so much more violent than left riots…truth never to be told or seen on the Communist news.

    Those blm thugs made a real difference this year…there were 4,000 more murders in 2020 than in 2019 and at least half of them were BLACKS. It proves, black lives don’t matter to blm any more than white lives do.

    1. Half of those extra 4,000 murders were committed by trailer-dwelling, meth-head, white Trump supporters, so there’s that.

  45. aaaand…. there goes Parler. What a country we live in.

    1. You haven’t seen anything yet. What till SleepyJoe takes the helm.
      We will be burning books before you know what happened.

    2. Well, with a bit of luck, Reason is next. As we all know, it’s just a propaganda tool for the fascist Koch brothers, right?

  46. Eric Boehm says ‘private businesses can do whatever they want’.

    Are these people seriously this broken in the head?

    If social media gets away with this, they can ban ANYONE including Reason magazine. Which may explain in part why they’ve become so tepid in their ‘libertarianism’. But it won’t be enough.

    In the end, they all get lined up.

    1. They just nuked Limbaugh.

      1. He deleted his own account.

  47. Two thing.

    1. Trump has absolute power to nuke anything he wants.

    2. The extremists are talking about doing more violence in the “chatter”

    So to his remaining bootlickers, it’s really a matter of what day you choose to come to grips with your poor choice.

    1. Trump has absolute power to nuke anything he wants.
      False.

      1. I just wonder if he has the power to “Cancel” the U.S. President from all major networks like Pelosi probably just ordered it with Facebook and Twitter. I’m just guessing but good grief; both on the same day? It’s like they’re literally in-bed with Pelosi.

        1. Yet again confirming for the world to see that you are a fascist.

          1. Please understand I don’t think it’s a good thing that Trump can nuke whatever he wants.

            Frankly I question the wisdom of Twitter taking away his drug of choice just now.

            1. He doesn’t just have a button. There is a whole chain of people and things to order a nuclear attack. Nobody is going to just blindly follow an order like that.

              Didn’t you ever watch Crimson Tide?

              1. Hopefully, but as a matter of law nobody can tell the president not to nuke something. All he has to do is keep firing people until he finds someone who will do his bidding.

                They wouldn’t make movies about the perils of the nuclear chain of command if there weren’t actual perils.

              2. Hopefully, but as a matter of law nobody can tell the president not to nuke something. All he has to do is keep firing people until he finds someone who will do his bidding.

                They wouldn’t make movies about the perils of the nuclear chain of command if there weren’t actual perils.

            2. Sorry, I thought you were defending the censorship of our Tech Overlords. (Perhaps you were doing that on another comment, but I don’t see it at this time.)

  48. He must of committed a Facebook and Twitter Crime… Ya know like when Stossell had a guest on his show that said not all the polar bears are dead…

    And I’m STILL LOOKING for a Facebook alternative… out of 320M people you’d thing ONE would create it! What’s going on here?

    1. Cause Facebook is for women who want to post pictures of their food, vacations, kids, and pets. There just isn’t the market need among the pundit classes to find a conservative alternative.

  49. “1. Trump has absolute power to nuke anything he wants.”
    WIH would make even an asshollish piece of shit like Tony to make such a claim?
    I have no desire to deplatform such idiocy, but it should be recognized as the ravings of a steaming pile of lefty shit

    1. What’s gonna stop him? His seventeenth defense secretary?

        1. What about the eighteenth?

  50. Did Trump Commit a Crime When He Riled Up His Supporters Before They Rioted?

    Uh-huh.

    1. No, they were inspired by Joe Biden. Isn’t that the whole reason they were at the Capitol in the first place? Because of the actions of Sleepy Joe?

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  53. The real power in the US, private media, has banned and censored the sitting president to control the narrative.

    Why bother with democracy?

    1. By that logic, you advocates of private media censorship can only think that 1a, freedom of speech, can ONLY be guaranteed when everyone has their own platform.

      Then there is no communication.

      Or are you suggesting that all communication be state controlled to be protected?

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  55. Since they were inspired by Sleepy Joe, maybe HE’S the one that committed a crime. Hmmm?

  56. In order to escape the prison of our biases or ignorance examining as much data as possible is advisable. This article and responses are a case in point. Declaring Trump evil, vile or a heroic patriot based on a small data sample is, I’d posit, insufficient. I’ve found it essential to consider systems of actual governance rather than as advertised. For example, of the dominant systems of governance that emerged in the modern era or those with a long pedigree determine which system of extant governance rules? Personally, I find Martin Armstrong at armstrongeconomic.com consistently provides the most data inputs in pursuit of understanding.

  57. Crowd estimates I heard were 25,000, estimates for those who entered the capitol was 250. That would be 1% of the original crowd,which would mean that 99% of the crowd did not take the President’s words as meaning to go into the capitol.

    Now, had the 99% been Twitter deceiferers, they would have all been in the capitol because twitter has no clue how to interpret words in the English Language.

    1. Interesting theory. Sounds like you got it from Newsmax or Epoch Times. They always estimate low for rightwing rioters and high for leftwing rioters. So using basic math, 70 out of 250 of your rioters were arrested. About 30%. That’s a pretty good haul for CP and MPD. I’m sure the FBI will round up the other 180 seditionists. It’s all good.

      1. Yes the idiots posted themselves all over social media with photos not to mention all of the security cameras.

        Thing is also that these fools thought they were doing something for their leader and his “stolen” election and he just throws them under the bus and concedes the next day.

      2. Sedition :incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.

        It seems to me that preventing the president of the United States from addressing the citizens, by media banning and censorship, is the sedition.

        1. The president of the United States has a press pool and personal press briefing room. He’s the least censored person on the planet.

          1. Presidential “press” is designed to inform mainstream media who along with social media are, in an act of sedition, censoring and banning his authority to address the people.

            Unelected private media is unconstitutionally controlling the narrative.

            Why you support this sedition is irrelevant.

  58. Watch the video of the cops getting crushed in the hallway. Three things stand out

    1) the blue lives matter flag while a cop is literally being crushed
    2) the sudden, mysterious apparent inability/unwillingness of cops to use force against a mob that is chanting “heave ho” while literally crushing people
    3) the number and ferocity. This video (Google if you haven’t seen it yet, its making the rounds yesterday and today) completely destroys the idea that “it was just a few” and they were “not gonna do anything that bad”

    If one of those people in that hallway video got all the way through they would have done really bad shit to any Dems, so-called “RINOs” they saw or maybe even Pence.

    1. the sudden, mysterious apparent inability/unwillingness of cops to use force against a mob that is chanting “heave ho” while literally crushing people

      I have an idea why they would do such a thing.

      Remember what Speaker Pelosi wrote about their DHS cousins who were protecting the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland?

      http://twitter.com/speakerpelosi/status/1284294427654197248?lang=en

  59. Under federal law, incitement to riot does not include “advocacy of ideas” or “expression of belief” unless it endorses violence, which Trump did not do.

    That is clearly and plainly fucking obvious.

    And yet, so many Democrats in the House are contemplating impeachment.

    1. Then why does 57% of the country want him immediately removed from office?

    2. He does not need to be convicted of a crime to be impeached. Not that it will happen.

  60. Ah, yes, that pesky First Amendment preventing Sullum from enforcing his “libertarian” views on morality and punishment.

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  62. Look–I think the violence at the Capital was wrong and bad.

    But for Twitter, Apple, Amazon and Google to further restrict peoples’ voices on their platforms will UNDOUBTEDLY push more people to express themselves in violence. They’re within their rights to do it–but we should make it clear that what they believe to be in service of society and morality is only temporary and short-sighted.

    Speech is the relief valve of pressure within. I can predict that the pressure will build, and will burst–in ways that nobody wants.

    1. Speech is an inalienable right.

    2. I agree! The solution is debate under peaceful circumstances.

  63. There was plenty of documented fraud but since most of America is mathematically illiterate no real investigation was done. Americas voting system patch work is a joke. Jacob is having wet dream about Biden legalizing weed but will be sorrily disappointed since China Biden is in the pocket of large corporations. The only questions is whether or not Biden’s doctors can slow down his brain decay.

  64. Yeah, there’s a reason why most older libertarians call it tReason Foundation/Magazine.

  65. When a democrat calls for actual violence, that is apparently just rhetoric. Examples include-
    “You can’t be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for and what you care for,” – HRC
    “go to the Hill today…”Please, get up in the face of some congresspeople,” -CB
    “Fight Trump and challenge him in every way that we can in the Congress, in the courts, and in the streets…”- JC
    “when you’re in the arena, you have to be ready to take a punch, and you have to be ready to throw a punch”- NP
    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”-BHO
    “fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box.”- TC
    “I said, if we were in high school, I’d take him behind the gym and beat the hell out of him.”- JB
    “I just don’t even know why there aren’t uprisings all over the country, and maybe there will be…”-NP

    You could fill pages with this stuff. As far as actual violence, the Capital was bombed in 1983, and the only reason a bunch of people did not die was because the senate had adjourned early that day. But there was serious damage. Rep. Nadler successfully lobbied Bill Clinton to pardon two of the bombers. There were not just idle participants either, they were arrested with vast amounts of commercial explosives and illegal weapons, and specific plans for more bombings of government facilities.

    On the other hand, when Trump asks people at a rally to to “peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard”, it is considered an explicit call for violence.

    I find it hard to take anything they say seriously.

  66. Awww what’s wrong? Democrats don’t like people challenging the legitimacy of their election wins? This just goes to show how detached from reality these Democrats are. Democrats never accept the results of any election they lose. The last Republican president Democrats accepted was elected in 1988, the year I was born. Trump’s entire presidency has been an insurrection against him. After all, they call themselves “the resistance”, “not my president”, “Russia collusion”. Democrats objected more times to Trump’s 2016 electoral college certification than Republicans did in 2020. From the day Trump was sworn in, the left has been waging violent insurrection. Watch Trump’s inauguration. Watch the rioting, looting, burning cars. Democrats seditiously spied on Trump during his transition and even after he was president they attempted to frame him and accuse him of being traitor. Night in and night out the media would accuse him being “worse than Hitler and Stalin”. Trump didn’t anything wrong in challenging the legitimacy of this election. This election was rife with unconstitutional last minute election law changes perpetrated by Democrats which undermined the power of the state legislatures to determine the manner of their elections and sanctioned mass mail in ballots with little safeguards. If Democrats don’t like Trump challenging the legitimacy of their presidency what they are actually saying is they really don’t like the taste of their own medicine.

  67. There can always be new Supreme Court precedents. No previous precedent involved the words of a President. They could rule that a President is far more likely than any other political actor to be able to incite supporters to unintended violence, and therefore has to be more careful with his words. In a country of 300 million, there are always enough hotheads on all sides that can barely be restrained under the best of circumstances. This is the reason that most past Presidential losers have never taken things as far as challenging the electoral count before Congress. In fact, I expect that some Trump supporters will do serious violence on Jan 20 that 10,000 national guard troops can’t stop.

    “Under the Supreme Court’s First Amendment precedents, inflammatory speech can be punished only in narrowly defined circumstances that go beyond what happened on Wednesday. Under federal law, incitement to riot does not include “advocacy of ideas” or “expression of belief” unless it endorses violence, which Trump did not do.”

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