We’ve Lost A Legend — Rush Limbaugh

“I, like you, very much wish Rush was behind this golden microphone right now welcoming you to another exceptional three hours of broadcasting. For over 32 years Rush has cherished you, his loyal audience, and always looked forward to every single show. It is with profound sadness I must share with you directly that our beloved Rush, my wonderful husband, passed away this morning due to complications from lung cancer.

“As so many of you know, losing a loved one is terribly difficult. Even more so when that loved one is larger than life. Rush will forever be the greatest of all time. Rush was an extraordinary man. A gentle giant. Brilliant, quick-witted, genuinely kind, extremely generous, passionate, courageous, and the hardest-working person I know.”


By Jennifer Wishon, CBN News

Conservative talk show radio pioneer Rush Limbaugh, whose work influenced a generation of American politics, has reportedly died at the age of 70, succumbing to advanced lung cancer.

Born with a booming voice and given a name made for showbiz, Rush Hudson Limbaugh III made his mark on America.

He made his conservative case on the radio daily, boasting a broad vocabulary and command of the English language which he often used like a surgeon uses a scalpel.

“They’re tearing down the wall at the U.S. border and building a wall around the United States Capitol. Have you heard that?” he asked during one of his recent programs.

“The Rush Limbaugh Show” launched in 1988 – a three-hour daily conservative talk show that quickly attracted listeners across the country. His show eventually grew into the largest audience in radio – influence that made Limbaugh an enemy of the left and kingmaker on the right.

“You just suddenly have become a national phenomenon, very popular show. How come?” CBN Founder Dr. Pat Robertson asked Limbaugh during a 1990 interview.

“I think one of the real reasons for the success of the show is the perception and as you know in politics perception is oftentimes reality, the perception by real people that the primary disseminators of information in this country are shall we say slanted to the left and here comes the first, and it’s really the only national program, in radio or TV that has a conservative bias to it, admittedly so, that they can latch on to and I never thought that would be the reason. I thought that for my success I was going to have to be a better broadcaster, sharper, and faster, quicker, more informed and all that. I didn’t bank on the fact that so much of the success would rely on the fact that I happen to be very fortunate in my timing in – I think this country’s far more conservative than even people think it is now,” Limbaugh responded.

In 1992, President Ronald Reagan wrote him, “Now that I’ve retired from active politics. I don’t mind that you have become the Number One voice for conservatism in our Country. I know the liberals call you the most dangerous man in America, but don’t worry about it, they used to say the same thing about me. Keep up the good work. America needs to hear ‘the way things ought to be.'”
Limbaugh’s listeners remained loyal through a number of controversies that saw him lose sponsors only to gain new ones.   

In 2001, Limbaugh announced he had lost his hearing from the rare condition called autoimmune inner ear disease. He received cochlear ear implants and continued his work as a broadcaster.

Known for his generosity, he donated millions to causes he found worthy.

He never had children and was married four times, leaving behind Kathryn Adams, his wife of 10 years.

In early 2020, Limbaugh announced he had advanced lung cancer, and the very next night at the State of the Union address, President Trump bestowed upon him the honor of a lifetime.

“I am proud to announce today that you will be receiving our country’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom,” the president announced.

When the camera switched to Limbaugh in the crowd inside the Capitol, it showed the broadcaster at a loss for words.

To the end Limbaugh publicly credited his faith in Jesus with getting him through his very difficult battle with cancer.

“I have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It is of immense value, strength, confidence and that’s why I’m able to remain fully committed to the idea that what is supposed to happen will happen when it’s meant to,” he said during one of his final programs.

For his millions of listeners, Rush Limbaugh was a national treasure who can never be replaced.

RIP Rush Limbaugh

One of conservatism’s greatest legends.


February 17, 2021, 2:31 PM

El Rushbo has become an angel! He fought lung cancer for over a year. During that time he fought the usual battles against femi-Nazis, environmental wackos, the usual crowd. And he fought for Donald Trump to the very end. Now he is up there in Heaven. He carried his battles to a higher level. I am glad I never said a word against him. Yet he fought his enemies with humor. The really bad ones — Hitler, Stalin, Mao — will have another strong voice against them in Heaven, but his lesser foes, even the femi-Nazis, even the environmental wackos, will have a forgiving voice up there in Rush. Rush Limbaugh was not a hater. He was grateful for all the good things that happened to him.

I remember having a drink with him in New York City at the Carlyle Hotel in Bemelmans Bar. He was in a good humor. There is nothing new about that. But he kept saying, “Only in America. Only in America. Could a guy like me … ” Frankly I forgot the last part of his declaration, but whammo! he slammed his beer mug down with every “Only in America … ” He put me in mind of Lou Gehrig claiming to be “The luckiest man on Earth.” Rush knew that he was pretty lucky too, although he worked for everything he got. He was a consummate pro. To the very end he never whined or complained, and he always gave his all.

A month or so ago he sent me an email thanking me for something I had done for him: “Thanks, Bob. Always appreciate and always love hearing from you.” Now he will have to wait for my bedtime prayers to hear from me. Rush was a great man who should be remembered in all of our prayers.

“Our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor”

Rush Limbaugh cited this story written by his father every year around the Fourth of July.

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How Biden’s Policies Hurt America

The man in the White House, following his marching orders from the Deep State, tried in vain to defend how his far Left policy-making reverses the bad policy of his predecessor, President Donald Trump. A close examination proves him wrong, and here’s how.

  1. 11,000 American workers lost their jobs when the Keystone XL pipeline project was stopped cold. Counting family members, more than 20,000 people were adversely impacted by an unsympathetic administration. Furthermore, America’s energy independence took a big hit from Biden halting halting oil and gas permits on public land.
  2. This administration is fast-tracking 25,000 asylum-seeking foreigners into the U.S. from Mexico before their cases are even being reviewed. This puts American workers at risk and it puts the nation at risk of people bringing COVID-19 and drugs into the nation.
  3. The Mexico City Policy is getting reversed, which will send taxpayer dollars to support the killing of unborn children overseas. This is a huge blow to the sanctity of human life, and it happens every time a Democrat socialist sets foot in the White House.
  4. Halting construction of the border wall signals a wide-open border that will subject more Americans to the crimes, drugs and diseases, such as TB, coming in unchecked over the border. There will also be more deaths in the desert. ICE has been told to stand down, hardly reassuring to the American people.
  5. Biden elevated the World Health Organization, an organization covering for the failings of the evil Chinese Communist Party, back to good standing with the U.S. – helping no one here.
  6. Biden’s transgender policy destroys the playing field for female athletes who will be forced to compete against males. Democrats refuse to admit that gender is immutable.
  7. Communist nations like China, North Korea and the Soviet Union restricted travel within their countries, and now the Biden Administration is threatening to restrict travel in and out of Florida. This is a highly alarming and frightening proposition for the nation as a whole. If Florida can be made off-limits, so can any other state.
  8. The Biden catch-and-release program turns the border into a wide open sieve, putting all Americans at risk.
  9. Biden is calling for more gun control — placing all Americans at risk of not being able to defend themselves from home intruders.
  10. Biden’s faith-based partnership initiative is an attempt to lure in churches and synagogues to control them with anti-religious policies that threaten to criminalize scripture.


Trump 2, Vindictive Socialists 0

By Jack Davis, The Western Journal

Former President Donald Trump was acquitted Saturday in his second Senate impeachment trial by a vote of 57-43.

Seven Republicans sided with the Democrats who sought to convict Trump as a first step to barring him from ever seeking office again: Richard Burr of North Carolina, Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mitt Romney of Utah, Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

The former president issued a statement condemning Democrats.

“It is a sad commentary on our times that one political party in America is given a free pass to denigrate the rule of law, defame law enforcement, cheer mobs, excuse rioters, and transform justice into a tool of political vengeance, and persecute, blacklist, cancel and suppress all people and viewpoints with whom or which they disagree,” Trump wrote, according to the Boston Herald.

“I always have, and always will, be a champion for the unwavering rule of law, the heroes of law enforcement, and the right of Americans to peacefully and honorably debate the issues of the day without malice and without hate.”

It was the second time Democrats had tried without success to impeach Trump. In February of 2020, Trump was acquitted of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress by a then-Republican-controlled Senate.

Prior to Saturday’s vote, Trump defense attorney Michael van der Veen criticized Democrats who sought to impeach a president who was already out of office.

“This impeachment has been a complete charade from beginning to end. The entire spectacle has been nothing but the unhinged pursuit of a long-standing political vendetta against Mr. Trump by the opposition party,” he said, according to CNN.

“Democrats were obsessed with impeaching Mr. Trump from the very beginning of his term. … And now they have conducted a phony impeachment show trial when he’s a private citizen out of office,” he said.

Van der Veen called the trial a “maniacal crusade” by House Democrats and told senators to not “go down this dark path of anonymity and division.”

“As a nation we must ask ourselves: How did we arrive at this place where rioting and pillaging would become commonplace?” van der Veen said, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

“It was month after month of political leaders and media personalities, bloodthirsty for ratings, glorifying civil unrest and condemning the reasonable law enforcement measures that are required to quell violent mobs,” he said.

Van der Veen noted, according to Fox News, that although Trump was on trial due to the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion, Democrats last summer “repeatedly refused to condemn the extremism as riots,” during last summer’s racial injustice and police brutality protests, “as businesses were being ransacked, as neighborhoods were being burned.”

Now-Vice President Kamala Harris “literally urged her followers to donate money to a fund to bail out the violent extreme rioters so they could get out and continue to do it over and over again,” he said.

RELATED: Acquitted Again: Trump Survives Another Impeachment

“All of this was far closer to actual definition of ‘incitement’ than anything President Trump has ever done,” van der Veen said. “Hopefully, we can leave this chamber in agreement that all rioting is bad.”

House impeachment managers “tried to use evidence they never presented in the case in their closing argument,” he said.

“That is a very desperate attempt by a prosecuting team that knew that their case is collapsing. Their closing did not talk about one piece of law,” he said.

Georgia Election Board Opens Investigation into Warnock, Stacey Abrams-Linked Group Over Voter Registration Misconduct

Cuomo Expects to ‘Skate’ for Nursing Home Deaths

By John Semmens — Semi-News — A Satirical Look at Recent News

The recent admission by Melissa DeRosa, secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), that the management of the COVID pandemic was bungled and then covered up, has brought demands that Cuomo be impeached and prosecuted. The admission was contained in a phone conversation with the state’s leading Democrats in which DeRosa apologized for causing political difficulties for the Party.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said “a tragic error in judgment followed by intentional deception cannot be swept into the ‘memory hole.’ Nine thousand people needlessly died because of this error. Honesty in the early stages of the pandemic could have led to a life-saving change of course. The decision to brazen it out in order not to dim the political aspirations of the Governor was criminal obstruction of justice. The perpetrators of these crimes must be held accountable.”

DeRosa pointed out that “Stefanik’s acknowledgment that this was a ‘tragic error in judgment’ admits that there was no criminal intent. The decision to mislead the general public was not done just to protect the Governor’s future political viability. It was done out of patriotic concern that the tragedy would be used to reflect badly on Democrats in general and aid in the reelection of the most dangerous man to ever hold the office of President of the United States.”

Cuomo himself has argued that “no permanent damage was done. All of the nursing home victims were old folks near the end of their lives. It was only a matter of time—and not much time at that—before they all would’ve died anyway. By hushing up news about what happened we did the nation a much greater service by focusing the blame for COVID on Trump and inducing voters to deny him reelection, thereby, prevented an extension of his tyranny over America.”

DeRosa brushed aside the potential threat of impeachment and prosecution, saying “with Democrat majorities in both the New York Assembly and Senate, a Democrat State Attorney General, and total Democrat control of the federal government I don’t see how anyone could expect either of these punitive outcomes to transpire. On top of this, if worst comes to worst the Governor can pardon himself for any crimes successfully prosecuted at the state level and President Biden can pardon him for any alleged federal offenses. Luckily, our friends in the major media are not giving much coverage to this over-hyped controversy.”

In other COVID news, the Biden White House leaked former President Trump’s medical records to the media. These records showed that Trump’s COVID case was more serious than he let on last October. Press Secretary Jen Psaki called Trump’s effort to downplay the extent of his illness “a shameful attempt to mislead voters heading into the November election. Clearly it was done for political reasons. A big part of Trump’s campaign focused on the supposed infirmities of Joe Biden. While this deception didn’t fool enough voters to change the outcome, nevertheless it was a dirty trick of the sort that Republicans routinely deploy during elections.”

Dems Use Forged “Evidence” in Impeachment Case

Though many in the media have called the case against Trump put forth by House Democrats “impressive” and “persuasive,” careful attention to detail has revealed repeated misleading editing of the video presentations and the alteration of content in some tweets to make it appear that people were saying something other than what they actually posted.

In the splicing of shots from Trump’s address to the Jan. 6th rally with shots of the riot at the Capitol, the President’s request that his supporters walk over to the Capitol and “peacefully and patriotically” make their voices heard was edited out. His urging that they “fight for our country”–a phrase used by many Democrats in many speeches both before and after election day—was cast as an incitement to physically fight members of Congress.

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif), one of the impeachment prosecutors, showed a doctored version of a tweet posted by Trump supporter Jennifer Lawrence. Her original tweet used the word “Calvary.” Swalwell changed this to “cavalry” to imply that she was bringing an armed contingent to the Capitol. Calvary is the place where Jesus was crucified. Swalwell defended his editing, saying that “the ill-educated deplorables that make up the bulk of Trump’s supporters don’t know the difference between these two similar sounding words. It is my contention that ‘Calvary’ was a ‘dog whistle’ to these ignorant people urging them to attack their rulers.”

Rep Jamie Raskin (D-Md) charged that Trump’s supporters burned a Washington DC church the month before the riot at the Capitol. Actually, the historic St John’s Church in Washington, DC was set on fire in May of 2020 during a protest over the death of George Flyod while in the custody of Minneapolis police. Raskin insisted that “the point is that it is the racist environment nurtured by Trump that has been the cause of all the violence we’ve seen since he took office. So, even if Trump’s supporters didn’t actually set fire to a church, they are part of a culture that could easily stoop to such a heinous criminal act.”

Son Barred from Swearing-in Ceremony

Newly reelected Rep. Claudia Tenney’s (R-NY) request that her son be allowed to attend her swearing-in ceremony was denied by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif). “All I wanted was for him to be allowed a seat in the gallery that overlooks the floor of the House,” Tenney said.

Pelosi claimed that “allowing this person into the Capitol wasn’t worth the risk. Her son is a Marine and a graduate of the US Naval Academy. As we all know, about half of the members of our armed forces are likely supporters of Trump. In this particular case, we know that her son–Wayne “Trey” Ralph Cleary III—not only has a suspiciously different last name, he also received a personal phone call from Trump when he was deployed to Iraq in 2017. As a US Marine, this man is a trained killer. Given how close we all came to death at the hands of a Trump mob just a month ago I didn’t think we should put such a dangerous person within striking distance of so many defenseless members of Congress.”

In other news, the Speaker is facing accusations of illegal insider-trading after her husband made a timely purchase of a million dollars worth of stock in electric car manufacturing companies just days before the Biden admiration announced that it will replace the federal government’s fleet with all electric vehicles. Pelosi defended herself by saying “my husband makes all the investment decisions in our household. We may from time discuss what’s happening in each other’s lives, but I never tell him how to invest our money. Even if I did tell him, everyone knows that the salaries we get from our government jobs are inadequate compensation for all we do for this country. Profits from investments are a much needed and deserved supplement that doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime.”

Dem Bill Mandates “Smarter” Guns

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) has introduced legislation—the Handgun Trigger Safety Act—that would require all newly manufactured firearms to be so-called “smart guns.” A second mandate is for all firearms in existence to be retrofitted with “smart gun” technology within the next ten years.

“The insurrection at the Capitol has reminded all of us that the hundreds of millions of guns in private hands across America pose a substantial threat against democracy,” Maloney asserted. “The police and troops we depend upon to protect the government from hostile opposition could easily be outnumbered and outgunned. If we mandate that all weapons have smart gun technology the police and troops could simply deactivate all these weapons with a remote flick of a switch.”

Maloney contrasted her approach to Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-Tex) “old fashioned gun registry requirement bill. Knowing who has guns is useful, but the task of confiscating them is fraught with danger. My smart gun bill would essentially automate confiscation by enabling government authorities to deactivate all guns in private hands.”

Lee contends that “Carolyn misrepresents my bill. In addition to a national registry of gun owners, my bill codifies the rules of engagement President Obama laid down for our troops in Afghanistan. Namely, the purported victim of a crime may not fire first. If he is fired upon he must call the FBI hotline and request permission to return fire. Only if he can persuade the FBI agent who takes his call that returning fire is absolutely necessary will permission be granted. So, as you can see, my bill isn’t as ‘old fashioned’ as Carolyn claims.”

Smart guns are currently available in the marketplace, but they are unpopular with gun buyers who fear that the added layer of technology could fail at an inopportune moment. And there have been reports that smart guns can be hacked or jammed via radio waves.

Maloney said “the reluctance of consumers to willingly purchase smart guns is the primary reason we need a law requiring them to. The ability to jam these weapons remotely is a feature, not a flaw of my legislation. If a smart gun fails in the hands of a private citizen the potential consequence is tolerable. An individual gets robbed, raped, or murdered, but the collective society survives. If a privately held weapon can be neutralized by government authorities a rebellion can be quelled and democracy saved. This greater public purpose argues for passing my bill as quickly as possible. I’m hoping that my Republican colleagues will see that, as a matter of unity, it is in all our interests to be able to fend off those who might want to oust those who rule over them.”

States With Open Economies “Disunifying the Country”

Concerned that states like Florida, which has relatively few COVID restrictions, are, as the President says, “disunifying the country,” the Biden Administration is reportedly weighing whether to implement travel bans for these states.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained that “the President believes that strong measures are needed if the country expects to ever emerge from the pandemic. Strong measures he’d like to see are a consistent shutdown of all nonessential activities, around-the-clock mask wearing—preferably more than one mask at a time held in place by a leg of pantyhose pulled over the head, and tattling on non-compliant neighbors. Some states, like New York, have already locked-in these strong measures. Why should sensible states have to endure the risk of travelers arriving from disease havens like Florida, South Dakota and the like?”

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) called the proposed ban “unconstitutional, unwise, and unjust. Ensuring the people’s liberty is the only legitimate reason for the federal government’s existence. Demanding that liberty be infringed in order to comply with a lame ‘unity’ concept requiring unquestioning obedience is a perversion of basic principles and an abuse of power. It is especially egregious that Biden has decreed that illegal entry into this country will be expanded and expedited by waiving the COVID tests that he says Americans should have to pass before being free to move about the country.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) labeled the potential ban “an outrageous, authoritarian move that has no basis in law or science. Instead, it would only serve to inflict severe and devastating economic pain on an already damaged economy.”

“The President has already threatened to withhold vaccine shipments to states if they don’t fall in line with his preferences,” Psaki warned. “DeSantis’ vow not to comply with the President’s wishes ventures into dangerous territory. The last guys who defied federal authority provoked a punitive invasion of troops ordered by President Lincoln. In our opinion, the contemplated travel ban is a much milder sanction than these rebellious states deserve.”

Biden’s Respect for China Applauded

China’s Xinhua news agency and the Global Times state newspaper both praised Mr. Biden’s “amazing show of respect for China and President Xi Jinping. Even when Xi was eating his lunch Joe was appropriately respectful, though he did mysteriously mumble ‘if Oliver Twist can have pudding, then the God Damned President of the United States ought to have pudding.’ Xi was puzzled and wanted to know who this privileged Mr. Twist is. This aside, the communication between the two leaders was a dramatic contrast to the disrespect shown to China by Mr. Trump. Trump was repeatedly and inharmoniously pushing his America first agenda. Biden acknowledges the hegemony of China and is willing to work with us to build back a better unity.”

Xinhua said “Xi was especially pleased by Mr. Biden’s restoration of the Confucius Institutes’ indoctrination and propaganda roles that had been previously curtailed by Trump. Mr. Biden understands that cooperation between our countries will be enhanced if both parties are in tune with Chinese wisdom. He recognizes that a country thousands of years old has a lot to teach a country barely over 200 years old.”

“Xi was also impressed by Mr. Biden’s agreement that China’s treatment of the filthy sub-human Uighurs was strictly an internal matter,” Xinhua reported. “This clears the path for more fertile progress toward China’s global dominance. And killing the Keystone Pipeline means more Canadian oil will flow to us. Meanwhile, Mr. Biden has put America on the road to higher energy prices for less reliable wind and solar power. On top of agreeing to let America bear most of the burden of the fight against global climate change, Mr. Biden has also generously made China eligible for a share of his $1.9 billion COVID bailout stimulus package. His capacity for meeting our needs is unmatched by any previous American president.”

Biden did raise what he called “one serious matter of protocol. They should be calling me Mr. President or President Biden, not just Mr. Biden. If I have to draw a line in the sand that’s where I’ll draw it next time we talk.”

Satirical Look at Recent News

John Semmens is a retired economist who has written a weekly political satire for The Arizona Conservative since 2005. He says working on his satires is one of the ways he tries to honor the liberties our Founding Fathers tried to protect.” His work has been cited on the Rush Limbaugh program. Please do us a favor. If you use material created by The Arizona Conservative, give us credit and DO NOT change the context. Thank you.

Biden Fails Miserably At Campaign Promises

by The Bearded Patriot

Joe Biden failed to live up to yet another campaign promise. 

Despite his declaration that he would “shut down’ the coronavirus, a source close to top members of Biden’s COVID response team now estimates the United States will not reach the promised herd immunity until at least Thanksgiving 2021. 

Last October Biden stated, “I’m not going to shut down the country. I’m not going to shut down the economy. I’m going to shut down the virus.” 

Despite his promise, deaths from COVID-19 continue to skyrocket under Joe Biden’s leadership. President Trump was routinely beaten up in the press for lack of leadership while Biden receives universal praise for far worse results. 

Between inauguration and Feb. 6, the lowest death count recorded in one day was 1,876 with the highest at 5,189.

From day 1 of his presidency, Joe Biden has botched the vaccine distributing process that then-President Trump worked so tirelessly to establish. The mainstream media continues to ignore the hiccups in the Biden administration’s failure to successfully vaccine Americans at the rate he promised on the campaign trail. 

Despite the setbacks, Americans are receiving the vaccine more and more each day. The vaccine has provided a light at the end of the endless tunnel of masks, restrictions and business closures. While the vaccine is a step, top medical officials are still hesitant to celebrate. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci has said he is “cautiously optimistic” herd immunity can be reached by fall 2021. 

Dr. Fauci has a lengthy track record of vacillating on key facts that result in brutal lockdowns for millions of Americans. Joe Biden and his entire COVID response team has proven they have no control over the trajectory of the virus and will bypass data to save face and check off a campaign promise. 

Freedom’s Light — Feb. 13, 2021

White House Doubles Down On Attacking 2nd Amendment

Dems Get It Wrong on 1st Amendment, Trump Speech

The Media’s Quid Pro Cuomo

Biden and Big Tech Are Coming For Us

Why Mike Lindell’s Election Fraud Video Should be Played at the Impeachment Trial

It’s Time For Real Election Reform

Impeachment Defense: Here’s a Flashback to Kamala Harris Laughing About Killing Trump and Pence

Finally: The Cuomo Scandal Explodes

Unity and Healing: Biden WH Deputy Press Secretary Threatened to ‘Destroy’ a Reporter

7 Highlights From Trump Team’s Defense in Impeachment Trial

By Fred Lucas, The Daily Signal

Lawyers for former President Donald Trump gave a significantly shorter presentation Friday in his defense than the Democrats’ House impeachment managers did the previous two days in acting as prosecutors. 

Day Four of Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial began around noon and Trump’s legal team yielded the balance of its 16 hours of allotted time shortly after 3:15 p.m. Senators then began to ask written questions of both the prosecutors and the defense. 

Here are seven key highlights from the fourth day of the former president’s trial on a single charge of incitement to insurrection in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Democrats seek to convict Trump, then disqualify him from future federal office.

1. ‘Can’t Incite What Was Already Going to Happen’

The Senate adjourned at 6:29 p.m. and was set to reconvene the impeachment trial at 10 a.m. Saturday.

Want to keep up with the 24/7 news cycle? Want to know the most important stories of the day for conservatives? Need news you can trust? Subscribe to The Daily Signal’s email newsletter. Learn more >>

Just before adjournment, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., praised Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman, who is among officers who will receive a Congressional Gold Medal for his actions Jan. 6.

The chamber rose to applaud Goodman, who was present. In viral video, Goodman can be seen luring rioters away from the Senate chamber.

During his presentation, Trump lawyer Michael van der Veen played video of several news reports showing that rioters had planned the attack—in some cases for weeks. 

Thus, he argued, the mob wasn’t inspired by Trump’s speech at a rally just south of the White House during a joint session of Congress to count the Electoral College votes that made Joe Biden president. 

“The criminals who infiltrated the Capitol must be punished to the fullest extent of the law,” van der Veen said, adding:

They should be in prison for as long as the law allows. The fact that the attacks were apparently premeditated—as alleged by the House managers—demonstrates the ludicrousness of the incitement allegation against the president. You can’t incite what was already going to happen.

Van der Veen praised law enforcement officers at the scene who were heroic and courageous. But, he said political leadership should have had better security in advance of the joint session of Congress, considering the previous political violence in Washington.

“As many recall, last summer the White House was faced with violent rioters, night after night,” he said. “They repeatedly attacked Secret Service officers and at one point pierced a security wall that culminated in the clearing of Lafayette Square.”

 2. ‘No Human Being Seriously Believes’

Van der Veen also argued that what Democrats’ impeachment managers claimed was incitement to insurrection was “ordinary political rhetoric.” 

Democrats frequently homed in on one statement by Trump to supporters at the Jan. 6 rally: “If you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.” 

“This is ordinary political rhetoric that is virtually indistinguishable from the language that has been used by people across the political spectrum for hundreds of years,” van der Veen said. “Countless politicians have spoken of fighting for our principles. Joe Biden’s campaign slogan was ‘Battle for the Soul of America.’ No human being seriously believes that the use of such metaphorical terminology is incitement to political violence.”

3. Democrats’ Violent Rhetoric

House prosecutors had relied heavily on video of Trump and the rioters, and Trump’s lawyers showed video compiling numerous instances in which Democrats not only used the words “fight” or “fight like hell” but appeared to condone or call for violence. 

Those in the video montage seen and heard using such language included many of the Democrats’ 2020 candidates for president as well as many of the House impeachment managers and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“While the president did not engage in any language of incitement, there are numerous officials in Washington who have indeed used reckless, dangerous, and inflammatory rhetoric in recent years,” van der Veen said. 

The lawyer noted that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Trump “an imposter and a traitor.” Pelosi and many other Democratic politicians appeared to encourage the riots in American cities over the summer, he said: 

When violent, left-wing anarchists conducted a sustained assault on a [federal] courthouse in Portland, Oregon, Speaker Pelosi did not call it an insurrection. Instead, she called the federal law enforcement officers protecting the building ‘storm troopers.’ When violent mobs destroyed public property, she said, ‘People will do what they do.’

The defense lawyers also referred to Vice President Kamala Harris’ saying of the summer riots last year, when she was a California senator: “Everyone beware, they are not going to stop before Election Day in November and they are not going to stop after Election Day. They are not going to let up and they should not.” 

Harris made the comment in June, before Biden selected her as his running mate. 

Van der Veen talked about the June 2017 shooting of House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., by a supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who set out to kill Republican members of Congress. 

“A man claiming to be inspired by the junior senator from Vermont came here to a softball game to kill as many senators and congressmen as he could,” van der Veen said. “It cannot be forgotten that the president did not blame the junior senator from Vermont.” 

The Trump team also showed video in which Schumer, the Senate Majority leader, used violent rhetoric at a rally in front of the Supreme Court, and another clip of Biden, as a candidate for the White House, saying he would like to “beat the hell out of” Trump. 

“Under the standards of the House impeachment article, each of these individuals should be retroactively censored, expelled, punished, or impeached,” van der Veen said. 

The past four years make it clear Democrats are not concerned about political violence, the lawyer said, but simply want to silence Trump and suppress his supporters:

This unprecedented effort is not about Democrats opposing political violence. It is about Democrats trying to disqualify their political opposition. It is constitutional cancel culture. History will record this shameful effort as a deliberate attempt by the Democrat Party to smear, censor, and cancel not just President Trump, but the 75 million Americans who voted for him.

4. Democrats’ Objections to 2016 Outcome

Democrats’ House impeachment managers repeatedly called Trump’s challenge of the 2020 election outcome “the big lie,” and cast it as unprecedented. 

The former president’s legal team, however, noted that after Trump won the 2016 election, Democrats tried to persuade the Electoral College to overturn the outcome. 

Moreover, Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., leader of the impeachment managers, was among House Democrats who challenged the certification of the Electoral College votes on Jan. 6, 2017. 

The lawyers showed video of Raskin that day during the joint session of Congress, with Biden, then vice president, ruling  Raskin’s and other Democrats’ objections out of order in his role as president of the Senate. 

“I have an objection because 10 of the 29 electoral votes in Florida were cast by electors not legally certified,” Raskin said during his objection to certifying Trump’s victory.  

Biden responded: “Is it signed by a senator?

Raskin answered, “Not as of yet, Mr. President.”

Biden replied, “In that case, the objection cannot be entertained.”

Additional video from 2017 showed other House Democrats objecting to certifying electoral votes from the states of Alabama, Georgia, and North Carolina in favor of Trump. However, none had a Senate sponsor as required.  

After the Trump team wrapped up and the Senate moved to question-and-answer time, Raskin had a chance to defend his 2017 action. He said that was different because no one stormed the Capitol then:

I was one of the people who took about 30 seconds in 2016 [sic] to point out that the electors from Florida were not actually conforming to the letter of the law, because they have a law in Florida that you can’t be a dual officeholder. In other words, you can’t be a state legislator and also be an elector. But I think then-Vice President Biden properly gaveled me down and said, ‘Look, we are going to try to make the Electoral College work and we are going to vindicate the will of the people.’ That is pretty much what has happened because nobody has stormed the Capitol before.

5. First Amendment and Public Officials

Trump’s lawyers stressed that his speech at the Jan. 6 rally, which he was still delivering as the mob began its assault on the Capitol, was protected under the First Amendment. They cited three separate Supreme Court cases. 

The key Supreme Court finding on incitement law comes in its 1969 ruling in Brandenburg v. Ohio establishing that, however inflammatory speech may be, the government can’t prosecute unless the speech is directed at inciting violence, poses an imminent threat of violence, and that violence is likely to occur.

“The Supreme Court ruled in Brandenburg that there is a very clear standard for incitement,” Trump lawyer David Schoen said. “In short, to paraphrase, whether the speech was intended to provoke imminent, lawless action, and was it likely to do so. ‘Go to the Capitol and cheer on some members of Congress, but not others.’” 

“They know it doesn’t meet the standard for incitement,” he said of Democrats. “So they edited it down [in their video exhibit].”

Van der Veen focused on two separate high court cases that dealt directly with the First Amendment rights of a public official—which he said was most relevant. 

He referred to the 1962 case of Wood v. Georgia and the 1966 case of Bond v. Floyd, in which the Supreme Court asserted that public officials have First Amendment protections of their pronouncements. 

The Wood case involved a sheriff who publicly mocked a grand jury proceeding. The high court rejected a citation for contempt of court, determining that the sheriff was exercising his right to speak and it didn’t affect his job. 

In the Bond case, the Georgia Legislature attempted to prevent a newly elected lawmaker who was opposed to the draft and Vietnam War from being seated. His opponents claimed that he could not take an oath to the Constitution. 

But the high court held that the duly elected lawmaker was free to express his view and still be seated. 

“The Constitution and the First Amendment must certainly apply to these impeachment proceedings and Mr. Trump’s speech deserves full protection under the First Amendment,” van der Veen told senators. 

6. Trump’s Call for Peace

A third Trump lawyer, Bruce Castor, noted that Trump’s speech Jan. 6 wrapped up at 1:11 p.m. Rather than doing nothing, as House managers alleged, at 2:33 p.m. Trump tweeted to supporters: “Stay peaceful.” 

Castor also noted that Trump’s speech at the rally referred to the riots staged by left-wing activists over the summer. 

“If this happened to the Democrats, there would be hell all over the country,” Trump said, referring to evidence of a stolen election. “But just remember this, you are stronger, you are smarter, and you’ve got more going than anybody. And they try to demean everybody having to do with us. And you are the real people. You are the people who helped build this nation. You’re not the people who tore down this nation.”

Castor asked senators: “Is it possible that President Trump’s disdain for political violence could be any clearer to the persons listening as he was speaking? Is it possible that his words could have been misunderstood?”

The lawyer continued: 

The president asked that the attendees at his rally ‘peacefully’ make their voices heard. …

The managers would have you believe that the president’s supporters usually follow his every word, but in this case, imputed some imaginary meaning to them, while ignoring his most clear instructions. 

President Trump told them to ‘peacefully and patriotically’ make your voices heard, and the House managers took from that: ‘Go down to the Capitol and riot.’

Castor also questioned the term “insurrection,” the word used in the House’s impeachment charge.

“They continue to say ‘insurrection.’ Clearly, there was no insurrection,” Castor said, adding:

Insurrection is a term of art. It’s defined in the law. It involves taking over a country, a shadow government, taking the TV stations over, and having some plan on what you’re going to do. What our colleagues here across the aisle meant is incitement to violence. So the word incitement is critical to the case.

Trump’s defense lawyers specifically referred to how the House impeachment managers played video taking Trump’s comments out of context; the lawyers then played a side-by-side video of clips to show Trump’s actual comments in full.  

Specifically, the House managers’ video cut off Trump at the words “And we are going to walk down to the Capitol,” then shifted to shots of rioting. 

The former president’s lawyers showed video of him telling supporters to “peacefully and patriotically” protest the counting of electoral votes in the joint session of Congress. 

“Why are they walking to the Capitol?” Schoen said. “Well, they cut that off: to ‘cheer on some members of Congress but not others,’ ‘peacefully and patriotically.’”

Van der Veen stressed—when addressing the issue of what Trump did or didn’t do while the riot was occurring—that the House’s single article of impeachment is for incitement and not for anything else. 

“To claim that the president in any way wished, desired, or encouraged lawless or violent behavior is a preposterous and monstrous lie,” van der Veen said. “In fact, the first two messages the president sent via Twitter once the incursion of the Capitol began were ‘Stay peaceful and no violence because we are the party of law and order.’ The gathering on Jan. 6 was supposed to be a peaceful event. Make no mistake about that.”

7. ‘Rush to Judgment’ and Due Process

Schoen complained about a lack of due process for Trump, including the House’s impeachment and the Senate’s trial. 

“The hatred that the House managers and others on the left have for President Trump has driven them to skip the basic elements of due process and fairness,” Schoen said. 

A bigger problem was the lack of opportunity for Trump’s lawyers to review the integrity of the evidence, he said:

On Wednesday of this week, countless news outlets repeated the Democrat talking point about the power of ‘never-before-seen’ footage. Let me ask you this: Why was this footage never seen before? Should the subject of an impeachment trial, this impeachment trial, President Trump, have the right to see the so-called new evidence against him? 

More importantly, the riot and the attack on this very building was a major event that shocked and impacted all Americans. Shouldn’t the American people have seen this footage as soon as it was available? For what possible reason did the House managers withhold it from the American people and President Trump’s lawyers? For political gain? How did they get it? How are they the ones releasing it?

Ken McIntyre contributed to this report.