Desperate to convince the Senate — and the American people — that Donald Trump should be convicted on charges of inciting a riot, the House impeachment managers turned to desperate measures on Thursday.
Amid rising confidence that Trump will be acquitted of the charges, lead impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) bizarrely argued that the coronavirus shutdown protests at the Michigan state capitol in early 2020 was a “dress rehearsal” for the January 6th riot.
Raskin added that the plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer was could also be linked to former President Trump’s rhetoric encouraging residents of the states to protest against Whitmer’s draconian restrictions.
“There the pattern is, staring us in the face,” Mr. Raskin said. “Trump knew exactly what he was doing in inciting the January 6th mob. He had just seen how easily his words and actions inspired violence in Michigan. He sent a clear message to his supporters.”
President Trump was highly critical of Whitmer’s leadership throughout the coronavirus pandemic, at one point tweeting “LIBERATE MICHIGAN” which Democrat leaders posit was a call for insurrection. Raskin did not address the fact that Trump also tweeted a call to “liberate” Minnesota and Virginia, two other states with extremely restrictive COVID-19 rules.
Days after Trump’s tweets, a group of Michiganders marched to the state’s capital and entered the Michigan statehouse to peacefully demonstrate against Whitmer’s rules.
In October, Trump’s Department of Justice uncovered a plot to kidnap and potentially execute Whitmer, which Raskin said was a consequence of Trump’s encouragement to protest Whitmer’s leadership.
“The precise consequences of the president’s incitement of violence were revealed to the whole world,” said Raskin on Thursday, “He did not criticize the extremists. He chose to vilify Gov. Whitmer again,” noting that Trump tweeted after the fact that the governor “has done a terrible job.”
“Trump knew exactly what he was doing,” Raskin declared. “He had just seen how easily his words and actions inspired violence in Michigan. He sent a clear message to his supporters. He encouraged planning and conspiracies to take over the Capitol building and threaten public officials who refused to bow down to his political will.”