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Rand Paul says Trump team will show video of Dems inciting violence at impeachment trial

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at the CATO Institute in Washington, D.C., on July 27, 2017. (Michael Brochstein/Sipa USA/TNS)
February 09, 2021

During the Senate impeachment trial beginning Tuesday, former President Donald Trump’s defense team plans to show footage of Democrats encouraging violence, Senator Rand Paul told Fox News Sunday.

“I think you’re going to see the Trump defense play video of Rep. Maxine Waters telling crowds to mob Trump administration officials and attack them. They’ll probably show clips of Cory Booker saying get up in the face of these congresspeople. You’ll probably see comments from Rep. [Ilhan] Omar celebrating the violence that happened to me when I had six ribs broken and part of a lung removed,” Paul said.

Paul went on to question criminally prosecuting individuals for political speech, adding, “Has nobody in this country heard of figurative speech? You could argue that his position was wrong and that it was misguided. I accept all of that. But if you’re going to criminalize his speech, you have to do it with the same standards. You can’t just criminalize Republican speech and ignore all of the Democrats who have incited violence.”

Bruce Castor, one of Trump’s lawyers, told Fox News on Friday that video of Democrats using similar speech to that of Trump will be presented during the trial.

“I’ve been looking at a lot of video over the past couple of days,” Castor said. “There’s a lot of tape of cities burning and courthouses being attacked and federal agents being assaulted by rioters in the streets, cheered on by Democrats throughout the country, and many of them in Washington using really the most inflammatory rhetoric that’s possible to use.”

“You better be careful what you wish for,” Castor added, referring to the Democrats.

The footage that is expected to be included in the Senate impeachment trial includes a video from 2018 showing Sen. Cory Booker telling activists to “get up in the face of some congresspeople.”

Another video shows Hillary Clinton saying, “You can’t be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for.”

Last year, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on becoming active in politics, noting, “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.”

Sen. Jon Tester also said that to deal with Donald Trump, you need to “punch him in the face.”

In December, Michigan state lawmaker Rep. Cynthia Jones urged her supporters to go after Trump supporters and “make them pay.”

“So this is just a warning to you Trumpers. Be careful. Walk lightly. We ain’t playing with you. Enough of the shenanigans. Enough is enough. And for those of you who are soldiers, you know how to do it. Do it right. Be in order. Make them pay,” Jones said during a Facebook Live video.

In 2019, Rep. Joaquin Castro said Democrats would “fight [Trump] in the streets” if the former president attempted to reopen the government through an emergency declaration.

During a speech to her supporters as they cheered about Trump supporters being booed out of restaurants, Rep. Maxine Waters said in 2018, “If you see anybody from [Trump’s] Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd. And you push back on them. And you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Former President Donald Trump’s legal team responded to the articles of impeachment against him in a statement last week, asking the Senate to acquit the former president because attempting to remove a former president from office is a violation of the Constitution, they allege.

On January 6, a protest at the Capitol building turned violent following a speech from Trump during which he said, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building, to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”

Since then, top Democrats have accused Trump of inciting an insurrection against the federal government, ultimately impeaching him in the House for the second time.