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Greg Steube cites KKK case in defending Donald Trump

Steube maintains Trump did nothing wrong, and a KKK case can prove it.

Republican Rep. Greg Steube cited a case involving a KKK leader in his impeachment defense of President Donald Trump, contending Trump said nothing that qualifies as inciting violence under law established by that case.

Speaking Wednesday during debate for a second Trump impeachment, Steube insisted the President never said anything to incite or provoke people to violence, and so was not legally responsible when a mob left his speech, went to the U.S. Capitol, seized and sacked it, and killed a police officer.

“The legal elements of incitement are based on the Supreme Court case of Brandenburg v. Ohio,” Steube said, referring to the 1969 case involving an Ohio Ku Klux Klan leader charged with inciting violence. “Brandenburg called for violence against Americans. And the Supreme Court said … that was protected speech. And he was calling for violence! That’s the current law of the land.”

Steube contended there was no language in Trump’s Jan. 6 speech to the group that attacked the Capitol that provoked violence.

“In fact, around the 18-minute mark he stated, and quote, ‘Peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,'” he said. “You may think that he is inciting violence because he thinks there was election fraud. That’s his opinion. And he’s entitled to that opinion, just as all of you were entitled to your false and fraudulent opinion that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

“There was no crime committed and therefore no basis for impeachment,” Steube said of Trump’s speech.

Nonetheless, Steube also contended Democrats and the media have “lied to the American people” for years, so Democrats should consider resigning for “lying to the American people repeatedly, and sowing division.”

“You have created a mockery out of the impeachment process,” he concluded. “Stand against it and fight the latest fraud perpetrated against the American people by the radical left.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at



  1. Kathy

    January 13, 2021 at 3:54 pm

    Only a fool defends an idiot. Pathetic losers.

  2. Sonja Fitch

    January 13, 2021 at 5:03 pm

    Steube you are brainwashed and braindead! Where were you last Wednesday! 6 people are dead! You Steube are compromised and unable to accept the truth! Get out!

  3. Palmer Tom

    January 13, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    This was not a criminal trial. The standards are different in civil actions. Don’t be confused.

  4. Robert Rivas

    January 14, 2021 at 8:13 am

    Is Palmer Tom saying Brandenberg v. Ohio was not a criminal trial? If so, he is mistaken. It was an appeal from a criminal trial. The first sentences say, “The appellant, a leader of a Ku Klux Klan group, was convicted under the Ohio Criminal Syndicalism statute for ‘advocat(ing) * * * the duty, necessity, or propriety of crime, sabotage, violence, or unlawful methods of terrorism as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform’ and for ‘voluntarily assembl(ing) with any society, group, or assemblage of persons formed to teach or advocate the doctrines of criminal syndicalism.’ Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2923.13. He was fined $1,000 and sentenced to one to 10 years’ imprisonment.” Brandenberg establishes the line a state law may not cross when the state seeks to prosecute a citizen for using speech to incite violence.

  5. Gordon

    January 14, 2021 at 8:46 am

    Pretty sure the KKK never took an oath to defend the constitution. Just sayin.

  6. Robert Rivas

    January 14, 2021 at 8:57 am

    Steube’s argument about the Brandenberg case is intellectually dishonest. Trump went to the crowd as it prepared to march on the Capitol and spoke words that were intended to, and did, incite the mob to take over the Capitol in a plan to use violence to change the outcome of the electoral college certification. He said:

    “We are going to have to fight much harder. And Mike Pence is going to have to come through for us, and if he doesn’t, that will be a sad day for our country. Because you’re sworn to uphold our Constitution.” Calling the outcome of the election “this egregious assault on our democracy,” he said his supporters should “walk down to the Capitol.”

    “So we’re going to, we’re going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue . . . and we’re going to the Capitol and we’re going to try and give… . . . we’re going to try and give our Republicans, the weak ones, because the strong ones don’t need any of our help, we’re going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”

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