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.”