Donald Trump‘s impeachment lawyers closed their presentation on Friday, but they also opened one big can of racially charged worms when they repeatedly showed videos in an attempt to disprove House Democrats’ claim that the former president incited the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
House Impachment Manager and Virgin Islands Rep. Stacey Plaskett saw what everybody else did when Trmp’s lawyers played their videos: a disingenuous attempt to scapegoat Black women, in particular, as hypocrites for their use of the word “fight.” Trump’s lawyers tried to play a dishonest game of semantics in the strategically edited clips that repeatedy showed people like Stacey Abrams and California Rep. Maxine Waters saying the word “fight” during speeches. They wanted th Senate to believe that was the same thing as Trump encouraging his followers to “fight like hell” at the Capitol.
During the portion of the impeachment trial when Senators get to ask questions, Plaskett took the opportnity to address the implicitly racist elephant in the room.
“The defense counsels could put a lot of videos out in their defense, playing clip after clip of Black women talking about fighting for a cause or an issue or a policy,” Plaskett said. “It was not lost on me that so many of them were people of color and women.”
She added: “I thought we were past that. Maybe we’re not.”
Context apparently didnt matter to Trump’s impeachment lawyers.
Stacey Abrams’ organization is called “Fair Fight” and is dedicated to eliminating voter suppression, so any time she uses the word “fight,” it has always been said in that context.
And while Trump’s hatred for Waters is well documented, there is no evidence to support the premise that she was trying to incite violence against the former president.
On Wednesday, Plaskett presented video she described as “chilling” and showed never-seen-before security footage as violent rioters broke into the Capitol, along with footage of Officer Eugene Goodman leading Sen. Mitt Romney to safety.
“He fanned the flame of violence,” she said of Trump. “The violence was what he deliberately encouraged.”
Plaskett also played audio of officers desperately asking for backup, noting that several officers were injured in the early moments of the riot. One officer was killed as a result of the injuries he sustained and two others took their lives after Jan. 6.
This is a developing story that will be updated as additinal information becomes available.