CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Friday afternoon tore into the Trump impeachment lawyers’ defense, calling their presentation outright “stupid” and likening it to a “Sean Hannity mixtape.”
Countering the compelling and meticulous presentation from the House impeachment managers, which featured chilling, never-before-seen video of the insurrectionist Capitol riot, former President Donald Trump’s attorneys argued that Democrats have also said “fight” during political speeches, in an attempt to nullify Trump’s dangerous rhetoric.
“Not the most constitutionally sophisticated argument, fair to say,” Tapper said during a break in the Senate impeachment trial, adding that one of Trump’s attorneys is a personal injury lawyer.
“We have months and months and months of the ‘Big Lie’ of the election lie, and today was basically a legal demonstration of whataboutism,” he added. “What about the time that this congressman said this, the time that this losing candidate said that? Times that there was no violence that followed what they said.”
CNN correspondent Dana Bash agreed, adding that “it is the context that matters” and pointing out that dozens of the rioters involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection have said they “believed that they were doing this violence in the name of Donald Trump because he told them to do that.”
Tapper later observed, “This presentation was very partisan. A Sean Hannity mixtape at times,” suggesting the Trump defense is taking their cues from one of the former president’s most loyal sycophants.
“Almost literally,” Bash concurred.
Over the past few weeks, Hannity has regularly devoted his nightly monologues to alleging a “double standard” by Democrats regarding heated political rhetoric, citing many of the same examples used by Trump’s legal team on Friday.
Tapper also mocked the former president’s attorneys for accusing House managers of misrepresenting a Trump tweet because they initially screwed up the date when creating the visual of the tweet—something that was caught before the Democratic presentation.
“Just to be clear, the criticisms they were making were not that the tweets were wrong or that Donald Trump didn’t retweet such and such or that so and so didn’t tweet such a thing,” Tapper sighed. “It was they mistakenly in their re-creation of the tweets put the wrong date initially and fixed it… just stupid!”