The Damning Fake Video

During last week’s  impeachment hearings, Democratic Judiciary Counsel Norman Eisen (above, on the left) presented a video clip showing President Trump  saying: “Then I have an Article II, where I have the right to do whatever I want as President.” Asked to comment on the video, Harvard Law School Professor Noah Feldman—you know, he’s the one who falsely told the committee and America that Nixon “sent burglars” to steal documents from the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters in 1972. That guy— replied, “As someone who cares about the Constitution,” the statement “struck a kind of horror in me.”

Jerry Nadler, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, referenced the same quotation as it was heard in the clip , concluding that President Trump “believes that in his own words, ‘I can do whatever I want.’” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was referencing the same video when she said Thursday that Trump threatened  the Constitution by acting as a “king.”

Later in the week, CNN legal analyst Elie Honig twice cited the same clip.  So did MSNBC’s Chris Mathews during  “Hardball,” and  MSNBC host Joe Scarborough on “Morning Joe.” The Washington Post spread the same report about the video.

In all six cases, a video deceptively edited to misrepresent what the President was referring to was used to inflame and deceive.  He was not saying that he could do anything he wanted as a general proposition, but that he could do anything he wanted, pursuant to Article Two, regarding the dismissal of Executive Branch officers. The whole section, deliberately altered to hide the context, showed the President saying,  “Look, Article II, I would be allowed to fire Robert Mueller. Assuming I did all of the things, I said I want to fire him. Number one, I didn’t. He wasn’t fired. Number one, very importantly but more importantly, Article II allows me to do whatever I want. Article II would allow me to fire him. I wasn’t going to fire him. You know why—because I watched Richard Nixon firing everybody and that didn’t work out too well.” Even with Trump’s well-established meat-axe approach to the English language, nobody could plausibly misinterpret the meaning of “Article II allows me to do whatever I want” with the full context revealed. The seaction allows a President to do whatever he wants when it comes to firing appointees within his branch of the government. Trump’s statement, in that context, was accurate.

Thanks to the false presentation of the truncated video in multiple forums, I have seen it quoted extensively on social media for the proposition that the President asserts absolute power. MSNBC and CNN have an obligation to correct their misrepresentation: they haven’t. Nadler also: he has not corrected the record either. Even though  a House hearing is not technically a “tribunal” under the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, I believe, and would argue in a disciplinary hearing, that Norman Eisen’s use of false evidence in the hearing, and his failure to correct any misrepresentations this caused, violated rules 8.4, 4.1, 3.3 and 3.9 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, covering dishonesty and misrepresentation, misrepresenting fact or law to third parties, neglecting to reveal and withdraw false evidence, and the ethical duties of lawyers appearing before legislative bodies. His violations were flagrant, public, and worthy of suspension at the very least.

Both Nadler and Pelosi violated House ethics rules in this episode as well.

Of course, pundits and journalists like Honig, Matthews and Scarborough, as well as the Post, have no enforceable ethics codes to violate, because modern broadcast pundits have no ethics.

It should go without saying that the false version of the video being used to slime the President has not been publicized for the public’s edification, except in a few right-wing media sources. The other 90% of the news media is blissfully fearmongering based on the Big Lie the video was edited to advance, Big Lie #3: “Trump Is A Fascist/Hitler/Dictator/Monster.” Thus, followingt the script and the grand plan, CNN’s alleged conservative S.E. Cupp tweeted,

This isn’t a lie; it’s just an incompetent, idiotic, unfair and inflammatory opinion designed to alarm the typical American who no more knows what’s in the Constitution than what’s in The Epic of Gilgamesh, to make him afraid of his elected leader.

Trump couldn’t demand a third term any more than he could declare the national language to be Cornish. A Constitutional Amendment, the 22nd, specifically forbids a third term. All Bloomberg needed to get past New York City’s  third term prohibition was the approval of the city council. Repealing an amendment is just a bit more difficult, as in virtually impossible—particularly that one.

These are unethical, dishonest, desperate people who are bad at their jobs, contemptuous of the public, and destructive to our democracy.

22 thoughts on “The Damning Fake Video

  1. WOW! Was not aware of this. Have kind of worn out on the Impeachment. It’s exceeded my attention span. Reminds me of the Shriners in those little cars during that parade in Philly. But probably less entertaining.

  2. I do not see light at the end of this tunnel.
    Horror awaits us, made from lies and false reporting. And those of us who point it out are called liars, haters, falsifiers, and worse.

    What are these enemies of civilization so desperately afraid of the public finding out? So much so they are driving us toward oblivion.

    • This is one of the finest examples of the ends justifies the means blatantly dishonest cherry picking that I think I’ve ever seen. These anti-Trumpers truly are completely devoid of morals, equivalent to totalitarian fascists and actively instigating a soft coup with false propaganda; they are the enemy of the people of the United States of America. This is dangerous shit these people are doing!

      • Steve, this is just one more reason both slickwilly and I see no other possible outcome than blood in the streets. What the left can’t seem to remember is that their own philosophy has disarmed them. Not so with the right. Thus, they will pick a fight and then bring cudgels to a gun fight.

  3. This is but one more example of why my faith in our systems of social governance has eroded beyond the point of no return.

    For months we have been told the Horowitz report will show how the careerists in DC manipulated the courts to get permission to electronically monitor a political candidate who challenged the very system that makes millionaires out of people that produce little to no real durable value. Now, after all those investigated have had a chance to edit the report we hear that no real wrongdoing took place and the FBI had enough to launch an investigation. Someone please reconcile Jon Solomon’s reporting that suggest otherwise with this IG report that the alleged perpetrators of the fraud on the FISA court had a chance to review and edit.

    I certainly hope all the politicians are happy with themselves. They have created a divided nation for the singular purpose of having the right to put their boot on the throats of the electorate.

  4. Thank you Jack for bringing this forward. I saw this earlier today and became both angry and frightened. How can public officials, who have a sworn duty to be faithful to our country, deliberately falsify a statement to bring down another official, in this case the President? Like Harry Reid, whatever works is O.K? It’s truly frightening that the current party in power in the House of Representatives seems to have no check on their power to corrupt. Where the hell is the free press? Yes, it’s gone.
    Anyone who has had a loss due to theft may feel shocked, confused, angry, sad, powerless, or embarrassed and upset. That’s kind-of how I feel with experiences like this.
    About the lawyer’s quip during the Judicial Hearing that Nixon had “sent” out the Watergate team: I was watching at the time and couldn’t believe the educated Harvard ignorance. “That’s not true” I shouted at the screen. And then I didn’t see anyone challenge him on this. Why did he believe this, was it simple of cognitive bias or is TDS that debilitating?
    Jack, thanks again, and more power to you. I guess you have become one of the free press.

  5. Who will die first, once the lunatic totalitarian left and their media handmaidens finally push the country over the edge?

  6. The once vaunted Saul Alinsky slow train to totalitarian rule has been pushed off to a siding track by deplorable people. And that’s the most bellicose and hateful part, citizens who disagree are now lesser and, ultimately, disposable. Any strategy or tactics to demonize and dispose of those who dare disagree is just fine with the Alinskyites itching to get back on the track toward Stalinist elitism.

  7. Let us not forget that this isn’t the first time this tactic has been used successfully. Happened with Charlottesville.

  8. Now this fake video quote is part of the report on page 6.

    Third, we consider President Trump’s claim that his actions are protected because
    of his right under Article II of the Constitution “to do whatever I want as president.” This
    claim is wrong, and profoundly so, because our Constitution rejects pretensions to
    monarchy and binds Presidents with law.”

    In my opinion I think they intentionally lied in a government document in a effort to inflame and deceive the people of the United States of America. These people are the enemy of the people and need to be thrown in prison for a very, Very, VERY long time.

    In my opinion, this soft coup is literally treason.

    • I just wrote this on Facebook, let;s see if Facebook deletes it?

      The people that wrote the Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment as entered into the record are distorting facts, twisting the truth, creating “facts” where facts do not exist, and intentionally deceiving the people of the United States of America, these people are LIARS do not trust them and do not rationalize their behavior!

      I don’t like President Trump, I did not vote for the jerk and I also didn’t vote for the other jerk Clinton. I support the Constitution, I support the office of the three branches of government. What the extremists in House of Representatives are doing right now to try to remove a duly elected President of the United States is bastardizing the truth, bastardizing facts, bastardizing the Constitution, bastardizing accepted law, and bastardizing precedence!

      THE ENDS DOES NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS!

    • As long as Nadler and Schiff are the ringmasters that’s all that matters to them. Lies for everyone!

      I predicted civil conflict would begin on November 4, 2020. Not sure we’ll make it to that date, especially when the Seante laughs these guys off the floor. Easy to see things really going wrong in DC right afterward.

  9. I don’t know. I think maybe Trump could argue that he hasn’t been allowed to have a first term as President. Congress and the Courts have not allowed him to take charge of the executive branch, which is his job and maybe his term should begin when they allow him to start being President.

  10. This video is amatuer stuff. Look up ‘Deep Fake’ videos to be REALLY frightened. Computers are learning to fake a person speaking… facial expressions, intonations, and all.

    We are a short step from a deep fake video being used to defame (I think that is the word) a deplorable… or a progressive, for that matter.

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