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The New York Times’ Brazenly False “Fact Check” About Trump’s Impeachment Trial

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The New York Times’ Brazenly False “Fact Check” About Trump’s Impeachment Trial 

By James D. Agresti

The New York Times has published a “fact check“ by Linda Qiu declaring that Donald Trump’s lawyers “made a number of inaccurate or misleading claims” during the Senate impeachment trial. In reality, much of the article consists of flagrant falsehoods propagated by Qiu and the Times.

“Inciting Violence”

With regard to Trump’s speech on the day of the Capitol Hill riot, Trump attorney Michael van der Veen said: “Far from promoting insurrection against the United States, the president’s remarks explicitly encouraged those in attendance to exercise their rights peacefully and patriotically.”

That statement is demonstrably true, as the transcriptof the speech shows that Trump asked his supporters to go “to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Qiu, however, alleges that his attorney’s statement “is exaggerated” because Trump “used the phrase ‘peacefully and patriotically’ once in his speech, compared with 20 uses of the word ‘fight’.”

Qiu’s argument presumes that Trump used the word “fight” to denote physical violence. This mimics the Democrat’s impeachment resolution, which declares that Trump is guilty of “inciting violence” because he said in his speech: “if you don’t fight like hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore.”

However, both Qiu and the Democrats are quoting Trump out of context. The transcriptshows that Trump never called for violence or even vaguely implied that. In fact, it is glaringly obvious that he was talking about legal and verbal fighting. To wit, 10 of the 20 times in which Trump used the word “fight” are found in these statements:

·     Rudy Giuliani has “guts, he fights. He fights.”
·     “Jim Jordan, and some of these guys. They’re out there fighting the House.”
·     “If they don’t fight, we have to primary the hell out of the ones that don’t fight. You primary them.”
·     “The American people do not believe the corrupt fake news anymore. They have ruined their reputation. But it used to be that they’d argue with me, I’d fight. So I’d fight, they’d fight. I’d fight, they’d fight. … They had their point of view, I had my point of view. But you’d have an argument. Now what they do is they go silent. It’s called suppression. And that’s what happens in a communist country.”

Highlighting the duplicity of those who claim that Trump’s use of the word “fight” amounts to incitement, Trump’s attorneys showed video footageof numerous Congressional Democrats using the word “fight” more than 200 times, including more than a dozen timesin which they used the exact phrase for which they impeached Trump: “fight like hell.”

Antifa Involvement in the Capitol Hill Riot

Speaking about the Capitol Hill riot, van der Veen said: “One of the first people arrested was a leader of antifa.” Qiu begins her critique of this statement by changing the word “a” so that it becomes “the.” Thus, she claims that van der Veen said: “One of the first people arrested was theleader of antifa.” Qiu then writes:

This is misleading. Mr. van der Veen was most likely referring to John E. Sullivan, a Utah man who was charged on Jan. 14 with violent entry and disorderly conduct. Mr. Sullivan, an activist, said he was there to film the siege. He had previously referred to antifa—a loosely affiliated group of antifascist activiststhat has no leader—on social media, but he has repeatedlydeniedbeing a member of the movement. The F.B.I. has said there is no evidencethat supporters of the antifa movement had participated in the Capitol siege.

Those four sentences contain five elements of deceit:

1)   Sullivan’s claim that he was in the Capitol only to film the riot is flatly disproven by video footagethat shows him breaking a window, calling for people to “storm” and “burn” the Capitol, and celebrating the riot with an accomplice.
2)   Qiu neglected to reveal that Sullivan was also charged with“interfering with law enforcement.”
3)   Sullivan’s denials of involvement with antifa are implausible given that he:
o  was the leaderof a group called “Insurgence USA,” which sold“black bloc” tactical gear (often used by antifa) and rubber pigs (carried by antifato mock police officers).
o  threatened to physically ripTrump out of the White House in accord with antifa’s missionto use violence against people they deem to be “fascists” (this explicitly includesTrump, his supporters, all police officers, and anyone who stands in the way of their self-described “radical left-wing” agenda).
o  organizedan event called “Kick These Fascists Out of DC.”
4)   Qiu parrots the propaganda of antifa by reporting that they are “antifascist activists,” even though they embrace key tactics and defining elements of fascism, including but not limited to:
o   using “determined youths, armed, dressed in black shirts and organized in military fashion” to fight in the streets (Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals).
o   leftist economic policieslike a “strong progressive tax” on businesses, heavy unionization, a minimum wage, and government control of industries (Mussolini’s Fascist Manifesto).
o   the suppression of “all criticism or opposition” (Cambridge Dictionary).
5)   Qiu’s claim that the FBI found no involvement by antifa in the Capitol Hill riot is outdated and out of context. Two days after the riot, an FBI official was asked about antifa involvement, and he replied“we have no indication of that at this time.” Five days after that, the FBI filed an affidavitfor the arrest of Sullivan.

In short, Qiu turned the truth about every major aspect of this matter on its head.

Georgia’s Absentee Ballots

Regarding Trump’s statements about electoral fraud, Trump attorney Bruce Castor stated: “Based on an analysis of publicly available voter data, the ballot rejection rate in Georgia in 2016 was approximately 6.42%. And even though a tremendous amount of new first time mail-in ballots were included in the 2020 count, the Georgia rejection rate in 2020 was a mere four-tenths of one percent. A drop-off from 6.42% to 0.4%.”

Once again, Qiu attempts to refute a statement that is entirely true. She does this by alleging:

Georgia elections officials have repeatedly debunkedthis claim, which conflates the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots in 2016 to the rejection rate specifically for signature mismatch in 2020. (Ballots can also be rejected for arriving late or not having a signature, among other reasons.)

In 2016, Georgia rejected about 6.4 percentof all returned mail-in ballots and 0.24 percentof those ballots because of signature-matching issues. It is unclear what the 0.4 percent refers to, but in both 2018 and 2020, Georgia rejected 0.15 percent of mail-in ballots because of signature-matching issues.

To the contrary, it is abundantly clear what the 0.4% refers to: the overall rejection rate—just as Castor said. Ballotpedia detailsthe components of this 0.4% figure as follows:

This total was calculated by adding all accepted absentee/mail-in ballots received electronically or by mail (1,327,126) with the total number of rejected absentee/mail-in ballots received electronically or by mail (4,602) and dividing the total number of rejected ballots by the sum.

As of Jan. 7, 2021, the Nov. 3, 2020, absentee voter file provided by the Georgia Secretary of State’s office was last updated Nov. 16, 2020. Following communication with the Secretary of State’s office, there are no plans to update the file further and any such updates, were they to occur, would take place on an ad hoc basis.

Using raw datafrom Georgia’s Secretary of State, Just Facts confirmed Ballotpedia’s work and calculateda rejection rate of 0.35% in 2020.

That said, the rejection rate of 6.4% in 2016—used by Castor, Qiu, and Ballotpedia—comes from a secondary source(the U.S.Election Assistance Commission) that appears to be inconsistent with the primary source(Georgia’s Secretary of State). Ballotpedia mentionsthis discrepancy in a footnote and calculates a rejection rate of 2.9% in 2016 using the primary source data. Just Facts confirmsthat these calculations are accurate.

Regardless of whether Georgia’s 2016 mail-in ballot rejection rate was 6.4% or 2.9%, the 0.35% rejection rate in 2020 was at least 88% lower. This means that if Georgia had the same rejection rate in 2020 as in 2016, at least 34,000fewer absentee ballots would have been cast. In comparison, Joe Biden’s margin of victory in Georgia was 11,779 votes.

Georgia’s Signature Audit

With further regard to potential fraud in Georgia’s election, Castor said: “President Trump wanted the signature verification to be done in public. How can a request for signature verifications to be done in public be a basis for a charge for inciting a riot?”

Qiu attacked that truthful statement with the following barrage of misinformation:

This is misleading. Contrary to Mr. Trump’s belief and Mr. Castor’s repetition of it, Georgia does verify signatures. Georgia’s Republican secretary of state notedthat the state trained officials on signature matching and created a portal that checked and confirmed voters’ driver’s licenses. In a news conferencelast month debunking Mr. Trump’s claims, Gabriel Sterling, a top election official in Georgia, explained that the secretary of state’s office also brought in signature experts to check over 15,000 ballots. They discovered issues with two, and after further examination, concluded that they were legitimate.

Neither Castor nor Trump said that Georgia doesn’t verify signatures. Instead, Trump questionedthe integrity of the signature verification process in Fulton County, Georgia. This county is a Democratic Party strongholdwith an extensive history of corruption.

Moreover, the signature match of more than 15,000 ballots that Qiu characterized as “debunking Mr. Trump’s claims” does nothing of the sort. This is because it was performed in Cobb County, not Fulton County. Trump directly addressed this matter in his speechon the day of the riot:

We’ve been trying to get verifications of signatures in Fulton County. They won’t let us do it. The only reason they won’t is because we’ll find things in the hundreds of thousands. Why wouldn’t they let us verify signatures in Fulton County? Which is known for being very corrupt. They won’t do it. They go to some other county where you would live. I said, “That’s not the problem. The problem is Fulton County.”

Summary

In direct contradiction to a so-called “fact check” by Linda Qiu of the New York Times, genuine facts prove the following about the circumstances surrounding Trump’s impeachment trial:

·     On the day of the Capitol Hill riot, President Trump explicitly encouraged his supporters to protest “peacefully and patriotically.”
·     In the same speech, Trump told his supporters to “fight” legally and verbally, not physically.
·     An antifa leader was arrested for participating in the Capitol Hill riot, during which he called for people to “storm” and “burn” the Capitol, broke a window, interfered with police, and celebrated the riot with an accomplice.
·     Antifa activists, who claim to be “antifascist,” embrace key tactics and defining elements of fascism.
·     In Georgia, the overall rejection rate for mail-in ballots in the 2020 election was 0.35%, or at least 88% lower than in the 2016 election.
·     Despite repeated requests by Trump, a signature audit of mail-in ballots has not been performed in Fulton County—a Democratic Party stronghold with an extensive history of corruption.

The points above don’t address every falsehood in the fact check, but they reveal a pattern of brazen dishonesty and/or incompetence by the Times.

James D. Agrestiis the president of Just Facts, a think tank dedicated to publishing rigorously documented facts about public policy issues.


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Biden, Fauci, and America’s Scold’s Bridle

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The creeping sadism of “President” Joe Biden, Anthony Fauci and their petty cult forcing people to wear face masks has never really been about keeping people safe. In fact, the research is clear, masks are ineffective, and may actually do more harm than good. If masks did work, one would be wise to wonder, “what is the BEST type of mask to wear? A surgical mask? A Bandana? An N-95 mask? Will a Halloween mask be effective?” It appears no one can clearly answer these questions. The CDC’s own website offers a “Guidance for wearing masks” but they don’t even take that strong of a stance on which mask is best with statements such as “the CDC continues to study the effectiveness of different masks and update our recommendations as new scientific evidence becomes available.” Translation: “we are not fully committing to anything, just cover up your face!”

If masks do not really protect us from getting sick, then why would the authorities demand that we wear them? Believe it or not, this is not the first time in the history of the western world that governments made citizens wear face masks. In 16th century Europe, masks were used to shame and humiliate people. The “scold’s bridle” was an iron frame that enclosed the head with an iron plate that went into the mouth and compressed the tongue. This device was extremely uncomfortable, made it difficult to breathe, and could cause fatigue (sound familiar?).

According to Wikipedia, the scold’s bridle debuted in Scotland and in England, and in some of England’s colonies. While they used it on women who were guilty of “gossiping, witchcraft,” and other forms of “riotous behavior,”men were subject to them too. One can envision walking the streets of 16th century Europe and seeing people with these iron masks on their faces. Such visuals were likely a powerful tool of psychological submission and an obvious reminder to all that there is an authority and you better watch what you say and watch what you do!

Even in the modern age, there is a longing for (perhaps subconsciously by some) the masochism of shame and humiliation that comes with being forced to wear a mask. And while masking up may satiate some odd and subconscious psychological need for some, history shows there is a greater and dangerous design behind the demand for uniformity. More on that later.

In a twist of irony, CNN news (a champion of wearing the COVID-19 mask and the shaming of all those who don’t), published an article in 2018 titled: “The seductive power of uniforms and cult dress codes.” We can gleam a good deal of information about the current psychology behind being forced to wear face masks from this article.

According to CNN’s article, “History has long shown that if you want to get people to behave as you want, a uniform can go a long way.” This article further informs us: “It shows you’re not alone and you belong to a group of people. It becomes your new identity and really signals a new start. Whether it’s cults, terrorist groups or paramilitary organizations, violent fringe factions often like to create a recognizable visual identity…. it creates a group identity.”

Focusing on “group identity” has become a specialty of the American left. What better way for them to counter the American values of individual rights that our country was founded on than to assert certain group rights? For example, according to the dogma, someone is not an individual person with individual rights who is female, rather all people who are female have the SAME grievances and complaints and only more government power can solve their problems. Take the preceding sentence and replace the word “woman” with “African American, Homosexual, Transgender,” or any other group defined by the devotees of critical theory and you can see the hustle. According to Communist gospel, the state knows that ALL groups have the same needs, wants, desires, dreams, hopes, fears, and struggles. Individuality is not part of the equation, and only the state can provide safety and comfort to these groups. Now, in 2021, we have two more groups. The masked and the unmasked.

The masked “believe in science” and they “care about others.” We define virtue Signaling as the action or practice of publicly expressing opinions or sentiments intended to show one’s moral character or the correctness of one’s position on a particular issue. Wearing a mask, for the true believer, is an overt way to show your virtue. Those who eschew the mask are “irresponsible” and to blame for the continued spread of COVID-19. This isn’t the first time such a construct has been applied in modern history.

Pol Pot was the brutal Communist dictator of Cambodia responsible for the torture, imprisonment, starvation and mass murder of millions of men, women, and children. In 1975, Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge declared “Year Zero.” The idea was to rid society of all traditions and cultural practices of the past. The old needed to be replaced with the new culture of the Communist Revolution. Statues and monuments were torn down (sound familiar?) and teachers, artists, and intellectuals were targeted for imprisonment or execution. Technology, films, medicine, religious traditions, even money, were all outlawed and replaced in “Year Zero.”

In April 1975, the people of civil war torn Cambodia thought they were finally at peace with the end of the Communist revolution. The Kramas (or red scarf) had been a function of traditional Cambodian culture until they were co-opted by the Khmer Rouge. Soldiers of the Khmer Rouge and all citizens were required to wear the red scarf as part of Year One’s new mandatory uniform. Some surely wore their red scarf with national pride and enjoyed the virtue signaling. Those who didn’t wear the scarf were shamed, humiliated, imprisoned, executed… punished. By 1976, Pol Pot had segmented the population into two classifications: “base people” and “new people.” New people were from the city and were subject to hard labor, starvation, and much harsher treatment than the base people. Different colored scarfs came to symbolize who was in which classification and who would live or die.

A more recent example of government authorities classifying citizens was in Rwanda in 1994. Hutsi’s could distinguish who the Tutsi’s were and marked them for murder using a National ID card. In just 3 months, 800,000 Rwandans died as a result of this foray into classification.

Whether it was the Nazi Star of David, the Khmer Rouge’s Red Scarf, or the tragic example of Rwanda; modern history is sadly full of examples of government authorities devising ways to classify its citizens. This is a tactic straight out of the Communist playbook. There is yet to be an example of classification ending well for the average citizen.

These terrible examples from history should be in the forefront of the minds of all American citizens. We are currently being classified into those who wear masks and those who don’t. There have been discussions of “vaccine passports” and other requirements for participating freely in society. Right before our eyes, we are watching the corporations and state and federal authorities ever so slowly classify each of us as either “base people” or “new people.” The first stage was the mask. Anthony Fauci and Joe Biden’s scold’s bridle for the masses. What comes next? If modern history is any indicator, it won’t be pretty.

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The Great Con Pt 3: The CoronaVirus Con

Their Motto? Never let a crisis go to waste.

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This is Part 3 of the The Great Con: How the Radical Left Stole America and What You Can Do to Stop It

You can find previous videos Here:

Introduction to the Great Con

The Great Con Pt 1: The Social Media Con

The Great Con Pt 2: The Russia Con

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