Things have really sunken to unbelievable depths when right-wing dimwits have to blatantly fabricate pseudo-scandals in order to diminish political foes that they don’t have the intellect to engage honestly. It’s bad enough that Donald Trump and his Republican confederates are relentlessly peddling lies about the January 6th insurrection, but now they are also pulling utter garbage allegations from their asinine imaginations.
The ultra-rightist Federalist website published a ludicrous alleged “exposé” of what they considered a shocking misrepresentation of a text sent to Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. They introduced this abomination saying that…
“During a hearing Monday night on the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Adam Schiff claimed to have proof that a member of Congress texted former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to instruct former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.
“Not only did Schiff misrepresent the substance of the text message and its source, he even doctored original text messages, which were obtained and reviewed by The Federalist in their entirety.”
The charge of “doctoring” is laughably over the top. What the Federalist is so outraged by is that the quote Adam Schiff read was slightly condensed for relevance and clarity. Here is both the quote as Schiff presented it, followed by the unedited text:
Schiff’s quote: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all.”
The unedited text: “On January 6, 2021, Vice President Mike Pence, as President of the Senate, should call out all the electoral votes that he believes are unconstitutional as no electoral votes at all — in accordance with guidance from founding father Alexander Hamilton and judicial precedence”
Note that the only difference is that Schiff’s version didn’t include the part about Alexander Hamilton, and it placed a period at the end. None of that changed the context or meaning of the quote. Nevertheless, the Federalist went berserk with charges that Schiff “doctored” the quote with some nefarious intent. Quotes are often edited to be concise and to focus on the subject at hand. For instance, no one expects a quote from the Declaration of Independence to repeat the entire document when the discussion only concerns the part that says “all men are created equal.”
The original intent of the text was to pass along a legal opinion that would justify throwing out electoral votes for Joe Biden simply because Republicans didn’t want Biden to win. That message was conveyed in both versions of the quoted text. In Schiff’s remarks he affirmed that saying that…
“You can see why this is so critical to ask Mr. Meadows about. About a lawmaker suggesting that the former vice president simply throw out votes that he unilaterally deems unconstitutional in order to overturn a presidential election and subvert the will of the American people.”
Indeed, the purpose of the text was to advocate for overturning a valid election and installing Trump as an unelected, authoritarian dictator. While Schiff identified the author of the text as simply a “lawmaker,” the Federalist outed the author, revealing that it was Rep. Jim Jordan.
This triggered further outrage by the Federalist. They complained that Schiff attributed the text to a member of Congress, but that Jordan actually forwarded a text he received from the lawyer who wrote the anti-democratic legal opinion. In the view of the Federalist it was improper to attribute the text to the congressman. To the contrary, it was, in fact, an entirely proper attribution because Jordan was the person who sent it Meadows.
What’s important about this is that Jordan, a member of Congress, was advancing a dangerous and undemocratic legal theory, and passing it on to the president’s chief of staff. They were a part of the coup attempt that was being plotted by Trump and his traitorous accomplices.
However, since they couldn’t find anything wrong with the presentation of the evidence by Schiff, they built up a bizarre fantasy of some imaginary breach of ethics – and misplaced periods – and offered that as a distraction from the actual crimes committed by Trump and others in his cabal. Clearly they have given up trying to be rational, or even coherent.
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How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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