Modus or Media Operandi? CNN Runs Statement Of Anonymous “Senior Aide” Who Said Trump Loved Watching The Riot

We recently discussed how House managers are claiming the right to use Trump’s failure to testify at his trial as proof of guilt (despite the fact that presidents historically have not given such testimony at Senate trials).  Now CNN has released (on the day before the start of arguments) an account from an unnamed former “senior aide” that Trump was watching the riot in the Capitol unfold and “loving watching the Capitol mob.” The same pattern emerged in the first Trump trial. It is being described as the “smoking gun” evidence needed to secure conviction. The story highlights the decision of the House not to call witnesses before or after its snap impeachment. The question is why the House would use implication, innuendo, and inference when it could have used direct evidence to seek the conviction of Donald Trump.

The CNN story highlights what has not occurred in the second trial of Donald Trump.  No prosecutor would let weeks go by without seeking to lock in the testimony of witnesses who could offer direct evidence of the statements and actions of Trump during this period. The media has had no difficulty in locating these witnesses and about a dozen names are already known. We know them because many of them have already spoken publicly — an indication that they could have been easily called to appear before House committees without subpoenas (or would not contest subpoenas).

I have no problem accepting that Trump relished scenes of violent protest, but I would like that evidence come in the form of testimony, not media reports. It is the type of account that can shed light on Trump’s state of mind but the House seems entirely content to be a mere pedestrian watching the media interview key witnesses.

The result is a trial that seems circumstantial by design. There is of course ample evidence of what occurred.  No credible litigator leaves a record circumstantial if they can use direct evidence. Much of this evidence and many of these witnesses are known to the House. Yet, it has chosen largely to put on a circumstantial case.

The question is whether the House will highlight this failure by referencing the CNN story, relying on media reports rather than sworn testimony.  It literally has no record in the House of an impeachment hearing, an impeachment investigation, or a formal response from the President. So it will either rely on videos of the rioters or it will seek to reference named and unnamed witnesses presented in the media rather hearings.  The disconnect will only magnify prudential concerns raised by senators and commentators, including myself.

There is also a pattern to this belated release. We saw the same thing unfold before the first Trump trial. The House refused to subpoena or call witnesses before the House Judiciary Committee. The media then released stories just before the trial from some of the very same individuals who were not called to testify.  Some individuals would clearly have testified while others said that they just wanted subpoenas. Later witnesses like former National Security Adviser John Bolton accused the House of “malpractice” in its flimsy prosecution of the impeachment. Now we have the same late minute gotcha stories after weeks of inaction from the House.

This may be the bias of a criminal defense attorney but I prefer evidence of modus operandi to media operandi at impeachment trials.


222 thoughts on “Modus or Media Operandi? CNN Runs Statement Of Anonymous “Senior Aide” Who Said Trump Loved Watching The Riot”

  1. “The question is why the House [all Dims and 10 cuckolded RINOs] would use implication, innuendo, and inference when it could have used direct evidence to seek the conviction of Donald Trump.”
    Asking liars why they lie is like asking fish why they swim. It’s in their nature.

  2. Turley: your distorted thinking is nothing short of amazing: while even you, as a paid advocate for Trump, cannot deny that for several hours he did literally nothing to stop the rioting which resulted in the deaths of 5 people, you still somehow find a way to criticize the House for not getting depositions or affidavits and media for not naming sources who reported that Trump relished in what he perceived to be his power and adulation. Here’s something else you cannot deny: once someone goes against Trump, the death threats start coming, and the person’s life is changed forever. Last I heard, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford still hasn’t been able to return to her teaching position, and her family still hasn’t been able to return to their home. Despite selling his soul by lying about the Mueller Report and otherwise doing Trump’s bidding, Barr still got fired for not coming up with a fake case of fraud. Chris Krebs got canned for telling the truth, as did Dan Coats, a lifelong Republican, who wouldn’t lie about Russia helping Trump cheat his way into office. Your efforts to normalize the absurdly abnormal fall short, Turley. Trump is absurdly abnormal–as unqualified as it is possible to be for a job like the presidency. Everyone saw what happened. Trump KNEW his chances of re-election were toast, based on historically-low approval ratings, his inability to lie his way out of the pandemic and the economic recession he caused, and polls, even from pro-Trump media, showing he’d get the boot, so he started stirring up the disciples, telling them to be poll watchers, predicting even before Election Day that there would be cheating. Afterwards, he started the “Stop the Steal” rallies, stirring up the faithful to fight for “their country”, culminating with the Trump Insurrection on January 6th in which he told the faithful that he’d be with them, that he “hoped” Pence would “do the right thing”–i.e., cancel votes that had been certified, and that if they didn’t “fight like hell” they wouldn’t have a country any more. Everyone saw what happened. Everyone knows the chicken sh*t Republicans would never convict Trump no matter what he did, even inciting an insurrection. Haven’t enough people died or have their lives ruined for the sake of Trump’s massive ego?

    1. Turley likes attention. He gets more attention providing cover for the Republicans.

    1. Listening to and reading comments by the true believers has become fascinating entertainment. Continue on…
      Yep, we ‘true believers’ say that all the time about folks who don’t even realize they are just “true believers” but in the opposite way.

      1. I actually consider the possibility of being wrong and don’t have to contort myself into believing in things and people after their actions when I believed the exact opposite before I happened.

  3. Trial Operandi

    Senator Leahy: The judge-juror who presides and votes — with a pre-existing bias to convict

    A process to remove a man from office who is no longer in office

    A Constitutionally required judge who refuses to preside

    An “indictment” without evidence or testimony, where the accused is refused an opportunity to reply

    Shadowy figures alleging that the accused bewitched them into doing bad things

    Anonymous figures alleging that the accused did bad things

    A hysterical mob trying to make a man “disappear”

    Such a scenario would be too farcical, even for absurdist drama.

    1. The “indictment” relied on public evidence. More public evidence has come out since then, such as the declarations made by many of the people who’ve been arrested.

      The Senate is not a jury. It is a court that tries and decides.

      Don’t take my word for it. Read the exchange about that very issue between Sen. Harkin and Chief Justice Rehnquist during Clinton’s impeachment trial –

  4. Today’s NEWS, a reporters friend has a friend, that has a friend, who told a friend, that they have evidence that the friend, of a friend, of a friend, could use in the Kangaroo Court proceeding to convict the defendant. The friend then said, their friend really had a friend, of a friend, of a friend, that had come forward saying the friend that told them of the evidence, had a friend, who was told the friend had another friend, who had a friend, making the evidence more substantial, and they all knew the truth that the friend had direct knowledge of the facts. AND that my friends, is all that is needed in a Kangaroo Court for a conviction.

  5. Too many people commenting here pushing for impeachment seem to have a dog in this fight.

    1. Everyone should have a dog in this fight. The trial is important regardless of whether you support or oppose the impeachment.

      1. “Everyone should have a dog in this fight.”

        This blog has a dog, Anonymous the Stupid AKA Fido.

    2. I voted for Trump, applaud many of his policies, and I consider his inflammatory rhetoric lawful and not worthy of impeachment

      However, i welcome the politicization of the impeachment process, the lowering of standards by Congress, as it will prove useful in the future.

      Moreover, an “impeachment conviction” would be a sure fire way to increase the “Resistance” the Democrat leadership mob in Congress. So I welcome it.

      Disqualifying Trump from future office will also have a long term salutary effect on populism in America, as the boogeyman will continue to draw fire as others advance into position.

      Therefore, i take this development with cheer.

      Saloth Sar

  6. Man, i cant believe what i am reading from this pack of lies posted. Bejing Biden is destroying our country in record time and you “Stupid Face Mask” wearing communist fools are too ignorant to see it. Trump saved this country and delivered on every promise.
    Bejing Biden couldn’t hold a candle to him much less deserve to smell his S**t

    1. Not Biden, rather, his corrupt advisors, who are using his old age and infirmity to conceal their wicked plans.

      I’m praying that Biden will have some strength to stand up to the nation-wreckers who are sending him in the wrong direction.


      PS is USCIS testing the catch and release migrants they are loosing into the population for covid-19? No, I didn’t think so. How strange!

  7. “relished scenes of violent protest”

    Says Turley. Who completely ignored the deaths of 33 Police officers, over 700 injured officers, and thousands of businesses burned, looted and destroyed, by BLM/Antifa in cities all over the US last Spring and Summer.

    Were you at home relishing that spectacle, Jonathan?

  8. But this is “justice” in America now. It’s certainly proper according to that useless relic, impeachment. It’s all open warfare, whether QaNon or a “former senior aide”. Just continue to hold true to due process. Be that voice.

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