During the fourth day of the Senate impeachment trial, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and fellow GOP senators submitted a question asking if the speech by Vice President Kamala Harris in 2020 regarding Black Lives Matter protests is deemed to incite, given the impeachment team’s “proposed standard” for incitement.
The GOP Senators’ question began, “While violent riots were raging, Kamala Harris said on national TV, ‘They’re not gonna let up, and they should not,’” quoting statements then-Sen. Harris (D-CA) made an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last summer regarding the nationwide Black Lives Matter protests.
The protests were sparked by the murder of George Floyd, and were mainly peaceful but, in some cases, ended up developing into violent demonstrations throughout the country that included looting, fires, violence, vandalism, and injury
“And she also raised money to bail out violent rioters,” Sen. Cruz’s question continued in regards to the Minnesota Freedom Fund (MFF). Where Harris strongly urged her Facebook and Twitter followers to show support in summer 2020.
The MFF is an organization that seeks to help those by posting bail for jailed individuals. The fund received a lot of attention and received donations during last year’s protests.
Harris asked her media followers to “help post bail for those protesting,” the fund’s website states that it does “not make determinations of bail support based on the crimes that individuals are alleged to have committed,” and the fund has set free individuals accused of shocking crimes. The MFF posted bail for a father accused of molesting his teenage daughter, a man accused of sexually assaulting his teenage niece, a man accused of sexually assaulting an eight-year-old, and a woman accused of stabbing her aunt, as the Daily Caller reported in November.
Cruz’s question continued, “Using the manager’s proposed standard, is there any coherent way for Donald Trump’s words to be incitement and Kamala Harris’s words not to be incitement?”
Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) responded to the question by saying that he was “not familiar” with the quote from Harris. Trump’s attorney Michael T. van der Veek said they were in fact familiar, as his own team had given the video to the House’s team and that they had played the video three times that day.
Raskin said that even though he doesn’t recognize the quote, he believes it’s “absolutely unimaginable that Vice President Harris would ever incite violence or encourage or promote violence. Obviously, it’s completely irrelevant to the proceeding at hand, and I will allow her to defend herself.”
Also during the trial, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Cruz, Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), and Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-ND), asked “Does a politician raising bail for rioters encourage more rioting?” A representative from Trump’s legal team replied, “Yes.”
Watch the video below.