Few can break it down like Ari Melber. The lawyer turned MSNBC host has a unique and calm way of explaining complex situations. He is also a tough interviewer that knows how to separate fact from fiction, and refuses to let guests just filibuster their way around actually answering questions.
This week, Melber hosted one of Trump’s impeachment defense lawyers from the second successful impeachment of the President, David Shoen.
Melber set up the interview in his previous segment where he put the spotlight on Shoen’s own words that insisted that the former POTUS was totally against violence and only wanted a “peaceful” demonstration.
“Trump’s insurrection impeachment lawyer David Shoen insisted that Trump opposed that violence, that Trump’s words were merely encouraging those armed fans to engage in peaceful and civic action, not storming the Capitol violently,” Melber noted.
The segment went to a clip of Shoen making his argument in Trump’s defense at one of the impeachment hearings after January 6th.
“President Trump did not incite the horrific, terrible riots of January 6,” Shoen said. “The violence and looting goes against the law and order message he conveyed to every citizen of the United States throughout his presidency, including on January 6. You knew what the President really meant. He meant that the crowd should demand action from members of Congress and support primary challenges to those who don’t do what he considered to be right.”
Melber wasn’t going to let it rest there and pushed back with hard facts refuting and debunking Shoen’s claims.
“Did then President Trump’s request boil down to supporting only primary challenges?” Melber asked as he added, “That is not what those now convicted Trump fans believed.”
He continued, “They were chanting, the president sent them. It’s not what the militias believed. It’s not what top Trump aides believed, as they wrote down and admitted plots to overturn the lawful election result, not just support primary candidates in the future. And apparently, it is not what Trump believed.”
Melber went on to recall what happened after the impeachment trial. “After that trial… After that remark was made, Donald Trump went on to vow pardons for the criminal trespassers and violent criminals, a lawless endorsement of their actual crimes on his apparent behalf. He said if he wins again, he would issue those pardons in the future.”
“So whatever one thought or claimed, then, this is the kind of defense that did not age well, especially against the over 150 pages of new evidence released Monday, with more of this January 6 report slated to come out tomorrow,” Melber said. “If Trump aides or Trump himself face indictments on this evidence, they’ll need a lot more than talk of primary challenges or that he always supported law and order as his fans battered police, and then he vowed to pardon them after they did.”
Melber wrapped up the segment by pointing out how Shoen’s own words did not age very well, especially after the new evidence contained in the summary of the final report was released. He warned potential co-conspirators that they will need a lot more than the flimsy defense that Shoen offered if they wanted to escape any punishments for their role in Trump’s coup attempt.
The next and final segment saw Ari Melber bring out Shoen to explain himself. Something the Trump lawyer didn’t do very well, especially for a lawyer. He dodged, deflected, and tried to change the subject from facts to gripes about the “process” and other side issues. Ari Melber was having none of it. He stopped Shoen’s attempted coup of the interview and took him to school.
“When you keep attacking Process and the committee, you seem like you don’t want to discuss the evidence. And that makes you look a little bit like some of these were recalcitrant witnesses where nobody wants to discuss what happened. It’s all in the open. I’ll take a listen. You brought up the big lie. Let’s get into that. Rudy Giuliani admitted under oath he did participate with this committee, and he admitted under oath, we’re going to get into this tonight that the Dominion machines didn’t steal anything, even though he said the opposite. Bill Barr, who I think you know is a Republican lawyer and somewhat good standing in the party, said it was all BS.”
All Shoen was running on empty at that point and chose to go after his interviewer and host. Shoen fixated that Ari Melber had “pointed” at him while commenting about Bill Barr being “in good standing” with the GOP. No one is very sure of why he chose to fixate on that point, but that’s what he did.
Check out the full interview with Ari Melber and David Shoen below:
Shoen also attempted to refocus everyone on when Trump said they would march “peacefully” down to the capitol. Of course, that was after months of ginning up his base with pre-emptive claims of fraud even before a single vote was cast. And after a morning filled with Trump allies working the crowd into a lather with talk that wasn’t “peaceful” in the least.
Plus, Trump used the word peaceful with a bit of tongue and cheek bravado, akin to when a kid who is windmilling their arms declaring that if someone gets hit, it is their fault for not getting out of the way. Yeah, they might march down and “peacefully” demand that Biden not be declared the winner of the election, and if refused, then the violence would start. But it would be their opposers fault for not getting out of the way of their lust to install their dear leader as President, despite losing the election legitimately.
In other words, “do as we say, and no one gets hurt.”
Of course, no one in Congress, nor the Vice President followed their illegitimate and bogus orders — and then the violence started. According to Melber and a growing number of Americans, it is clear that was the plan all along and Shoen did nothing to refute that.