Democrats Present 'Doctored' Video of Capitol Riot During Trump Impeachment Trial

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

At the start of the Senate impeachment trial, House impeachment managers presented video “evidence” of the mob that stormed the Capitol. The Hill described it as a “disturbing video documenting the Jan. 6 siege by interweaving Trump’s address to a group of supporters calling on them to march on the Capitol with violent footage of the attack.”


Interweaving? That’s correct, the video presented by the Democrats was not a straight video of Trump’s speech, but rather a collage of selectively edited clips of Trump’s speech mixed with select clips of video from the assault on the Capitol.

I’m sorry but didn’t the media call videos edited like this “doctored” recently?

Why yes, they did!

In May of 2019, Nancy Pelosi stuttered her way through a press conference following a failed meeting with Trump, a compilation was compiled and shown on Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business. President Trump retweeted the video. The Hill described the video Trump shared as “edited to make it seem like [Nancy Pelosi] was stuttering,”  Reuters ran an article with the headline: “Trump retweets doctored video of Pelosi to portray her as having ‘lost it.’” “Trump shares heavily edited video that highlights verbal stumbles by Pelosi and questions her mental acuity” read the headline at the Washington Post. The impression the media gave was clear: the video was a deception, designed to make Pelosi look bad. The problem was that Pelosi’s stuttering was very real, and each cut between stutters featured a wipe transition, making it obvious it was a montage.


Even a video shared by Trump showing Joe Biden in his basement being sniffed and fondled by another Joe Biden was labeled a “doctored” video. Even the tiniest of alterations were dubbed “doctored”—implying the intent of deception.

Yet, fast forward to Tuesday, February 9, 2021, and the Democratic Party used a video juxtaposing select quotes from Trump’s speech with select moments from the Capitol riot, and the media is fawning over it. “Trump Trial Opens With Harrowing Riot Video” reported International Business Times. Politico ran with the headline: “Trump’s second impeachment opens with haunting video of Jan. 6 riots.” Reuters, which described the Pelosi montage as a “doctored video” didn’t undermine the authenticity of the video in their headline, “Senators vote to proceed with Trump’s impeachment trial after graphic video.” According to their report, “The video presented by the team of nine House of Representatives Democrats interspersed images of the Jan. 6 Capitol violence with clips of Trump’s incendiary speech to a crowd of supporters moments earlier urging them to “fight like hell” to overturn his Nov. 3 election defeat.”

Amazing how suddenly using a montage is no longer called “doctoring” a video? Worse yet, the montage presented by the Democrat impeachment managers is far more manipulating than the montage shared by Trump of Pelosi. By “interspersing” video of Trump’s speech with select moments from the riot, the video is attempting to directly link the two events as connected in a deceptive manner.


Not once did the video they presented show President Trump telling his supporters to “peacefully and patriotically” make their votes heard. Not once did he call for any violence or for them to break into the building. Also, evidence from January 6 shows that President Trump was still speaking when the violence at the Capitol began, and that the riot was preplanned, further undermining the allegation that Trump incited the violence.

By the media’s standard, the video presented by the House impeachment managers was doctored, yet they did not dismiss the video as such in their reporting.


Matt Margolis is the author of Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trumpand the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter, GabFacebookMeWeHeroesRumble, and CloutHub.

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