Day one of the Senate impeachment trial didn’t go so well, at least not for suffering entities like Truth. As recounted here on Wednesday, House managers on Tuesday offered up a slickly produced video about the Capitol riot that managed to appear doctored and be misleading.
The “incitement” video’s biggest mischief was probably in what it left out: the words of former President Trump from his January 6 speech in which he clearly spoke in laudatory terms about members of Congress, and clearly did not encourage anyone to revile them or engage them with violence.
Unfortunately, things went no better on Thursday (January 11), day three of the trial. In one case, however, the problem on day three wasn’t what was left out of “evidence,” but what was added.
Blogger Matt Couch caught the problem immediately because the addition was made to the Twitter account of his fiancée, Jennifer Lawrence (whom he properly distinguishes as “the awesome one; not the actress”).
In a presentation by a House manager, a January 3 tweet from Jennifer Lawrence was shown retweeted by Trump, alongside a second tweet by Lawrence celebrating the retweet from the president.
I’ve never been verified on Twitter so why did my Tweet used in the fact-free impeachment include a verification badge? I’m assuming Democrats faked it like they are faking the whole case. @RepSwalwell why did you add a verified badge to my tweet in your presentation? pic.twitter.com/9Ww0TLveNA
— Jennifer Lynn Lawrence (@JenLawrence21) February 10, 2021
Lawrence, taken aback, tweeted a shot of the presentation screen on Thursday. It showed her with a “blue check” verification next to her Twitter ID.
The problem is that she isn’t blue-check-verified by Twitter, and never has been.
“I’ve never been verified on Twitter,” she wrote, “so why did my Tweet used in the fact-free impeachment include a verification badge? I’m assuming Democrats faked it like they are faking the whole case.”
The House manager who briefed the tweet exchange, complete with its apparently added – faked – blue checkmark: Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA).
It does seem that Lawrence and her fiancé, Matt Couch, would be in the best positions of anyone on the planet to know if Lawrence’s Twitter account has ever carried a blue check. The check next to Lawrence’s name even appears to have a slightly different hue from the one next to Trump’s name. Granted, that may be an artifact of the rendering on the presentation screen, as seen third-hand (here) in a tweet on a random desktop or other device.
It gets worse. John Solomon at Just the News wanted to find out from Lawrence why Swalwell, in presenting her tweets (and that of another activist, Kylie Jane Kremer), claimed that when they spoke of “bringing the Calvary” they meant to suggest the Christian activists they represented would function as “cavalry,” as if on a military-style operation. Solomon verified with Lawrence that she wrote “Calvary” intentionally:
Lawrence, a Christian conservative activist and former Breitbart writer, said her tweet on Jan. 3 carefully chose the religious word “Calvary” — which means a public display of Christ’s crucifixion — as a reference to a prayer vigil they were hosting in Washington, and Swalwell distorted it to convey she was organizing a military cavalry, which is spelled differently and means a military brigade on horses.
“I did not mean we were bringing the cavalry,” Just the News quotes Lawrence. “I wasn’t going to hop on horseback and come riding into D.C. with my horses and my cavalry. … And you know what we did on January 5? We held a prayer event at Freedom Plaza …”
The batting average of the California Democrat took a hit on Thursday, no doubt. Swalwell, now better known as the petit ami of Chinese spy Fang Fang, has already muddied the impeachment’s rhetorical waters, as Ben Bowles noted in late January:
Democrats, trying to make sense of the impeachment fiasco, have inadvertently provided arguments in favor of not proceeding with the trial. Here’s Rep. Eric Swalwell.
.@RepSwalwell: "I think that in the history of jury trials ever, there's never been a case where the jurors, the senators, were witnesses, where the jurors, the senators, were victims, where their chamber is the scene of the crime." pic.twitter.com/dvOB7cLzQO
— The Hill (@thehill) January 25, 2021
Heroically making sense of that declarative effort, Ben observed:
He’s right. There hasn’t been a trial, at least in the U.S., where either the witnesses or the victims (the plaintiffs) were jurors — nor should there be.
There have probably been courtroom trials in which evidence was literally faked, although adding blue checks to tweets would seem to reach a new level of gratuitousness. (For the record, yes, Mr. Swalwell’s official account has a genuine blue check.)
Faking a blue check for Ms. Lawrence’s Twitter account, in a seeming attempt to – well, it’s not clear what the motive was (make the retweet by Trump look especially significant?) – can only further impugn the already severely compromised “evidence” being offered by the House managers.
Hovering over the whole incident, meanwhile, like a penumbra over the Constitution, is the fact mentioned a few lines up: that Swalwell, in the course of his political career, has had a long-term affair with a Chinese spy. Nevertheless, Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats still have him seated on the House Intelligence Committee, and he is one of the House managers for the strange, extra-constitutional Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump.