With the conclusion of the Trump defense in his impeachment trial, the question arises as to which lie told by the defense is the worst?
Sean Hannity has been emphasizing four in particular. In the first, he claims that there was no linkage between military aid and investigating the Bidens in the July 25 phone transcript. But there it is in black and white that when Zelensky mentioned wanting more military aid, Trump immediately goes to “I need a favor though,” and with that immediately followed up by his demand for inveatigating the supposedly missing laptop with mention of investigating Bidens coming a bit later.
Then we have the true claim that Zelensky has never publicly said he felt “pressure” from Trump. Indeed, but we know no way would he say so as long as he wants aid.
Then we have the claim that Zelensky knew nothing about this before the July 25 phone call. But in fact numerous witnesses have testified that he did and was fully aware of what was coming (more or less) when he participated in the July 25 phone call. This one is an outright lie.
We then finally get the argument that military aid was released even though Zelensky “did nothing that was asked” (ah, things were indeed asked after all). But we know this was after Trump knew the whistleblower complaint was being made public, and while Zelensky got his aid, he still has not gotten his promised White House visit.
However, I think the most egregious claims and the ones that I think resonate the most with Trump’s supporters are those that this impeachment is to overturn the 2016 election and also to “steal” the 2020 election, with “ballots being torn up across the country.” On the first one if Trump were to be removed, he would be replaced by VP Pence, duly elected with Trump in 2016, not much of an overturn there.
As for the claims about 2020, the joke is that there is nothing in being impeached and removed that prevents the person removed from running again. This one is just an outright misleading lie. The further joke is that there are no ballots yet to be “torn up.” Not only is the Dem candidated known yet, Trump himself has not yet been officially made the GOP candidate. Sure, he is a shoo-in to get the nomination, but he does actually have people running against him, most notably William Weld of MA, former governor there. It is true that in some states local GOP will not let Weld or others onto primary or caucus ballots, but many will allow them. In any case, there are no ballots to be “torn up” for the fall election, and if removed, Trump can still run. All the people getting outraged over this are just wildly misinformed and being lied to.