DINESH D’SOUZA (HOST): Closing arguments are underway in the Oathkeepers sedition trial, and I haven’t been watching the trial, but I’m keeping track of a sort of running account of it
Quite clearly, what the government is doing, and this does not surprise me at all, is giving a completely distorted picture of what was happening. Now, we have an adversary judicial system, so the prosecution is going to do this, it’s the defense’s job to counter it. But, let’s go through some of the claims that they’re making in their closing statements, because I think they're, on the face of it, exaggerated, and in some cases, absurd.
So, the first one is, they called for the violent overthrow of the U.S. government. Now, that part I think is true because you’re talking about people who are given to hyperbolic rhetoric, “oh, yes, we’re gonna – this is – we’re gonna, we’re gonna have a new American Revolution,” so there is this kind of language, granted, by itself, doesn’t amount to any kind of conspiracy. If heated rhetoric by itself amounted to sedition, you’d have to lock up half the country at some point or the other.
What disturbs me more is when they say things like – here’s the government, this is the Biden DOJ – they brought their weapons with them. Now, the implication here is that the Oathkeepers brought their weapons to Washington, D.C., but that is not true. They brought their weapons to Virginia, and they left them in a hotel room, or hotel rooms in Virginia, where it is legal to have those weapons.
They were very conscious, Listen, we are not going to take our weapons where we will be in illegal possession of them in Washington, D.C. So, you can’t have an insurrection, in my view, without weapons. If you take the weapons, and you leave them in another state where you don’t have access to them, this statement, they brought their weapons with them, is false.
Then, the DOJ looks at the rhetoric of Stewart Rhodes where he talks about “it’s 1775, the eve of the American Revolution.” Again, this kind of metaphorical rhetoric is normal, it’s common, and quite frankly, is the American Revolution itself now – are references to the American Revolution sedition? I mean, how insane is that? Now, the government sort of realizes it’s a little bit nuts, and so, you have this guy, Rakoczy, and he goes, “Well, yeah, you know, I admit that the revolution in 1776 sort of worked out,” but his point is that to call for any kind of revolution appealing to that now amounts to some sort of sedition.
But really, what you have is cherry-picked sentences strung together to make it look like there’s some sort of conspiracy. Apparently, at one point, Stewart Rhodes invoked the Declaration of Independence, and the Declaration of Independence, again, you have this grandiose rhetoric of separation from the British, but this is – this is now the kind of normal vocabulary of American history. Almost all discussions of America go back to, what was the country founded for, what is the original meaning of America. So, I think this is all barking up a wrong tree.
Tom Caldwell is invoked in the closing statements to, quote, start a rebellion when Joe Biden took office, and he also used the word civil war. Well, okay, but let’s look at who Tom Caldwell is. He’s a disabled vet in his 60s.
He’s not gonna organize a civil war, he’s not – he took no steps to create a civil war, he just talked about a civil war and, again, this is a topic that, quite frankly, in the state of Texas, people discuss all the time, “is it time to have a – is it time to basically secede from the union? Well we, you know, if last year the case wasn’t – maybe last year we weren’t ready for it, but who knows what’s going to happen in the future.”