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Tuesday, December 3, 2019
CNS' Impeachment Stenography Files Continue
For pro-Trump talking points on impeachment, it's hard to find a more devoted regurgitator of them than Craig Bannister made his stenographic contribution in a Nov. 19 article:

While Democrats are now accusing President Donald Trump of bribery, the thirty-five hundred pages of sworn deposition testimony released so far reveal only one mention of the word “bribery” – and it’s used to describe the alleged conduct of former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Texas) said Tuesday.

During Tuesday’s House Intelligence Committee impeachment inquiry, Rep. Ratcliffe noted how Democrats’ charge against Trump has morphed, from “quid pro quo” to “extortion” to, currently, “bribery”:


Ironically, the only time word “bribery” is used, it’s used to describe the behavior former Vice President Joe Biden, Rep. Ratcliffe explains:

“In fact, in these thirty-five hundred pages of sworn deposition testimony and just these ten transcripts released thus far, the word ‘bribery’ appears, in these thirty-five hundred pages exactly one time.

“And, ironically, it appears, not in the description of President Trump’s alleged conduct – it appears in the description of Vice President Biden’s alleged conduct.”

Weirdly -- or not, considering that he's in slavish-stenography mode and Ratcliffe apparently didn't elaborate or bookmark the reference -- Bannister never tells his readers the full context of that alleged reference to Biden and "bribery." Perhaps because that reference is irrelevant; as an actual news organization reported, it came "in a question one attorney asked about unfounded bribery allegations against former Vice President Joe Biden."

In uncritically repeating Ratcliffe's rant, Bannister is just repeating the apparent mandate from his Media Research Center overlords to frame discussion of "bribery" as merely a question of semantics driven by Democrats, as his MRC co-workers have similarly done. He continued to be Ratcliffe's mouthpiece, asserting that "The American people need to be aware of these facts, because the Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee is likely to approve articles of impeachment against Pres. Trump based on the charge of bribery – even though not a single witness has characterized it as such – Ratcliffe said."

But as political analysts have detailed, "bribery" is not an inaccurate word for what Trump is accused of doing, and a quid pro quo is an usually a component of bribery. Bannister won't tell you that, of course, because he's not being paid to report the full truth.

Posted by Terry K. at 12:25 AM EST

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