CNSNews.com reflexively returned to pro-Trump defense mode as the House impeached him after the Capitol riot, then continued to grouse about impeachment as the Senate trial moved closer. The week before the trial, kept pushing the pro-Trump takes:
- Trump's Impeachment Attorney May Call Senators As Witnesses Because of Their 'Awful Bias'
- Rep. Jordan: Three Reasons Dems Will Fail to Convict Trump in Senate Trial
- Trump Attorney: 'They Want to Rush This Thing to Trial Before the Evidence Really Comes Out'
- Rubio: Trump’s Impeachment About Vengeance – ‘It’s a Psychological Obsession’
- Sen. Rand Paul: 'You Can't Just Criminalize Republican Speech and Ignore All the Democrats Who Have Incited Violence'
- Sen. Graham: If Trump Committed a Crime, He Should Be Prosecuted, Not Impeached
By contrast, CNS published only three articles on the pro-impeachment side -- two of which quoted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the third misleadingly framed Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy as agreeing with Rand Paul while burying the fact that he also said that "I come to a different judgment."
When the actual trial started on Feb. 9, CNS had no interest in covering what was actually being said and done on the Senate floor -- perhaps because its editors knew that the evidence did not look good for Trump. So it sought to distract attention from it; one early story by Craig Bannister on a Rasmussen poll carried the headline "Only 36% of Voters Will Watch Most or All of Trump’s Impeachment Trial – And, Pres. Biden Isn’t One of Them." Instead, it covered what (mostly Republican) politicians said outside the trial being critical of it:
- Former Trump Adviser: Half of Senate Democratic Caucus Would Be Impeached If We Used the Same Standard for Impeaching Trump
- Sen. Kevin Cramer: ‘Welcome to the Stupidest Week in the Senate’
- Sen. Cruz: 'We Have Robust Political Speech. People Are Entitled to Be Idiots'
- Attorney Schoen: 'This Is A Very, Very, Very Painful and Wrong Process for the Country'
- Rev. Graham: 'Trump's Enemies Are Terrified He Might Have a Political Future'
- Sen. Cruz: Democrats Pursue ‘Doomed’ Impeachment Trial Because Hatred of Trump Defines Their Party
- Trump Attorney: 'They Would Be Thrown Out of the Courtroom for Showing This Video'
- Former Trump Impeachment Lawyer: House Dems ‘Made a Good Case Yesterday ... Drifted Very Far Away’ from Incitement Charge Today
- RNC Chairwoman: If We Did a Clip of Every Democrat Using Word ‘Fight,’ It Would Go on for Hours
- Sen. Graham: Can We Impeach Hillary Clinton for Calling Us ‘Co-Conspirators’?
- Trump Impeachment Lawyer: Dems Tried to Overturn the 2016 Election Results *
- Democrats in Congress: ‘There Needs to be Unrest in the Streets,’ ‘I Just Don’t Even Know Why There Aren’t Uprisings’ *
By conbtrast, only three articles that week focused on the case against Trump:
- Raskin: ‘Of All the Terrible Things I Saw and Heard’ at Capitol Attack, My Daughter Not Wanting to Come Back ‘Hit Me the Hardest’ *
- Rep. Tlaib: 'We Have Saw That It Was Extremely Corruptive' That Trump Put His Own Business First
- Murkowski: 'The Evidence That Has Been Presented Thus Far Is Pretty Damning'
The three above articles followed by asterisks are the only ones of the 15 CNS published during the week of the trial that directly reported testimony given during the actual trial.CNS was also making sure to highlight the Republicans who voted against Trump. A Feb. 10 article by Susan Jones complained that "Sen. Bill Cassidy of Louisiana on Tuesday joined five liberal Republicans (Collins, Romney, Sasse, Toomey, and Murkowski) in voting to proceed with President Trump's second impeachment trial on constitutional grounds." When the Senate ultimately voted to acquit, the anonymously written three-paragraph article announcing the decision devoted one of those paragraphs to listing the Republians who voted for conviction. That was followed by an article by Bannister claiming that Trump "issued a statement of thanksgiving, encouragement, hope – and warning" after the trial, which also listed the seven Republicans who voted for conviction.
And it wouldn't be CNS if it couldn't work an anti-LGBT angle into things. Thus, we have an anonymously written article complaining that "Rep. David Cicilline (D.-R.I.), who is now serving as a House Impeachment Manager in the Senate impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, also serves as the chairman of the 'Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus.'" No explaination was given as to why CNS felt the need to inform readers of this or what relevance it has to impeachment.
It was only after Trump was safely acquitted that CNS felt it could publish numerous articles critical of him on Feb. 15, two days after the end of the trial:
- Mitch McConnell on Jan. 6 Rioters: ‘They Had Been Fed Wild Falsehoods by the Most Powerful Man on Earth’
- Sen. Cassidy: 'I Voted to Convict President Trump Because He Is Guilty'
- Sen. Coons: 'There's Still More Evidence That the American People Need and Deserve to Hear'
- Rep. Madeleine Dean: History Will Remember McConnell’s ‘Statement of Speaking Out of 2 Sides of His Mouth’
- Plaskett: ‘We Didn't Need More Witnesses; We Needed More Senators with Spines’
- Pelosi: ‘Trump Incited a Violent Mob to Attack the Capitol and Then Refused to Intervene to Stop the Attack’
- Raskin: I Wish I Had McConnell on the Impeachment Managers Team
- Biden: ‘Each of Us Has a Duty and Responsibility as Americans…to Defend the Truth and to Defeat the Lies’
Only one impeachment-themed article published that day defended the acquittal, and it quoted Trump-friendly attorney Alan Dershowitz.
Unlike Trump's last impeachment, CNS largely restrained itself from presenting ridiculous defenses with a straight face. But because it knew Trump's actions were indefensible, it apparently decided that its coverage would be as minimally impactful as possible. Which, of course, still makes CNS a pro-Trump shill, not the "news" organization it proclaims itself to be.