As Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial concluded finding the former president ‘not guilty’ of inciting a violent insurrection on 6th January, Republicans, on reflection, went to some absurd lengths to defend Trump from conviction.

In addition to tackling claims about what role Trump played in the US Capitol riots, supporters had to deal with an “embarrassing” and “completely incoherent” opening argument from the politician’s defence team.

While some Republicans came up with ways to interpret the events of 6 January, one senator chose to deny the reality of the attack completely.

Mike Shirkey, who represents Michigan, was forced to apologise after being caught on camera labelling the Capitol riot as a “hoax”.

He said:

“That wasn’t Trump’s people. That’s been a hoax from day one. That was all prearranged. It was arranged by somebody who was funding it. … It was all staged.”

Another Republican senator, Ron Johnson, took a different approach - appearing to suggest that Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, was responsible for the attack on the Capitol.

The Wisconsin representative told Fox News:

“Is this another diversionary operation? Is this meant to deflect away from potentially what the speaker knew and when she knew it? 

“I don’t know, but I’m suspicious.”

Pelosi wasn’t the only politician caught up in an apparent blame game, with Fox News host Laura Ingraham claiming that the “real insurrection” is coming from President Joe Biden.

“There is an insurrection taking place against America, alright. It’s been going on for years in the deepest depth of the DC swamp.

“Now its figurehead resides at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue,” she said, referring to the official address of the White House.

As was to be expected, Donald Trump Jr was quick to defend his dad in a TV interview, but it soon backfired massively.

Speaking to Fox’s Sean Hannity, Trump Jr agreed with the host’s view that the ex-president’s speech during the rally on 6 January is being “selectively [edited]” by the media.

Meanwhile, one of Trump Jr’s more “nonsensical” statements on the impeachment trial was that “if it wasn’t for double standards” then “the Democrats would have no standards at all”.

Speaking of Hannity, the Fox News host said on his Tuesday show that he wasn’t “being critical” of Trump’s defence team, before he was exactly that.

He said:

“I thought it was a little bit of a weak start. I’m not being critical, just a little lacklustre, meandering to me.

“It needed a little more focus.”

Typically outspoken Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson also rushed to Trump’s defence, making a “dangerous” comparison with the US Capitol riots and the Black Lives Matter protests.

Commenting on the death of George Floyd last year, Carlson argued that there was “no physical evidence” that he was “murdered by a cop”.

“The autopsy showed that George Floyd almost certainly died of a drug overdose - fentanyl – but at that point, facts didn’t matter.”

He added: “Democratic partisans used a carefully concocted myth – a lie – to bum-rush America into turning over the old order, and handing them much more power. 

“It worked flawlessly, so why wouldn’t they do it again?”

When it was all said and done though, Trump managed to still come away as a free man so these arguments, no matter how farfetched, still managed to work in someway or the other.

More: Bruce Castor’s testimony during Trump’s impeachment contradicted the very reason he was hired

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