(CNSNews.com) - Violence is unacceptable, but nothing President Trump said meets the legal standard of incitement, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said after day one of Trump's second impeachment trial.
Cruz called the trial “political theater” – a chance for Democrats to be seen “pounding the table…moralizing and…venting their hatred for Donald Trump.”
"Incitement is very clear," Cruz told Fox News's Sean Hannity.
Incitement is very deliberately saying go attack, and, by the way, if you are actually measuring the standard for incitement, those Democrats you played -- Maxine Waters, what she said; Chuck Schumer, what he said -- they would come much closer to meeting the standard for incitement then did President Trump.
But the honest answer is, none of them meet incitement. You know, we have the First Amendment, we have robust political speech. People are entitled to be idiots. And, you know what? In the United States Congress, we get a lot of people doing that.
We shouldn't be prosecuting people for speaking, and we shouldn't be impeaching them. This is political theater.
Cruz agrees with many people on the right and on the left who say the Senate trial will end with acquittal -- a complete waste of time.
"Every one of the 100 senators knows that. Every one of the House managers knows that,” Cruz said.
“But this is political theater, because rather than address the real problems, the real challenges we have in this country, rather than focused on getting kids back in school and getting tens of millions of Americans back to work, the Democrats want a week of just political theater raging at Donald Trump.”
Cruz said although Trump's language can sometimes be "overheated," it's not over the line.
But if you look at the language he used, saying things like "fight", saying things like "go retake our country", if that is now incitement, then we better prepare a long line to indict every candidate for office who's ever run in, anyone who was ever given a stump speech and said, let's go fight, let's go win, let's go retake our country.
And when it comes to encouraging violence, you noted quite rightly that the president was careful to say that the protesters should be peaceful. We have had Democrats for a year cheering on, we've seen violence all over the country, we've seen riots all over the country, we've seen stores being looted, stores being firebombed, police cars being firebombed, police officers being assaulted, police officers being murdered, individual citizens being assaulted, and what did the Democrats do? They cheered it on. They celebrated.
In fact, Kamala Harris, our new vice president, Kamala Harris not only encouraged they keep at it and keep doing more, she raised money to pay for the bail to bail out the violent criminals.
Now, let me be clear, anyone who attacked the capital, anyone who attacked a police officer, they need to be prosecuted and they need to be put in jail a long, long time. Nobody has a right to engage in violence.
The difference is, you and I have been consistent in that. We said if you're engaged in violence, whether you're left-wing or right wing, that's unacceptable. The Democrats have been complete hypocrites on this, cheering on BLM and Antifa and apologizing for their violence, and the hypocrisy is really thick right now.