Did Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts call the impeachment of President Trump "immoral and possibly illegal"? No, that's not true: Roberts, who would preside over the impeachment trial of Trump in the Senate, has not talked publicly about the process or the charges against the president. This claim originated as a work of satire but was stolen by other websites without the satire labeling.
The story originated from an article published by DailyWorldUpdate.com on December 19, 2019, titled "Justice Roberts Calls Impeachment Vote 'Immoral and Possibly Illegal'" (archived here) which opened:
Imagine being a Democrat during this whole impeachment sham. You know that the only way to keep getting away with your corruption is to pretend the President is the corrupt one. It's a sad position to be in, but you have no choice because otherwise, Nancy Pelosi will ruin you.
Chief Justice John Roberts, who will preside over the trial of President Trump, has weighed in on what he thinks about the whole ordeal:
"This impeachment is possibly the most immoral and possibly illegal vote in our nation's history. Nowhere in the constitution does the house of Representatives have the power to hold a partisan vote to undo an election. They have the power to impeach on grounds of high crimes and misdemeanors.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
The man who will preside over the trial weighs in on the democrat corruption.
The site that published this as satire comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
If you disagree with the definition of satire or have decided it is synonymous with "comedy," you should really just move along.
The owner and main writer of the site is self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites, including wearethellod.com, bustatroll.org or bebest.website. Sometimes, he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager, as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.
Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past, but new ones keep cropping up.
Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:
November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.
If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:
STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.
If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer, it is of course also fake news.
NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes dailyworldupdate.us as:
A news site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news. The site is part of a network run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.
According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.
We wrote about dailyworldupdate.us before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Nancy Pelosi Did NOT Approve $4.8 Million In 'Impeachment Consulting Fees' To Clinton Foundation
- Fake News: Greta Thunberg Has NOT Been Lying To The World About Her Age
- Fake News: Whoopi Goldberg Did NOT Call Melania's Decorations: 'Fairly Racist'
- Fake News: NAACP Does NOT Officially Endorse Trump For 2020 Election
- Fake News: Nancy Pelosi Did NOT Spend $106K Of Your Money To Get Drunk With Hollywood Elitists