Fact Check: CNN Did NOT Report Investigators Believe Riot At U.S. Capitol Wasn't Trump-Inspired

Fact Check

  • by: Dana Ford
Fact Check: CNN Did NOT Report Investigators Believe Riot At U.S. Capitol Wasn't Trump-Inspired Fake News

Did CNN report that investigators believe the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, was not inspired by Donald Trump, and did Democrats impeach Trump "before they had any information from investigators?" No, that's not true: CNN reported that investigators are looking into whether the riot was planned -- but there was no CNN reporting shifting responsibility away from Trump for inspiring the attack, in which five died. Democrats and 10 Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to impeach Trump on January 13, 2021. Between the riot and the day of the impeachment vote, investigators provided regular updates on their work.

The claim appeared in an Instagram post published on January 14, 2021. The post included a screenshot of a tweet by Carmine Sabia, who identifies as a writer and pundit and Christian conservative. The tweet read:

BREAKING: Per CNN - Investigators believe riot at Capitol was planned and not inspired by President Donald Trump. But Democrats impeached before they had any information from investigators.

Users on social media saw this:

Here's a link to the CNN article tto which the post refers. Titled "Investigators pursuing signs US Capitol riot was planned," the article stated that the evidence uncovered so far suggested that the riot was "not just a protest that spiraled out of control." Nowhere does the article, which sourced an anonymous federal law enforcement official, say what or who inspired the rioters. The attack on the Capitol could have been planned and still inspired by Trump. The two possibilities aren't exclusive of one another.

It's important to note that the article of impeachment approved by the House did not just point to the president's speech before the riot. It also cited his prior efforts to "subvert and obstruct" the certification of the 2020 election results. The article of impeachment read, in part:

In all this, President Trump gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government. He threatened the integrity of the democratic system, interfered with the peaceful transition of power, and imperiled a coequal branch of Government. He thereby betrayed his trust as President, to the manifest injury of the people of the United States.

You can read the full document here.

All House Democrats and 10 Republicans voted to impeach Trump on January 13, 2021. Between the day of the riot and the impeachment vote, investigators provided regular updates on their work, examples of which can be seen here and below.

Like the false statement on the CNN report, the claim that Democrats impeached "before they had any information from investigators" is not true.

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  Dana Ford

Dana Ford is an Atlanta-based reporter and editor. She previously worked as a senior editor at Atlanta Magazine Custom Media and as a writer/ editor for CNN Digital. Ford has more than a decade of news experience, including several years spent working in Latin America.

Read more about or contact Dana Ford

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