Fact Check: Joe Biden's Inauguration Was NOT Pre-Recorded

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: Joe Biden's Inauguration Was NOT Pre-Recorded Pre-posterous

Was the Biden inauguration pre-recorded? No, that's not true: Joe Biden's inauguration was a live event that took place on January 20, 2021, in Washington, D.C., at the Capitol Building. Conspiracy theorist Charlie Ward provides no evidence other than saying he had a video hours before the live broadcasts and that he "shared it with all my people." He does not share the video or any clips or images or identify his "people." For such a vast conspiracy to have succeeded in secret, every single elected official who attended, personnel from network and cable channels that aired it and scores of people including uniformed troops who were on hand would have to have knowingly cooperated. And it would have to have been carried out without the realization of Washingtonians that crowds of people and an army of media crews were filming before the appointed time.

The claim appeared as an article published by Before It's News on January 21, 2021, titled "'The Military Is In Control'! Inauguration Was Pre-Recorded! Trump To Be Sworn In March 4! - Charlie Ward & Simon Parkes Must Video | Opinion - Conservative | Before It's News" (archived here) which opened:

Video sometime will get stuck on Bitchute. Just refresh and wait for a minute. It will play. The UK was watching the Fake Inauguration 10 hours before it was shown to the American audience. Everything you saw was an illusion, totally fake. Biden was sworn in 10 minutes before Noon

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

"The Military Is In Control"! Inauguration Was Pre-Recorded! Trump To Be Sworn In March 4! - Charlie Ward & Simon Parkes Must Video | Opinion - Conservative | Before It's News

Video sometime will get stuck on Bitchute. Just refresh and wait for a minute. It will play. The UK was watching the Fake Inauguration 10 hours before it was shown to the American audience. Everything you saw was an illusion, totally fake. Biden was sworn in 10 minutes before Noon

The claim in the article is:

The UK was watching the Fake Inauguration 10 hours before it was shown to the American audience.
Everything you saw was an illusion, totally fake.
Biden was sworn in 10 minutes before Noon while Trump was still the President. This cannot happen.
The Celebration party with Tom Hanks in the evening was also prerecorded."

The article contains a video that features Charlie Ward, a British QAnon conspiracy theorist who lives in Spain.

In the video Ward claims of the inauguration broadcast:

I received it at seven o'clock Spanish time. In the morning. I received it 10 hours before it went out publicly. All the television stations were saying it was live. But I received it 10 hours before.
Pre-recorded. A million percent. I shared it with all my people. I had the inauguration in video format at seven o'clock Spanish time which is one o'clock in the morning Washington time. The whole ceremony is illegal.

Ward offers no proof of his claim. He does not share the video he claims to have seen. His theory, proposed without corroborating evidence, would require secrets to have been kept by thousands of people, including leaders of both political parties. Inauguration ceremonies included leaders from all branches of government and media outlets from all over the world. There is no basis of reality in Ward's claim.

The article also claims Biden's presidency is invalid because he was sworn in before noon on January 20.
He took the oath of office at 11:48 am. However, the 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution determines when a new president's term begins and the outgoing president's term ends. It is not based on the exact time of the oath.

Section 1
The terms of the President and the Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin."

Constitutional expert Jonathan Turly told the Washington Post that the timing of Biden's oath was not how the beginning of his presidency was determined.

"The oath is required but it is not the act that makes Biden the next president," Turley told The Washington Post in an email. Turley noted that no matter how early the president-elect swears the oath of office, the previous president -- barring a last-minute resignation -- remains the officeholder until noon.
"So when Sen. Amy Klobuchar said that she would be the first to call him 'President Biden,' she may have been literally but not constitutionally correct," Turley said.

The article also claims, "The Celebration party with Tom Hanks in the evening was also prerecorded."

Perhaps this incorrect claim came from two articles. The Los Angeles Times reported "The ceremony will be livestreamed, with some pre-recorded video remarks," and People magazine noted "The special included a mix of remote and pre-recorded appearances." The pre-recorded events were not Biden being sworn in, or Kamala Harris taking the oath as vice president, but portions of the celebration later in the evening.

Lead Stories debunked the claim that former President Trump would be sworn in again as president on March 4, 2021, as the 19th president of the United States here. And we debunked another claim that the inauguration of President Biden was a "movie" with "bad actors."

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes beforeitsnews.com as:

A website that hosts user-submitted content and regularly publishes false information and conspiracy theories.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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