Rand Paul’s Confused Attack on the Flawed Incitement Charge against Trump

Sen. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) attends a hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., January 27, 2021. (Michael Reynolds/Reuters)
Trump’s foes are not ‘criminalizing’ his free speech, because the Senate is not holding a criminal trial.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE S enator Rand Paul may be right that the impeachment trial of former president Donald Trump will divide the country, although the country is already quite divided. He is certainly wrong that the trial, and particularly the impeachment article charging Trump with “incitement to insurrection,” is an unconstitutional “criminalization of speech.” The senator either does not understand what the First Amendment protects or what it means to “criminalize” something, or both.

Let’s begin with the basics. What is scheduled to start in earnest tomorrow is not a criminal trial. As I outline in a column at Fox News today, it is a

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