Trump cannot ever return to Twitter again and his deleted tweets are truly gone forever, but those very tweets are haunting him bigly at today’s impeachment trial proceedings.
When Twitter banned Donald Trump late on the Friday afternoon on January 8, two days after the riot he incited at the US Capital that has him on trial for his second impeachment at the moment you read this, Twitter’s blog post announcing the news was entitled “Permanent suspension of @realDonaldTrump.” Sounds pretty definitive, right? Not to Mister Vipassana Jack Dorsey, who vacillated publicly on the decision within a few days, wondering aloud of the permanent ban, “Was this correct?"
It seems a relevant enough question again, now that we are well into the impeachment sequel, that the cable news business channel hosts are asking Twitter executives for commitment on-air. And a CNN report on KGO says that the platform is reaffirming that Trump is never, ever, ever getting back on Twitter, even if he should run for office again.
"The way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform, you're removed from the platform whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO or you are a former or current public official," says $TWTR CFO @nedsegal on if President Trump's account could be restored. pic.twitter.com/ZZxascb9Rz— Squawk Box (@SquawkCNBC) February 10, 2021
"The way our policies work, when you're removed from the platform, you're removed from the platform," Twitter CFO Ned Segal said in a CNBC Squawk Box interview. "Whether you're a commentator, you're a CFO, or you are a former or current public official. Remember, our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that, we have to remove them from the service and our policies don't allow people to come back."
This business of claiming it’s "the way our policies work” certainly gives a false sense of resolve to Twitter’s decision-making here. Well before Dorsey’s post-ban Hamlet vacillation, Trump had been testing boundaries on the platform for a while, and Twitter’s “This claim is disputed” label was pretty weak sauce. Still, Twitter was the first to temporarily ban him before the permanent ban, while Facebook still has Trump on a temporary suspension, and Youtube merely deleted a small handful of his videos — leaving the really bad election fraud stuff up to this day.
Democrats are using Trump's tweets as evidence that he is the sole person responsible for inciting the riot. pic.twitter.com/OZjQS9Iqrv— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 10, 2021
Trump’s old tweets have been compelling pieces of evidence at Trump’s impeachment today. It was pretty clearly a defense of violence and rioting when he tweeted, rambling of course, “These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.” We also learned today that Trump's tweet that "Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution" came just two minutes from when Pence had to be whisked away by the Secret Service because the "Hang Mike Pence!" set was closing in.
We know Trump is highly unlikely to be convicted in his second impeachment, and Democrats’ yearned-for consolation prize of banning him from holding public office cannot happen without that conviction, which requires a two-thirds majority. So Congress is unlikely to enforce any consequences whatsoever for Trump, but at least one tech platform has.
Image: The suspended Twitter account of U.S. President Donald Trump appears on an iPhone screen on January 08, 2021 in San Anselmo, California. Citing the risk of further incitement of violence following an attempted insurrection on Wednesday, Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump’s account. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)