CNN anchor uses Trump lawyer’s Judaism to lampoon trial

CNN news anchor Jake Tapper taunted one of the defense lawyers for former President Donald Trump, David Schoen, after Schoen gained wide notice for covering his head with his hand whenever he drank a glass of water during the impeachment trial. 

Noting in his Saturday tweet Schoen left the Senate to enjoy Shabbat, Tapper reminded his followers that the lawyer will hear the Torah portion of Rules (Mishpatim) in which it is forbidden to “spread false report.” 
The verses in Exodus 21:1-24:18 also warn “not to fall in with the many to do evil.”
The tweet caused immediate controversy, with some saying Tapper should be ashamed of himself for mocking a Jewish lawyer simply because he does not like the client for whom the man works and others saying that these are the Jewish values they hold close, even if they do not observe the Sabbath religiously. Others asked if Tapper would use similar language about a non-Jewish person.
“Using biblical verses to score political points to attack David Schoen isn’t clever,” tweeted Superintendent of the Kiryas Joel School District Joel Petlin, “it’s beyond reprehensible. Shame on you Jake.”

 

Schoen and the other lawyers representing Trump could be said to be successful as their client was acquitted. Trump was the first US President to face two impeachment trials.    
 
Schoen covered his head during the second indictment for Trump whenever he drank from his glass of water, sparking widespread curiosity.

Whenever observant Jews drink or eat, they typically recite a blessing that includes the name of God before and after doing so. Jewish law, known as halacha, stipulates that in order to say God’s name, you should have your head covered. Based on this fact, it’s likely that Schoen covered his head with his hand while he recited a blessing before drinking from his water bottle. 
Schoen did not wear a kippah or another head covering because he “wasn’t sure if it was appropriate,” he told CNN. “I didn’t want to offend anyone… It’s just an awkward thing and people stare at it.”

JTA contributed to this report.

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