On Thursday afternoon the January 6th Committee held a public meeting. It and surrounding events constituted the biggest political story of the week just ended. The following is not a detailed report of that session. A plethora of such reports are widely available and I trust most of my readers either watched the session and/or availed themselves of said reports. That said, I still feel the following is worth a few minutes of your reading time.
Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson set the tone in his opening statement; the bulk of the session was a tag team closing argument recapping what the Committee has unearth to date with a sprinkling of new information. Liz Cheney teased in hers and the Committee delivered at the end.
To all but the willfully blind it is clear that 1/6 was a coup attempt and it was led by then President Trump. Thankfully, like most things Trump it was ultimately unsuccessful. Take no solace in that; it only failed by a hair.
On that date I remember many TV talking heads marveling at the breach of the Capital. It’s not an easy thing. The building is a maze. Later that evening I exchanged text messages with someone I very much trust who is very familiar with the building and was amazed that security was so easily breached. In plain language it smacked of, at least to some degree, an inside job.
The Committee has been successful in illustrating that elements of the Secret Service were complicit in the coup attempt. Too many things simply don’t pass the smell test. In the aftermath of the event several high ranking and/or in sensitive position people in several agencies charged with security and law enforcement resigned or retired. Several anonymous voices were raised to cast doubt on the sworn testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson and other but somehow never came forward under oath. Many pieces of evidence were withheld or vanished. I do not have a law enforcement degree but I don’t think I need in this case. It smacks of a coverup to me.
The session ended with the Committee authorizing a subpoena for Donald Trump. That is a serious step and the ramifications warrant discussion. The subpoena should be formally issued and served this week. It will require Trump to appear and testify under oath in a closed session. The next step is Trump’s and I’d like to speculate on what I think he will do.
Initially his strategy will be to delay. That is his go to strategy on all legal matters. I think he will try an negotiate terms which he really is in no position to do, but it will sound good to his largely legally ignorant base and buys him some time. He will probably mount a court challenge or two which will be equally fruitless but eats up time. This is part of the problem we have in America especially with white collar crime and defendants of means, as the clock runs he watches it in freedom not incarceration.
Eventually Trump will be faced with a show up or not choice. To simply blow off the subpoena would be a mistake and leave him open to criminal charges which he would have no defense against. Whether charges would ever be pressed is an open question, but that is another matter.
Assuming he appears – which is all he is really obligated to do – I doubt the session would be fruitful in unearthing new information. Trump will plead the Fifth, conveniently not remember or some combination of both. Politically the Committee would have him on tape but I think the court of public opinion is pretty well set at this point and few hard core Trumpers will leave him regardless of reality. I contend that you have to have already willfully suspended belief in reality to still support Trump unless of course you are not really a patriotic and loyal American.
You may be saying to yourself all this is well and good but what can I do about it. There is something you can do. This is all taking place against the backdrop of a ticking game clock that can go overtime. (Hey, I can never get away from my sports metaphors.) The 1/6 Committee is a House committee. If the Republicans take over the House – and they have to be favored to in the midterm – they will either suspend or kneecap the Committee. In that case the subpoena will vanish and Trump skates (on this issue anyway).
Every House seat is on the 2022 ballot. If you live in any of the 50 states do your part and vote for the Democrat. Unless, of course you think Trump is better than you and therefore above the law.
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