Thursday the House Committee investigating 1/6 issued subpoenas to Steve Bannon, Mark Meadows, Kash Patel and Dan Scavino. This will be interesting to say the least!
Representative Thompson’s committee is not fooling around. It has learned the lessons of history and is moving about as quickly and powerfully as it can. This four is not the very top but it is near it. Coupled with its record requests to federal government agencies and telecom companies they are going right after the core of the issue of who did what and when along with what did they know and when did they know it.
Let’s briefly examine the four in question.
Mark Meadows was Trump’s last White House Chief of Staff serving during the run up to 1/6, during it and thereafter. He can certainly testify as to who had access to Trump, Trump’s actions and state of mind.
Dan Scavino was Trump’s communication guy and most likely actually wrote most of Trump’s communications surrounding 1/6. From a testimony standpoint he is sort of a poor man’s Meadows.
Neither of those two are either geniuses nor leaders but they were loyalists in close proximity to Trump.
Steve Bannon is as evil as Trump but something Trump is not – very, very smart. While Bannon has supposedly been banished from the Kingdom of Trump he really hasn’t been and in fact has continued to profit off his association with Trump. One of his ventures was so fraudulent that he needed an exiting presidential pardon from Trump to stay this side of the bars. The plot whose goal was to keep Trump in office despite having lost the 2020 election took some intricate knowledge of relatively obscure government procedures to concoct. Trump lacks the required expertise and intelligence; Bannon does not. The “building” may have been designed to have Trump’s name on it but Bannon was the “architect”.
Patel is largely an unknown but that neither diminishes his role or involvement. (Aside from Bannon, I think he is the most interesting of the four.) It appears that another failed element in the coup attempt was a military involvement. Trump made a series of, at the time, inexplicable moves at the Pentagon late in his administration where he inserted loyalists into key jobs. I think Trump felt he could basically get the Army to physically keep him in office. That didn’t work, although Patel and people like him being in key places may account for the delay in the Capital Police receiving aid. (You can be certain that Thompson’s committee already knows the answers to those questions and is just trying to get the four to verify them or perjur themselves.)
It appears the Committee realizes that there is a good chance that the Republicans will take over the House in the next term which will make their investigation about as relevant as a discarded soda can in a wastebasket. They are going to the near top (Trump is the ultimate goal and culprit) pretty much right out of the gate. I expect the four and others to play the delay and litigate game in an attempt to run out the clock in hope of a “changing of the House guard” come January 2023. The law appears to be clearly on the side of the Committee (and truth). My biggest concern is the possibility of a complicit Supreme Court.
Trump was a symptom and the anti-democratic disease is still festering in America. If we allow it to go unpunished it is only a matter of time before it rears its ugly head again this time armed with the knowledge it gained in what will amount to a dress rehearsal. Trump, this four and many others belong in prison. This was not a political dispute; it was an attempted revolution aimed at overthrowing the American government. If the Supreme Court enables it, I am in full favor of expanding its membership.
This isn’t some political hack committee playing to the cameras; it is a bunch of mainly skilled attorneys who know the answers to the questions they ask before they actually ask them. That is what I would be concerned about if I were one of this quartet.
The American people also have an obligation in this matter. Some of the “solutions” I proposed will be challenging, if not impossible, to accomplish before November 2022. Therefore, we have to ensure that we provide the votes to keep the Democrats in control of both chambers of Congress in the next session. The Committee is effectively starting the game in the seventh inning but it has a very good chance of going into extras.
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