Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Point of Investigating The Insurrection of January 6

It's been a fight for the past few months, but the House finally voted on setting up a "bipartisan" investigative committee into the planning and events of the trump-pushed insurrection back on January 6, 2021 when trump inciting his crowd of followers to storm the Capitol and stop Congress from confirming the Electoral Vote in favor of Joe Biden.

The vote was mostly partisan (35 Republicans including the co-signer of the deal John Katko (R NY) did vote for it) for obvious reasons: It looks bad for trump and will look bad for the Congressional Republicans caught between defending the guy who nearly got them killed. In particular it could cause problems for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (via Cameron Peters at Vox): 

On Sunday, a second House Republican suggested that, if a congressional commission examining the January 6 attack on the US Capitol materializes, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) could soon receive a subpoena to testify.

Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI) joined former Republican House conference chair Liz Cheney (R-WY), who was ousted from that job Wednesday, in suggesting that a subpoena could be on the table for McCarthy, telling CNN’s Dana Bash on State of the Union that “I would suspect Kevin would be subpoenaed...”

As of Friday, when the leaders of the House Homeland Security Committee announced a bipartisan agreement on its formation, that commission looks closer than ever — much to McCarthy’s potential discomfort, should he be called to testify.

If McCarthy testifies either voluntarily or under subpoena as part of the commission’s investigation, he could face the prospect of bridging the rather large gap between Trump — who has shown no inclination to relinquish his grasp on the Republican Party — and the truth of what happened on January 6.

As CNN and other outlets have reported previously — and pro-impeachment Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) confirmed in a statement in February — McCarthy spoke with Trump while the riots were still ongoing and pleaded with Trump to call his supporters off.

According to Herrera Beutler, Trump “initially repeated the falsehood that it was antifa (Note: shorthand for "Anti-Fascist / Black Lives Matter" protesters) that had breached the Capitol” on the call with McCarthy.

Subsequently, Herrera Beutler said in her February statement, “McCarthy refuted that and told the president that these were Trump supporters. That’s when, according to McCarthy, the president said: ‘Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are...’”

It's that kind of evidence that if confirmed by committee would establish trump's refusal at the very least to take the riot seriously, which could lead to charges of negligence on the then-President Loser of the Popular Vote (especially from Capitol Police who survived that day and the family members of those who died). Any additional evidence confirming how trump egged that mob into action against Congress could lead to charges of insurrection (the Impeachment on that matter should not count as Double Jeopardy as impeaching is a political process not a criminal one).

These are things the Republican leadership do not want happening, because trump still has his mob at his beck and call and if becomes clear he's getting handcuffed over this he will incite that mob again, and again against fellow Republicans who won't bow to him. (For God's sake, that January 6 mob was stoked to kill trump's own Veep!)

As of now, with the vote done in the House it moves to the Senate where the damned Cloture/Filibuster rules are in effect, meaning either 10 Republicans have to agree to the committee (Mitch is opposing it so it's unlikely those ten will be found) or the Democrats have to make a motion to kill the Filibuster rule altogether (which is unlikely because Senators Manchin and Sinema still think the Filibuster is a cool thing). There's a good chance this committee won't get the green light anyway.

As others would note, and I would agree, if the committee does get confirmed it would be mostly for show. The Democrats will take it seriously but the Republicans will block and obstruct any meaningful attempts to present the facts of what happened that January 6. Anything the committee finds will get ignored by the Far Right media and any results - outside of actual arrests of trump and his inner circle -  would be laughed off. Even having Republicans on it to make it seem bipartisan won't help that illusion with anybody on the Far Right: It may even not be enough to convince the so-called arbiters of the Beltway Media of its legitimacy because their grand Narrative may conflict with the finds.

The committee only would have the merit of documenting the atrocities for the public who still need to know what happened... and for future history, as long as it aids rather than blocks the ongoing criminal investigations that have already arrested a sizable number of rioters - a great place to keep track is with Emptywheel - and the committee can add to the already-overwhelming proof that insurrection happened. It all becomes a question of if (sadly not when) the people truly responsible for the violence that day (trump trump and more trump) gets held accountable. 

Either way: Here's hoping the New York criminal investigations in trump - oh, that's another story this week - get the handcuffs on trump and his corrupt kin even faster than this committee.

1 comment:

dinthebeast said...

Mike Pence's brother voted against it. Perhaps to someone who knows him well "hang Mike Pence" didn't sound like such a bad idea?

-Doug in Sugar Pine