NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, June 11th, 2022

House Select Committee lays out definitive case that Trump incited January 6th attack

The par­ty line response to the House Select Com­mit­tee’s ini­tial prime­time Jan­u­ary 6th hear­ing, from America’s right-wing media and Repub­li­can House lead­ers, seems tak­en from those “Naked Gun” cop movies.

“Move on, noth­ing to see here,” bum­bling Los Ange­les police detec­tive Frank Drebin would tell wit­ness­es to a fire or explosion.

“For­get­tably minor” is how Tuck­er Carl­son, on Fox News, described the 2021 insur­rec­tion at the U.S. Capitol.

Lat­er in the evening, Lau­ra Ingra­ham chimed in: “How does a guy putting his feet up on Nan­cy Pelosi’s desk put democ­ra­cy at risk?”

The answer was deliv­ered by Repub­li­can Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice chair of the House Select Com­mit­tee to Inves­ti­gate the Jan­u­ary 6th Attack on the U.S. Capi­tol: “Over mul­ti­ple months, Don­ald Trump over­saw and coor­di­nat­ed a sophis­ti­cat­ed sev­en-part plan to over­turn the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion and pre­vent the trans­fer of pres­i­den­tial power.”

Dur­ing the Senate’s 1973 Water­gate hear­ing, Sen­a­tor Howard Bak­er, R‑Tennessee, asked the famous ques­tion: “What did the Pres­i­dent know and when did he know it?” The answer, con­firmed by audio from con­ver­sa­tions record­ed in the Oval Office by a secret tap­ing sys­tem, was that Richard Nixon, our 37th Pres­i­dent, was in on the bur­glary coverup and pay­offs from Day One.

The House pan­el, on Thurs­day night, told twen­ty mil­lion tele­vi­sion view­ers of the attempt­ed seizure of pow­er by our 45th Pres­i­dent after he was vot­ed out of office. “Don­ald Trump was at the cen­ter of this con­spir­a­cy,” said com­mit­tee chair­man Rep. Ben­nie Thomp­son, D‑Mississippi. Of even greater con­se­quence, Thomp­son added: “The con­spir­a­cy to thwart the will of the peo­ple is not over.”

And that is why the events of Jan­u­ary 6th, 2021, go far beyond being mate­r­i­al for his­to­ry. The bid by Trump to over­throw will of vot­ers in 2020 is quite pos­si­bly due for a repeat should “The Don­ald” run in 2024. While such Repub­li­cans as Bak­er helped block Nixon, Repub­li­cans in Con­gress appear ready to do Trump’s bidding.

As FNC refused to air Thursday’s hear­ing, the bull-necked Sean Han­ni­ty was describ­ing the House hear­ing to his view­ers as “the dullest, the most bor­ing, there’s absolute­ly noth­ing new.” Per­haps Fox hosts didn’t want view­ers to hear back­stage words of a Pres­i­dent they lion­ized: “Just say the elec­tion was cor­rupt and leave the rest to me and Repub­li­can congressmen.”

Huh? View­ers tuned into the hear­ing saw film of a noose and chants of “Hang Mike Pence.” The Vice Pres­i­dent was chair­ing Con­gress’ count of elec­toral votes and had reject­ed Trump’s demand that he throw out results from swing states.

The com­mit­tee has unearthed Trump’s reac­tion as he watched from the White House. Said Cheney: “The Pres­i­dent respond­ed with this sen­ti­ment: ‘Maybe our sup­port­ers have the right idea… Mike Pence deserves it.’ ”

“You will hear evi­dence that Pres­i­dent Trump refused for hours to do what his staff, his fam­i­ly and many of his oth­er advis­ers begged him to do: imme­di­ate­ly instruct his sup­port­ers to stand down and evac­u­ate the Capitol.”

The dis­guise for Trump’s attempt­ed coup has been a series of attacks on the integri­ty of our elec­tions – believed, the polls tell us, by a major­i­ty of Repub­li­can vot­ers – that the 2020 elec­tion was stolen.

If Fox view­ers changed chan­nels, they would have seen a video of then-Attor­ney Gen­er­al William Barr tes­ti­fy­ing on his post-elec­tion con­ver­sa­tion with Trump.

“I told the pres­i­dent it was bull!@#$: I didn’t want to be part of it,” Barr told com­mit­tee inves­ti­ga­tors.” A Trump cam­paign lawyer, Alex Can­non, brought sim­i­lar find­ings to White House Chief of Staff Mark Mead­ows. In Mead­ows’ mem­o­rable response, “So there’s no ‘there’ there.”

The tweets of House Minor­i­ty Leader Kevin McCarthy and such folk as Sen­a­tor Ted Cruz (R‑Texas) are cease­less­ly filled with praise for the police, and unabat­ing anger at Black Lives Mat­ter pro­test­ers’ actions fol­low­ing the mur­der of George Floyd in Min­neapo­lis two years ago.

Where is their sym­pa­thy for the U.S. Capi­tol Police?

Liz Cheney put it best: “I say to my col­leagues who are defend­ing the inde­fen­si­ble: There will come a day when Don­ald Trump is gone, but your dis­hon­or will remain.”

A respect­ed offi­cer, Car­olyn Edwards, was first on the force to be injured in the insur­rec­tion, suf­fer­ing a con­cus­sion. She tes­ti­fied on Thurs­day, telling of the scene where insur­rec­tion­ists first broke through:

“What I saw was a war scene. It was some­thing like I had seen in the movies. I could not believe my eyes. There were offi­cers on the ground. They were bleed­ing. They were throw­ing u8p. I saw friends with blood all over their faces. I was slip­ping in peo­ples’ blood. I was catch­ing peo­ple as they fell.” (Edwards man­aged to put out a call for help on the radio. It did not come.)

A day after the hear­ing, Tuck­er Carl­son was on the air decry­ing what he called a “show tri­al,” adding: “The whole thing is insult­ing. They are lying and we’re not going to help them.”

Lying about what?

Barr told Trump there was no evi­dence of elec­tion fraud. Chief of Staff Mead­ows was so informed. Top aide and first daugh­ter Ivan­ka Trump told com­mit­tee inves­ti­ga­tors, “I respect­ed Attor­ney Gen­er­al Barr, so I accept­ed what he was say­ing.” Twen­ty mil­lion peo­ple heard excerpts of Trump’s speech at the White House, and mobs of Proud Boys and Oath Keep­ers march­ing on the Capitol.

In the wake of the damn­ing videos, Trump has thrown both his daugh­ter and for­mer Attor­ney Gen­er­al under the bus, send­ing out this mes­sage yes­ter­day: “Ivan­ka Trump was not involved in look­ing at, or study­ing, ELECTION (sic) results. (She) had long ago checked out and was, in my opin­ion, only try­ing to be respect­ful to Bill Barr and his posi­tion as Attor­ney Gen­er­al (he sucked).”

The House Select Com­mit­tee con­venes again on Mon­day morn­ing. It is expect­ed to fill out Trump’s role in the worst attack on the U.S. Capi­tol since the War of 1812.

Don’t tune this out! An ugly strain of fas­cism is loose in the land, and on the air­waves, and on social plat­forms. It has in its grasp the lead­er­ship of one of our two great polit­i­cal par­ties. Its leader is using the 2022 elec­tion to exact revenge, and plot­ting a run at pow­er once more in 2024.

Trump is not gone.

“Our democ­ra­cy remains in dan­ger: Jan­u­ary 6th and the lies that led to insur­rec­tion have put two and a half cen­turies of con­sti­tu­tion­al democ­ra­cy at risk,” said Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Thomp­son. “The world is watch­ing what we do here.”

A vari­a­tion on Ben­jamin Franklin’s famous words sums up a ques­tion that all Amer­i­cans should ask them­selves: “A repub­lic – Can we keep it?”

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