January 6 Commission Witch Hunt Update

The January 6 Commission, as many have pointed out, branded itself as nothing more than an extension of all the “Get Trump and Punish His Allies!” plots, lies an and conspiracies that began almost from the moment he was elected. The mark was indelible as soon as Nancy Pelosi refused to allow any Republican to participate who had not already proved to be a NeverTrumper, eager to pin something on the ex-President. Lots of investigations are called witch hunts in Washington, D.C., but this really is one: the goal is to keep digging until the commission finds something new to use as a metaphorical stake to thrust into Trump’s political heart. This is, of course, unethical. deciding that someone must be guilty of something and spending more than a year and millions of dollars to figure out what is the essence of unethical prosecution as well as totalitarian instincts.

I keep wondering when the public will figure out just how rotten the exercise is. Televising the fiasco in prime time may well be a major blunder.

Here are two recent noxious developments:

  • The January 6 Commission (Committee? I don’t really care…) “suggested” that Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-Ga.) led potential rioters on a “reconnaissance” tour of the Capitol on January 5 to learn the layout of the Capitol in preparation for the “insurrection.”

Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and vice-chair Cheney, sent a letter to Loudermilk:

 

Based on our review of evidence in the Select Committee’s possession, we believe you have information regarding a tour you led through parts of the Capitol complex on January 5, 2021. The foregoing information raises questions to which the Select Committee must seek answers. Public reporting and witness accounts indicate some individuals and groups engaged in efforts to gather information about the layout of the U.S. Capitol, as well as the House and Senate office buildings, in advance of January 6, 2021.

It was a complete smear, shot down in flames by the Capitol Police.Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger sent a letter to Rep. Rodney Davis, (R-Ill.), the ranking Republican on the House Administration Committee, that stated that there was no evidence Rep. Loudermilk some kind of pre-riot scouting expedition The letter states,

There is no evidence that Representative Loudermilk entered the U.S. Capitol with this group on January 5, 2021. We train our officers on being alert for people conducting surveillance or reconnaissance, and we do not consider any of the activities we observed as suspicious.

So why did the Commission (I think I like “Commission;” it sounds more sinister) publicly imply otherwise? Easy: because they are ruthless, desperate, and without scruples or decency.

Full disclosure: Chief Manger is a long-time friend and associate, and if there is a more honest, intelligent and fair public servant, I haven’t encountered one.

  • During last week’s prime-time Commission hearing, Rep. Liz Cheney  claimed that multiple Republican lawmakers contacted the White House seeking presidential pardons. Cheney particularly singled out Rep. Scott Perry (R-Penn.), chairman of the House Freedom Caucus.

    “As you will see, Rep. Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after Jan 6. to seek a presidential pardon,” Cheney said, adding, “Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.”

    No evidence was presented at the hearing supporting the claim, however. This was a pattern established during the Russian Collusion hoax and the second impeachment: the public was promised evidence that never materialized. (If a lawyer does that in a trial, it’s grounds for bar discipline. If the lawyer is a Trump supporter, or Rudy Giuliani, it doesn’t even have to happen in a trial.) Perry vociferously denies the allegation.

    “The notion that I ever sought a Presidential pardon for myself or other Members of Congress is an absolute, shameless, and soulless lie,” Perry said last week. I believe Perry, because if there is evidence it would be insane for him to deny it. Moreover, what if some Republicans did seek preemptive pardons? That doesn’t prove they were guilty of anything. It shows they knew just how vicious the Democrats are, and that they would be trying to criminalize politics as part of their scorched earth efforts to destroy Trump and anyone who ever was allied with him. The Commission proves that getting pardons was simply prudent.

Dana Bash interviewed with Commission stalwart  Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) on CNN’s “State of the Union” and asked Raskin  whether the committee had evidence to back its claims about the pardon requests. “How many of your colleagues in Congress did that? And what evidence do you have?” Bash asked. “Because you know that congressman Scott Perry is denying it.”

Raskin’s answer? “Huminahuminahumina.”

“Yes…well, the seeking of pardons is powerful demonstration of the consciousness of guilt, or at least the consciousness that you may be in trouble. And that’s what’s so shocking about this. It’s not just one. It’s —”

What? Consciousness of guilt is miles and miles from awareness that you “may be in trouble.” One should be aware that he or she may be in trouble any time a well-funded political lynch mob is looking for victims in their direction.

“And you have evidence that has happened?” Bash asked, and Raskin answered  that “in due course” the details of the allegation “will surface.”

The ethical time for evidence to “surface” is when an assertion is made that relies on it.

“So, yes, there’s evidence?” Bash followed up.

“Everything we’re doing is documented by evidence,” Raskin said

How did a single party accumulate such a revolting bunch of corrupt and villainous hacks? That’s the kind of question that usually leaps to my mind when I see films of Hitler’s evil mutants: where did these creatures come from? What produced them? How did they all end up in the same place at the same time? Was it just bad luck? Did we do something to create them?

 

14 thoughts on “January 6 Commission Witch Hunt Update

  1. Chief Manger is well known in policing for his successes in community policing and for his leadership role in the Beltway Sniper case. He was an excellent choice for the Capitol Police, even if he is a bit anti-gun for my tastes. His reputation as an administrator is impeccable.

  2. Personally, I’m waiting for season 2 of this show, coming in summer 2023, when the House, run by Republicans after a bloodbath 2022 election, holds prime-time hearings on the Afghanistan withdrawal debacle.

    As in the case of their ill-advised impeachments of Trump, the Democrats never seem to be able to forsee a time when their dumb tactics might be used against them. And I’ll bet the Republicans will at least be smart enough to use members who are more dynamic and camera-ready than Liz Cheney (and the other somnolent dolts on this commission) to present their case.

    • Contemporary to the first impeachment debacle, Jack made the point that the republican party should impeach the president the next time there is a democrat president in office with a republican house to teach the lesson that impeachment shouldn’t be for petty political point scoring. I’m in full agreement.

      It looks like that will come to pass rather quickly. I haven’t heard of any plans by republicans to start impeachment hearings but I hope they do. I’ll further add that the democrats were crowing after the second impeachment that Trump is the first president to be impeached twice. In response, the republicans need to impeach Biden not once, but twice so Biden can join the club.

      • Sadly, our political class seems congenitally incapable of learning lessons. So such a tactic by the Republicans vis-a-vis impeachment would only result in an escalating arms race of impeachments, with each subsequent president setting a new “record” for most impeachments. It’s childish and destructive, but that’s the level our political discourse is at now.

  3. “How did a single party accumulate such a revolting bunch of corrupt and villainous hacks? That’s the kind of question that usually leaps to my mind when I see films of Hitler’s evil mutants: where did these creatures come from? What produced them? How did they all end up in the same place at the same time? Was it just bad luck? Did we do something to create them?”

    Speaking of evil mutants, we have the *Squad* and they’re getting reelected no less.
    Plus as an aside, my sources inform me that none of them smell good.
    I’m just the messenger.

  4. I suspect the pardon requests (assuming there were pardon requests) were pretty standard requests made of chief executives all the time, some legitimate and some purely political (Mark Rich?), and had nothing to do with the melee. This is akin to holding the blank paper rolled up and using it to discredit a witness with “the smoking gun.” Dana Bash is pretty lame because he didn’t ask, “who requested pardons and for what?” You know, the questions journalists are supposed to ask. He simply repeated the allegation as if it were fact, giving room for the, “just you wait and see!” response.

    jvb

  5. Shorter Raskin:

    Bash: “Do you have evidence?”
    Raskin: “Our evidence is our moral certitude. Trust us.”

    The Stupid, it burns us, Precious. Take it awaaaayyy.

  6. Short thoughts.

    Right now, a poll in Wyoming has Hageman ahead of Cheney in the primary by 20%. Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight is questioning how reliable that number is, but even with a 5% margin of error, that still has Hageman ahead by at least 10%. I encourage all Wyomingites to unite behind Hageman!!

    How did a single party accumulate such a revolting bunch of corrupt and villainous hacks? That’s the kind of question that usually leaps to my mind when I see films of Hitler’s evil mutants: where did these creatures come from? What produced them? How did they all end up in the same place at the same time? Was it just bad luck? Did we do something to create them?

    The sad reality is that there are always people like that everywhere. They’re not the majority by any stretch. Just think of your own close relations. There’s probably one or two that you could think of that just don’t seem to have the right moral compass, who are usually out for no one else than number one, who have an axe to grind, and who normally would live a normal, quiet life unless someone emboldened them. It doesn’t take that many people to make an ugly cabal, and if you have a charismatic leader who can draw them together, a lot of damage can be done.

    I’m also cynical enough to believe that only people with no moral compass and who are immune to self-reflection run for high office any more…

    • Powermongers, power-seekers, and true believers do not generally make for a good group of civic-minded individuals.

  7. Moreover, what if some Republicans did seek preemptive pardons? That doesn’t prove they were guilty of anything. It shows they knew just how vicious the Democrats are, and that they would be trying to criminalize politics as part of their scorched earth efforts to destroy Trump and anyone who ever was allied with him. The Commission proves that getting pardons was simply prudent.

    we saw this with Rick Perry.

    Here are quotes.

    http://bbs.stardestroyer.net/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=161693&sid=bf1e964b2d36e629e063999b4953f65a

    You’ve asserted that public officials must be held to a higher moral standard than the rest of humanity. First, I’d like to know why that is the case.

    She did uphold the law. She was arrested, went to court, pled guilty to the charges (i.e. she accepted responsibility for her actions), and was punished accordingly. She could have pulled a Perry and attempted to use her position to get out of the DUI charge, but instead she had enough integrity to accept responsility for her actions.

    See, when we elect a district attorney, we trust them to do one thing: prosecute crimes. So long as they prosecute crimes, and do that properly and well, they’re doing what we asked them to. They are doing the bare minimum of what we expect from them- correctly using the powers of their office to perform the assigned duty. Driving drunk may reflect poorly on the DA’s character and mean they should not have been elected… but it doesn’t mean they have failed to do the actual job the public trusted them to do. We didn’t elect this DA to be sober, we elected them to prosecute cases.

    Seriously, she made a bad decision and followed it up by doing the right thing. What’s blowing my fucking mind is apparently we have shitheads on this board that are attempting to justify Rick “The Dick” Perry making a blatant attempt to shove a shill appointee into one of the few effective anti-corruption enforcement agencies in the state of Texas.

    Plus, if you actually read my arguments (which I doubt), you would have to notice that IT DOES NOT MATTER whether Lehmberg has lots of integrity or no integrity. Perry is not being charged with “thinking Lehmberg has no integrity.” He is being charged with misusing the power of his office and threatening to misuse taxpayer money, in order to coerce an elected official into acting in a certain way.

    It DOES NOT MATTER that you think Perry was justified in doing so because this particular elected official was dishonorable and inferior. It is not Perry’s place to hire or fire Lehmberg, and it is not his place to threaten to defund a law enforcement operation in an attempt to blackmail her into resigning against her will.

    Your appeals to “common sense” do not impress me. Give me a good reason why a moral failing, which incidentally has nothing to do with investigating corruption, should automatically disqualify a person from holding office. You assert without cause that this is the case. Please provide evidence that Lehmberg’s DUI has harmed the PIU’s integrity in any way. If you can’t do this without repeating some version of your “DUIs are rly bad guys” silliness, then maybe you should just go away.

    And here is the money quote

    And as for The Hammer, that’s true. He did get his conviction overturned by the Texas Supreme Court, an elected body that consists almost entirely of conservative Republicans. They didn’t think DeLay actually did all that stuff, and Texas doesn’t really have much in the way of campaign finance laws anyway. It makes no matter, though. He was still a cancerous growth on Congress’ asscheek, begging for a public fall from grace. And when he got convicted the first time around, we as a nation are better off for it. Ronnie Earle did humanity a favor when he realized that DeLay broke campaign finance laws, and he did us an even greater one when he got DeLay convicted. Whether or not “justice” was actually served against him isn’t so important. The fact that he no longer holds office though? That’s very important.

    All emphases added.

    It blows my mind there are people who actually think like this.

    If anyone wants to know the thinking behind the “Russians®™ Stole the 2016 Election” propaganda campaIgn, these quotes, two years before it started, demonstrate it.

    How did a single party accumulate such a revolting bunch of corrupt and villainous hacks? That’s the kind of question that usually leaps to my mind when I see films of Hitler’s evil mutants: where did these creatures come from? What produced them? How did they all end up in the same place at the same time? Was it just bad luck? Did we do something to create them?

    Pride and hubris, aggravated by a network broadcast and print media, having (deservedly or otherwise) obtained a reputation of impartiality, fairness, and objectivity, going into the tank for them.

  8. As it happens, Loudermilk is our congresscritter. When we took a couple of the older grandchildren to DC a few years ago, an intern from his office took us through what I’m sure were those same tunnels to the Capitol; we took pictures. Democrats use that same building (I think Pelosi’s office was a couple of doors down), so it’s not like it’s a secret Republican clubhouse that enables them to sneak in only their constituants, or that such tours are uncommon.

    We returned “after hours” to the office (sans intern) to recover the kids’ backpacks we had left, and there was only a nice lady still there straightening up a few things and waiting for us. She gave the kids snacks & we chatted for a bit about Georgia, the Capitol & etc., but It wasn’t until my wife asked if perhaps she were the one who arranged our tour that she mentioned she was Desiree Loudermilk, Barry’s wife. The conversation turned to issues, like ttravel, maintaining two separate housholds & juggling family concerns.

    These are not “Pelosi” type people. Barry wasn’t in the office that day, but it would’t be surprising at all that he might lead a tour himself, especially for a church group (He attended a church college during part of his education, and wrote a book about prayer and American history several years before he was first elected.) That the Kongressional Kangaroo Kommittee would try to imply nefarious reasons for this only highlights how invalid their verminous sideshow is.

  9. Why would asking for pardons over January 6 be suspicious? Are you saying that a reasonable person wouldn’t realize that the Democrats might seize on this event to prosecute their Republican enemies in Congress, perhaps with a rigged kangaroo court Commission? Wouldn’t a reasonable person suspect that the Democrats would try to use sympathetic federal judges to exclude Republicans from the ballots in elections? My senator made a fool of himself begging the Democrats for mercy and forgiveness the week afterward January 6. I hope the voters remember at election time.

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