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?