Today is the final televised hearing of the January 6th committee. What happens next? Time will tell. I like to think the Department of Justice will act on the recommendations of the committee, as well as their own investigations, and that those who participated in attempting to overthrow our voices, our government, will pay a steep price. I’m not holding my breath, however. Robert Hubbell’s newsletter today echoes my own thoughts, only he says it much better than I could …
The Judgement of History
19 December 2022
On Monday, December 19, 2022, Americans will witness history in the making. A congressional committee will recommend that the DOJ pursue criminal proceedings against a former president for engaging in insurrection to stop the peaceful transfer of power. The recommendation will be based on an exhaustive, transparent, bipartisan investigation that unfolded in public. Republicans boycotted the committee after GOP leadership unsuccessfully attempted to appoint participants in the insurrection to the body investigating their crimes.
The criminal referrals should not be cause for celebration or feelings of vindication. Rather, they should be a cause for hope and increased resolve that our experiment in democracy will endure despite the actions of faithless servants and aspiring tyrants. The United States of America is bigger than Trump and his skulk of cowards. It will outlast them, hold them to account, and subject them to the judgment of history.
The criminal referrals and findings of the January 6th Committee are critical steps in setting the record straight for future generations. The names of the insurrectionists will be memorized by schoolchildren learning about dark passages in our nation’s history: Benedict Arnold, Aaron Burr, Jefferson Davis, Donald Trump, Jim Jordan, Josh Hawley, Ted Cruz, . . . .
Sadly, the insurrection continues to this day as the GOP seeks to shield members of its party who remain in Congress after they betrayed the Constitution. No Republican member of Congress agreed to appear before the Committee to provide crucial evidence in one of the most important investigations in our history. The recalcitrant members of Congress continue to violate their oaths every minute they obfuscate, impede, and distort the work of the Committee. They deserve to be expelled from Congress. Indeed, the Committee may recommend discipline or criminal referrals for members who failed to comply with lawful subpoenas issued by the Committee, The Week, Schiff says Jan. 6 committee deciding ‘appropriate remedy’ for uncooperative GOP lawmakers.
In a depraved act of supreme disrespect and partisanship, a “shadow” committee of Republicans will issue a “counter-report” to the official report of the January 6th Committee. That report will seek to lay blame for security lapses at the Capitol for the insurrection. See Axios, Scoop: GOP shadow committee re-emerges for Jan. 6 report. The response by law enforcement and intelligence agencies is a legitimate area of investigation—and will be covered in the January 6th Committee’s report. But the point of the “shadow committee’s” separate report is to confuse and dilute media coverage of the findings in the J6 Report. Sadly, many members of the media will give “equal time” to a “PR stunt” by insurrectionists and the serious and sober effort by the J6 Committee to understand the root cause of the insurrection.
Trump is acting like a wounded and cornered animal. He is lashing out on his vanity media platform, resorting to the language of incitement that ignited the insurrection. See HuffPo, Donald Trump Evokes Jan. 6 Insurrection, Tells Backers It’s Time To ‘Deal With’ FBI, DOJ “Thugs”. It is doubtful that any other president in American history will ever be credibly accused of insurrection by a congressional committee. Trump is entering a league of one.
The political backlash against the Committee and its members will be savage. Kevin McCarthy has vowed to remove Adam Schiff from the House Intelligence Committee in retribution. Republican leaders of all stripes will lie, distort, and deflect. The tired refrain of “What about Hillary’s emails?” pales in comparison to charges of insurrection, obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, and conspiracy to defraud the United States (i.e., the fake electors scheme).
For those who care about defending democracy, the vote of the Committee on December 19, 2022, will be momentous. To the extent you can, ignore the noise and focus on the rare achievement that is the sign of a functioning democracy—an effort to hold a former leader to account for his crimes in office. Whatever happens, the judgment of the January 6th Committee will be inscribed in stone as the official history of the unsuccessful insurrection that culminated in the events of January 6th, 2021.