Robert Hubbell’s newsletter this morning covered a few important and encouraging topics, for those of us who are feeling a bit overwhelmed by the right-wing drama of late, both in the House of Representatives and in the State of Florida! Here is just one of the topics he covered …
Democrats Fight Back!
7 March 2023
Democrats have been frustrated by the asymmetry between GOP disinformation and bad-faith political tactics on the one hand and Democratic messaging and political responses on the other. The feelings of unfairness are aggravated by the complicity of the news media, which defaults to a worldview in which all political disagreements are mere “squabbles,” a view that does not apply when one of the parties to the “squabble” seeks nothing less than the end of democracy. But with a few moments of reflection and a dollop of perspective, we can see that Democrats are doing a credible job of fighting back. The J6 hearings were a triumph, as was Joe Biden’s State of the Union address.
In this edition, I want to highlight two instances in which Democrats are pushing back hard—and not getting the publicity they deserve. You can help with that. But first, let’s look at two instances where Democrats are doing exactly what you want and expect.
Democrats offer devastating “prebuttal” to Jim Jordan’s “Weaponization” Committee.
Representative Jim Jordan promised to “blow the roof off the deep state” with hearings before his “Weaponization of Government” Subcommittee. For months, Jordan broadly hinted about devastating testimony from “dozens and dozens of whistleblowers.” But after the first depositions of those alleged whistleblowers, Jordan produced only three witnesses—all of whom have ties to Trump and are known for pushing deep-state conspiracy theories.
Jordan’s failure to deliver the goods is bad. See Axios, Jim Jordan scrambles amid assertions that “weaponization” probe is a dud. He overpromised and undelivered because he was unprepared. Not so for the Democratic staffers on the Weaponization Committee who delivered a jaw-dropping, gob-smacking “prebuttal” report on the testimony of Jordan’s faux whistleblowers. The report is devastating for Jordan and will make it difficult for him to recover his momentum in the hearings. Republican critics are already pleading with Jordan to “deliver the goods.” Jesse Waters said on Fox News, “Make me feel better, guys. Tell me this is going somewhere.”
The 315-page report by the Democratic staffers is here: GOP Witnesses: What Their Disclosures Indicate About the State of the Republican Investigations. While it is unreasonable to expect that you will read the 315 pages, the two-page “Executive Summary” lays out the substance of the report as follows (in part):
First, the three individuals we have met are not, in fact, “whistleblowers.” These individuals, who put forward a wide range of conspiracy theories, did not present actual evidence of any wrongdoing at the Department of Justice or the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Second, the transcribed interviews we have held thus far refute House Republican narrative about “bias” at the Department of Justice. We urge Chairman Jordan to schedule the public testimony of these individuals without delay. The American public should be able to judge for themselves whether these witnesses or their allegations are remotely credible.
Third, these interviews also reveal the active engagement and orchestration of disturbing outside influence on the witnesses and, potentially, the Republican members of the Select Subcommittee. A network of organizations, led by former Trump administration officials like Kash Patel and Russell Vought, appears to have identified these witnesses, provided them with financial compensation, and found them employment after they left the FBI. . . .
Fourth, . . . the witnesses. . . are tied together by the attacks of January 6, 2021. The [FBI “whistleblower”] witnesses whom we have met objected to the arrest of individuals suspected to have laid siege to the United States Capitol. Others of the “dozens and dozens,” we suspect, participated directly in the riot.
What follows in the next 313 pages is a systematic dismantling of the first three witnesses who were identified, compensated, and promised employment by Kash Patel—a bottom-feeder in Trumpworld. Here is an example of the Democratic staffers’ analysis of the credibility of one former FBI witness:
George Hill claimed, among other things, that the attack on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, was “a set up,” that it was “a larger #Democrat plan using their enforcement arm, the #FBI,” and that rioter Ashli Babbit was “murdered” by a Capitol Police officer. He also described the FBI as “the Brown Shirt enforcers of the @DNC,” an apparent reference to Nazi Storm Troopers. He has publicly stated that “there needs to take place a reeducation” and that Americans should embrace the risk of dying by terrorism rather than accept the domestic intelligence programs that keep them safe.
Humiliated, Jordan’s response is to claim that he needs a $15 million “reserve fund” to run his investigation with a $2 million annual retainer for staff. In other words, “he’s got nothing” and is scrambling to cover his asinine statement in which he promised “dozens and dozens of whistleblowers” who evidently do not exist.
We should not underestimate the ability of Republicans to cause mischief with bad-faith hearings. However, in the first round, the Democratic staffers dominated the narrative by producing a prodigious and compelling report. In the process, they made Jordan look like the fool he is. Tell a friend!