Analysis: Pressure on January 6 panel ratchets up amid new explosion of Trump election lies

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“We’re not messing around,” Representative Adam Schiff of California, a Democratic member of the committee, told Granthshala’s Ryan Nobles on Tuesday, emphasizing that the Justice Department should make a significant choice on criminal referrals. will be kept in Against Trump allies because “unlike the previous administration, no one is above the law. And so we intend to move quickly.”

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“You’ll see the committee moving fast,” another Democratic member of the committee, Virginia Representative Ellen Luria, told Granthshala’s “Erin Burnett Outfront” on Tuesday.

And the Republican vice president of the committee, Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, told Granthshala that the panel is “in total solidarity” moving swiftly to pursue criminal contempt charges for those who are subpoenaed. avoid the deadline.


“Everyone on the committee recognizes how important it is for us to make sure that we enforce our summons and that we do it expeditiously,” Cheney said.

The feeling that time is limited is reflected in the fact that the committee – the final expression of a formal accounting process that pro-Trump Republicans tried to strangle – was determined to provide an official historical record and find out the truth about Jan. It’s the last chance. Before the Americans next vote in the national election next year.

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Leaders of the Democrat-heavy panel had previously promised to complete the investigation early next spring, before the midterm campaign would consume Washington.

First, the committee faces several crucial deadlines this week, including a list of Trump aides who have already served with subpoenas, as it seeks to find out what the former president will do on Jan. were saying and doing and their attempt to steal President Joe Biden’s election victory in the days leading up to.

Trump’s former political guru Steve Bannon is due to provide a statement and documents by Thursday, but has said he will not cooperate, arguing he is bound by “executive privileges related to President Trump.” This claim is potentially dubious because Bannon was not a White House official in January and does not fall under traditional interpretations of executive privilege – a concept meant to secure the secrecy of official advice to the president.

A statement from another Trump aide, Kash Patel, a former Pentagon official, is scheduled for Thursday. Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows is to be ousted on Friday. Both men have been told by committee chair Benny Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, and Cheney to be “charming” with the committee.

Meadows, however, sought to politicize the investigation, telling Laura Ingraham on Fox News on Monday that attempts by Democrats to “talk about something other than the economy” were the worst attack on American democracy in generations. was represented.

A fourth Trump official, former White House deputy chief of staff Dan Scavino, also has a deadline Friday for a statement.

Another group, made up of lesser-known Trump aides and activists – including some holding a rally in Washington that turned into a festival of Trump provocation – faced a Wednesday deadline. Many are unlikely to comply.

Biden Justice Department on the spot

Democrats now have few advantages compared to stalling their efforts to coerce testimony from Trump officials during the previous administration.

For one, House Democrats investigating Trump and his administration have been impeached twice. They are familiar with the distraction of his political attacks, the tactics of legal deterrence, and the smoke and mirrors emanating from his inner circle.

They also now have the Department of Justice which is no longer under the 45th President.

For example, it took two years and a protracted legal battle to force former White House counsel Don McGann to testify to the House Judiciary Committee about events recorded in the report of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller in Russian election interference. His appearance, this June, confirmed late in the day that Trump had asked him to sack Mueller, but that came long after the information had lost political significance.

Now that Democrats control the administration, the Select Committee has a reasonable expectation of action if it decides to hold witnesses who refuse subpoenas in criminal contempt of Congress and send them to a full House. After the vote refer to the Justice Department.

It will test the willingness of the department under Attorney General Merrick Garland — which has been criticized by some Democrats for not adequately pursuing Trump officials — to take enforcement action.

Schiff said on Tuesday, “If people do not provide the documents they have been coerced into, we intend to commit criminal contempt and refer them to the Justice Department and we hope that this will be prosecuted.”

“The former president … still pushing the big lie. The same big lie that caused people to attack this building and beat up police officers and put our lives at risk. So yes, we do feel a sense of urgency. Huh.”

A Comment That Symbolizes Trump’s GOP Appeasement

A criminal referral can focus the minds of witnesses. But that doesn’t rule out possible attempts to fight the issue in court.

Trump could also test arguments about executive privilege, meaning a familiar cycle of delays, judgments and appeals could still unfold and eat away at the committee’s precious time. Bannon and Trump may also welcome the headlines of a court battle to highlight their claims that once again the former president is being unfairly pursued by an elite establishment, a message that resonated with his supporters. Is.

It is unclear whether the committee will seek testimony from members of Congress affiliated with the former president, including even House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican who spoke to Trump by phone on Jan. Because the rebellion had come to the fore.

But the spirit of a ticking clock is intensifying by expanding the GOP’s efforts to quell the outrage of the worst attack in 200 years on the seat of American democracy.

Last week, for example, Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa portrayed Trump as the victim of a Democratic-led Senate committee that revealed new details about what is now as a coup attempt by the former president. can be described. Then Grassley gleefully acknowledged his support for Trump’s re-election at a lie-filled rally in the Hawkeye State on Saturday.

Grassley is far from the first Republican to try to whitewash the Capitol rebellion. For example, the House GOP is now largely a part of Trump’s autocratic political aspirations.

On “Fox News Sunday” this week, Representative Steve Scalis of Louisiana, the House Republican minority whip, declined to say that Biden had legitimately won an election with no evidence of widespread fraud. McCarthy, blasted by Schiff as the leader of a group of “rebels in suits and ties” on Granthshala Tuesday, did everything he could to thwart any congressional investigation.

But Grassley’s rally appearance, in which he said he would not be “too smart” if he declined to endorse Trump, as the former president enjoys the support of 91% of Iowa Republicans, was the most convincing example yet. That’s how the GOP — even in the person of a long-respected senator on judicial issues — is suppressing the truth about Jan. 6 in order to maximize its chances of power in 2022.

Grassley’s remarks also embody the overall attitude of the GOP, a party that once claimed to have triumphed over Soviet totalitarianism, toward Trump. Any of his abuses of power—not even trying to overthrow an American democracy that had prevailed for nearly 250 years—qualifies as reason enough to walk away from his reflected political pride.

Cheney, one of two Republican members of the House Select Committee, rebuked Skellis as put it in a tweet: “Upholding the Big Lie is an attack on the very core of our Constitutional Republic.”

There is little hope that even a detailed report on the rebellion will change the minds of millions of Republicans who are convinced that the last election was stolen from Trump and conservative media propaganda networks.

But there will at least be an accurate, institutional version of the truth, one that will give voters, confronted with the ongoing GOP whitewash strategy in the next election, a chance to find out what really happened.

Granthshala’s Annie Grier contributed to this report.


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