Hearings on 1/6 Capitol Attack Begin
June 9, 2022 6:56 AM   Subscribe

"Starting Thursday, lawmakers will begin to lay out findings from their nearly yearlong investigation into the 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol." A short primer, with links to live coverage, from PBS's NewsHour.

* The Aftermath (podcast): "The Aftermath, which we launch today, is not about the Jan. 6 insurrection itself but about the year-long effort since the attack to deliver accountability for it."

* Capitol Hill Siege: "a central database of court records related to the events of January 6, 2021" from GWU's Program on Extremism. See also: Insurrection Index.

* "The January 6 Project considers the legal and policy challenges arising out of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, when thousands of President Trump’s supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol during the congressional certification of then-President-Elect Biden’s electoral victory." (Lawfare)

* Uncivil Religion: "Religious symbols, rituals, identities, banners, signs, and sounds suffused the events surrounding the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. This project begins to trace the thread of religion that wound throughout that day through pieces of digital media."

*The January 6th Committee (official)
posted by MonkeyToes (457 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
 


I highly recommend the Will Be Wild podcast. From the team that made Trump, Inc. It’s a very good macro and micro dive into the events leading up to and after January 6th.
posted by glaucon at 7:51 AM on June 9 [6 favorites]


Airing live on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, C-SPAN, and Fox Business. Not really surprisingly, it won't be covered live on Fox News or its two even shittier competitors.
posted by box at 8:01 AM on June 9 [7 favorites]


I have a sense of foreboding about this. I can't believe anyone's opinion of the insurrection is going to change based on more information, but the people who think the insurrection was fine and dandy are going to have a treasure trove of material they can cut into out-of-context soundbites.
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 8:14 AM on June 9 [20 favorites]


Airing live on...

In addition to OTA/Cable, it appears it will be live on youtube.com/MeidasTouch
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 8:17 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


I think it is important that this happen, I just wish I felt that it was going to make any kind of difference. There will be no accountability.
posted by nubs at 8:18 AM on June 9 [39 favorites]


am pleasantly surprised at ABC, CBS, NBC.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:23 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


ONCE UPON A TIME IN WASHINTON DC
THE CRUMBLING DYNASTY
A crime family is brought to its knees

Starring Sean Penn as Donald Trump
Paula Poundstone is Melania
Sasha Cohen is Steve Bannon
Dustin Hoffman is Tucker Carlson
Lindsay Lohan is Ivanka
Brad Pitt is Don Junior
Tom Cruise is Jared
PeeWee Herman is Mitch McConnell
Everyone else in the seditious wings
of Conress plays themselves.

Sigourney Weaver is Rachel Maddow
Directed by Quentin Taratino
Filmed exclusively at Maralago and Vancouver.
On Demand NOW at STARS.
posted by mule98J at 8:39 AM on June 9 [20 favorites]


Dan Froomkin is clear on how the press should over this:
Journalists should seize this opportunity to sound the alarm, over and over again. Sure, they’ve missed so many earlier opportunities, but now is the time to overcome the corporate newsroom’s reverence for unflappability.

They should stop feeling obliged to attribute basic facts to “Democrats” or “some legal experts”. They need to understand that doing so actually cast doubt on facts that have been proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

That means, among other things, calling evidence of a criminal conspiracy what it is, not putting “criminal conspiracy” in quotes or at arms’ length.

[ . . . ]

And if and when the case becomes even more overwhelming, reporters should then be asking: What possible reason other than politics isn’t DOJ going ahead with indictments?
He is making an argument, not a prediction. His prediction on what they will do is a bit depressing.
posted by mark k at 9:06 AM on June 9 [27 favorites]


Can someone nutshell the consequences arising from this? Unless the DoJ gets involved, I suspect it will be a lot of yelling without any real consequences, other than someone not getting re-elected, which would be a pity.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 9:20 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


Mule98J, my frank and brutal assessment is that casting director is not a good career choice for you. But tastes differ, so c'est la vie.

On point: fingers crossed, tentacles knotted, here's hoping for a blue tsunami resulting from all this come November.
posted by y2karl at 9:40 AM on June 9 [8 favorites]


I'll settle for a blue trickle. The gun control push will lose Democrats as many votes as Roe v Wade gains them and this will all be forgotten in four months.
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 9:58 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


I suspect it will be a lot of yelling without any real consequences

But this is how Congressional hearings work: you submit to subpoenas, and take your fifteen minutes of fame shame, where elected officials yell at you in the guise of questions. In an ideal world, afterwards they'd use what they learned to write new legislation but these days they write the legislation they want first, then go find the facts that support it. But you walk away safe knowing they're too gridlocked to do anything about it no matter how dumb you looked on CSPAN, and that the DoJ doesn't need congressional referrals to prosecute so likely would have by now.
posted by pwnguin at 9:59 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Tom Cruise is Jared
Oh come on, Vincent Kartheiser is RIGHT THERE
posted by pxe2000 at 10:11 AM on June 9 [25 favorites]


I dunno, I found Paul Ruebens as Mitch McConnell to be *inspired* casting.
posted by Jarcat at 10:18 AM on June 9 [23 favorites]




the year-long effort since the attack to deliver accountability for it

For comparison, there was an organized attack on the Capitol in 1954. That event happened on March 1. The accused went to trial starting June 4 of the same year, and were sentenced on June 16.
posted by gimonca at 10:43 AM on June 9 [22 favorites]


That event happened on March 1. The accused went to trial starting June 4 of the same year, and were sentenced on June 16.

Yes, but, the fascists hadn't yet regrouped (after being defeated in WWII) and taken-over a major US political party.
posted by Thorzdad at 10:49 AM on June 9 [6 favorites]


It's easy to expedite the process to make 4 Puerto Ricans who attacked the seat of our democracy. What do you do when it's 4000 people?

I think Merrick Garland isn't perfect (see him continuing to defend Trump against the E Jean Carroll lawsuit), but in this regard he's doing what he can with what he has. I hope that this gets some of the more capable coup plotters under wraps, while Letitia James and/or the Fulton County DA nail Donald's ass to the wall.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 10:50 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


I am not sure what this is going to accomplish. The Democrats has proven themselves so anemic on every issue that I can't imagine this having any particular effect.

Surely the criminal activity of the people who did the actual trespassing is self evident and doesn't need an investigation by congress. And the people who instigated that action, Congress has had ample opportunity to charge with other crimes.

And the fact that it is happening more than a year and half after the event, in what seems to be a carefully choreographed bit of political theater, makes me think it doesn't actually matter. It is the action of a congress that Must Be Seen To Do Something About This. If something important was going to happen it would have happened long ago.

Happy to be proven wrong but that is my almost entirely vibes based take.
posted by JDHarper at 10:53 AM on June 9 [25 favorites]


Last comment then I'll quit threadsitting - I think it matters a great deal - the Jan 6th committee investigation is the current only public record we have about the conspiracy elements linking Lord Commander Marmalade to his frothing goons that stormed the Capitol building. Having a documentary evidence of the truth (as much as can be presented without interfering with the DoJ investigation) is going to be important coming into the midterms to show that the coup is still ongoing. From the interviews I've heard with Raskin, Schiff, et all, their focus is both "This is how close we came to losing it" and "the forces that almost lost us our democracy are not gone, just regrouping and shifting tactics."

It's easy to be cynical about the impact, but cynicism plays into the Republican hands by disempowering you. Endless optimism is stupid, I agree, but as AG from the Daily Beans podcast said, these hearings aren't for us - they're for the people who knew it happened but didn't know that Roger Stone had a personal bodyguard detail from militia members or the hundred of other details that point to a bigger conspiracy. Those people, hopefully, will have their eyes opened a little bit.

As far as its impact on the midterms, this is secondary to organizing and getting out the vote in my opinion, but it's still important as a record of the truth.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 11:01 AM on June 9 [60 favorites]


I suspect that this event is a calculation by the Dems to have this issue front and center as the election cycle ramps up. It's necessary, yes, and we could all wish that it would have substantive consequences, but we might just have to settle for it being theater for an audience that needs to be motivated to show up to the polls in november.
posted by OHenryPacey at 11:11 AM on June 9 [5 favorites]


I dunno, I found Paul Ruebens as Mitch McConnell to be *inspired* casting.

In a pig's eye! Only if *inspired* equals no vital signs, pronounced dead at 10:18 AM PDT
posted by y2karl at 11:21 AM on June 9


I am not sure what this is going to accomplish. The Democrats has proven themselves so anemic on every issue that I can't imagine this having any particular effect.

This is mostly how I feel too -- today's revelations will be interesting and likely damning for everyone remotely adjacent to the attack, but call me back when they actually take action on these findings. The arrests and convictions so far feel like they're just to placate the masses, not actually cause change or prevent it from happening again. At this point all they've established is a list of who gets pardons when the Trumpists grab power again.
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:45 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


Since everybody's speculating on the likely effects of the hearings, I'll add this: a prosecution can only be successful if the public feels it's legitimate. There's a lot of evidence that the DOJ has been deliberately letting the J6 committee take the public lead, and obviously they have material with which to indict, if they want. I think they (meaning Garland, essentially) need, or feel they need, political cover, while simultaneously needing to keep any prosecution nonpartisan. This is our best shot at getting that legitimacy.

I will say that if DOJ doesn't move publicly toward accountability at the highest levels either during the hearings or just after, then I'll agree with the more dour analyses posted above. But it's not too late to be hopeful, I don't think.

I will also say, emphatically, that anybody who treats this as some sort of electoral ploy (midterms coming, etc.) is preemptively adopting the framing of the insurrectionists, because their only play is to claim partisan persecution. Of course there are (and should be) electoral implications, but please don't forget that this is about a literal coup attempt, which transcends partisanship. Talking about the hearings as though they're only designed to win a few midterm seats is denying the DOJ the public legitimacy it needs.
posted by dbx at 12:07 PM on June 9 [64 favorites]


"Be not intimidated... nor suffer yourselves to be wheedled out of your liberties by any pretense of politeness, delicacy, or decency. These, as they are often used, are but three different names for hypocrisy, chicanery and cowardice."

-John Adams
posted by clavdivs at 12:29 PM on June 9 [28 favorites]


In related news:

• [Henry “Enrique” Tarrio] Leader of Proud Boys and Four Other Members Indicted in Federal Court For Seditious Conspiracy and Other Offenses Related to U.S. Capitol Breach — New Charges in Superseding Indictment, U.S. Dept. of Justice, June 6, 2022. Details in the press release.

FBI arrests Ryan Kelley, Michigan gubernatorial candidate, on charges stemming from Jan. 6; Paul Egan, Arpan Lobo, Audra Gamble, Dave Boucher; Detroit Free Press, June 8, 2022. More in the article.
posted by cenoxo at 12:38 PM on June 9 [11 favorites]


Good luck to democrat stabs and pundits who will probably have fun eating everyone’s performance but I don’t see why anyone else would be in the slightest bit interested in this when consequences are so utterly and completely off the table. Points for at least getting *something* in before the midterms wipe everything away I guess.
posted by Artw at 12:46 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


(Ryan Kelley led a recent poll after five candidates in the Republican primary were bounced from the ballot for petition signature irregularities, and voters at the time already knew he'd been in Washington on January 6. I worry about this less knowing that Dem Gov. Gretchen Whitmer seems to have a double-digit polling lead over the other R candidates.)
posted by box at 12:52 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


I found Paul Ruebens as Mitch McConnell to be *inspired* casting.

Only if they re-use the Pale Man makeup from Pan's Labyrinth.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:58 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


WATCH LIVE ON JUNE 09 | 7:45PM ET | C-SPAN
January 6 Hearings
First Open Testimony Before January 6 Committee
After months of closed door investigations, the House January 6 Committee holds its first hearing with public testimony about what transpired-and why-during the assault on the U.S. Capitol.
posted by cenoxo at 1:06 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


How are they going to keep republican committee members from interrupting, talking over, and generally being disruptive assholes? Those sorts of antics play well with their base, and midterms are coming.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:07 PM on June 9


There are only 2 Republican members on the committee - Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, both of whom have been actively participating in the committee's efforts to get to the bottom of it and have made clear in their public appearances they view the work of the committee as nonpartisan. It will not be a shitshow because of them.
posted by thebotanyofsouls at 1:10 PM on June 9 [24 favorites]


The most that will happen from these hearings is that DOJ will, probably, wait for it ..... open an investigation into Jan 6th. Then we'll sit in silence well past the midterms, because as we all know, only Jim Comey can speak before an election.

I was especially dismayed by yesterday's NYT headline: Jan. 6 Hearings Give Democrats a Chance to Recast Midterm Message.

From the article, you would gather that only the Dems are actually running or holding hearings. Just another partisan squabble:
House Democrats plan to use a landmark set of investigative hearings beginning this week to try to refocus voters’ attention on Jan. 6, aiming to tie Republicans directly to an unprecedented plot to undermine democracy itself.

With their control of Congress hanging in the balance, Democrats plan to use made-for-television moments and a carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings to remind the public of the magnitude of Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it.

It is an uphill battle at a time when polls show that voters’ attention is focused elsewhere, including on inflation, rising coronavirus cases and record-high gas prices. But Democrats argue the hearings will give them a platform for making a broader case about why they deserve to stay in power.
you might not even realize that the hearings aren't actually run by the Democrats. And that there's more at stake than whether Dems do well with voters.
posted by Dashy at 1:20 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]


Speaking of a shitshow, Trump says January 6 'represented the greatest movement in the history of our Country' ahead of the House committee's first public hearing, Brent D. Griffiths, Insider, Jun 9, 2022:
Ahead of the first public House hearings on the insurrection, former President Donald Trump on Thursday defended his "Save America" rally on January 6, 2021, which morphed into the Capitol riot, calling it "the greatest movement in the history of our Country."

"The Un select Committee didn't spend one minute studying the reason that people went to Washington, D.C., in massive numbers, far greater than the Fake News Media is willing to report, or that the Unselects are willing to even mention, because January 6th was not simply a protest, it represented the greatest movement in the history of our Country to Make America Great Again," Trump wrote on his Truth social platform, repeating his favored line of attacking the bipartisan select committee as the "unselect" panel….
(Insert the word that begins with ‘b’ and rhymes with ‘vowel’ between ‘greatest movement’, and I’d completely agree with the Donald.)
posted by cenoxo at 1:42 PM on June 9


Okay, I withdraw my application for Casting Director. If called, I won't serve. If hired, I'll take the money and run.

We are in uncharted waters. I fear for the republic. But, even putting politics aside, these are dark times. The glimmer of light on the horizon is more likely to be a wildfire than a sunrise. We hear not distant thunder but gunfire.

The Mueller Report is our template. Our government successfully nestled itself behind a wall of non-accountability, making rules that neither political party needs follow. An unfettered SCOTUS is free to change the meanings of English words to suit the purpose of the majority of its members. The DOJ serves not only at the pleasure of the President but the whims of the party. Our system doesn't thrive on rational discourse, it abhors it in favor of issuing neeners to its favorite biased media outlets. Inspired rhetoric is replaced with flatulent tweets.

I definitely will watch C-Span today. I expect the coming days to be a movie with a plot that exceeds my cynical attempt to satirize. The J6 investigators will drag platoons of bad actors out of the MAGA clown car. Many lower Minions may face criminal indictment in the future, assuming our Liberal servants still wield power after the midterms. None of the movers and shakers and dupes and hangers-on in our government need fear. Time is on their side.

On second thought, I may recast that movie after all. How about Robert DeNiro as Steve Bannon, and Tom Hanks as Jamie Raskin?
posted by mule98J at 1:57 PM on June 9 [6 favorites]


How are they going to keep republican committee members from interrupting, talking over, and generally being disruptive assholes?

Democrats initially pushed a 9/11-style Capitol riot commission but the Republicans wouldn't agree to it. Kevin McCarthy named Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Jim Banks (R-Ind.), and three other Republicans to the committee. Nancy Pelosi rejected Banks and Jordan because they were in on it, so McCarthy pulled all of the Republicans so they could claim it was a partisan witch hunt. Pelosi named Lynn Cheney to the committee on July 1, 2021, and appointed Adam Kinzinger on July 25.

The RNC voted to condemn Cheney and Kinzinger for serving on committee in February.

‘Trump will lose his mind’: The 6 Jan hearings vow to ‘change history’. Here’s what to expect
Kurt Bardella, a former adviser to ex-GOP House Oversight Committee chairman Darrell Issa, and who now advises the Democratic National Committee and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told The Independent that Mr McCarthy’s decision to withdraw all his picks in a fit of pique was a “massive strategic error” that has left the former president without anyone to defend or run interference for him.

He also predicted the former president would “lose his mind” when he watches the select committee’s hearings and realises no one is there to interject with talking points representing his side of the argument.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:11 PM on June 9 [15 favorites]


An unfettered SCOTUS is free to change the meanings of English words to suit the purpose of the majority of its members.

SCOTUS' word-twisting is one of the big reasons why I, an English major, fucking hate (most) lawyers.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:14 PM on June 9 [7 favorites]


Jared Harris as Mike Pence.
Amy Schumer as Lynne Cheney.
posted by clavdivs at 2:19 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


SCOTUS' word-twisting is one of the big reasons why I, an English major, fucking hate (most) lawyers.

It's weird how much power we cede to people who, at best, consider themselves really good history majors.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:24 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


I think some of y'all are confusing Jan. 6 committee member Liz Cheney with her mother, Lynne Cheney.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 2:28 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


Protip: Liz Cheney is the one who, in 2013, opposed gay marriage despite having a sister who's married to a woman (Liz Cheney later apologized for that. Later, as in last year.)

Lynne Cheney is the one who, in 1981, published a lesbian romance Western novel. (She would later tell Terry Gross the relationship was a 'historical mystery.')
posted by box at 2:49 PM on June 9 [12 favorites]


Lon Chaney was known for his starring roles in such silent horror films as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) and The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
posted by paper chromatographologist at 3:00 PM on June 9 [49 favorites]


While Lon Chaney Jr. is widely recognized as having walked with the Queen, doin' the werewolves of London.
posted by ensign_ricky at 3:20 PM on June 9 [38 favorites]


I think some of y'all are confusing Jan. 6 committee member Liz Cheney with her mother, Lynne Cheney.

That was my fault and I regret the error. But not the ensuing jocularity.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:10 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


I'm in my mid-thirties and don't remember prime time Congressional hearings at any point in my life. Were the 9/11 Commission hearings aired? What historical precedents are there for this? (Watergate?)
posted by mostly vowels at 5:11 PM on June 9


Early 40’s here, with vivid recollections of Oliver North and the Iran/Contra hearings disrupting my afternoon cartoons for what felt like months.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:13 PM on June 9 [19 favorites]


Mod note: a few deleted. Let’s please keep things on topic and hold off on derailing things.
posted by travelingthyme (staff) at 5:18 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


Well, Representative Bennie Thompson cut right to the heart of the matter mincing no words.
posted by y2karl at 5:18 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


They just mentioned Dominion voting machines.... Didn't Dominion sue over that? What was the outcome? I never heard.

(Also, this is already quite damning stuff and we're not even 30 minutes in....)
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 5:26 PM on June 9


This is already the most compelling hearing I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen a lot of them over the years.
posted by all about eevee at 5:28 PM on June 9 [11 favorites]


Ooh, Lynne Cheney dropped the Ivanka bomb. I hope Dad is glued to the tube. Second all about eveee.
posted by y2karl at 5:29 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Et tu, Ivanka?
posted by all about eevee at 5:31 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Cheney seemed to have a little bit of a smirk when she said McCarthy was "quote, 'scared'"
posted by miguelcervantes at 5:42 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


Jared was focused on getting pardons done? Hahahahaha what.
posted by all about eevee at 5:48 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Kushner dropped. On Kushner.
posted by y2karl at 5:49 PM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Watching the footage never stops being terrible.
posted by meese at 5:52 PM on June 9 [11 favorites]


Just Jared implying none of this is interesting to him because he was so focused on the pardons.
posted by all about eevee at 5:53 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


Jared was focused on getting pardons done?

I misheard that line as him being focused on apartments and wasn’t at all surprised.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:54 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


I don't see how the opening, up to the first recess just now, could have been better done. Let's hope they continue as well.
posted by bcd at 6:04 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


We knew it was bad, really bad, but watching that footage… holy shit.
posted by azpenguin at 6:06 PM on June 9 [12 favorites]


Also, it will never stop being funny to me that so many of the terrorists (including one of my own cousins) made so many videos of themselves committing all these crimes.
posted by all about eevee at 6:09 PM on June 9 [21 favorites]


is post-recess the part when they let the crazies have the mic?

guess i'm just used to hearing "bOtH siDeS", except the right wing is living on a different planet
posted by slater at 6:12 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


That video before the end of the first recess was intense. Putting multiple POV (incl. the bodycams where the cops are getting overwhelmed). Glad for a small break.

a box... I didn't hear the word pardon either, so had no idea what Kushner was going on about.

Liz Cheney already knew her political career was over when she stayed on this commission (and I think she voted for impeachment over this?). While I (and probably almost all of us in this thread) are absolutely opposed to her political views and her family's historical perspective, I admire her being one of the very few Republicans in Congress who were willing to put the Republic before a person.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 6:12 PM on June 9 [30 favorites]


Mr. Quested does not want to be there and is testifying under subpoena. Should be interesting.
posted by all about eevee at 6:16 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


I am not sure what this is going to accomplish.

Even if it has no effect on elections this sort of transparency is important for democracies.

20 years from now high school students will be able to reference the facts presented as a counter argument to whatever truthiness the GOP et. al. puts out.

If nothing else this will be primary source material for books, tv shows and movies for decades to come.
posted by Mitheral at 6:55 PM on June 9 [27 favorites]


That video was chilling.
posted by interogative mood at 7:03 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


If nothing else this will be primary source material for books, tv shows and movies for decades to come.

Only if it succeeds.
posted by swift at 7:07 PM on June 9 [16 favorites]


Mr. Quested does not want to be there and is testifying under subpoena. Should be interesting.

I think that's largely just a journalistic thing. Always protect your sources, be the fourth pillar in American Democracy, etc.

I've done low level journalism a billion years ago and that's kind of drilled in. What I am more surprised by is that he did not consult any notes while responding. With libel/slander laws, documenting what was actually said/done is de rigeur.

That goes in to a segue of sorts.

1. Quested almost certainly knew what questions were going to be asked.

2. I am deeply, deeply concerned that the MAGA crowd is just going to see this as an entirely scripted event. You have Cheney and Kinzinger, but aren't they just considered RINO by now?

2a. More to the point, this is not coming across as a hearing per se, but as a kind of guiding the narrative going forward. It's certainly a narrative I think almost all of us, if not all, in this thread believe. But, it's not coming across like Supreme Court noms, Iran/Contra, impeachment hearings, 9/11, etc.

I will not be surprised if MAGAs came out and say "commission was clearly biased!" and I will be even less surprised if others just buy that outright.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:11 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


I am deeply, deeply concerned that the MAGA crowd is just going to see this as an entirely scripted event.

They were going to think that or play it off as that anyway. Do NOT let those people dictate the terms. Do NOT worry about what they think.
posted by azpenguin at 7:20 PM on June 9 [65 favorites]


... this is not coming across as a hearing per se, but as a kind of guiding the narrative going forward.

I could not agree more. It's not a hearing, it's an exhibition of results of an investigation. Having watched the first day, I think the approach they're taking is a huge mistake. It's really not transparency. Transparency would be making all of the various interviews that they conducted -- from which they sampled video clips -- public. That would have been holding hearings. This is like ... I don't know ... performance art? It feels fake, and that's the last thing we need right now, given that the narrative they're setting out is true and the stakes are unimaginably large.

I've been struggling recently with overwhelming depression, pessimism, hopelessness about the future. I'm feeling worse today, not better.
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 7:22 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


I'm in my mid-thirties and don't remember prime time Congressional hearings at any point in my life. Were the 9/11 Commission hearings aired? What historical precedents are there for this? (Watergate?)


I watched John Dean face Mr Eyebrows himself, Senator Irvin. I thought that was the katz pajamas but this is a whole other universe. I'm following Gaslit. Ah, history. It just gets better and better.

Meanwhile, this evening was enlightening only in some of the finer details. I just heard Schiff mumbling about how he had lots of other stuff, but he can't talk about it, and as far as other lawmakers are concerned mumble mumble we'll share more mumble mumble mumble not prepared to make that kind of disclosure mumble mumble.

And Kudos to that police officer. Really--she stepped up. It's hard to imagine what went through her mind when she could step back and get a grip on what she and her fellow officers faced. They had to know they were about to get overrun.
posted by mule98J at 7:22 PM on June 9 [6 favorites]


If nothing else this will be primary source material for books, tv shows and movies for decades to come.

Only if it succeeds.


I'd like to enjoy what I saw for a couple of minutes

Please give it a couple of hours before the piling on and neighsaying begins. It's energy-sucking, demoralizing, and tiring...
posted by goalyeehah at 7:24 PM on June 9 [41 favorites]


I disagree. I think they did a great job presenting evidence in a clear way for the American people.
posted by all about eevee at 7:25 PM on June 9 [22 favorites]


> I will not be surprised if MAGAs came out and say "commission was clearly biased!"

um. the MAGA crowd has been saying that from the beginning of the investigation. there is absolutely nothing any of these people could say or do that will move the cult against the cult-leader. not that he ever would, but Trump himself could get up and profess his guilt and the cult would dismiss that as a both a deepfake, and evidence of insidious liberal conspiracy bringing down a great man, with zero cognitive dissonance about these two assertions.
posted by glonous keming at 7:25 PM on June 9 [29 favorites]


Watching the violence again actually feels worse this time around. The first time, I thought the spell was broken, no-one could watch this and still support Trump. It was so indefensible, so brazen, no respectable person could stand by Trump as if any of this was OK. Violence in the Capitol, they crossed the fucking line and were finally exposed for the fascists they are.

Then they fired up the propaganda machine. They brainwashed a third of the population. 50 senators in a cult. Un-fucking-believable. It's a god damn cult. Millions of MAGAs look at this, what I'm watching, they only regret it didn't work. They dream about round 2.

On Jan 6 I had hope that was the last day America's sickness would escape scrutiny - no one could ignore this. Today I know better, and it's not a great feeling.

Kushner, besties with the bonesaw murderer, remarked that he thought all the threats of resignations were typical 'whining'. Cheney repeated for emphasis - 'whining'. Thanks, I have a few bottles and you've given me an idea on how to spend my evening.
posted by adept256 at 7:30 PM on June 9 [18 favorites]


Also, it will never stop being funny to me that so many of the terrorists (including one of my own cousins) made so many videos of themselves committing all these crimes.

The most terrifying thing about the videos for me was that they didn't think they were committing crimes.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:32 PM on June 9 [10 favorites]


I am not sure what this is going to accomplish.

At minimum it's furthering the official and public documentation of a genuine coup attempt averted by a hair's breadth. At this point I'll take even the tiniest shim if it helps keep our democracy from toppling into the christo-fascist oligarchy that is the MAGA end goal.
posted by Dr. Christ at 7:34 PM on June 9 [11 favorites]


My cousin STILL doesn’t think he did anything wrong. He thinks he is a patriot.
posted by all about eevee at 7:34 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]


I'd like to enjoy what I saw for a couple of minutes

Please give it a couple of hours before the piling on and neighsaying begins. It's energy-sucking, demoralizing, and tiring...


Agreed, and I apologize for my place in that. I almost left the thread before the first hearing started. I probably take a break on this thread until sometime on Saturday at the earliest. Thanks for the good point.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 7:37 PM on June 9 [9 favorites]


And if it's a crime, they claim it's nothing compared to the cumulative damage of BLM/Antifa activity of 2020. At least, that's what the GOP congressman they're interviewing on ABC is maintaining, before he signs off declaring that ABC News will soon be no more.

I think if they're able to get damning enough testimony from a few darlings like Ivanka and AG Barr, it'll help their argument immensely. What I saw was reassuring and I'm curious to see what's coming. The thing that worries me is that even if this brings the former president down to the rank of nonviable, there are waves of others who are more ruthless and savvy to take his place.
posted by mochapickle at 7:40 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


Bennie Goodman committed to making transcripts of the depositions public on CNN.
posted by all about eevee at 7:42 PM on June 9 [7 favorites]


I think if they're able to get damning enough testimony from a few darlings like Ivanka and AG Barr, it'll help their argument immensely.

I have the feeling that there are a lot more arrows in a lot more quivers yet to be disclosed.
posted by y2karl at 7:47 PM on June 9 [11 favorites]



2. I am deeply, deeply concerned that the MAGA crowd is just going to see this as an entirely scripted event

lol it is. we are very lucky that the script is not bad. it is a well orchestrated presentation of the results of a real and lengthy investigation, intended for an audience of the general public.

do you think the kind of people who will dismiss it for being exactly what it is supposed to be are habitual watchers of congressional committee hearings, alive to any and all deviations from the usual? I do not think it is likely that they are. I think that people who do know how committee hearings tend to go and have listened to a lot of them are also the sort of people who will remember how this particular committee hearing came to be and what it is for, and will therefore be neither surprised nor upset by the way it is done.

one alternative to presenting it through individual witness statements, committee speeches, and dramatic video presentations might be to release many hundred pages of a written report on a government website, free for anyone to read. I am sure at least one person will read a full report for every thousand who catch ten minutes of tonight's television. any of those one persons will be much better informed than any of the thousands who caught the tv highlights. as a member of that noble and well-informed minority, I do not think you would be wise to count on us to turn the tide of the nation with our highlighted paragraphs and our summaries and our wells actually. tv has its uses.
posted by queenofbithynia at 7:47 PM on June 9 [34 favorites]


bennie thompson, i presume, all about eevee^*. so far nonesuch information available on the select committee's website (i keep checking).

watching late, i'm up to the opening statement of officer edwards. haven't really learned anything i didn't already believe to be so -- oh! except i hadn't known that rep. perry and several other republican congressmen sought presidential pardons in the following weeks, until rep. cheney said so -- but have now seen testimony confirming or supporting.

both thompson's and cheney's opening statements were pithy and potent. i am not terribly interested in what the magahats are saying to each other during this proceeding instead of watching it: expect it to be the same as they've said all along.

but i do hope that some among magahats did/will watch and maybe some of the more reasonable or grounded or humble or open or civically-oriented or whatever will be peeled off. a miracle would be peeling off a significant enough proportion that we, somehow, hear of them.

finally, enjoyed hearing thompson describe the oathkeepers as "a group of armed antigovernment extremists," which is nice to have on record, even if we already knew it.

* offered in the spirit of the cheney eponysteria above, benny goodman, of course, led a swing-band and played clarinet.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:39 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


I think they’re approaching this correctly. This is the best way they could have opened these hearings, and they seem to have learned from the first impeachment and Mueller report stumblings, in terms of their failure to break through the divide because of their length or unwillingness to stay within strict parameters.
posted by glaucon at 8:52 PM on June 9 [2 favorites]


I was at work for most of the hearing but I've been getting caught up....some of the reveals are scary as fuck, I'm angry and sad again, and I think the hero of the day is Barr, who used the word "bullshit" in his testimony, allowing the news networks to say it and put it on screen and that made me happy.

Can't wait to listen to 12 minutes of talk radio on my way to work tomorrow.
posted by vrakatar at 9:19 PM on June 9 [4 favorites]


What did the president know was bullshit, and when did he know it?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:30 PM on June 9 [6 favorites]


and I think the hero of the day is Barr, who used the word "bullshit" in his testimony, allowing the news networks to say it and put it on screen and that made me happy.
I don't care what he said. That man does not get to claim to be a "hero" EVER. Find a different word..
posted by Nerd of the North at 9:44 PM on June 9 [40 favorites]


Good point, nerd of the north. I rescind any hero status for that blowhard.
posted by vrakatar at 10:20 PM on June 9 [7 favorites]


What struck me was a theme of naming names. The description of what happened included references to Trump, what he did, when he did it, and why. The presentation of the evidence named quite a few people and the actions they took, or didn't take.

There was also a general tendency towards more direct language. There were statements like "This letter was a lie", stated calmly, firmly, directly, and with relatively clear explanations (at least for me). That seemed to be a bit different than what you'd normally get from public statements from Congress--or the regular media, for that matter.

What I'll be looking for moving forward are whether further members of Congress are named, and what action will be taken against those members of Congress who appear in the evidence as having committed crimes. Scott Perry (R-PA) was at least named as someone who sought a pardon from Trump in the last days of the administration--this was known previously, but now it's much more public, and part of the overall history. As more details and names come out, will action be taken against members of Congress who committed crimes?

Quick review: expulsion takes a 2/3 vote of the House or Senate. Motion to expel Marjorie Taylor Greene was introduced in the House last year, Pelosi at the time didn't allow it to go forward. The last successful expulsion was Jim Traficant in 2002. A more common pattern is that a member of Congress is indicted for a crime by the Justice department, a House or Senate committee recommends expulsion, and then the member of Congress resigns.

If there's clear evidence, will there be motions to expel, will Pelosi allow them through, will enough Republicans vote to expel? Will Garland's Justice department finally issue indictments?

I wouldn't rule out "nothing will be done" as a potential endpoint, but it's not the only possibility. It's also possible we could have Republican members of congress physically in jail, in orange jumpsuits, unable to vote or otherwise participate in the work of Congress, but still technically holding their seats.
posted by gimonca at 4:05 AM on June 10 [6 favorites]


As an aside, there is a photo of people in Washington DC watching the hearings in a park. I find that oddly wholesome. I'm not sure I have ever seen people watching government business in public like that before.
posted by antiwiggle at 4:21 AM on June 10 [12 favorites]


Good luck to democrat stabs and pundits who will probably have fun eating everyone’s performance but I don’t see why anyone else would be in the slightest bit interested in this when consequences are so utterly and completely off the table. Points for at least getting *something* in before the midterms wipe everything away I guess.

It remains to be seen if it actually matters, but parts of the Florida GOP machine are shitting themselves thanks to the recent Proud Boys indictment because they are so closely associated with the guy and his organization.
posted by wierdo at 4:35 AM on June 10 [16 favorites]


Apologies for getting Bennie's last name wrong. I was viewing CNN on a phone and my eye sight is getting bad.
posted by all about eevee at 6:00 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


The most chilling moment is near the end of the first half of the hearing (about 1:52:55 in the C-SPAN video). In a recorded Committee interview with Robert Schornack (sentenced to 36 months probation), he says, “You know, Trump has only asked me for two things. He asked me for my vote, and he asked me to come on January 6th.” What goes unsaid is that Trump also asked Schornak to March on the Capitol, and he obeyed that also.

These people are true believers, Trump’s street-fighting storm troopers, and January 6th veterans. Are they now going to disavow their MAGA faith and turn into peaceful, law-abiding citizens, or are they waiting for new orders?
posted by cenoxo at 6:25 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]


(The Lincoln Project (ad from yesterday) is doing what they do.)
posted by box at 6:40 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


So, what you people are saying is that all these assholes are not going to be shot as traitors?

Aw, ffs.
posted by freakazoid at 7:00 AM on June 10 [11 favorites]


If you see me laughing, it's to keep from crying.

After the Watergate trials, I watched a couple of elected officials, and a few selected minions serve time. Not a lot of time, and Tricky Dick didn't go to jail. One of the loonier minions got a radio show after getting out of jail. I thought Madam Justice was too kind to these jerks, but at least she was consulted, and she weighed in. The system worked. The Demons slid back into the shadows to regroup.

Watergate seems like a parking violation compared to what we are enduring now. Outrage is the new normal; smoldering resentment is the accepted response. The J6 response may be worth its salt, but it looks more like a Dog and Pony Show just now. Well, at least they're our dogs and ponies. Last night before the hearings, I watched Mccarthy trot out his master's dogs and ponies. I endured about ten minutes of his artless sleight-of-tongue before returning to my guitar. We live in two universes, them in one universe and us in another.

Upon us the Darkside is. But, for what it's worth, I, too, thought Jared said that he was too busy with his apartments to pay attention to bullshit. I wanted to laugh, I really did, but I need a little more time.
posted by mule98J at 8:04 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]


WaPo headline, on top of the front page right now: According to Liz Cheney, Trump expressed sentiment that Mike Pence ‘deserved’ to be hanged

I really would expect a journalist to get the citation correct. Liz Cheney isn't the person who quoted Dump.

Noting a trend of standard-issue "bitch overstepping" redirection by mass media today.
posted by Dashy at 8:14 AM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Did anybody else notice the tiny little minuteman figuring sitting on the desk in front of Cheney? Every time she was on camera there was this little guy pointing a gun right at her heart on screen. My vote for most bizarre image of the night.
posted by spudsilo at 8:17 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I am not sure what this is going to accomplish.

When the ashes die after the coming conflagration, you'll use them in your denazification courses. Cheer up!
posted by klanawa at 8:57 AM on June 10


One of the loonier minions got a radio show after getting out of jail.

Is that Liddy, who also went on a speaking tour with Timothy Leary?

(This could probably be used in evidence to the principle “never trust a hippy”)
posted by Artw at 9:09 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


It's pretty self-evident that there's no value in tailoring the focus, content, or style of the hearings to what Trumpers or Trumper-adjacent Republicans will think about it. Anyone who hasn't already distanced themselves from the hateful ideology that motivated an insurrection is almost by definition not persuadable, no matter how much they are pandered to.

My primary concern after watching the hearing last night is that there's no indication that the committee plans to make it clear that, while Trump and his band of thugs was an existential threat to the nation and the world, the conditions for his rise to power and elevation to a God status among Republicans somewhere between Jesus and Reagan (with Reagan at the top, of course) were created by the people and practices of garden variety Republicans. I would wager that most people reading this understand that there's a pretty straight line from Wallace, Goldwater, and Nixon to Reagan, GWB, and Trump, and that, while the emphasis on a particular set of economic, foreign relations, or domestic social issues might change over time, the core of the ideology that ties them together is the same impulse to preserve the power and influence of those who've always had it, offering only enough shared liberty and prosperity to constrain the price of guillotine futures.

This makes the decision to put Liz Cheney in such a prominent position in the proceedings problematic. I understand the upside of appealing to moderates and never-Trump conservatives, but framing Trump as the cause of the events instead of part of the natural evolution of her own party has serious downside that needs to be weighed against that upside. Yes, first and foremost, we have to do what we can to bring those who directly caused the insurrection to justice, but we could win the battle and lose the war if history looks at Trump as an aberration when he's really just the logical consequence of decades of political Machiavellianism and cruelty-maximizing policies employed by Cheney's party.

The good news is that the committee has a lot of savvy and intelligent Democrats who are capable of making the case that this wasn't a one-off. I just hope they're given ample opportunity to make that case.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:13 AM on June 10 [14 favorites]


I'm not sure if I'm just being defeatist, or what, but I don't see the point in the hearings.

Subpoenas weren't even issued to anyone named Trump, the important people whoere issued subpoenas have stated they were ignoring them and the House Democrats have basically shrugged and conceded that anyone who wants to can just ignore their subpoenas.

We're getting no new information, the people who could provide new information either say they don't recall or plead the fifth.

The hearings will end with no one facing charges, no one of any importance facing any consiquences for their actions at all, and I just don't see why anyone is bothering with it.

If they'd compel big players to testify, under oath, with serious teeth in perjury, and dragged into Congress to testify in chains if they ignored the subpoena then that might be different.

As it is? It looks like opportunities for some Congresspeople to grandstand, whether or or against, and that's the beginning and end of the utility of the event. A few soundbites to be used in campaign ads.
posted by sotonohito at 9:26 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


> We're getting no new information

New revelations and 3 other takeaways from the first Jan. 6 committee hearing
1. New facts and information were revealed.

Among them:
  • Not previously publicly seen video footage from police body cameras, Capitol hallway and office footage, as well as police radio communication; 
  • Trump Attorney General Bill Barr telling investigators in his on-camera deposition that he told Trump his allegations of election fraud were "b*******." Barr revealed this in his book, but it carries different weight with him telling it to a congressional committee; 
  • Ivanka Trump, the former president's daughter and a former senior adviser in his White House, saying she accepted what Barr had to say. "I respect Attorney General Barr," she was shown saying, "so I accepted what he was saying."
  • Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley saying Vice President Mike Pence was being direct and wanting the military's help at the Capitol. The response from the White House, on the other hand, was very different. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Milley said, wanted instead to shape a "narrative" that Trump was in control. Milley said that wreaked of "politics, politics, politics," and it was a "red flag"; 
  • Cheney said Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and "multiple other Republican congressmen" sought "presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election"; 
  • New texts between Fox News host Sean Hannity and then-White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany; 
  • Former campaign adviser Jason Miller saying on camera that he told Trump in "pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose;"
  • Trump lawyer Alex Cannon affirming there was no evidence of widespread election fraud or the election being stolen.
  • Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on camera saying they went to the Capitol that day because they believed that's what Trump wanted done, they felt he'd asked them to do it, and that after Trump's "stand back and standby" remark in a debate, membership in the Proud Boys tripled
> The hearings will end with no one facing charges, no one of any importance facing any consiquences for their actions at all, and I just don't see why anyone is bothering with it.

Indeed, why try anything at all if the odds aren't in your favor? That's why the founders waited until they had a massive military advantage before declaring independence, and why Dr. King didn't dare lay out his goals until he had a credible plan to achieve them.

I'd encourage you to at least watch the first hearing before dropping any more of these Eeyore takes, because it's clear that you didn't if you're saying nothing new was learned.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:44 AM on June 10 [67 favorites]


…all these assholes are not going to be shot as traitors?

Of course not. Send them to Guantanamo Bay instead.

IANAL, but there’s also probably little chance — after due process — that a convicted Donald Trump would go to jail (pity). However, perhaps he could be prevented from running for any political office again. See: After the Cawthorn Ruling, Can Trump Be Saved From Section 3 of the 14th Amendment?, Roger Parloff, LawFare - January 6 Project, June 7, 2022.
posted by cenoxo at 9:50 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


From the intro, it sounds like the hearings are making the case for criminal prosecution of Trump, so that when the DOJ does lay out charges against him like it has against members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, they’ll have some political protection against the “oh but both sides” dumb folks trying to stand in the middle who might otherwise be swayed by claims that the prosecution is purely political and not grounded in fact. It’s getting out ahead of the sort of media blitz that Depp and his supporters pulled, so that a criminal case against Trump can proceed successfully without undue political interference.

Their introductory outline promised to carefully and with evidence connect the dots tying Trump directly to the January 6 violence, not just implicating him morally (but not criminally) through vague influence over stochastic terrorism. While it has certainly been my opinion (that I felt was strongly implied by not too much reading between the lines) previously that Trump and cadre intended to overthrow the peaceful transition of power and directly worked toward that, we haven’t seen the actual hard evidence of intent and of direct involvement by Trump himself before. There are still a lot of people who were unsure of Trump’s intent or direct involvement, plus you need solid evidence for a criminal conviction, so that will be an important contribution.

As a side benefit, it sounds like sufficient evidence will be presented to squash both the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. While the DOJ has already successfully prosecuted a number of individuals in those organizations, it sounds like more indictments are coming and legal action may be taken to disband them entirely. But I expect the hearings are also aiming to set up the political conditions for some legislation to deal with militias or other right wing extremist groups, though with the current balance of power in the Senate, that would be difficult to achieve. It may be that some criminal charges are coming down the line for some in Congress who were actively involved in the January 6 insurrection, though, which could potentially change the balance of power. I won’t hold my breath for that either, but it is within the range of possibilities I think.
posted by eviemath at 10:19 AM on June 10 [24 favorites]


Years ago, I visited St. Michan's Church in Ireland. In the crypts of the church, there are a number of mummified bodies and closed caskets, and tourists come to see how well preserved they are. One set of coffins belongs to Irish revolutionaries of the 18th century who were convicted of treason and suffered the penalty thereof. The caskets, as I say, were closed, but I never forgot standing there and thinking of what was inside.

I hate the MAGA movement for so, so much, but one thing I particularly hate it for is that I have begun to think in the ancient language that it wants to speak. To be less poetic: it is making me a worse person. Not a tougher one -- I remain a creampuff -- but a smaller, meaner one, harder but no better for it.

For that reason, I'm not watching these hearings directly. I'm hearing about them the next day. Watching it unfold the first time made me angry enough. I don't like being angry. I really don't.
posted by Countess Elena at 10:22 AM on June 10 [29 favorites]


@Countess Elena - Yes! That is exactly the feeling created by MAGA: Small, mean, and proud of it.

It's not so much the sense that they want themselves or anyone they admire and worship to go on and do great things. They just want to win, no matter the cost, no matter how much of their humanity [sic] they must leave by the wayside. They aren't even particularly self-serving. Watching the vids of the 1/6 rioters who were arrested, there appears to be very little interiority at all. By their own actions they have been socially lobotomized, reduced to small balls of sullen bitterness. They just want the opportunity to feel like they are participating in the hurting of those whom they have been told to hate.

And to your point, it is an easy mindset to fall into, and a difficult one to pull one's self back out of. It starts with not wanting to be a bully and an asshole.
posted by JohnFromGR at 10:42 AM on June 10 [10 favorites]


Metafilter: where morale goes to die....
posted by goalyeehah at 11:04 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


I dunno, if America is to emerge from this worthy of the name at all it seems to me this is how it's done. Rational, methodical, and truth seeking.

As an outsider, this hearing looks committed to those values and, to me, that is heartening. There still is an 'America' there.
posted by mazola at 11:11 AM on June 10 [24 favorites]


One of the loonier minions got a radio show after getting out of jail.

Is that Liddy, who also went on a speaking tour with Timothy Leary?


Chuck Colson, most likely. Liddy was a vicious SOB but not a lunatic. Colson conveniently discovered Jesus after he got in trouble and acted the part of a born-again Christian hard enough that he came to believe it. Unfortunately, Jesus forgot to make him less of a raging asshole as part of saving his soul.
posted by jackbishop at 11:18 AM on June 10 [3 favorites]


Thanks to everyone updating this thread on this sad era of American affairs.
posted by meowzilla at 11:24 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Cheney said Rep. Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and "multiple other Republican congressmen" sought "presidential pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election"

&

It may be that some criminal charges are coming down the line for some in Congress who were actively involved in the January 6 insurrection, though, which could potentially change the balance of power.


This seems like rich land to hoe. Here's hoping the harvest is bountiful.
posted by Lyme Drop at 11:36 AM on June 10 [8 favorites]


If America is to emerge from this worthy of the name at all it seems to me this is how it's done. Rational, methodical, and truth seeking.

I agree. Kneejerk cynicism about these proceedings just makes matters worse. I also found it encouraging that so many US networks were willing to strip out their normal programming to run this first session live and in full. That's an acknowledgement that this matters and makes it that little bit harder for even the least politicly-engaged people to turn away with a shrug.

The BBC here in the UK ran a solid two hours of the hearings on its cable news channel too, which is pretty remarkable for something which (from our perspective) happened half a world away.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:19 PM on June 10 [17 favorites]


Hopefully putting all these truths together in one solid effective package will be beneficial. I suspect the vast majority of people arent as plugged into the news as meta filter is, and the trickle truthing and obsfucation of the typical news cycle can minimize the impact of even really big things for the average citizen.
posted by Jacen at 1:35 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Watching that video was a really interesting (horrifying) glimpse of a mob forming itself. And what you saw was that even those leading/breaking in had to puff themselves up/chant to get their courage up before going in. And some didn't, all the same. Others followed those who went first.

They almost seemed relieved when they had a barricade to push against/a cop to beat/something to smash, because it gave them a concrete plan, which they didn't really have aside from "cause chaos, start some fights/hurt people" though I think "beat up and/or kill Mike Pence" was definitely on the list.

I don't think they expected to get in so easily, and of course they shouldn't have been able to. I did keep looking at the guns in the holsters of the capitol cops, wondering why they didn't shoot. I've heard some people say that was strategic, but lots on Twitter wondering if it wasn't just cops being reluctant to fire on a sea of white dudes.
posted by emjaybee at 2:12 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


This was, among other things, a targeted assassination attempt carried out against the Vice President, and preventing that from slipping out of the narrative spotlight should be a priority.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:15 PM on June 10 [18 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not sure that shooting at the insurrectionists would have necessarily ended better, but at the same time, if THIS was not a shooting situation, it's hard to imagine what is (except that we all know in America skin color makes all the difference in who gets shot by police).
posted by rikschell at 2:17 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Did anybody else notice the tiny little minuteman figuring sitting on the desk in front of Cheney? Every time she was on camera there was this little guy pointing a gun right at her heart on screen. My vote for most bizarre image of the night.

Cheney wore Capitol Police pin and had 'protector' figurine with her during January 6 hearing: Jeremy Adler, a spokesperson for Cheney, told CNN the figurine was given to the congresswoman by Hannah Muldavin, a staffer for the committee and was made by Muldavin's grandfather. Her grandfather made a number of the figurines, called "protectors," for committee members and staff "to recognize their defense of democracy," Adler told CNN.

The figurine has a message inscribed at its base that reads: "Select committee members and staff to investigate attack on Capitol, thank you."
posted by peeedro at 2:26 PM on June 10 [14 favorites]


The biggest mystery, to me, of 1/6 was why and how it didn't turn into a massive shootout.
posted by Dashy at 2:34 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Jared Kushner Wasn’t Just Involved in Trump’s Push to Overturn 2020. He Helped Start It
Nowadays, as Kushner seeks investments for his firm and attempts to launder his image, the former senior White House aide would like everyone in the public and the press to believe he had nothing to do with the January 6 insurrection or Team Trump’s most scandalous efforts to overthrow the American democratic order. However, there is one problem: Kushner absolutely was intimately involved with Trump’s scheme to overturn President Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 election. It’s just that he bailed on the mission early to save himself.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:34 PM on June 10 [6 favorites]


why and how it didn't turn into a massive shootout.

The criminal mob wasn't armed?
What would mandate in ROE to shoot rioters? Not sure what answer you require but as someone up thread eluded, if the mob confronted Pence or any House member, in a violent manner, the secret service would not hesitate. but they did their job it seems and got him out. I'm quite sure if the mob used/weilded a few fire arms, that riot would have been over quick.

perhaps we could animatronic statury hall with nerf bat Hamilton and sand bag Adams. I've confronted a few people who just see this event as something other then it was, a loosely organised riot instigated by a sitting "president". I shut them down with well why didn't you bring guns. what are you trying to prove. y'all look like a bunch of clowns. if you're going to do it, do it right. and they shut right the f****** up.
violent clowns chewing racism and dis- affection into something akin to WWF wrestling moments in history.
WHAT THE F*** WERE THEY THINKING.
I'm angry and need a walk.
posted by clavdivs at 3:27 PM on June 10 [5 favorites]


What would mandate in ROE to shoot rioters?

Kicking through a glass door onto the House floor, for one.
posted by Etrigan at 3:35 PM on June 10 [13 favorites]


We live in two universes, them in one universe and us in another.
If only.
posted by Flunkie at 3:40 PM on June 10 [11 favorites]


Did we already forget that someone was actually shot and killed inside the capitol building?
posted by wierdo at 3:43 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Cops don't really need a reason to shoot you, but "concussing another cop" and beating several would certainly be one. Again, it was just weird to see them struggling against this huge violent mob but never drawing a firearm.

I'm interested in theories as to why they might think that was a bad idea, I don't know anything about "how to handle a riot" but since most cop stories involve a hail of bullets, it's really weird that this one doesn't.

Maybe none of us here know and that's fine, but it's definitely a live question out there on Twitter.
posted by emjaybee at 3:43 PM on June 10 [12 favorites]


> …why and how it didn't turn into a massive shootout.

Not much cover inside, even for the bad guys? I’d think shooters inside would have RAPIDLY drawn armed Capitol & DC law enforcement, Secret Service, FBI, ATF QR teams etc. into and around the building.

And why didn’t the insurrectionists vandalize the interior even more: trash offices, spray paint photos & paintings, tag doors & walls, smash statues, break bathrooms, start fires, etc.?
posted by cenoxo at 3:53 PM on June 10


And why didn’t the insurrectionists vandalize the interior even more: trash offices, spray paint photos & paintings, tag doors & walls, smash statues, break bathrooms, start fires, etc.?
They literally shit in the place.
posted by Flunkie at 3:57 PM on June 10 [13 favorites]


Sure, smearing shit all over the United States Capitol was bad, but one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen is this jagoff inside the Capitol with a Confederate battle flag.
posted by kirkaracha at 4:10 PM on June 10


And why didn’t the insurrectionists vandalize the interior even more: trash offices, spray paint photos & paintings, tag doors & walls, smash statues, break bathrooms, start fires, etc.?

Architect Of The Capitol Outlines $30 Million In Damages From Pro-Trump Riot
posted by Ahmad Khani at 4:39 PM on June 10 [14 favorites]


Can we move off conjectures of "why didn't they....."
posted by goalyeehah at 5:57 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Kicking through a glass door onto the House floor, for one.

A warning shot, mow them down and create martyrs? No. These hearings bear a weight unencumbered by the prosecutorial politics.

It's a testament and a warning.
posted by clavdivs at 6:41 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Well, if you're heavily outnumbered and on the violent end of the mob attack, gunfire is a very very sharp escalation of the combat. How many of the trump team had guns? It's what they are known for, after all. What guns did the capitol police have? Let's say, and I'm probably being generous here, that each capital officer had thirty rounds of ammunition. In an "ideal" firing situation, let's say each officer is willing to fire to kill, and takes out two insurrectionists. That's approximately one fifth of the riot present at the Capitol. Maybe it's enough to deter the mob, maybe it isn't.


And that's ignoring the significant chance the mob fires back. Even if not, you're going to have more officers beaten to death. So there's a small chance gunfire can turn back the coup attempt, but a much, much likelier one it just magnifies the bloodshed exponentially. And the right wing needs no more martyrs, and the capitol police have families. If I was in charge of the defense, I would absolutely not have ordered opening fire. It's the wrong answer there.

Outnumbered like that, the guards did absolutely the right thing.... Not escalating. They held the line long enough to achieve the goal, protecting the politicians. They did their jobs.

Now, there's a metric ton of questions why they were so badly outnumbered, under prepared and under led. That's a very big oops at best, and absolutely malicious foresight at worst. In that situation, the right answer just isn't shooting, it's preventing the mob from forming. It's preventing being outnumbered so much.
posted by Jacen at 10:31 PM on June 10 [16 favorites]


Did we ever get to the bottom of why a heavier guard wasn't provided outside the Capitol on the day of Trump's rally? There had been plenty of warnings that something very bad was going to happen there on Jan 6, so why wasn't the precaution taken of surrounding the building with dozens of cops and/or military?
posted by Paul Slade at 10:59 PM on June 10 [7 favorites]


The Oath Keepers expected the Capitol attack to escalate into armed combat, and prepared for it. From about 1:22:30 in the C-SPAN video‘s closed caption transcript of the June 9, 2022 hearing:
…The Oath Keepers began blocking the peaceful transfer of power after the election and according to the Dept of Justice, the Oath Keepers leader said to his followers we are not going to get through this without a civil war. In response to the December 19, 2020 tweet from President Trump the Oath Keepers focused on January 6 in Washington DC. In response to the tweet, one member, the president of the Floorto [Florida?] chapter put on social media the President called us to the Capital. He wants us to make it wild.

The goal of the Oath Keepers to be called to do anything to keep the President in power, although President Trump had lost the election. The Committee learned that the Oath Keepers set up quick reaction forces outside of the city in Virginia, where they stored arms. The goal, quick reaction forces to be on standby just in case President Trump invoked the Insurrection Act….
More about the Insurrection Act of 1807 (Wikipedia):
The Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law that empowers the President of the United States to deploy U.S. military and federalized National Guard troops within the United States in particular circumstances, such as to suppress civil disorder, insurrection, or rebellion.

Whenever the President considers that unlawful obstructions, combinations, or assemblages, or rebellion against the authority of the United States, make it impracticable to enforce the laws of the United States in any State by the ordinary course of judicial proceedings, he may call into Federal service such of the militia of any State, and use such of the armed forces, as he considers necessary to enforce those laws or to suppress the rebellion.
As a last desperate move, was Trump planning to invoke the Insurrection Act to stop or nullify the election certification? More details in Trump likely tried to incite an insurrection on Jan. 6 so he could impose martial law, former [DHS] official says, Tom Porter, Insider, Jun 7, 2022.
posted by cenoxo at 2:13 AM on June 11 [9 favorites]


Did we ever get to the bottom of why a heavier guard wasn't provided outside the Capitol on the day of Trump's rally? There had been plenty of warnings that something very bad was going to happen there on Jan 6, so why wasn't the precaution taken of surrounding the building with dozens of cops and/or military?

Completely unsurprising considering who cops attack at protect at protests and who cops protect at protests - these people were not considered to be a threat as they are usually on the same side.
posted by Artw at 7:00 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


…why and how it didn't turn into a massive shootout

DC has strict gun laws, which were actively advertised and enforced. Even before the rally, DC police were holding at least six people including the Proud Boys Chairman on weapons related charges. In part, that’s why the Oath Keepers were staging their guns outside DC, rather than in the city.

Beyond that, most of the insurrectionists were subject to additional Secret Service weapons screening at the rally where Trump and others were speaking. Reducing the number of guns reduces the likelihood of a shooting.
posted by chrisulonic at 7:06 AM on June 11 [10 favorites]


The Oath Keepers and Their Role in the January 6 Insurrection, Matthew Kriner & John Lewis, CTC Sentinel, Combatting Terrorism Center at West Point, December 2021, Volume 14, Issue 10:
Abstract: On January 6, 2021, 21 members of the Oath Keepers are alleged to have played a critical role in a wide-ranging conspiracy to storm the U.S. Capitol and disrupt the certification of the 2020 general election. Since its inception in 2009, the group has used a warped sense of patriotism, loose enforcement of laws surrounding paramilitary activity, and America’s founding revolutionary spirit to justify anti-government mobilization. It consistently walked the edge of political violence before taking part in the January 6 insurrection. While the group claims to be “guardians of the republic,” its principal target is the government itself—particularly entities representing perceived federal government overreach and vectors for tyrannical forces to suppress Americans’ natural rights. Following the 2016 U.S. presidential election, a subtle but significant shift occurred in the group’s ideological focus, which saw left-wing political ideologies and social justice movements assume equal footing as targets for the group’s ire. Over the next four years, the group consistently mobilized armed responses, often posing as “security operations” to perceived threats, and increasingly expressed the belief that the United States was on the brink of or already in a state of civil war.

This article proceeds in four parts. Part one provides an overview of the Oath Keepers’ origins, ideology, organizational structure, and membership. Part two looks at the Oath Keepers’ journey toward political violence by examining the individual criminal and violent actions of its members, its online extremism and threats, the group’s real-world operational activity, as well as the group’s links and ideological overlaps with more overtly violent and/or extreme far-right extremist entities. Part three outlines the role the group played in the January 6 insurrection, and the group’s embrace of violence against the state. Part four examines the post-January 6 trajectory of the group.
Details and referenced notes follow in the online article, and you can download a PDF file of the containing CTC Sentinel issue.
posted by cenoxo at 8:51 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


these people were not considered to be a threat as they are usually on the same side.

The reason the cops didn’t start shooting is because it would have made things very awkward in the squad room on January 7.
posted by MrBadExample at 9:02 AM on June 11 [7 favorites]


why a heavier guard wasn't provided outside the Capitol on the day of Trump's rally

I'm guessing the Committee will be getting into this but I thought it had already been determined that the orders to maintain only a light security presence at the Capitol came from 45 himself.
posted by Rash at 9:44 AM on June 11 [5 favorites]


So far PR efforts around the comitee seems heavily reliant on copaganda in a way that suggests they may shy away from such things though.
posted by Artw at 9:57 AM on June 11 [2 favorites]


Funny how all the reasons the pigs didn't shoot the 1/6 insurrectionists never apply to the pigs when they confront BLM protesters.

You know damn well that if BLM had invaded the capital the body count would have been in the hundreds, if not thousands, that BLM would be declared a terrorist organization and anyone associated with it arrested, and every politician both Democratic and Republican, would be out there vowing to hunt down and imprison every single person associated with BLM. Posting a BLM meme on social media would get you instabanned and a visit from the police.

But when a bunch of white right wing people do it, the pigs can't even find their tear gas or scary tactical gear, and no one has yet passed laws banning the Proud Boys or any of the other right wing groups.

Let's not indulge in Republican founded fantasy. The lack of a violent armed response by the capitol police was 100% because the insurrectionists were white right wingers and our government coddles such people.
posted by sotonohito at 10:05 AM on June 11 [26 favorites]


one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen is this jagoff inside the Capitol with a Confederate battle flag

I find that more enraging than disturbing. My father's family are from DC; they've been there since the 1820's. My 3rd great-grandfather joined the District of Columbia National Guard the day after the bombardment of Fort Sumter, precisely to keep Confederates OUT of the Capitol. I can't help but think that maybe if Jeff Davis and Bobby Lee et al had been hanged for treason as they should've been, we might not be living in a country where January 6th or Trump happened in the first place.
posted by Pseudonymous Cognomen at 10:52 AM on June 11 [6 favorites]


It's hard to know what the next decade will bring. There might be another coup-attempt, or more than one. The Trumpist Republicans might even succeed in imposing minority rule on the country for a while. But at the end of the day, it can't hold. Their whole philosophy is so contrary to reality that it can't not break down. But the proces may be terrible. People may be killed. We can see already that rights may be taken away.
In that context, I find Liz Cheney both brave and prescient. She is not here for the now, but for the future, and well aware that she may be "fired" by the voters now. I can't say how much I hate her dad, and it is surprising to me that she has values, but she clearly does.
posted by mumimor at 1:47 PM on June 11 [7 favorites]


A Capitol Police officer said he didn't use his gun at the insurrection because it would have been like 'throwing kerosene' on a fire, Kelly McLaughlin & Madison Hall, Insider, Jun 10, 2021:
  • A Capitol Police officer said he wouldn't have survived the insurrection if he had fired his gun.
  • James Blassingame compared firing his gun to "throwing kerosene" on a "four-alarm blaze."
  • He spoke about the insurrection in a "PBS News Hour" interview [*] that aired Wednesday [Jun 9, 2021].
*U.S. Capitol Police officer gives firsthand account of Jan. 6 attack, PBS News Hour, Jun 9, 2021. The +8 minute video includes a full transcript of Judy Woodruff’s interview with 17-year veteran officer James Blassingame (who is black).

Consider also the deliberate misdirection of insurrectionists (YouTube) by Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman (Wikipedia) without drawing a weapon.
posted by cenoxo at 3:42 PM on June 11 [12 favorites]


Marcy Wheeler has tracked and parsed public filings in cases against January 6 defendants since ... they began, pretty assiduously, over at emptywheel.net. she is the best resource i know of for a sense of what the department of justice has been doing, and what may be inferred from it. fyi.

her latest includes this summary of the proposed hearing schedule:
The schedule of upcoming January 6 hearings explains one reason why Cheney referenced the ongoing investigation when citing DOJ’s cooperating witnesses:

June 13: The Big Lie
June 15: Decapitate DOJ
June 16: Pressuring Pence
June 21: Pressuring the States
Hearing 6: Trump Assembles a Mob and Sics it on Congress
Hearing 7: Trump Does Nothing as Capitol Is Attacked

The dates for the last two hearings, hearings that will include details about how the Proud Boys paused their attack to await reinforcements brought by Alex Jones, opened a second front in seeming coordination with the Oath Keepers and Jones, and considered a second assault until learning the National Guard had finally been deployed, are not known yet.
posted by 20 year lurk at 6:35 PM on June 11 [8 favorites]


In re the police not shooting into the Capitol riot: I want to see black people treated as well as white people, not white people treated as badly as black people.

It's at least plausible that not shooting was the right choice.
posted by Nancy Lebovitz at 7:01 AM on June 12 [19 favorites]


So you know one when you see one:
Homeland Security Digital Library

Guide to the Analysis of Insurgency [2012] [open pdf - 2MB]

"This Guide provides definitions, a series of indicators, and an analytic framework designed to assist in evaluating an insurgency. Analysts with knowledge of the political, military, cultural, and socioeconomic characteristics of a specific insurgency will find these definitions and the framework helpful in analyzing the conflict. […] No two insurgencies are identical, and this Guide is not intended to provide a one-size-fits-all template. No insurgency is unique in all aspects, however, and most share some combination of characteristics, tactics, and objectives. Most pass through similar stages of development during their life cycle. These commonalities are the focus of this Guide, but analysts should note that the specific insurgencies they are examining will probably not exhibit all of the characteristics or undertake all of the activities addressed in the Guide."

• Publisher: United States. Central Intelligence Agency
• Date: 2012
• Copyright: Public Domain
• Format: pdf [2mb, 40pp]
• URL: https://www.hsdl.org/?view&did=713599
• Listed on July 11, 2012 [Critical Releases]
posted by cenoxo at 7:25 AM on June 12 [3 favorites]


It's at least plausible that not shooting was the right choice.

Maybe. Eventually one of them WAS shot, as they’ll constantly remind everyone. The reason it got to that point was a pattern of consistent under-reaction from the police just as notable as their overreaction to BLM.
posted by Artw at 8:50 AM on June 12 [5 favorites]


The Capitol police were clearly outnumbered and likely outgunned -- and without backup, seemingly due to the deliberate refusal of The Former Guy to give them any. A number of them were also people of color. I find the insinuations on this thread that they "went easy" on the insurrectionists because they sympathized with white supremacy to be really off-key.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:40 AM on June 12 [15 favorites]




Surely, this?
posted by acb at 1:52 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


Related: Trump pardon promise for Capitol rioters ‘stuff of dictators’ – Nixon aide [John Dean]; Martin Pengelly, The Guardian, 30 Jan 2022:
• Trump makes promise at rally in Texas on Saturday [29 Jan 2022]
• John Dean: ‘Failure to confront tyrant encourages bad behavior’

Donald Trump’s promise to pardon supporters who attacked the US Capitol on January 6 2021 was “the stuff of dictators”, Richard Nixon’s White House counsel warned. Trump made the promise at a rally in Conroe, Texas, on Saturday. “If I run and if I win,” he said, referring to the 2024 presidential election, “we will treat those people from January 6 fairly. We will treat them fairly. And if it requires pardons, we will give them pardons because they are being treated so unfairly.”

John Dean, 83, was White House counsel from 1970 to 1973 before being disbarred and detained as a result of the Watergate scandal, which led to Nixon’s resignation in 1974. Dean responded to Trump on Twitter.

“This is beyond being a demagogue to the stuff of dictators,” he wrote. “He is defying the rule of law. Failure to confront a tyrant only encourages bad behaviour. If thinking Americans don’t understand what Trump is doing and what the criminal justice system must do we are all in big trouble!”
More follows in the article. Alas, the former President Emperor Donald — after losing the 2020 election — continues to whine about it, makes illegal/unethical promises, then lies, denies, and blames others when he fails to keep them. Perhaps he should lower his fees for quid pro quo indulgences.
posted by cenoxo at 2:23 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


You know damn well that if BLM had invaded the capital the body count would have been in the hundreds, if not thousands, that BLM would be declared a terrorist organization and anyone associate

100% this explains why the police didn't shoot first (aside from one). This was my first reaction watching it live.

What I wonder at is how all those angry white men with guns somehow didn't initiate fire.
posted by Dashy at 3:20 PM on June 12 [2 favorites]


I heard in the barbershop yesterday that this was a trial and Trump was found guilty. So maybe the public perception of Joe Sixpack is going to change even if it is just as misinformed.
posted by interogative mood at 4:08 PM on June 12 [7 favorites]


I wonder why Cheney only mentioned Scott Perry by name as one of the people that had asked for pardons. Are they trying to flip the others?
posted by kirkaracha at 6:14 PM on June 12


I wonder why Cheney only mentioned Scott Perry by name as one of the people that had asked for pardons. Are they trying to flip the others?

Two reasons I can think of:
Perhaps Perry's request is the only one that they have verifiable, traceable documentary evidence for.
Or -- and this is the one I lean heavily toward, because a lot of Democrats are spending a lot of time asking various Republicans whether they asked for pardons -- they want a bunch of other Republicans to go on the record saying "I never asked for a pardon." so they can produce the verifiable, traceable documentary evidence that in fact those other Republicans did ask.
posted by Etrigan at 6:55 PM on June 12 [5 favorites]


Or -- and this is the one I lean heavily toward, because a lot of Democrats are spending a lot of time asking various Republicans whether they asked for pardons -- they want a bunch of other Republicans to go on the record saying "I never asked for a pardon." so they can produce the verifiable, traceable documentary evidence that in fact those other Republicans did ask.
It's a nice theory, but unless their denial occurs under oath the only thing being "on the record" buys you is some potential embarrassment when they get caught lying. And being honest with ourselves - how's that been working out so far as a disincentive?
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:36 PM on June 12 [4 favorites]


Jan. 6 panelists: Enough evidence uncovered to indict Trump
Members of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot said Sunday they have uncovered enough evidence for the Justice Department to consider an unprecedented criminal indictment against former President Donald Trump for seeking to overturn the results of the 2020 election.
Isn’t it pretty to think so?
posted by kirkaracha at 11:10 PM on June 12 [6 favorites]


WATCH LIVE ON JUNE 13 | 9:45AM ET | C-SPAN.ORG
January 6 Hearings
Second Hearing on Investigation of Capitol Attack
The House committee looking into the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol holds its second hearing with witness testimony to make public the committee’s findings after a year of investigations.
posted by cenoxo at 11:17 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


Jan. 6 panelists: Enough evidence uncovered to indict Trump, AP News story by Hope Yen

I too have a yen for Trump’s indictment, and hope that he and his political ambitions never recover from it. Banish him to Mar-a-lago, boot all of his golf carts, and bend his golf clubs in half.
posted by cenoxo at 11:50 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]


kirkaracha > …one of the most disturbing things I've ever seen is this jagoff inside the Capitol with a Confederate battle flag.

Man who carried Confederate flag into Capitol heads to trial, Michael Kunzelman, AP News, June 13, 2022:
A federal judge’s acquittal of a New Mexico man in April was a rare blemish on the Justice Department’s record of securing convictions in U.S. Capitol riot cases. More than two months later, a Delaware father and son hope the same judge will clear them, too.

Widely published photographs showed Kevin Seefried carrying a Confederate battle flag inside the Capitol after he entered the building with his son, Hunter. The Seefrieds [Statement of Facts pdf] were “early, aggressive and active participants” in the Capitol breach and among the first rioters to enter the bulling on Jan. 6, 2021, prosecutors have said.

U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden will hear testimony without a jury for the Seefrieds’ bench trial, which is scheduled to start Monday. They waived their right to a jury trial, which means McFadden will decide their cases.

McFadden, whom President Donald Trump nominated in 2017, has criticized prosecutors’ handling of Capitol riot cases. He suggested that the Justice Department has been unjustly tougher on Capitol riot defendants compared to people arrested at protests against police brutality and racial injustice after George Floyd’s 2020 murder by a Minneapolis police officer….
More details follow in the article.

Donald Trump’s (il)legacy lingers on.
posted by cenoxo at 5:00 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


People have been breathlessly reporting that Trump is "about to be" indicted, or that evidence that is totally enough for an indictment has been uncovered, since the instant Biden was sworn in.

So far exactly zero indictments have occurred.

The nearly daily "BREAKING" reporting that this time they've really got him is dispiriting and exhausting.
posted by sotonohito at 5:21 AM on June 13 [12 favorites]


In related symbolic news (but not to derail): Kent [Washington] to pay $1.5M to settle dispute with assistant police chief who displayed Nazi insignia, Mike Carter, Seattle Times, June 10, 2022.
posted by cenoxo at 5:32 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


While that works out to onlly about $10 paid by every single person in Kent to get rid of a literal Nazi police chief... WTF?

How do people look at this sort of situation and say "yes, this is fine, this is the proper amount of power for police and police unions to have, it should be literally impossible to fire a Nazi police chief and instead we should have to bribe him so he resigns?"
posted by sotonohito at 6:36 AM on June 13 [8 favorites]


Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien (not to be confused with former Trump campaign managers Brad Parscale, Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, or Corey Lewandowski) says he's unable to testify today due to a family emergency. His lawyer will read a statement.
posted by box at 6:43 AM on June 13


Bill Stepien has a bridge to sell you. (Expletive removed)
posted by Dashy at 6:48 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


C-SPAN’s coverage of today’s hearing has been changed to start at 10:20AM ET.
posted by cenoxo at 7:08 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien(...) says he's unable to testify today due to a family emergency.

Whose family? Trump's?
posted by May Kasahara at 7:15 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


now 10:45 am. Also, here's the PBS Newshour livestream if you want Newshour commentary
posted by bl1nk at 7:27 AM on June 13


Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien(...) says he's unable to testify today due to a family emergency.

Whose family? Trump's?


I had similar "Sure, Jan" feelings, but his wife is apparently going into labor.
posted by Etrigan at 7:28 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]


Ah, well, the timing is unfortunate, but good to know.
posted by May Kasahara at 7:34 AM on June 13


Hearing room full, most ppl seated, photogs standing around, waiting for committee members to come in. Now supposed to start at 10:45 AM ET.
posted by cenoxo at 7:35 AM on June 13


I suppose the delay was at least partly caused by Stepien not showing up. They had to retool a little bit maybe.
posted by wabbittwax at 7:38 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


C’mon baby! Can Stepien testify from the hospital? We might hear some commentary from the new arrival.
posted by cenoxo at 7:46 AM on June 13


(Bennie Thompson just banged the gavel.)
posted by box at 7:47 AM on June 13


Favorite revelation so far: Trump declared victory before all the votes were counted based on the advice of a drunk Rudy Giuliani.
posted by box at 8:10 AM on June 13 [14 favorites]


there's a surprisingly decent amount of recorded testimony from Stepien about Election Night from within the White House that's great. Can certainly see how this would be more powerful if done live, but it's nice to see that he's been relatively cooperative with the committee (even if it's mostly to save himself by directing the committee bus to run over Rudy and others)
posted by bl1nk at 8:35 AM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Favorite revelation so far: Trump declared victory before all the votes were counted based on the advice of a drunk Rudy Giuliani.

But was he adjusting his pants when he said it?
posted by y2karl at 9:11 AM on June 13


Second half starting…
posted by cenoxo at 9:18 AM on June 13


So Barr did tell Trump that “the Department [of Justice] is not an extension of your legal team”.

Good to have that clarified. /s
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:19 AM on June 13


Bill Barr: "If [Trump] really believes this [Dominion voting machine] stuff, he's become detached from reality."

Become
posted by box at 9:46 AM on June 13 [6 favorites]


The fundraising, $250 million, after he was clearly told by his team…some of which was then distributed to Trump cronies.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:56 AM on June 13


The fundraising, $250 million, after he was clearly told by his team…some of which was then distributed to Trump cronies.

The grift must flow
posted by nubs at 10:03 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


That sounds like it might be kind of...crime-ish?
posted by kirkaracha at 10:25 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]


MAGANs believe this is all about God, Country, and Honor, but Televangelist Donald knows and shows that it’s all about the Money (and the earthly desire to acquire just a little more). As long as money keeps flowing into his pockets, lies, truth, ignorance, and knowledge are irrelevant and interchangeable. Nice little cult he has there: it would be a real $hame if something stopped it.
posted by cenoxo at 10:59 AM on June 13 [2 favorites]


(I would like for there to be a post about LIV Golf, the Saudi-backed professional golf tour that's hosting two of its eight events at Trump clubs (the PGA stopped holding events at them after January 6), but I'm not sure I would like it enough to make the post.)
posted by box at 11:45 AM on June 13 [3 favorites]




Barr referred to another conversation where Trump was "as mad as I'd ever seen him" when told none of the election fraud charges made sense. He meant "mad" as in angry, but the word's other meaning of "insane" echoed pretty strongly behind it.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:56 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Fox airing today’s hearing? Not embarrassed at all that they fired one of the witnesses who testified, Chris Stirewalt, because on election night he agreed with the Arizona/Biden call?
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:13 PM on June 13 [2 favorites]


Shame and Fox, oil and water.
posted by y2karl at 3:28 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Tomorrow's hearing has been rescheduled. Zoe Lofgren says technical issues, putting together videos, not a big deal.

Aaron Rupar has a nice explainer about the possibly-wire-fraud fake election defense fund
posted by box at 7:46 AM on June 14 [5 favorites]


Re: Liz Cheney, I believe she’s sincerely outraged, but also playing the long game. She wants to emerge from this saga as a hero, ready to help re-vamp the post-Trump GOP (or as a leader of whatever party the never-Trumpers ultimately assemble), as one of few prominent elected Republicans to have been on the side of truth and justice. Liz wants to be President.
posted by carmicha at 8:20 AM on June 14 [12 favorites]


I completely agree. Furthermore, as it took cold warrior, conservative Nixon to “open” China, she will be our first woman president. /pessimism
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:04 AM on June 14


Again, can we stay steady with what is actually going on in the hearings and cease reading tea leaves and projecting what nefarious chess games are being played by committee members and others involved.

What is also at stake here is morale building after several years of exhausting bullshit. (I am glad to see Barr, pundits, and others openly using this term.)

I've expressed previously how exhausting cynicism and pessimism is in these threads. In triage moments, authority goes to whose got it and in the best position to bring a damaged and listing ship safely to port.

The committee is the best team we've got. Get behind it. Right now, anything otherwise is, to me, demoralizing. I'd rather feel a sense of hope rather than a sense of hope being pissed on.
posted by goalyeehah at 9:58 AM on June 14 [23 favorites]


I've expressed previously how exhausting cynicism and pessimism is in these threads. In triage moments, authority goes to whose got it and in the best position to bring a damaged and listing ship safely to port.

The committee is the best team we've got. Get behind it. Right now, anything otherwise is, to me, demoralizing. I'd rather feel a sense of hope rather than a sense of hope being pissed on.


Hear, hear!

It's remarkable how much of left and liberal political discourse is devoted to cynicism, backbiting, infighting, second-guessing, corrosive pessimism, etc.

I'm not picking on MeFites in particular. Twitter, for example, is hellish in this regard (which is why I've mostly given it up).

And I often look at the headlines on the home page of the NY Times and am astounded by how negatively the powers that be at that paper choose to portray everything and everyone. They're not just chronicling bad news accurately -- they seem to consistently find the most anxiety- and despair-inducing takes on the news, when more balanced and constructive takes are available.

Anyone who thinks "the liberal media" spends its time and energy blindly cheerleading for "the left" is hilariously off base! Negativity, unfortunately, sells.

We are living in a time when most people and institutions who are politically left of center don't seem to have much conception of the idea that discourse should not just serve rational purposes, but also emotional ones... and don't seem to understand their own role in helping to set the tone.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:42 AM on June 14 [3 favorites]


Eh, would sooner keep my expectations realistic than build up my hopes and have them inevitably dashed as far as far as anything run by Democrats goes.
posted by Artw at 12:24 PM on June 14 [4 favorites]


On the other hand, "Don't feel these things, and definitely don't express them, ever, because I'M tired of hearing about it" is... well, that's my whole damn childhood. If you want to talk about demoralizing, and gaslighting, that's it.

Folks need to be able to express their fears. Folks also need to be able to take a break from those fears being expressed. It's ironic to me that I, as (one of) the autistic(s) in the room, is saying there has to be nuance, there has to be room for for both sides. While endless doom scrying will isolate and harm some folks, so too does shutting down people who have legitimate fears and need to not feel so isolated (and therefore vulnerable) in those fears.

Just, you know, moderation in all things. Speak up when you have needs, but be careful to not attempt to shut down the other side, whose needs are also legitimate, completely. If not here, then where, exactly, can people go to say "I think this terrible thing is going to happen" and NOT be in a self-reinforcing echo chamber? We need to be able to say "I'm scared" somewhere, and it's better if that somewhere doesn't just scream back "YOU SHOULD BE! YOU'RE NOT SCARED ENOUGH!" with no examination of why, and how to fix or at least live another day through it.

I come here not to proselytize doom, but to get a reasoned perspective on whether that doom is realistic and, if so, if it's avoidable. If I can't occasionally say "Hey, I'm feeling a lot of despair. So much despair, in fact, that I don't even realize I'm despairing. I think I'm just stating facts and I don't realize I'm hoping for a kind reality check," then I can't ever get that kind reality check. "Just stop saying that stuff" is not a kind reality check any more than "Just stop reading that stuff if it bothers you so much" is.
posted by tllaya at 1:14 PM on June 14 [14 favorites]


It's remarkable how much of left and liberal political discourse is devoted to cynicism, backbiting, infighting, second-guessing, corrosive pessimism, etc.

I remember when Barack Obama gave the keynote address (transcript) at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and how exciting his view was:
...there is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there’s the United States of America.
I remember how I and many people here wanted him to be president because of that speech and that vision. I remember the huge significance of his being elected four years later to become the first Black president of the United States and what a great moment it was for our country.

Instead of uniting behind one of the most intelligent and decent people to ever become president, and someone who I believe took seriously the president's duty to be president for all Americans, the Republicans stayed true to their decades-long embrace of racism and white nationalism.

Then a racist, venal, manifestly unsuitable criminal became president. He embraced and encouraged racism and hate. He broke multiple laws. He called journalists enemies of the people, which I had never heard except from dictators. He lied about the severity of Covid and minimized preventive measures, leading to tens of thousands of needless deaths through ignorance and misinformation.

I remember Comey supposedly having the goods. I remember the Mueller report. I remember Trump being impeached, twice, for serious abuses of power. And each time, he skates.

I admire this committee and their work very much. They're laying out a clear and convincing case that Trump criminally conspired to overturn the results of an election, the most serious crime a president can commit. I want to believe.

But a huge number of people in this country not only excuse him, they celebrate and encourage him. Instead of being in prison where he belongs, he's the presumptive front runner for the GOP in 2024. I've yet to see any evidence he'll ever suffer the consequence of his many, many crimes. So yes, I'm pessimistic.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:17 PM on June 14 [28 favorites]


I'd also like to add that saying "remember, folks, Liz is still a pretty terrible person who is going to do terrible things in the future" is extremely helpful to me! In a good way! I remember to think of her as a useful, very specialized tool. She's great for this right now. But I have to remember that the same tool will do a great deal of damage if I try to use it for something else (like, say, moving the Republican party to the left a little).

It SAVES me from despair. Because when she inevitably does things I think are terrible, I don't feel betrayed, because I never felt like she was on "my" side in the first place. I feel like I have a handle on the predictability of someone's behaviour. That makes me feel safer and able to make better decisions for my future safety. Not less. It's a really good reminder for me, because I DO think in B&W. It's really important that I get reminders that a) just because a person is doing a helpful thing right now doesn't make them good, and b) just because someone might not be good, doesn't mean we should reject help from them where they are, in fact, being helpful.
posted by tllaya at 1:30 PM on June 14 [11 favorites]


Wrt Democrats working with Liz Cheney and other like-minded Republicans, this is no time for political purity on either side. Both sides need to join forces for the duration, and fight the common enemy Donald Trump (and his Insurrectionists) with all the allies, laws, attorneys, and media resources they can muster. Fight that battle as hard and as long as necessary, and hopefully beat — or severely weaken — the bad guys. Afterwards, everyone can get back to the usual intramural and extramural haggling.
posted by cenoxo at 2:07 PM on June 14 [6 favorites]


Bill Stepian is, to this day, on Dumpster's payroll.

Fucker. They're all complicit. May they all burn (in jail).
posted by Dashy at 4:04 PM on June 14 [3 favorites]


Full text transcripts of the House Jan. 6 Committee Hearings thus far:Each day’s transcript is on one web page: use your browser’s ‘Find in page’ feature to search for key words
posted by cenoxo at 7:54 PM on June 14 [11 favorites]


or read.

on edit: i'm sorry. that sounded argumentative. just my brain doing its thing with the presented syntax. i'm over here reading with interest, 'though, in this case, maybe not, having watched, or maybe not now.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:43 PM on June 14


The 22 wildest lines from Donald Trump's 12(!)-page statement on the January 6 committee, Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, Tue June 14, 2022:
In response to the second public hearing of the January 6 committee, former President Donald Trump released a 12-page statement -- yes, 12 full pages! -- [*] seeking to rebut the charges leveled against him.

It's filled with the usual name-calling, exaggerations and conspiracy theories that have dominated Trump's post-2020 election life. But it's also a window into the former President's psyche as the January 6 committee weighs whether to recommend a criminal indictment of Trump to the Department of Justice.

I went through Trump's, um, statement. The lines from it you need to see are below.

1. "If they had any real evidence, they'd hold real hearings with equal representation."

Remember that the reason there isn't an independent commission -- like the one that investigated the 9/11 terrorist attacks -- is because Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell killed it after it had passed the House with 35 GOP votes. And away we go! …
21 more wild lines follow in the article.

*Trump’s full statement (pdf with footnotes) can be downloaded from The Hill.
posted by cenoxo at 9:16 PM on June 14 [4 favorites]


Donald Trump's 12(!)-page statement on the January 6 committee,

"My Confession."

By Donald Trump.
posted by mikelieman at 3:59 AM on June 15 [2 favorites]


I remember the Mueller report.

One of the most effective political con jobs in modern history. Mueller was always a Republican first, playing good cop to Sessions' and then Barr's bad cop. He had absolutely nothing to say when the expected Barr shutdown occurred. He whimpered quietly to congress and went away. Probably to keep having those barbecues with the Barrs. We were totally had and that was the moment at which I realized that the word "investigation" was henceforth going to be a doublespeak euphemism for "make it go away."

I have almost no expectation of prosecution. Nor of the Jan 6 committee moving the needle one inch.
posted by spitbull at 5:11 AM on June 15 [4 favorites]


I have almost no expectation of prosecution. Nor of the Jan 6 committee moving the needle one inch.

And the so-called "liberal media" writing all these thumbsuckers predicting Republicans won't change their minds -- which they won't, but as if they're the only opinion that matters because of course they are -- makes them complicit in covering up an insurrection that they covered in real time.
posted by Gelatin at 5:27 AM on June 15


Donald Trump Jr. calls on Trump supporters to sign his father's birthday card — and pay for the privilege, Matthew Loh, Insider, Jun 15, 2022. […and other campaign grifting shenanigans, not to mention Kimberly Guilfoyle's $60,000 speech on Jan. 6.]
posted by cenoxo at 6:07 AM on June 15


In response to the second public hearing of the January 6 committee, former President Donald Trump released a 12-page statement -- yes, 12 full pages! -- [*] seeking to rebut the charges leveled against him.

I feel that the fact that he issued a statement means that the committee is hitting some weak spot(s). Since I don't have the time to follow the hearings except by following this thread and listening to the radio while I drive, I can't guess entirely where Trump feels vulnerable, but his voters have never worried about him being a liar, a common criminal, a tax fraud or a totalitarian. But maybe they get a little itchy when the committee suggests that it was a big grift, and that they were/are the marks.
posted by mumimor at 7:10 AM on June 15 [6 favorites]


a 12-page statement

LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU
posted by swift at 7:43 AM on June 15 [1 favorite]






"1776 Returns" document, attached to filing today by pout boy sedition defendant, zachary rehl, fyi.
see pp 44 et seq.

"Notes: ... have an escape plan for those in charge." emphasis mine.
posted by 20 year lurk at 4:55 PM on June 15 [3 favorites]


More on Loudermilk and his ten-person tour: In a letter to Georgia Representative Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) this morning, the chair of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, Bennie Thompson (D-MS), dropped information, images, and video showing that Loudermilk had led individuals through the U.S. Capitol complex on January 5, 2021, in what sure looks like a reconnaissance tour.

Thompson wrote that the committee had reviewed surveillance video, social media activity, and witness accounts and understood that Loudermilk led approximately 10 people “to areas in the Rayburn, Longworth, and Cannon House Office Buildings, as well as the entrances to tunnels leading to the U.S. Capitol,” on January 5, “despite the complex being closed to the public on that day.” The group “stayed for several hours.” “Individuals on the tour photographed and recorded areas of the complex not typically of interest to tourists, including hallways, staircases, and security checkpoints…. Their behavior…raises concerns about their activity and intent while inside the Capitol complex.”
[...]

There have been accounts of surveillance tours since immediately after January 6, when Democratic members of Congress claimed to have seen them, and 34 Democrats led by Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) wrote to Capitol Police asking them to investigate. Republicans, though, insisted that was inaccurate, saying that “There were no tours, no large groups, no one with MAGA hats on. There’s nothing in there remotely fitting the depiction in Mikie Sherrill’s letter.” Now there is video and photographic evidence of just such a tour—even including someone in a MAGA hat—as well as a report that the committee has talked to the man to whom Thompson referred in his letter. This opens up a whole new can of congressional worms. -- Heather Cox Richardson, Letters from an American, June 15, 2022
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:27 PM on June 15 [21 favorites]


The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has obtained email correspondence between Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and lawyer John Eastman, who played a key role in efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, according to three people involved in the committee’s investigation.

The emails show that Thomas’s efforts to overturn the election were more extensive than previously known, two of the people said. The three declined to provide details and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.
[...] Thomas also sent messages to President Donald Trump’s White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and to Arizona lawmakers, pressing them to help overturn the election, The Post has previously reported. - The Washington Post, June 15, 2022
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:51 AM on June 16 [6 favorites]


20 year lurk > "1776 Returns" document, attached to filing today [June 15, 2022] by pout boy sedition defendant, zachary rehl, fyi. see pp 44 et seq.:
[Page 1 of 9]
1776 Returns
Contents


“Patriot Plan” (TO DISTRIBUTE EXTERNALLY)

We The People Demand……………… 7

Read Directions Carefully

[Page 8 of 9]
We the People
Our request is simple, constitutional, and non-negotiable - we demand a free and fair election.
The evidence of election fraud is overwhelming.
We demand that on January 20th, a new election is conducted - not a recount.
• Paper Ballots only
• no electronic voting
• no mail in ballots
• no absentee ballots
• In person with an ID or NO VOTE
• Monitored by National Guard

Special Mention
Mitch McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Mike Pence & Bill Gates
We the people are watching you.

Rand Paul & Ron DeSantis
We the people love you
Some facts to consider:It ain’t 1776 any more, Boys, and no matter how hard you think, pray, demand, carry, or insurrect, it never will be again. The future doesn’t belong only to you, it belongs to all of us, We, the People of the United States.
posted by cenoxo at 5:44 AM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Link for today's committee hearing (starting 1pm ET)
posted by bl1nk at 7:55 AM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Huh, I hadn't noticed that before. Eastman clerked for Thomas.
posted by ryanrs at 9:54 AM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Ugh. Luttig's written statement is strong, but he is not a great speaker.
posted by bcd at 10:25 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


written statement of luttig. his performance is picking up a bit.
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:34 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Ugh. Luttig's written statement is strong, but he is not a great speaker.

I'm literally having trouble understanding him because of the slow, arrhythmic pattern of speech he has, glad I wasn't the only one noticing.

Thanks for the written statement, 20 year lurk!
posted by Jarcat at 10:47 AM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I have seen Luttig speak in person before and have watched recent interviews from him. This is not how Luttig normally speaks. His delivery is normally much quicker than this.
posted by all about eevee at 10:51 AM on June 16 [5 favorites]


I have seen Luttig speak in person before and have watched recent interviews from him. This is not how Luttig normally speaks. His delivery is normally much quicker than this.

That's very interesting. Perhaps just the tension of how much is hanging in the balance here.
posted by bcd at 10:56 AM on June 16 [3 favorites]


It sounds at least in part like he is being exceedingly careful with his words and does not wish to misspeak or misrepresent the legal issues.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:59 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Can I just say that I love Eric Herschmann's panda painting? Go PandaMan!
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:59 AM on June 16 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure why he would be nervous. Maybe he's worried about saying something that may hurt a future presidential run for Mike Pence, who he apparently has mentored for many years.
posted by all about eevee at 10:59 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


Can I just say that I love Eric Herschmann's panda painting? Go PandaMan!

Panda... sure, but a baseball bat labeled "Justice"? That creeps me out considerably. (And I can't figure out what the silver things below it are supposed to be.)
posted by bcd at 11:03 AM on June 16 [4 favorites]


bcd doesn't know what the three shells are for!

(neither do i)
posted by 20 year lurk at 11:04 AM on June 16 [2 favorites]


But I know that if I swear a lot I'll get something to use in place of the three shells!
posted by bcd at 11:05 AM on June 16 [1 favorite]


(I think they are hair pieces? Mounted facing the wall? With the middle one having a ponytail? Bizarre in any case.)
posted by bcd at 11:07 AM on June 16


No way this ends without these two constitutional lawyers in a street fight over that one sentence being unartful or pristine.
posted by meese at 11:07 AM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Me: a "Justice" baseball bat? Like, Louisville Slugger's Dave Justice bat, at a weird angle?
Me, clicking on link: I dwell in Delusion

1) We may need a follow-up investigation as to why former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann seems to have a painting from 50 Shades of Grey. - Daily Beast politics editor Matt Fuller, tweet

2) The only conclusion - this dude likes to clobber pandas with a bat. - Division Bell tweet

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, NY1/Spectrum News interview clip:
I asked @AOC about being named/threatened directly in this new video from the #Jan6th committee. "I think it's been very clear for a very long time that I work with people who wish me harm," she told me. "I experienced [Jan 6th] as a culmination of the violent rhetoric." Via correspondent Kevin Frey's twitter; all links via Threadreader
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:47 AM on June 16 [8 favorites]


The Pence redemption tour schlock is getting a bit thick.
posted by bcd at 12:16 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Now Bible verses? Really?? Oh fuck right off.

(Daniel and the Lions' Den, then "fought the fight, finished the race, kept the faith", for those not watching.)
posted by bcd at 12:27 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


Who had Lawyer Pleading the Fifth on their Bingo card?
posted by riverlife at 12:30 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


So many theists
posted by wabbittwax at 12:39 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


way to testify in the testimony: nestified testimony!
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:59 PM on June 16


What I want and expect eventually to know is the identity of Guy Over Aguilar's Shoulder. Body language was demure, aware of being on camera but still, why was he there there there?
posted by y2karl at 12:59 PM on June 16


I have noticed that the camera settings they are using have an insane depth of field. People many feet behind a witness are in perfect focus. Why do they do that? It is so weird.
posted by nanook at 1:04 PM on June 16


I have seen Luttig speak in person before and have watched recent interviews from him. This is not how Luttig normally speaks. His delivery is normally much quicker than this.
Maybe he slowed down to an absolutely maddening degree deliberately to thwart would-be soundbiters and try to keep from being taken out of context.
posted by Don Pepino at 1:09 PM on June 16


People many feet behind a witness are in perfect focus. Why do they do that? It is so weird.

Grassy Knolls all the way down.
posted by y2karl at 1:16 PM on June 16


Who had Lawyer Pleading the Fifth on their Bingo card? .. So many theists ..
way to testify in the testimony: nestified testimony!


It would be great if people could provide some context about what they're talking about for those of us who aren't able to watch live rather than just becoming Chatfilter.
posted by Candleman at 1:17 PM on June 16 [16 favorites]


committee showed clip of eastman pleading the fifth over and over. it is not new news, but seeing (some of) it is new.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:41 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


It would be great if people could provide some context about what they're talking about for those of us who aren't able to watch live rather than just becoming Chatfilter.

And for my earlier ChatFilter: They spent a lot of time on rehabilitating Pence. The two live witnesses were both very much Pence people and I suspect part of the reason they agreed was to be able to do that rehabilitation.

Being Pence, we spent far too much time listening to them describe prayers, and how the lawyer went and read that story from Daniel after it was over, as a metaphor for how brave Pence was, in the lion's den. Plus Pence's CoS with the other verse from II Timothy, which if I remember correctly Pence quoted about how he felt afterwards. Plus the retired judge about how he and Pence probably "prayed the same prayer to the same god" and that he prayed the same prayer again this morning with his wife.

We get it. Pence was less bad than Trump that day, but Christian Dominionists are still evil incarnate and need to be kept far away from the levers of power.
posted by bcd at 1:51 PM on June 16 [13 favorites]


i don't think it was the lion's den story, but one of daniel not obeying an unjust order of the ruler whose deputy he served as during captivity. i'm not giving them the satisfaction of going to look it up.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:55 PM on June 16


Complete aside, but the Related Posts section at the bottom is disturbingly on the nose with the first line for me. During the hearing Pence was quoted as saying "that's rubber room stuff", which to me is a dated, ableist phrase. It isn't mentioned anywhere in the comments, and yet the first related post is:

Rubber Rooms Are Still Open, Just Different October 16, 2012

How?
posted by bcd at 1:56 PM on June 16


i'm not giving them the satisfaction of going to look it up.

I did at the time, Daniel 6, yes, the lion's den story, but also yes, the description was focusing on disobeying the unjust order which is why he got put in the lion's den. No mention of the lions/insurrectionists.
posted by bcd at 2:03 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


ah. thanks bcd.
posted by 20 year lurk at 2:04 PM on June 16


How?

Both posts use the Hearings tag and that 2012 Rubber Rooms post is the most recent one to use it previously.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:34 PM on June 16 [2 favorites]


disobeying the unjust order which is why he got put in the lion's den

That unjust order? Not worshiping the king as an infalliable god. He was thrown to the lions for resisting a fascist cult of personality. Not that the bible has anything much to say about replacing facism with democracy, but I found that wrinkle amusing.
posted by pwnguin at 4:38 PM on June 16 [7 favorites]


We all knew Trump was willingly, knowingly committing crimes, but it's nice to have even more evidence laid out. Now if only it restored my civil rights
posted by Jacen at 5:18 PM on June 16 [4 favorites]


My takeaways from today's recounting of the hunting of Mike Pence -
1) As an atheist I was momentarily taken in by, and grateful for, the appeal to god as a guide to the anti-grift. Then I caught myself. I mean, really?
2) The January 6th committee is trying to win the 2024 nomination for the Republican presidential candidate for Mike Pence.
3) All of these witnesses, ok most of them, did.not.say.anything until they were under oath for this commission. what the hell (see #4).
4) Team Normal? sure. you mean Team in it for ourselves but being legal.
5) I don't agree with a single thing that Liz Cheney has ever uttered. However, I also feel that the going for Trump's jugular may be due to her. I don't think the Democrats on the committee have the imagination to this relentless accounting of the grift. Liz Cheney knows the audience she is speaking to are a bottomless pit of self interest (see Impeachment #2).

What a fucking mess the Republican party is.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:21 PM on June 16 [15 favorites]


I have seen Luttig speak in person before and have watched recent interviews from him. This is not how Luttig normally speaks. His delivery is normally much quicker than this.
posted by all about eevee at 10:51 AM


On Twitter, I think it was Jon Carl? stated that Luttig had had a stroke sometime recently, and apologized for making a nasty comment about his speech rate. I'll try to find the tweet.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:24 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Yesterday: Capitol Police say 'there is no evidence' of reconnaissance tour by GOP Rep. Loudermilk before January 6
Today: GOP Rep. Barry Loudermilk led Capitol tour the day before January 6 attack, including a man who took photos of stairwells and hallways and later made threats against Democratic lawmakers
posted by Artw at 11:00 AM


Does anybody have any info on this? The Capitol Police report seems really weird to me (and Loudermilk is a lying jerk - he 'remembered' SO MANY DETAILS about why the insurrectionist on the tour was taking pictures of stairways, once he got caught.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:27 PM on June 16 [1 favorite]


2) The January 6th committee is trying to win the 2024 nomination for the Republican presidential candidate for Mike Pence.

Get serious. No one is going to vote for Pence. No Democrat will, obviously. And most Republicans are and will remain Trumpers, so no votes there, either.
posted by SPrintF at 8:40 PM on June 16 [3 favorites]


Now Bible verses? Really?? Oh fuck right off.

No, this was tactical. Part of getting across to the Christian (for real and pretend) wing of persuadable Republicans is giving them a framework to believe that Pence and the people advising him acted in a godly and moral way. By extension, the Committee is also on the side of good (see also how they’re underplaying how every witness is a diehard Trump loyalist, leaving it for the target audience to discover). These are tools the Bible-toting can use, in turn, to persuade other likeminded folks. They know a desirable outcome, for the sake of democracy, is to get Trumpy America to snap out of it and leave the cult.
posted by carmicha at 8:58 PM on June 16 [20 favorites]


Yes, that was apparent but the separation between church and state has been so greatly eroded and the overweening influence of evangelical Christians so distasteful that it felt overplayed.

In other news, I didn’t realize that Eastman also clerked for Judge Luttig. Small world.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 4:46 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


A current list of NPR’s full text transcripts of House Jan. 6 Committee Hearings can be found using the following NPR search query (including quotes):

"Here's every word" "Jan. 6 committee hearing"

Hopefully, NPR will keep using the same phrases in their article titles. They seem to take less than a day to release a new transcript. Each hearing’s transcript is on one web page: use your browser’s ‘Find in page’ feature to search for key words.
posted by cenoxo at 5:36 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Committee hearing schedules “On the January 6th Investigation” are posted at:

Congress.gov > Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol > Committee Activity > Committee Meetings.
posted by cenoxo at 6:24 AM on June 17 [2 favorites]


2) The January 6th committee is trying to win the 2024 nomination for the Republican presidential candidate for Mike Pence.

Get serious. No one is going to vote for Pence. No Democrat will, obviously. And most Republicans are and will remain Trumpers, so no votes there, either.
posted by SPrintF at 8:40 PM


Re-read what I wrote. I didn't say they want anybody to vote for him, they want him to get the nomination.
posted by bluesky43 at 7:13 AM on June 17 [4 favorites]


We all knew Trump was willingly, knowingly committing crimes, but it's nice to have even more evidence laid out.

We also know that he proceeded with committing crimes not because he believed his actions were legal, but because he believed (thanks to that stupid Watergate Justice Department memo) that he couldn't be prosecuted for said crimes.
posted by Gelatin at 7:43 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]




At this point the only question I want answered is whether instigating a violent insurrection is a crime or a political act. For all the damning evidence that's being revealed, are there going to be prosecutions or are we just going to leave it up to the voters to do the right thing? Do we live in a nation governed by laws or popularity contests?

What's the point of these hearings if they don't rain down the indictments? We know that Eastman and several Republican members of Congress were so worried about their culpability in Jan 6th that they quietly sought preemptive pardons. What the fuck is taking the DoJ so long? Why are there still attempts at face-saving chicanery like the letter that Capitol Police gave Rep. Loudermilk?

We know that Republicans are making plans to begin their own fake investigations if they assume power next year. We know that they won't be as restrained when it comes to maintaining norms and decorum. We have actual crimes with actual damning evidence. Why isn't anyone doing something about it?
posted by RonButNotStupid at 8:11 AM on June 17 [14 favorites]


Re-read what I wrote. I didn't say they want anybody to vote for him, they want him to get the nomination.

Why? I can't think of a scenario where they would want to lose in the next (or any) Presidential election.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 8:57 AM on June 17


I think bluesky43 is saying that a Pence nomination would be terrific for the dems because he would be so wildly unpopular with both parties, clearing the way for another blue white house.
posted by mochapickle at 9:34 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Oh, got it. I misread and thought he was talking about the two Republicans on the committee.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 9:45 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


The part that really terrifies me is how close even this half assed attempt at a coup came.

If Trump had been less cowardly, a little smarter, a little more prepared, I think he could have gotten a real force storming the capitol, murdering members of Congress. I don't know if that would have just caused a shooting civil war or if the Democrats would have accepted whatever excuse Trump came up with to declare himself victor.

But the nation was on the knife edge on Jan 6.

What really worries me is that the smarter Republicans saw how close to victory Trump came and will be better prepared and braver next time.

RonButNotStupid is entirely correct. If we don't get wide ranging indictments, including high level people not just a few sacrificial peons like after Watergate, all that will happen is the Republicans will become emboldened to make a second try. And then? I don't know, but I don't like any of the possibilities.
posted by sotonohito at 10:05 AM on June 17 [8 favorites]


Speaking of Trump "willingly, knowingly committing crimes," and Pence's Indiana record w/r/t "HIV/AIDS-Related Crimes Against Humanity," another reminder: Trump appointed Pence to head the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The task force, announced on Jan. 26, 2020, was first led by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

Less than a month later: Trump puts Pence in charge of coronavirus response (Politico, Feb. 26, 2020). Trump praised Pence’s handling of health crises during his time as Indiana governor. “Look at the Indiana model, they have been very successful there,” Trump said. The White House is “using Mike because he’s very good at doing what he does,” he added.
Six months on: How Mike Pence slowed down the coronavirus response (Politico, Aug. 26, 2020)
Early fall: How Mike Pence enabled Donald Trump’s botched Covid-19 response (Vox, Oct. 9, 2020) Time and time again, Pence dutifully implemented Trump’s disastrous coronavirus agenda.
posted by Iris Gambol at 10:19 AM on June 17 [6 favorites]


I misread and thought he was talking about the two Republicans on the committee.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Cheney and Kinzinger preferred a Dem win over Trump v2. If they’re ever going to get their party back, they know a reckoning is required.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 10:26 AM on June 17 [3 favorites]


Regarding prosecution, the committee doesn't have the power to do that on their own. That's up to the DOJ. And the committee can certainly refer the issues to the DOJ and I hope the DOJ is watching these hearings. But ultimately it's up to the DOJ. The committee itself can't do anything but ask them.
posted by downtohisturtles at 10:47 AM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I misread and thought *he was talking about the two Republicans on the committee.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Cheney and Kinzinger preferred a Dem win over Trump v2. If they’re ever going to get their party back, they know a reckoning is required.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear


Box and a stick nailed it. Cheney wants to reclaim the GOP for the non-Trumper Republicans, and while she may not think Pence has a good shot at it, it might work AND hopefully it could recalibrate the GOP back to pursuing its anti-choice, anti-gay rights, anti-women, anti-children, anti-healthcare, anti- medicare/medicaid and SS, anti-religious choice (pro only Christianity), anti-immigrant and pro-gun agenda. Without conspiracy theories and Q-anon and importantly without Trump. Part of the reason Cheney has been so fearlessly bucking the trumpers is because Trump shit on 'establishment' republicans like her dad (who in my view is a war criminal) and the Bush dynasty.

*they is better when gender orientation is not explicit. tnx.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:02 AM on June 17 [5 favorites]


And so far Garland appears to be following the Obama Doctrine and refusing to prosecute Republicans in favor of looking forward, not back.
posted by sotonohito at 11:07 AM on June 17


Surely This will push him to rethink that. Surely This will push the Justice Department to rethink the get-out-of-everything-free card for Presidents and ex-Presidents.
posted by bink at 11:24 AM on June 17


And children, accomplices, and known criminal associates of Presidents.
posted by Gadarene at 11:42 AM on June 17


The DOJ and the committee are kind of at odds right now. Garland could theoretically do more if the committee would release all the evidence they’ve collected to DOJ, but they aren’t ready to do that yet. Grrr.
posted by rikschell at 12:00 PM on June 17 [1 favorite]


I bet they will after the televised hearings are over. I think they're carefully doling out the bombshells to keep people engaged, and to keep the hearings in the news for weeks instead of one big event that could be overshadowed by any other Big News someone were to generate.
posted by bink at 12:18 PM on June 17 [7 favorites]


It's a shame there aren't eight million other things the DOJ could be prosecuting Trump and his cohort for that have nothing at all to do with January 6th.

It's a shame there isn't a list of prosecutable criminality so long and dense and frequent that we've literally forgotten most of it.

Sure is a shame.
posted by Gadarene at 12:38 PM on June 17 [14 favorites]


*they is better when gender orientation is not explicit. tnx.

I could have even just looked at your user profile before commenting. I am sorry.

This is one of many reasons I rarely comment while at work.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 2:13 PM on June 17 [4 favorites]


I bet they will after the televised hearings are over.

Oh, sorry but now we can't because of the upcoming elections. DOJ policy is that prosecuting politicians during election season could compromise our democracy.
posted by ryanrs at 2:35 PM on June 17 [8 favorites]


I bet they will after the televised hearings are over.

Oh, sorry but now we can't because of the upcoming elections.


..but, surely this...
posted by From Bklyn at 1:40 AM on June 18 [2 favorites]


Anecdatum: My wife and I have gone to the same VRBO 3 or 4 times, out in the middle of nowhere. The last mile goes by only half a dozen houses, and one thing we've noticed every time is a house with a flagpole, with the US flag on top, and underneath it, a Trump flag. When we drove up Sunday the Trump flag was still flying, but later in the week, the US flag was still up but the Trump flag was down.
What could cause the type of person who flies a Trump flag to take it down? It could be for any number of reasons of course, but we prefer to think it's due to the hearings.
posted by MtDewd at 6:33 AM on June 20 [9 favorites]


What could cause the type of person who flies a Trump flag to take it down?

Maybe they're cyclists.
posted by mazola at 8:48 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


Maybe they're cleaning bird shit off it, or needed it for the RV.
posted by Iris Gambol at 11:09 AM on June 20 [1 favorite]


They could be buying a FUCK BIDEN flag like the guy down the street from me. Same spot, right under the US flag.
posted by InfidelZombie at 11:42 AM on June 20


I always take those particular flags to mean that they love Biden sooooo much that they'd like to develop an intense, passionate, physical relationship with him and they feel so strongly about it that they want everyone to know.
posted by mochapickle at 11:46 AM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Capitol Police detain 7 staffers from Stephen Colbert show (UPI, June 18, 2022) On Thursday, production crewmembers were filming a Triumph the Insult Comic Dog (written and performed by Robert Smigel) segment, featuring interviews with member of Congress, in and around Capitol Hill. Renata Luczak, vice president of entertainment communications for CBS, told the network's news division that the interviews were pre-arranged and proper authorization was secured; in a statement, Capitol Police describe officers responding to a call placed around 8:30 p.m. Thursday night, concerning "a disturbance in the Longworth House Office Building," and note that the detainees "were determined to be a part of a group that had been directed by the USCP to leave the building earlier in the day."

USCP highlight: "They were charged with unlawful entry," according to the statement. "This is an active criminal investigation, and may result in additional criminal charges after consultation with the U.S. Attorney."

Rolling Stone has Smigel as one of the arrestees: ‘Late Show’ Staffers, Triumph the Insult Comic Dog Arrested for Unlawful Entry at U.S. Capitol
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:21 PM on June 20 [2 favorites]


Re: I have seen Luttig speak in person before and have watched recent interviews from him. This is not how Luttig normally speaks. His delivery is normally much quicker than this. (& others)
@judgeluttig: "For better or worse, I was as compos mentis as I have ever been last Thursday, June 16, 2022. But please keep checking on me from time to time! You just never know these days! Thank you, everyone! You're the best!" (thread)
posted by mazola at 1:35 PM on June 20 [3 favorites]


> What could cause the type of person who flies a Trump flag to take it down?

took it to the seamstress to have a gold fringe added on?
posted by glonous keming at 6:42 PM on June 20 [8 favorites]


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa43_z_82Og is the live feed straight from the committee today.
posted by bcd at 10:02 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


And new today, they have an ASL interpreter in an embedded window in the corner. They didn't offer that last time. Good for them.
posted by bcd at 10:04 AM on June 21 [5 favorites]


The other huge change, they are connecting this to absolutely current news. In particular the NM GOP election official who, despite an actual writ of mandamus, has refused to certify some GOP primary election results in the last week because of his 'gut feeling' that there was fraud.

Also, appears Adam Schiff is in the other main chair today and will be doing the questioning - that's always good.
posted by bcd at 10:09 AM on June 21 [4 favorites]


For those who might want sometimes informed / sometimes just jokey commentary alongside the hearings, Crooked Media is live streaming the CSPAN feed along with their group chat.
posted by Celatone at 10:18 AM on June 21


Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) offered to deliver fake electors from Wisconsin and Michigan to Pence. Pence staffer:

Do not give that to him.
posted by box at 11:59 AM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Grateful for Ms. Moss' testimony. She's so nervous, and clearly upset about having to remember all the harassment she went through; I just want to reassure her and thank her.
posted by May Kasahara at 12:18 PM on June 21 [19 favorites]


Liz Cheney’s closing statement listing the officials who refused to testify was particularly powerful following Ms. Moss.
posted by mochapickle at 12:40 PM on June 21 [11 favorites]


I hope Liz Cheney's serious pressure there near the end on Pat Cipollone to testify will bear fruit. Thursday has the other Republican on the committee, Adam Kinzinger questioning Trump's former Acting AG, Jeff Rosen. That should certainly be interesting too, but Cipollone really knows where all the bodies are buried.

At one point during the testimony Ms. Moss popped something in her mouth and I can't help but wonder if it was the same sort of ginger mint her mother gave her that Trump and cronies tried to convince the public was a USB drive.

I found their testimony very powerful. Sure, I have some sympathy for the abuse Speaker Bowers or Secretary of State Raffensperger caught after Trump turned on them, but ultimately their chose the Leopards Eating People's Faces Party with their eyes open. Ms. Moss and Lady Ruby made no such choice and had much less protection. I don't know there's a specific crime Trump or Giuliani committed against them - but there sure as hell should be.
posted by bcd at 1:12 PM on June 21 [12 favorites]


I don't know there's a specific crime Trump or Giuliani committed against them - but there sure as hell should be.

I see that they sued Giuliani and One America News Network for defamation, and they settled with One America; the suit against Giuliani is still outstanding. I don't know why they didn't sue Trump as well. Maybe they were told it was more trouble than it's worth (or else, "get in line" behind all the other folks suing him).
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:59 PM on June 21 [2 favorites]


Jan 6 committee member Adam Kinzinger shares death threat letter mailed to his family home (The Independent, June 21, 2022) Outgoing congressman urges Americans to ‘wake up’ to threats of violence.

The letter is addressed to his wife, Sofia. Rep. Kinzinger: "We got it a couple of days ago, and it threatens to execute me, as well as my wife and 5-month-old child”.

"Mr Kinzinger previously received a death threat following his vote to impeach Mr Trump for fighting to overturn the 2020 presidential election results in the wake of the Capitol attack."

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger Warns of Nation's Violence After Someone Threatens to Execute Him, His Family (People, June 21, 2022) On Sunday, the Republican shared a threatening letter on Twitter that had been addressed to his wife, Sofia Boza-Holman — a former communications staffer for then-Vice President Mike Pence — and mailed to their home.

posted by Iris Gambol at 2:09 PM on June 21 [3 favorites]


I see that they sued Giuliani and One America News Network for defamation...

A civil action is good, and money from that might make their upended lives easier to deal with, but it's the bigger problem how to criminally prosecute powerful people who unleash what are effectively pogroms against disfavored groups or individuals.
posted by bcd at 2:22 PM on June 21 [7 favorites]


This story says a fly-on-the-wall documentarian is giving all his footage to the committee.
The Jan. 6 committee has subpoenaed documentary filmmaker Alex Holder in regard to footage and interviews Holder and his team shot while following former President Donald Trump and his inner circle throughout the 2020 presidential campaign. Holder’s company, AJH Films, confirmed to Rolling Stone on Tuesday that he has been subpoenaed, will sit for an interview with the panel on Thursday, and has “fully complied with all of the committee’s requests.”

Trump’s team was blindsided by the development, which was initially reported by Politico.

In some of the highest ranks of the Trumpworld diaspora — including among several who testified before the Jan. 6 committee — news of the documentarian cooperating with the congressional panel (and also potentially having reams of behind-the-scenes footage of Trump’s crusade to nullify the 2020 election) came as a bizarre surprise. “What the fuck is this?” a former top Trump 2020 official messaged Rolling Stone on Tuesday after seeing the Politico item.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 10:35 PM on June 21 [16 favorites]


This is the biggest revelation since the discovery of the Nixon tapes.
posted by interogative mood at 1:34 AM on June 22 [2 favorites]


A source familiar with the production of Holder’s documentary, titled Unprecedented, told Rolling Stone that the film was conceptualized and coordinated directly with the Trump family, and that senior campaign staff was not involved in approving participants or in decisions regarding what subject matter would be included in the film.

ahahahaha
posted by ryanrs at 3:34 AM on June 22 [12 favorites]


i transcribed some of judge luttig's first and last statments for my own ease of comprehension, and share on the chance you, too, may find value:

source, cspan.
Luttig: Thank you madame vicechairman. That passage in my statement this morning referenced the most foundational concept in america which is the rule of law. thus, as i interpret your question you are asking about that foundational truth of these united states which we call america. the foundational truth is the rule of law. that foundational truth is for the united states of america the profound truth. but it is not merely the profound truth for the united states, it's also the simple truth. the simple foundational truth of the american republic, thus in my view the hearings being conducted by this select committee are examining that profound truth namely the rule of law in the united states of america. the specific question of course before you and before the nation -- not before me -- is whether that foundational rule of law was supremely violated on january 6, 2021. now, to the question specifically that you asked, madame vice-chair. i believe that had vice president pence obeyed the orders from his president and the president of the united states of america during the joint session of the congress of the united states on january 6, 2021, and declared donald t[nope] the next president of the united states, notwithstanding that then president trump had lost the electoral college vote as well as the popular vote in the 2020 presidential election, that declaration of donald t[nope] as the next president would have plunged america into what i believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in america, which in my view, and i am only one man, would have been the first constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic.

...

Luttig: I'm honored...I was honored... I prayed... I have written as you said chairman thompson that today almost 2 years after that fateful day in january 2021 that still donald t[nope] and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to american democracy. that's not because of what happened on jan 6, it's because to this very day the former president, his allies and supporters pledge that in the presidential election of 2024 if the former president or his annointed successor as the republican party presidential candidate were to lost that election that they would attempt to overturn that 2024 election in the same way that they attempted to overturn the 2020 election but succeed in 2024 where they failed in 2020. i don't speak those words lightly. i would have never spoken those words ever in my life except that that's what the former president and his allies are telling us. as i said in the nyt op ed wherein i was speaking about the electoral count act of 1887, the former president and his allies are executing that blueprint for 2024 in open and plain view of the american public. i repeat i would have never uttered one single of those words unless the former president and his allies were candidly and proudly speaking those exact words to america.
i did not transcribe my favorite response, when he was asked what he meant by some statement (maybe the oft-referenced nyt op ed): i meant exactly what i said.

i missed yesterday's hearing and hasten to catch up.
posted by 20 year lurk at 8:19 AM on June 22 [7 favorites]


January 5, 2021:
On Wednesday, Congress will meet to formally count the Electoral College votes after they were certified by states last month. At least 12 GOP senators and dozens of House Republicans say they intend to object to the Electoral College results as those votes are read, state by state, in a joint session that begins at noon CT Wednesday.

During an exchange with reporters on Tuesday, [Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa] was asked how he plans to vote.

“Well, first of all, I will be — if the Vice President isn’t there and we don’t expect him to be there, I will be presiding over the Senate,” according to a transcript of his remarks sent by a spokesperson.
I wonder why Grassley wasn't expecting Pence to be there?

Grassley was president pro tempore of the Senate at the time, and the second-highest-ranking official, so it would've been his job to fill in if Pence wasn't there.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:36 PM on June 22 [9 favorites]


Amber Ruffin and friends sing about the hearings (and prosecutions that have been happening).
posted by eviemath at 5:10 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]


omg el debarge raising a tankard of maga seditionist tears!
posted by 20 year lurk at 5:36 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]


"is you taking notes on a criminal fucking conspi ... is that a documentary crew?
posted by sebastienbailard at 10:03 PM on June 22 [11 favorites]


History has been said to repeat, first as tragedy then as comedy, and it has been seen sometimes to rhyme; history has been ascribed a long moral arc, bending slowly but surely to the good. The events of the past forty years, and particularly the past decade or so, have left me wondering if indeed history is often just a trembling fevered heap huddled in a dirty alleyway, huffing gasoline, lead paint, and embalming fluid, fiddling idly with a wound it will not let heal and a shadow on the bottom of its shoe.

I pray that out of this savage chaos we can find our silver lining, and then the spiritual and civic alchemy to render it gold.

A miracle
A miracle
O God I'm on my knees
Please crush this vicious vipers brood
Drown them into the sea
posted by riverlife at 11:04 PM on June 22 [5 favorites]


I just called my House Rep (because both of my Senators are worthless traitors; I am in Tennessee) and said something to the effect of: I am a constituent, my zip is ___. I'm really concerned that the January 6th Committee won't actually result in consequences for the conspirators, and I wanted to urge the Congressman to talk to whoever he needs to talk to in, the Senate or at the DOJ, to ensure that there are actual indictments. I am worried that this will all be treated as politics and left to the voters to solve. There need to be criminal consequences for these people, not just political consequences.

The Capitol Switchboard number is 202-224-3121.
posted by joannemerriam at 8:19 AM on June 23 [10 favorites]


I'm glad democracy was held to some degree by the actions of Rusty Bowers. But man oh man, I do not want somebody in office who believes that the Constitution was "divinely inspired". I would not be surprised if Bowers also believes that Trump was also divinely inspired. After all this, people like him would vote for Trump again. After all this they would vote for Trump again to fulfill their dream of a 'perfect' America: to rid the country of supposed democratic pedophiles, deliver us all from evil abortion, integrate church and state, defeat gay marriage and reinstitute separation of the races, that's what people like Bowers want. This is what's standing between us and an autocracy.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:27 AM on June 23 [8 favorites]


Here's today's direct video feed from the committee's website.
posted by bcd at 11:58 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Witnesses:
• Jeffrey A. Rosen, Former Acting Attorney General
• Richard Donoghue, Former Acting Deputy Attorney General
• Steven Engel, Former Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel
posted by bcd at 12:04 PM on June 23


After all this they would vote for Trump again to fulfill their dream of a 'perfect' America: to rid the country of supposed democratic pedophiles, deliver us all from evil abortion, integrate church and state, defeat gay marriage and reinstitute separation of the races, that's what people like Bowers want.
My wife is a Hard Pass on watching the hearings and is happy to get my post event analysis, and I told her that the last session was the most Lawful Neutral event that I have ever watched. It was a bunch of ostensibly evil people opposing another person, not because that other person was evil but because they were chaotic.
posted by bl1nk at 12:52 PM on June 23 [18 favorites]


Was it public that Trump tried to get Sydney Power appointed Special Counsel to investigate 'election fraud'?

Holy crap - I can't imagine how bad that would have been. And presumably that's exactly one of the things Jeff Clark would have been ready to do in a heartbeat if he'd become acting AG.
posted by bcd at 1:31 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


I really enjoy Eric Hershmann's blunt honesty and F-bombing. Please let me know if there's a supercut of his remarks on YouTube somewhere, I'd really treasure it, especially the "we're under siege" thing from the other day.
posted by jenfullmoon at 1:37 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


this is bombshell testimony today.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:01 PM on June 23 [7 favorites]


Jeff Clark has been very much the focus on this hearing. They mentioned this today but apparently Federal agents seized various electronic devices from his home yesterday morning. The timing is certainly interesting, but I don't know what to make of it. You'd think any such warrants would have been executed long before this particular hearing. Something else is brewing that we won't find out about today, I have to presume.
posted by bcd at 2:10 PM on June 23 [5 favorites]


Boom. there are the names asking for pardons.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:16 PM on June 23 [2 favorites]


Interesting there were about half a dozen names there - but didn't Cheney mention 30 pardon requests a couple of sessions ago? We heard the expected names, Gaetz, Brooks, Gohmert, Greene, Biggs, maybe Jordon, probably a couple more I've forgotten. I'm curious about the rest of that list.
posted by bcd at 2:22 PM on June 23


They mentioned this today but apparently Federal agents seized various electronic devices from his home yesterday morning.

Ugh - they HAVEN'T mentioned this today. Sorry.
posted by bcd at 2:24 PM on June 23 [4 favorites]


Senior investigator John Wood (clerked for Clarence Thomas & Judge J. Michael Luttig, and questioned the latter last week) is leaving the Jan. 6 committee early, to explore a Senate run as a Republican-backed "Independent" candidate in Missouri. Election's in November, Republican primary is Aug. 6. The Republican frontrunner is the former (resigned amid scandals in 2018) governor, and recent "Hunting RINOs" campaign ad star, Eric Greitens.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:46 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Is there any prospect of a right-wing third party Presidential candidacy in 2024? Especially if Trump or a Trumpian clone runs? Who would be able to do this credibly? If Trump himself runs, then maybe Liz Cheney?
posted by Rumple at 7:11 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Desantis is considered too respectable for that to happen.
posted by Artw at 9:27 PM on June 23


presumably the Powers that Be are savvy enough to know that splitting the right-wing vote is a good way to lose the election in a plurality-takes-all system
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:49 PM on June 23


Well yes, that would be their motivation - some kind of "RINO" intervention to try to stamp out Trumpism.
posted by Rumple at 9:53 PM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Is there any prospect of a right-wing third party Presidential candidacy in 2024?

It's almost a certainty. The Libertarians put someone up every year, and the Constitution Party has been around since the '90s.

But it won't be backed by the Powers that Be--the R brand has a lot of baked-in advantages in the current system, and, just as importantly, it comes with a lot of low-information voters (not a dis, there are plenty of those on the D side too) and it's worth a lot of money.
posted by box at 4:58 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


It's almost a certainty. The Libertarians put someone up every year, and the Constitution Party has been around since the '90s.

Both are absolute jokes though, even in right circles. They LP got, what, a little less than 4% of the vote in 2016, and that was probably their most visible year in my lifetime. Libertarianism as a philosophy, sure, the right is into that (as long as you leave out Kropotkin of course), but the party is not taken seriously by anyone. Certainly not enough juice to spoil a Trump 24 run, even if they were inclined to run that way.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:51 AM on June 24


Huh. Turns out DC police CAN turn up in numbers when they want to.
posted by Artw at 10:11 AM on June 24 [4 favorites]


The Libertarians put someone up every year

I was thinking more of a mainstream or "left" Republican who could make a significant inroad into the Republican vote. Like Ross Perot scale. Or Evan McMuffin in Utah. The GOP is unlikely to change if that requires giving up power, but it is within the power of a GOP faction to mount a credible third candidacy as a spoiler if they decide that is the lesser of two evils. Someone like Liz Cheney, or Mitt Romney, or some retread from the W administration.

I guess I am assuming, perhaps wrongly, that there might be 10% of Republicans who might vote for a credible spoiler who is also unimpeachably conservative and that might be my mistake.
posted by Rumple at 10:53 AM on June 24 [1 favorite]


That seems like a risky thing to hope for given Democrat weaknesses.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on June 24


there might be 10% of Republicans who might vote for a credible spoiler

There isn't any evidence that there's any constituency for anti-Trumpism in the Republican party. It'd be 1-2% of the electorate. I don't mean to imply it's a stupid thought on your part, on the contrary it should be closer to your number. It's just that we've had people break and they don't bring any voters with them. It's mind-boggling.

I think the issue is that after 30 years of Fox News and Rush Limbaugh the core of the Republican Party is white nationalists who hate liberals. That, and not any particular policy, is their driving force.

If you could plausibly say that there was a Trumpian "wing" of the Republican party you might imagine a strategic revolt by "mainstream" Republicans, because it would help them win an internal battle for control of the party. But that ship has sailed. People who don't like that have either left the party already, or are reconciled that this is the price they pay for lower taxes.

Apparently even the Libertarian party has gone all in on the authoritarian strain recently according to people who care enough to tell the difference. (And if you don't care enough, that's laudable, but also means no need to chime with the cheap "LOL isn't that all libertarians.")
posted by mark k at 11:46 AM on June 24 [2 favorites]


I was thinking more of a mainstream or "left" Republican who could make a significant inroad into the Republican vote. Like Ross Perot scale. Or Evan McMuffin in Utah.

Such a candidate might also eat into Biden's support from centrists.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:26 PM on June 24 [3 favorites]


The entirety of national Democratic messaging at this point is about pointing to centrist compromise as the only way forwards, which would mean essentially putting the opposition forwards as the best choice in this case.
posted by Artw at 12:29 PM on June 24 [4 favorites]


The entirety of national Democratic messaging at this point is about pointing to centrist compromise as the only way forwards

Umm... no, it's not. And that claim is easily disprovable.

You could just take a look at the president's Facebook page, for a start.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 3:44 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]


I just woke up this morning and realized that from the point of view of Trump and his co-conspirators, this is all unfair: if Bush could steal the election with the help of the Brooks Brothers riot and the Supreme Court, why couldn't they do the same? Criminal disregard for democracy and the constitution has been a huge part of the Republican DNA for a couple of generations now, Trump is just more open about it.

BTW the reason I was thinking about it was that I am working on a paper that as a given has to include some reflection on the climate situation, and I remembered that before the 2000 election, there was actually a growing understanding that we needed to do something NOW. I have the books to prove it. Well, we all did the opposite of that something, and not just in the US. The US is a global leader in many ways.
posted by mumimor at 1:50 AM on June 26 [7 favorites]


Jan6 Committee has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow Tuesday at 1. Unlike other hearings, no witness names have been released.
posted by bluesky43 at 10:50 AM on June 27 [2 favorites]


Jan. 6 Panel Abruptly Sets Tuesday Hearing on ‘Recently Obtained Evidence’
The panel, which had planned at least two additional hearings next month, had not been scheduled to meet this week. (NYT)

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol on Monday abruptly scheduled a hearing for Tuesday afternoon to hear what the panel called “recently obtained evidence” and take witness testimony.

The hearing is scheduled for 1 p.m., according to a news release issued by the committee, in which it provided no other details about the surprise session.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:06 AM on June 27 [10 favorites]


Per CNN, Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, will testify tomorrow. Hutchinson has been a wealth of information already:

- During one hearing last week, the committee played a video clip of Hutchinson testifying that Meadows and former President Donald Trump's onetime attorney Rudy Giuliani were involved in early conversations about putting forward fake slates of electors -- a core tenet of the broader effort to overturn the 2020 election.

- The panel has also played video of Hutchinson testifying that Rep. Scott Perry, a Pennsylvania Republican, wanted then-Justice Department lawyer Jeffrey Clark to take over the department -- connecting another key part of Trump's effort to upend Joe Biden's election win. "He wanted Mr. Clark -- Mr. Jeff Clark -- to take over the Department of Justice," she said of Perry in a clip of her deposition that was played at a hearing last week.

- Hutchinson also named several Republican members of Congress who she said had inquired about pardons, either for themselves or others, in the lead-up to January 6, according to other video played by the committee during its hearings, including: Perry and Reps. Matt Gaetz of Florida, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Jim Jordan of Ohio and Louie Gohmert of Texas.

- CNN has reported that during one of her interviews with the committee, Hutchinson said Trump had suggested to Meadows that he approved of the "hang Mike Pence" chants from rioters who stormed the US Capitol. She also testified that Trump had complained about his then-vice president being hustled to safety while Trump supporters breached the Capitol, the sources previously told CNN.

Hutchinson was initially represented by Stefan Passantino, an attorney "with significant links to people in Trump's orbit." [CNN] Hutchinson's lawyer is now Jody Hunt, of Alston Bird. Hunt spent decades in the DOJ, and "served as the Senate-confirmed assistant attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division, 2018–2020, and as the chief of staff to the attorney general [Jeff Sessions] 2017–2018." Hunt announced his resignation from the Justice Department's civil division on June 16, 2020, the same day he signed onto a lawsuit suing President Donald Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton over the scheduled publication of his book. The resignation took effect July 3, 2020.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:55 AM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Today's video stream direct from the committee is live.
posted by bcd at 9:56 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


There it is. The militias who didn’t go to rally (where they’d be searched) , waited by the Washington Monument and marched directly to Congress so they were on the front lines. Capitol police reported seeing automatic weapons.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 10:30 AM on June 28 [8 favorites]


The witness had a conversation with Meadows & his DCoS about all the weapons early on the morning of the 6th, and confirmed that Trump knew, and they were all good with it.

The only thing Trump was upset about was the the metal detectors were preventing people with weapons from entering to make sure the area for his speech was full. "I don't fucking care they have weapons, take the mags away. They aren't here to hurt ME." Mags being magnetometers.
posted by bcd at 10:35 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


A witness bearing smoking guns metaphorically if not literally.
posted by y2karl at 10:37 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Huh. Trump’s secret service codename was MOGUL.
posted by wabbittwax at 10:49 AM on June 28


Huh. Trump’s secret service codename was MOGUL.

That reeks of him demanding that name himself. What a fucking loser.
posted by heteronym at 10:52 AM on June 28 [19 favorites]


Cipollone explained to WH team that it would be a serious legal issue for Trump to go to the Capitol after the speech.

Trump told multiple aides he did intend to go to the Capitol after the speech at the Oval, like he said he would in the speech.

The Secret Service scrambled to make that happen. Capital police was clearing a path. Only canceled after the riot was underway.

McCarthy called the witness angrily during the speech, asking if they were 'coming to his office'.
posted by bcd at 10:52 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


When the president was told they had to return to the West Wing, he literally grabbed the steering wheel to turn his vehicle toward the Capitol. OMG.
posted by mochapickle at 10:56 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


Witness talked with head of Trump's security detail & DCoS about what happened in Trump's vehicle (The Beast) right after the speech. Trump was, "I'm the fucking president. Take me back to the Capitol now." Complete with Trump grabbing the wheel and trying to force them to turn and trying to choke the head of security.

Completely predictable, and yet, what the fuck.
posted by bcd at 10:56 AM on June 28 [18 favorites]


this is explosive. a hahahaha. how's that red hat fitting today, patriot?
posted by 20 year lurk at 10:58 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


(DCoS, Tony Ornato, is responsible for security of president's team amongst other things.)
posted by bcd at 10:58 AM on June 28


Normally there are votes to stop the live-blogging, but I really appreciate this today. I just can't take more live shit and reading it with a bit of a distance is good.
posted by mumimor at 10:58 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


Toddler in Chief literally threw his plate against the wall. Ketchup dripping down the wall that the witness was trying to clean up. And that's not the first time she saw that.
posted by bcd at 11:00 AM on June 28 [8 favorites]


mumimor, your jaw is going to drop at the next thing. I'll make way for bcd to post.
posted by mochapickle at 11:01 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Will Stancil: "So basically the summary of this testimony so far:
-it was planned in advance
-the White House knew the mob was armed with rifles and specifically anticipated it would descend on the Capitol
-Trump planned to follow the mob and effectively seize the Capitol
-it was a coup"
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:02 AM on June 28 [22 favorites]


Physical aggression. Complete lack of self control. What a guy.
posted by sundrop at 11:02 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


*grins sheepishly at mochapickle* We're both on it.

And yes, sorry for the live blogging - but this really has been stunning.
posted by bcd at 11:02 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Yeah yeah, attacking the limo driver, throwing plates at the wall, physical coup, sure, but by far the most shocking thing is that Fox News is covering this live and actually taking the testimony seriously.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:08 AM on June 28 [18 favorites]


Complete with Trump grabbing the wheel and trying to force them to turn and trying to choke the head of security.

No room to swing a chair: Our first WWE president.
posted by y2karl at 11:10 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Is Ornato going to testify? Because if he corroborates the physical attack in the car, then maybe trump can be charged with assault. You know, just like the guy who touched Rudy on the shoulder yesterday.
posted by sundrop at 11:15 AM on June 28 [9 favorites]


geesh, how could these people continue to work for such a corrupt man-baby. and not said anything up until now. I did not have high hopes for these hearings but I am amazed at the thoroughness and tough minded nature of these hearings. It's magnificent.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:18 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Meanwhile, even the Republicans on the committee still don't care,.
posted by Mchelly at 11:22 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


geesh, how could these people continue to work for such a corrupt man-baby. and not said anything up until now.

This. It always confuses me. But in my experience a very large part of any population are very "respectful of authorities". That is regardless of their political opinions or social status. It makes life easy for sociopaths, grifters and authoritarian politicians.

Don't get me wrong, I am not an anarchist. I believe strongly in the institutions of democracy, including the concept of elected leaders. But it seems to me that a good 60% or more weren't in class that day where we learnt that "I just followed orders" is not a defense.
posted by mumimor at 11:23 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


The more salacious parts of this testimony will obviously get the headlines in all the media (right and center), and I can already tell that the counter-narrative will be "So what? He's a hothead. We knew that, and this is a nothing-burger." This will obscure what should be the focus: that everyone around the President expected violence, that everyone, including the President, was informed of armed individuals in the crowd, and that the President, having been informed of this, had the intent of marching them to the Capitol himself. This shows clear foreknowledge and intent.
posted by Room 101 at 11:23 AM on June 28 [14 favorites]


Trump ordered Meadows to contact both Roger Stone and Mike Flynn on the evening of the 5th.

Witness confirming the 'war room' at the Willard Hotel - Meadows went to see Rudy & friends there. Dialed in the evening of Jan 5th.

Flynn took the fifth on whether the violence on the 6th was justified morally, or legally, or whether he believes in the peaceful transfer of power.

Per Meadows, Trump wanted to be alone as the riot progressed. Witness had to invoke CoS's possible interest in Jim Jordan's safety to get him to even engage about it.
posted by bcd at 11:24 AM on June 28 [11 favorites]


The for the ages burn that General Flynn just got deserves its own neologism.
posted by y2karl at 11:25 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


They were discussing the "Hang Mike Pence" chants in the Oval Office dining room as they were happening.

Roughly, "You heard him. He thinks Pence deserves it. They aren't doing anything wrong."
posted by bcd at 11:29 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


"You heard him, Pat [Cipollone]. He thinks Mike Pence deserves it. He doesn't think [rioters chanting 'Hang Mike Pence'] are doing anything wrong."
posted by box at 11:29 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


How is it that they all didn't resign?
posted by bluesky43 at 11:33 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


They are right now going over the statements of those who did resign... but yes, how did anyone stay after that?
posted by bcd at 11:34 AM on June 28 [2 favorites]


How is it that they all didn't resign?

Wanted to make sure they were on the pardon list?
posted by nubs at 11:34 AM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Poor Ivanka, she wanted her dad to tell them to go home peacefully, but he wasn't onboard with that. *pfft*
posted by bcd at 11:38 AM on June 28


I would put the lack of resignations on abject ambition.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:41 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Laura Ingram, Donald Jr, several unnamed others, also tried to get Trump to call it off, but made no progress.

Played McCarthy clips insisting it must stop. Rep Gallagher video tweeting to call it off. Various unnamed others.

Then the "we love you" video to all those great supporters who were being unfairly treated but should go home in peace. (I'd forgotten about that evil little message.)
posted by bcd at 11:42 AM on June 28 [3 favorites]


Original draft of Jan. 7 speech included language about prosecuting violent rioters, Trump edited it to instead refer to pardoning them.
posted by box at 11:48 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


The witness confirms CoS was aware of the talk about 25th Amendment options.

Trump disagreed with the contents of his speech for the 7th and didn't think anything was required. Multiple things from the original draft were removed/replaced. He still thought the only person who did anything wrong on the 6th was Mike Pence. Sounds like the threat of the 25th might have been the only reason he actually recorded that speech.

Trump mostly read the speech did adlib one detail, dropping the "but this election is now over".

He wanted to say he'd pardon the riots, but the lawyers convinced him not to.

That's the end of the witness testimony.
posted by bcd at 11:50 AM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I dread the character assassination Cassidy Hutchinson is about to experience after this.
posted by wabbittwax at 11:51 AM on June 28 [15 favorites]


Damn, of all the hearings I had to miss, it was this one.

Catching up on all your comments now. Thanks for them, btw.
posted by May Kasahara at 11:52 AM on June 28


I dread the character assassination Cassidy Hutchinson is about to experience after this.

Absolutely! And I understand the reason why they didn't pre-announce she was the witness today is because there were already credible security threats against her. I really hope she has a full time security detail provided.
posted by bcd at 11:54 AM on June 28 [8 favorites]


Cheney tacking on that last bit about being aware of apparent witness intimidation... whoa!
posted by emelenjr at 11:55 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


It’s genuinely worth watching if you have the time. Much respect to Miss Hutchinson for testifying when more powerful people refused.
posted by mochapickle at 11:56 AM on June 28 [7 favorites]


From a witness statement:

"What they said to me is, as long as I continue to be a team player, they know that I'm on the team, I'm doing the right thing, I'm protecting who I need to protect, you know, I'll continue to stay in good graces in Trump World. And they have reminded me a couple of times that Trump does read transcripts and just to keep that in mind as I proceeded through my depositions and interviews with the committee."

Phone message to witness:

"[A person] let me know you have your deposition tomorrow. He wants me to let you know that he's thinking about you. He knows you're loyal, and you're going to do the right thing when you go in for y our deposition."

In the movie, maybe Trump should be played by Paul Sorvino.
posted by box at 11:56 AM on June 28 [12 favorites]


It was a great one-two punch. Cheney on the witness intimidation and then Thompson doing the "if you've suddenly developed a spine/or thing you might want to correct your lies our doors are open - come on back" thing.
posted by bcd at 11:57 AM on June 28 [13 favorites]


boom. Liz Cheney's final remarks usually include a warning, and she didn't disappoint today. Witnesses to the committee were contacted by 'unnamed' persons with admonitions to 'do the right thing', that Trump reads depositions, and we're counting on you. This is of course illegal and the people who did the contacting now know that the Committee knows who they are and are going to come for them.

I'm sitting in a pool of schadenfreude.
posted by bluesky43 at 11:57 AM on June 28 [17 favorites]


Damn, of all the hearings I had to miss, it was this one.

The hearings are all available online, you can still watch any and all that you missed. Believable and damning testimony and the hearing ends with examples of blatant witness tampering. I would recommend watching.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:59 AM on June 28 [6 favorites]


I feel there was a good twist of Thompson using their misogyny against them as well. He didn't quite say it, but he certainly implied the "look, this young woman was brave enough to tell the truth here, is she better than you?" (I mean, yes, clearly she is, but it still might motivate some.)
posted by bcd at 12:01 PM on June 28


NBC reporting that the former president is releasing statements that he barely knows Miss Hutchinson, that she's a liar and a leaker, etc.

He's furious. I bet Mar-A-Lago is positively covered in ketchup rn.
posted by mochapickle at 12:02 PM on June 28 [14 favorites]


mochapickle and ActingTheGoat: Yeah, I definitely will. It sounds explosive. I watched the previous hearings live via the committee's YouTube channel, so will be heading there shortly for this new one.
posted by May Kasahara at 12:03 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Jeffery Lewis: "I really hate how accurate the #2020Commission was, although I didn't dare have my fictional Trump try to choke out his military aide." (tweeted alongside his fictional account of a military aide wrestling the President for the nuclear football)
posted by BungaDunga at 12:03 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


NBC reporting that the former president is releasing statements that he barely knows Miss Hutchinson, that she's a liar and a leaker, etc.

He's furious.
posted by mochapickle at 12:02 PM


hahahahahahaha. Her office was 5-10 SECONDS from the Oval.
posted by bluesky43 at 12:03 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Interestingly, I don't believe we heard anything about the "recently obtained evidence" that the committee said would be presented today. Whatever that shoe was certainly still going to drop.

Perhaps it was always just to add a bit of panic to the people around Eastman & Clarke after those recent warrants were executed. If so, good for them and I'll accept being mislead if it drives bad people to make revealing moves under pressure.
posted by bcd at 12:07 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Flynn took the fifth on ... whether he believes in the peaceful transfer of power.


While it was good to see him on camera completely stonewall... Now that it's aired can we maybe hold him for contempt of Congress? And all of his precious little friends?
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 12:13 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


I bet Mar-A-Lago is positively covered in ketchup rn.

Sauces close to the President confirmed
posted by nubs at 12:17 PM on June 28 [42 favorites]




CNN has some reaction quotes from anonymous Trump advisors/allies, including:

'This is a bombshell. It's stunning. It's shocking. The story about 'The Beast' -- I don't have words. It's just stunning. This paints a picture of Trump completely unhinged and completely losing all control which, for his base, they think of him as someone who is in command at all times. This completely flies in the face of that.'

and

'This is basically a campaign commercial for Ron DeSantis 2024.'
posted by box at 12:26 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


Now that it's aired can we maybe hold him for contempt of Congress?

As long as you show up to testify, you have the right to plead the fifth to every single question (unless you're immunized). So he's not in contempt.
posted by BungaDunga at 12:28 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Sarah Matthews, a Trump Deputy Press Secretary who resigned due to Jan 6th, tweets:
Anyone downplaying Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or her access in the West Wing either doesn’t understand how the Trump WH worked or is attempting to discredit her because they’re scared of how damning this testimony is.

For those complaining of “hearsay,” I imagine the Jan. 6 committee would welcome any of those involved to deny these allegations under oath.
And further to the hearsay nonsense, Luppe Luppen tweets:
It’s not, though, even in a court room. Testimony that Trump said “take the mags away… they’re not here to hurt me” wouldn’t be offered for the truth of what Trump said. It would [be] offered because he said it, as evidence of his knowledge and his mental state. So it’s not hearsay.
posted by bcd at 12:28 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


from Popehat

"Under the lawless Biden administration and its open borders policy we will soon only be able to throw Salsa"
posted by lalochezia at 12:44 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


In addition to everything else she said, I am grateful to have heard someone testifying under oath calling Trump’s actions un-patriotic and un-American.
posted by wabbittwax at 12:52 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]


I noted one of the unnamed witnesses mentioned being threatened with (among other things) "Trump reads transcripts." I can just imagine them getting this email or text and fearing for their safety and getting to that line and being unable to avoid rolling their eyes and mumbling “yeah, right” under their breath before going back to fretting some more.
posted by zoinks at 1:04 PM on June 28 [16 favorites]


As long as you show up to testify, you have the right to plead the fifth to every single question (unless you're immunized). So he's not in contempt.

Could Flynn still be court-martialled?
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:14 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


getting to that line and being unable to avoid rolling their eyes and mumbling "yeah, right"

I thought it had already been established that he can't (or won't) read. Therefore, I think the more accurate statement is 45 has transcripts read to him. But I can't believe it's necessary; I'm sure he watches all the hearings.
posted by Rash at 1:35 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


As long as you show up to testify, you have the right to plead the fifth to every single question (unless you're immunized). So he's not in contempt.

I had forgotten how many protections are built into the fifth. Thanks, BungaDunga.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 1:50 PM on June 28


likely he reads ^someone who reads reads the transcripts of interviews we have not yet seen broadcast by the committee because they were provided to counsel present at the interviews who work for him or his associates or cabal or whatever.
posted by 20 year lurk at 1:55 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


I dread the character assassination Cassidy Hutchinson is about to experience after this.

Character assassination, nothing. I'm afraid of actual assassination. You KNOW the kind of people she's dealing with (and I mean both those close to 45 and those who just worship from afar). I seriously think she's going to need to go into witness protection. She's probably the bravest person in there so far.
posted by dlugoczaj at 1:56 PM on June 28 [18 favorites]


It's actually really important that there be no formal sanctions attached to the Fifth and no automatic assumption that pleading the Fifth is a tacit admission of guilt. It may in some cases be clear that a person is refusing to testify because they are guilty but the freedom to refuse to testify against yourself is super super important.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:57 PM on June 28 [11 favorites]


A couple of questions for those who are more in tune with the legal side of this sort of thing.

1) Why didn't Congress demand Trump appear and testify? Are there actual legal reasons, or was it just that they knew he'd say no and they didn't want to get into the whole trying to force him to testify issue, or what? Or was it more of a political decision than a legal one?

2) Is there actually any precedent at all for prosecuting a former US President for crimes committed while he was in office, or if they tried would this be unprecedented legal action?

and finally

3) What's your legally trained/aware/whatever guess as to the odds of any of the big players actually facing serious charges? After Watergete we got a couple of peons tossed out as sacrificial victims and the big players escaped unscathed.

Given the current makeup of the DoJ/Congress, history, etc does anyone with legal experience think there's much of a chance, or is the best we can hope for out of all this some video clips for attack ads during the leadup to the elections?
posted by sotonohito at 1:59 PM on June 28


Although scary and amusing testimony (mostly scary). Can't the DOJ do something when Secret Service agents get attacked? What sort of lunch is covered in ketchup?
posted by baegucb at 2:00 PM on June 28


Steak.
posted by box at 2:04 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]


Meatloaf.
posted by all about eevee at 2:05 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Also, I remember reading at some point that Donald Trump loves to eat open face hamburgers with lots of ketchup.
posted by all about eevee at 2:06 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


It may in some cases be clear that a person is refusing to testify because they are guilty but the freedom to refuse to testify against yourself is super super important.

Agreed. But, I thought I remembered precedent that questions that would not go towards self-incrimination could still be required to be answered.

Again, re-reading the fifth, I see a lot more reasons, people can keep their mouth shut.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 2:10 PM on June 28


I seriously think she's going to need to go into witness protection. She's probably the bravest person in there so far.

Not sure how that would work given that she's been on TV today, but I hope they can drop her down an oubliette and keep her safe somewhere.
posted by jenfullmoon at 2:12 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


What sort of lunch is covered in ketchup?

Not one in Chicago.
posted by y2karl at 2:33 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


Times like these, Mefi is the place to be (thanks for the ketchup :) ).
posted by bluesky43 at 2:38 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Cottage Cheese
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:39 PM on June 28


Cottage Cheese

We need a new hearing.

(thank you to everyone who is liveblogging this, I can't handle it live but deeply appreciate the snips I can read)
posted by curious nu at 2:46 PM on June 28


Per CNN, "mags" are metal detectors.
[Cassidy Hutchinson] said Trump was told that morning that weapons were being confiscated from some of his supporters who came for his rally. Later, when Trump and his team were at the Ellipse — the large oval lawn on the south side of the White House — and before his speech, Trump barked out orders to his staffers to "take the mags away" — referring to the metal detectors — because the people in the crowd, "they're not here to hurt me."
posted by kirkaracha at 2:50 PM on June 28


huh. looking for confirmation but various Twitter people are reporting that Cassidy Hutchison was hired by Trump after he left office as an aide at Mara-Lago.
posted by bluesky43 at 2:59 PM on June 28


Brendan Buck, aide to both John Boehner & Paul Ryan, tweets:
I don’t know Cassidy Hutchinson, and I can’t speak to how things worked at the White House, but when Meadows was on the Hill he always insisted that she be in *every* meeting he had, no matter how small. It was odd then, and doesnt seem to be working out for him now.
posted by bcd at 3:00 PM on June 28 [8 favorites]


What amazes me about these hearings is how much lower my opinion of Trump can go after hearing actual evidence and details.

Like, I thought my opinion of him was about as low as it possibly could be. Also, I somehow thought that he was just kind of bumbling along, being sort of "deliberately inattentive" to allow things to happen that he wished or hoped would happen, but not that he had deliberately facilitated, that he was sort of a churlish asshole but had finally allowed himself to be persuaded to do the right thing, and so on.

In retrospect now, that was such an overly optimistic, kind-hearted, and pollyanna-ish way of thinking about Trump. Like everybody else, I fell for him and his Boris Johnson-like bumbling persona.

Fact is, Trump is just a straight-up evil, completely unapologetic, brash and brazen lawbreaker and criminal.

A long prison term is the very least that should happen to him.
posted by flug at 3:03 PM on June 28 [9 favorites]


So I’m still thinking about the motorcade. The President sits in the back seat of the car, like in a town car or a limo, right? So if he’s grabbing the wheel, he’s standing up and leaning forwards over the seat, around the headrest - how does he think he’s going to accomplish this? Or is he sitting in front?

When do they start sending out secret service subpoenas already? I have a lot more questions.
posted by Mchelly at 3:14 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Like, I thought my opinion of him was about as low as it possibly could be.

It's like, how much more black could this be? And the answer is none. None more black.
posted by kirkaracha at 3:19 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


huh. looking for confirmation but various Twitter people are reporting that Cassidy Hutchison was hired by Trump after he left office as an aide at Mara-Lago.

According to CNN, "She was supposed to go to Mar-a-Lago as the permanent staff but that never ended up happening" and IMPOTUSx2 "claimed on Tuesday that he 'hardly know[s]' Hutchinson and personally rejected a request she made to join his post-presidency staff at Mar-a-Lago."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:22 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


> Flynn took the fifth on whether the violence on the 6th was justified morally, or legally, or whether he believes in the peaceful transfer of power.

Nevertheless, anyone who is or was a lieutenant general, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, National Security Advisor, etc etc etc, should be able to answer these questions instantly and confidently.

The fact that he cannot do so is completely damning in every possible way and situation, except (rightly) in a court of law.
posted by flug at 3:26 PM on June 28 [14 favorites]


Dan Rather.
We will see where she goes. And let us not overlook how stark her example stands in contrast to the cowardice of all who have remained silent — mostly senior men of privilege and power.

If the Republicans had a majority in the House, there would be no committee. The majority of elected officials in that party are not only eager to sweep this insurrection under the rug, they still pay fealty to the would-be dictator who fomented it. We have had far too much silence. Far too much complicity. Far too many lies.
posted by Glinn at 3:26 PM on June 28 [13 favorites]


So if he’s grabbing the wheel, he’s standing up and leaning forwards over the seat, around the headrest - how does he think he’s going to accomplish this? Or is he sitting in front?

The simplest and most likely explanation? Trump, who grew up rich in NYC, doesn’t know how to drive a car.
posted by wabbittwax at 3:26 PM on June 28 [7 favorites]


What sort of lunch is covered in ketchup? hamberders? McDonalds?
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:35 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


like in a town car or a limo, right? It's called the beast and it's a limousine. I thought it was a huge Escalade/Suburban thing, but I was wrong. I have no idea, but I think they meant it was from the outside?
posted by Snowishberlin at 3:38 PM on June 28


@PeterAlexander (NBC News WH correspondent): "A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel."

Just... wtf.
posted by Roommate at 3:44 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


It's called the beast and it's a limousine. I thought it was a huge Escalade/Suburban thing, but I was wrong. I have no idea, but I think they meant it was from the outside?

The Beast applies to whatever they want to call The Beast. They were using the SUV on Jan 6.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 3:51 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Eh. Someone wants that message out (re: 'source close to SS'). It's easy to spread confusion so I'll believe it when they testify under oath.
posted by mazola at 3:52 PM on June 28 [15 favorites]


Eh. Someone wants that message out (re: 'source close to SS'). It's easy to spread confusion so I'll believe it when they testify under oath.
posted by mazola at 3:52 PM on June 28


This, this, a thousand times this. Liars and grifters all of them.
posted by bluesky43 at 3:54 PM on June 28 [4 favorites]


I am not on twitter but Heather Cox Richardson and others are tweeting with #HATH (Historians at the Hearing)
#HATH on FB
posted by Glinn at 4:09 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


I was under the (perhaps mistaken) impression that it was the policy of secret service to never speak publicly about anything related to their protectees, positive or negative, because it would compromise their ability to protect them.
posted by wabbittwax at 4:25 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


My wife was watching some of the hearing today, because it preempted her soap and because I noted that "today's was a BIG one." She's generally anti-Trump but also not particularly political... but she couldn't look away, and actually complained when her soap's time slot cut off on the recording of the hearing.

This will not sway the faithful. They are all-in and will remain so, for the most part. If Uncle Dimwit and Aunt Stupid will be at your holiday weekend gatherings, and you know that they're going to rant about the Mainstream Media and 2000 Mules, expect precisely that. But if someone's on the fence... even just the highlights of this are valuable ammunition.
posted by delfin at 4:43 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


My Trump supporting neighbor took down her TRUMP2020 sign from the 2nd floor window of her house, finally, so that's at least one.
posted by Jarcat at 4:48 PM on June 28 [19 favorites]


surely this....HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHH..

I'm flabbergasted that these people were loyal....to this fucking idiot monster.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:49 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


Whether or not Trump "lunged" for the steering wheel or simply had a temper tantrum of another sort, which is not in dispute and has been confirmed previously, is like the least important story of the day. He knew the protestors were armed and wanted them in the Capitol anyway!
posted by Justinian at 5:10 PM on June 28 [11 favorites]


The simplest and most likely explanation? Trump, who grew up rich in NYC, doesn’t know how to drive a car.

He knows how to drive a golf cart. He has them set up to be especially fast, so that he can drive on the greens and play through other golfers and be a legendary golf cheat.

I wish I didn’t know all this, I wish the disgraced ex-president wasn’t a second-rate villain from fucking Captain Planet, but here we are.
posted by box at 5:15 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]


Regrettably I have seen a video on YouTube of a pre-presidential Trump driving. A Rolls Royce.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 5:22 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


He owned and drove a Lamborghini when he lived in Palm Beach in the '90s.
posted by Daily Alice at 5:36 PM on June 28


Trump knows how to drive. He really hated that he wasn't allowed to drive while he was president.
posted by orange swan at 6:02 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Ok, sorry for the derail, re: driving.
posted by wabbittwax at 6:06 PM on June 28 [1 favorite]


Whether or not Trump "lunged" for the steering wheel or simply had a temper tantrum of another sort, which is not in dispute and has been confirmed previously, is like the least important story of the day. He knew the protestors were armed and wanted them in the Capitol anyway!

To me, the steering wheel thing isn't about "crazy guy lunges." It's about how - knowing that the protesters were armed and their intent - just how badly he wanted to be there with them.

This is 100% part of the case they're building that he helped foment this and was always a willing participant.
posted by Mchelly at 6:13 PM on June 28 [11 favorites]


What sort of lunch is covered in ketchup? hamberders? McDonalds?

Given Trump's maturity level, I'm guessing a Happy Meal.
posted by jabo at 6:55 PM on June 28


On the lunging - the shocking thing is that he would do that to someone who has pledged to take a bullet for him. But I agree it's not the most important part of today's story.
posted by bluesky43 at 6:59 PM on June 28


I really thought he was just grandstanding when he told his mob he was going to walk to the capitol with them. But no, he meant what he said! I find it stunning that he was so confident not a single one of his pistolpacking loonytoons would go off in all the excitement and shoot his ass. Like... even if he's high on his own supply, and he clearly is, wouldn't he be just the tiniest bit worried...? But no, he's grabbing the wheel and trying to strangle the limo driver in a blind frenzy to get them to let him go get himself killed to death. He truly believed he was going to lead his mob to the capitol on a white stallion and then crowdsurf into the senate chamber and thence to another term and a glorious posterity. Amazing.

Trump: "Take the mags away! They're not here to hurt me!"
Trump, a day later: "It wasn't my people! It was antifa cosplaying my people!"

Well? Which is it, dopey? Because it cannot be both.
posted by Don Pepino at 7:06 PM on June 28 [2 favorites]


But I agree it's not the most important part of today's story.

Well, I mean: Here's the losing president, aware that he has legitimately lost an election and is nearly out of options to pursue, knowing that he has incited thousands of supporters to march on the Capitol in his name, and he's wrestling his own elite bodyguards to get there. Why was being there so important to him, important enough to try to physically overpower his own guards?

Knowing that his supporters are riled up and ARMED, what exactly did he intend to see at the Capitol? What role did he intend to play when he got there?
posted by mochapickle at 7:11 PM on June 28 [11 favorites]




Knowing that his supporters are riled up and ARMED, what exactly did he intend to see at the Capitol? What role did he intend to play when he got there?

Trump would incite the crowd, and the crowd would inflame him, and the whole mob would have talked themselves into doing some public executions.
posted by ryanrs at 9:45 PM on June 28 [6 favorites]


The steering wheel thing is huge to me.

Part of the ploy by defenders is basically the old "It's unfair to hold the Czar responsible just because the Cossacks got out of hand" ploy. Now we're hearing the Czar was demanding someone, anyone, help him saddle up so he didn't miss the fun.
posted by mark k at 10:29 PM on June 28 [5 favorites]


AP: Ratings show Fox News viewers tuning out Jan. 6 hearings
NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel is airing the Jan. 6 committee hearings when they occur in daytime hours and a striking number of the network’s viewers have made clear they’d rather be doing something else.
posted by sebastienbailard at 3:56 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


When David Bowie died, somebody made the observation that you could say he'd achieved just about any weird but impressive thing and it would sound believable. Like, you could say that for nine months in 1981 Bowie danced with the Bolshoi ballet, or in his spare time he was a solo mountain climber, or he was an avid lepidopterist who'd discovered several new species of butterfly. Just, damn near any crazy, cool thing, if somebody told you Bowie did it, you'd be ready to believe it.

Trump is like that, but for horrible things. If somebody told you that during his administration there was a sweatshop in the White House basement full of Mexican children forced to make MAGA hats, or he drank a pint of gorilla blood every night because he thought it would make him strong, or his self-tanner was actually made of old Tang powder and a little bit of his own poop, you'd be surprised but not that surprised.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 4:17 AM on June 29 [12 favorites]


a pint of gorilla blood every night

Peter Thiel starts furiously taking notes

posted by gimonca at 5:08 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


On the lunging - the shocking thing is that he would do that to someone who has pledged to take a bullet for him.

it's pretty dramatic but it's also entirely consistent with the COVID-ridden Trump who forced the Secret Service to don medical PPE to drive him around Walter Reed to wave at his supporters. No wonder he was angry- they did that for him, no wonder he thought they would be cool with driving him over to an insurrection. The man lives in a world where other people are either MAGA cultists, subservient, fired, or losers.
posted by BungaDunga at 6:24 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


I dread the character assassination Cassidy Hutchinson is about to experience after this.

Pro-Trump web raced to debunk Jan. 6 testimony: Then they got confused. The former president’s supporters quickly spun an online conspiracy theory that he couldn’t have possibly lunged for his driver’s steering wheel on Jan. 6, 2021. When evidence suggested otherwise, they tried other routes to distract from the truth.

@AmandaMarcotte: Hmmmm, calling Cassidy Hutchinson "Amber Heard 2.0" is more telling than right wingers think. It's basically admitting that they're running a campaign to discredit and terrorize someone for telling an obvious truth.
posted by peeedro at 6:45 AM on June 29 [1 favorite]


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