Trump filter: Jan. 6 report
December 25, 2022 5:53 PM   Subscribe

 
Surely this.
posted by wittgenstein at 6:34 PM on December 25, 2022 [38 favorites]




”The document, which is more than 800 pages long…”

Is there a picture book or set of flash cards for the half of the country that either didn’t pay attention or is sunk in tribalist-fed denial?
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:02 PM on December 25, 2022 [14 favorites]


The document, which is more than 800 pages long, recommends the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against former President Donald Trump for his role in the attack. And they say Congress should act to bar Trump, and others involved in the Jan. 6 insurrection, from ever holding federal office again.
Tidings of comfort and joy.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:11 PM on December 25, 2022 [24 favorites]


Is there a picture book ...

There was a graphic novel of the Mueller Report, so perhaps soon.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:29 PM on December 25, 2022 [14 favorites]


I'm still trying to fix my sleep schedule having stayed up until 5am reading the damn thing on release.

For anyone similarly inclined (my sympathies) and figuring, having followed proceedings closely in the interim, there won't be much new to learn: it's eminently readable, and having it all laid out before you as a comprehensive narrative makes for a startlingly impactful experience.

On finishing it, there's a good chance you'll still want to know much more, and enough is alluded to for one's mind to be troubled anew at what might have been, and very nearly was.
posted by otsebyatina at 7:49 PM on December 25, 2022 [30 favorites]


so a question that came up elsewhere: the timing of this is extremely curious. How likely is it that they're burying this by releasing it on actual Christmas Day, versus that they're trying to ensure that the American public, particularly the political hobbyists, have the chance to actually read it before an institutional counter-attack can be prepared?
posted by Merus at 7:57 PM on December 25, 2022 [7 favorites]


January 6 was nothing less than an attempt at the violent overthrow of the United States. Why no punishment for this literal treason?

Why were the leaders who took no action not jailed, thrown out of office, and promptly tried? The entire episode and the seemingly unlimited tolerance for this lawlessness has destabilized the United States.

If the full story could be known, my strong suspicion is that the entire Trump presidency was an operation orchestrated by foreign intelligence. From election meddling by Russian hackers, to believing Putin over his own intelligence, to organizing January 6, it seems so obvious.

Merrick Garland, do your job.
posted by metatuesday at 8:02 PM on December 25, 2022 [62 favorites]


Because they're a house committee and the republicans take over control of the house in the new year they're hurrying to get all their findings out before they all turn into pumpkins
posted by mbo at 8:06 PM on December 25, 2022 [32 favorites]


They released it on Friday, not today. Not sure who the "they" is you're referring to, but the committee seems to have gone out of their way to grab the attention of the citizenry with the hearings at least, what with hiring a TV producer to produce them.
posted by Rufous-headed Towhee heehee at 8:06 PM on December 25, 2022 [15 favorites]


This has been my spare time holiday reading. It reads pretty quick as it puts a lot of the interviews, email, texts, memos, reporting, etc. in a chronological narrative format. Unless you're stopping to check every footnote, it will go by pretty fast. The report lays out a more cohesive chain of events than you would get from reading scattered news items over the past years.

Also, what's up with "December 00, 2022" on the cover?
posted by Avelwood at 8:10 PM on December 25, 2022 [3 favorites]


I couldn't find any reason aside from "forgot to change the placeholder" for the 00 date myself. Was kinda hoping to learn some obscure dating convention but no dice.
posted by otsebyatina at 8:17 PM on December 25, 2022 [4 favorites]


it's a shame that the internal PDF links don't work: ToC links go to the next page, references are wildly off, and the page numbers don't match the ToC. Maybe it'll all be fixed on December 00.

They don't mince words. From the vice chair's foreword:
Every President in our history has defended this orderly transfer of authority, except one.
… No man who would behave that way at that moment in time can ever serve in any position of authority in our nation again. He is unfit for any office.
posted by scruss at 8:47 PM on December 25, 2022 [30 favorites]


As fucked up as it all was, Trump is never going to be arrested. This is all just theatre. He’s rapidly becoming irrelevant. (I think the Republicans are trying to find a way of removing his influence and that’s going to be through the mechanism of the primaries. They would even take an L for four more years if they could guarantee that Trump is over.)

But they and the Democrats will never allow a President to be arrested. It’s too much of a precedent. Every President does illegal shit and nobody wants the inevitable cycle of retribution that arresting Trump will precipitate.
posted by awfurby at 11:47 PM on December 25, 2022 [17 favorites]


It’s too much of a precedent

And at the same time the precedent set here is "go ahead and try to overthrow the government, what's the worst that can happen if you fail?" Which you'd think would be worth putting up with some short-term backlash to fix.
posted by trig at 3:19 AM on December 26, 2022 [44 favorites]


that makes it sound like the second precedent is a bad thing to the status quo power structure but i'm not sure.

setting a precedent for arresting presidents is a constraint-of-power precedent.

setting a precedent for taking a shot on overthrowing election results is a precedent for a chance at unconstrained power.

a certain type of person, highly selected for in this context, may be tempted to think the second is a feature and not a bug, for surely they will always come out ahead.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:40 AM on December 26, 2022 [4 favorites]


They released it on Friday, not today.
This is nitpicking that makes no material difference: the received wisdom that burying news is best done by releasing it on holidays also suggests Fridays. The hearings are different from the final report, as well.
posted by Merus at 4:15 AM on December 26, 2022 [3 favorites]


I can't possibly know the motivation behind releasing it at the moment they did, but it doesn't seem so far fetched to me that it would be desirable to have it out there, with enough time for news media to parse it before families gather together for Christmas. It's practically tradition for argument and confrontation to happen around the dinner table this time of year, and best to have the details of Jan 6 fresh in mind to prepare for the fighting.

As much as Trump as his enablers in power deserve punishment for their malfeasance, his voters deserve to reckon with what they really supported. We've probably all come across stories of (or directly experienced) the toll on families when members subsume themselves to the hatred and conspiracy thinking of right-wing propaganda.

As a society we're desperately in need of deradicalization, and a lot of that work is going to have to happen at home, directed towards loved ones that might be reached more readily and kindly than the hand of state could manage.

I think there was even more anxiety than we realize over detecting just how deep the rot goes in our government and security services, a fear that escalation could see our lines of defense turned back against us, leading to hesitance in taking necessary action. Institutions alone won't save us, we have to work to save ourselves, using whatever tools can be gathered to that purpose, and directing our energy towards those within reach.

Instead of despairing or nitpicking, fight damn it.
posted by otsebyatina at 5:49 AM on December 26, 2022 [6 favorites]


I must disagree with awfurby above.

Republicans will not take an L on anything for any reason. The time to do that was 2016 and they didn’t. They’ll defend every crime committed by every criminal in their ranks to the death. Sharpiegate jumps to my mind as a particularly ridiculous example.

They have to win every time and they’ll pull out all the stops to do it.
posted by The Monster at the End of this Thread at 6:12 AM on December 26, 2022 [24 favorites]


It was timed to follow the final committee broadcast (the executive summary was released then) which is timed to the congressional recess. They were basically working up to the last minute before the new Congress takes over.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:31 AM on December 26, 2022 [9 favorites]


Any hope for the future died on January 7, 2021 when those involved were still walking around free.

Spare me the "wheels of justice turn slowly" bullshit. If a President and Senators and Congressmembers and Governors and a galaxy of various associated other people and groups can openly plan for months to overthrow an election, and then make a violent attempt to do so recorded on national television and this is the result, then we're just waiting on the next guy who's got his shit slightly more together than Trump to finish the job.

And even this will come to nothing. The incoming Republican-controlled House has already sworn to not only ignore the findings of the committee but seek vengeance on the Democrats for it. Even if by some miracle the Biden DOJ does take the recommendations and run with them, those involved know they only have to hold out for two years for a very-likely Republican Presidential win in 2024 to ease up the pressure or even make it go away.
posted by star gentle uterus at 6:43 AM on December 26, 2022 [16 favorites]


> Spare me the "wheels of justice turn slowly" bullshit.

I mean, it's tempting. I only recently started spending more time here after an extended break, and admit to hoping for a bit less despair around these parts. It's not hard to find forums primarily engaged in commiseration, but ideally I'd like to find conversation that suggests a little more action.
posted by otsebyatina at 6:49 AM on December 26, 2022 [12 favorites]


From the Lawfare summary that MonkeyToes shared:
During a discussion on Jan. 4, an advisor, Max Miller, tried to dissuade Trump from [personally marching to the Capitol], citing the security risks. In response, Trump “floated the idea of having 10,000 National Guardsmen deployed to protect him and his followers from any supposed threat by left-wing counterprotesters.” The committee acerbically observes that, in contrast, Trump never ordered the National Guard “to protect the U.S. Capitol, or to secure the joint session proceedings.”
posted by box at 7:01 AM on December 26, 2022 [15 favorites]


We've had the "how much progress has been made in the last two years" and the "why taking this kind of legal action takes so long" conversation multiple times, in multiple threads, but every new post restarts the clock and we have to have the same long conversation again, starting from handwavey despair. Alas.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 7:11 AM on December 26, 2022 [13 favorites]


handwavey despair.

Funny way to write "truth".

Let me know when the incoming House Republican majority votes to bar Trump from federal office and brings Kevin McCarthy, Jim Jordan, Scott Perry, and Andy Biggs before the House Ethics Committee for failure to comply with Jan. 6 Committee subpoenas as the report recommends. Or when President Trump or President DeSantis diligently continues the Biden DOJ's prosecution of Trump et al.

How many of those United States Senators or Congressmembers or Governors or other government officials explicitly involved in the incident have been arrested and successfully tried? I lost count, so please remind me of all of the successes.

But yeah, the successful prosecution of a few meaningless MAGA chuds has really put the fear of God in all of these traitors and certainly hasn't left almost the entirety of those involved with actual power...in power. Surely taking down the heads of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers were a death blow to the sentiment behind those organizations, and we'll never see their like again now that everyone has learned their lesson.
posted by star gentle uterus at 7:38 AM on December 26, 2022 [16 favorites]


Will have even less affect than the Mueller report.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:47 AM on December 26, 2022 [2 favorites]


Your truth is noted, but what are we doing here? Can this even be qualified as raging against the dying of the light, or is it just vocalized frustration for the sake of it? Would you prefer I be convinced to the point of inaction in the face of threats to democracy, or is this leading to a more inspiring, "nevertheless, we can..." I might look forward to?
posted by otsebyatina at 7:54 AM on December 26, 2022 [4 favorites]


Spare me the "wheels of justice turn slowly" bullshit.

That's not bullshit, that's literally one of the most important features of a system of justice: that it is careful, deliberate and detailed. It's among the most significant democratic checks on state power, in fact, that legal processes are collaborative and transparent. Any process that guarantees that will also grind slowly (but finely, as the saying goes). Your impatience doesn't mean that our justice system is "bullshit" (flawed, certainly, but if it's all actual bullshit then we have bigger problems than 1/6).

If a President and Senators and Congressmembers and Governors and a galaxy of various associated other people and groups can openly plan for months to overthrow an election, and then make a violent attempt to do so recorded on national television and this is the result, then we're just waiting on the next guy who's got his shit slightly more together than Trump to finish the job.

This is a terrible oversimplification: there is no "result" yet, this is still happening. I understand the need for catharsis and closure, but this kind of angry doom-saying does not align with what happened and is happening. What actually happened was unprecedented, and we're figuring out how to deal with it while actually dealing with it, which as it turns out is pretty complicated; that the country hasn't already tipped over into overt authoritarianism, while we react and try to recover from this severe wound, actually speaks to the strength of our institutions and the number of people in them working to hold those responsible accountable. Do you want to help the recovery continue, or do you want to continue beating on the victim because the response isn't up to your expectations?

It serves no good purpose, in this thread or in any other conversation, to give in to angry fatalism. In fact, it helps ensure that our enemies will eventually prevail one way or another. And when other commenters push back against angry fatalism, replying we're wrong and that raging in defeat is the only possible valid response is not very good conversation, and also definitely not a way to get to us to any different place from where we are. Anger and resentment only entrench.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:04 AM on December 26, 2022 [66 favorites]


I'm not angry. I'm disappointed.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 8:25 AM on December 26, 2022 [1 favorite]


Look we're all frustrated by inaction but demanding that the past change in order to believe the future leaves everyone unable to move forward. In some ways, that rhetorical tactic succeeds in conveying to anyone with baseline empathy just how hurt and betrayed you're feeling and that it will take significant action to change that impression and regain your trust.

Your trust is not relevant to this discussion. I'm deeply hurt and betrayed that half my fellow citizens will prioritize their tribe and privilege and redefine truths to ensure their side keeps winning. It's unconscionable and offensive but the very fact it's emotionally traumatizing me to the point of setting unreasonable bars for action makes it another effective disinformation tactic.

Despondency is the point. Cruelty is the point. The sensation that anyone able to act in the face of all this is deluded or complicit is one more lever the bastards have to keep you from taking any action.

Do you think Merrick Garland is reading metafilter? Me neither, so yelling at him is wasted energy and you know it.

We're all hurt - gutted - at how craven and casually vicious our fellow voters can be. Have been. Will continue to be.

This is how long a legal process takes. It will be incomplete and unsatisfying but we can work one election, school board, judgeship, and interview at a time to make the environment less welcoming to fascists while the people with authority and means to enforce the laws and we hope learn from status quo sustaining travesties like the Muller report that there is a new low bar for behavior and a need for a new high bar of enforcement competency and, frankly, production and publicity around justice at the celebrity level.

It sucks. But it doesn't change in response to all of us holding our breath until we turn blue waiting for magical outcomes and reversals of existing reality

So, if you're hurting and despondent, I sympathize, but it needs to be in pursuit of something attainably better, which takes action, sitting with discomfort, and avoiding the grossly satisfying feeling of convincing others to be as despondent as you are.

That last one is Trumpism exactly. And it's contagious. So we need to do better.
posted by abulafa at 8:26 AM on December 26, 2022 [27 favorites]


It sucks. But it doesn't change in response to all of us holding our breath until we turn blue waiting for magical outcomes and reversals of existing reality

That's my line. People above say they want a "conversation", but all I'm seeing is mindless repetition of empty platitudes about justice and "the process".

I wasn't being rhetorical above: in actual, existing reality the Republicans will be in control of the House on January 3, 2023. As noted above, this is the reason that the Committee has worked very hard to complete their work and get this report out now. The incoming Republicans have explicitly sworn to not only undo anything the Jan. 6 committee has done, but to punish the Dems for doing it. They will certainly do everything they can to interfere if Garland decides to prosecute, making a historically difficult case even more difficult. And again, not a rhetorical point: a Republican win in 2024 means an effective end to any prosecution, and a complicated, highly politically-charged criminal case can easily take more than two years to reach a final conclusion.

If you want a conversation, please talk the real-world implementation of this report in light of the above actual, real facts.
posted by star gentle uterus at 8:45 AM on December 26, 2022 [9 favorites]


I'm angry, and frustrated and my most fervent wish to watch Trump in front of a firing squad for treason will never happen.
Now that that's out of the way, let's consider a few things.
DeSantis wants to be president.
Many Republicans are ready to move forward and put J6 behind them.
Trump STILL wants to be president.
If he runs the republican party will split opening the door for the democrats.
This report is tailor made for the republicans to find cause to shunt aside the mistakes of the past. There's not enough bravery, or political cohesion in the party to help put him away for good, but there just might be enough survival instinct for them to find a way to keep him from becoming politically viable to the party as a whole.
This means there's reason for at least a little optimism, though I don't think it's time for dancing in the streets (Your new years plans aside).
I'm choosing to hope we can at least politically get rid of this national embarrassment, and more, I still think it's possible a jail cell is in his future. It would be nice if we could get Boebert, Cawthorn, and the rest of the far reich klan in jail, if not at least out of office. On this I will not hold my breath.
Happy Holidays to all, except for the election deniers.
posted by evilDoug at 8:49 AM on December 26, 2022 [1 favorite]


One little factoid that came my direction in the past week is that Trump has been wanting to march on the Capitol to overturn an election since Obama was reelected in 2012. This CNN article from 2016 outlines what he said back in 2012.

This is an idea he had in mind for nearly a decade before trying to put it into action.
posted by hippybear at 9:55 AM on December 26, 2022 [17 favorites]


The incoming Republicans have explicitly sworn to not only undo anything the Jan. 6 committee has done, but to punish the Dems for doing it. They will certainly do everything they can to interfere if Garland decides to prosecute, making a historically difficult case even more difficult. And again, not a rhetorical point: a Republican win in 2024 means an effective end to any prosecution, and a complicated, highly politically-charged criminal case can easily take more than two years to reach a final conclusion.

If you want a conversation, please talk the real-world implementation of this report in light of the above actual, real facts.
The actual, real facts also include that the Republican Party just had a historically bad midterm—one where the people who hewed to the Trump-style extremist party line did worse than the remaining so-called moderates in the party. They control the House by a razor-thin margin, and are currently facing absolute chaos in their attempt to find a Speaker. Some of their standing members are incredibly incompetent and cannibalistic, and plenty of their other members have realized that the current direction of the party might lead them to institutional suicide.

Even under Trump's first two years, where the Republicans controlled every branch of government and operated largely in lockstep, they were stymied at almost every turn; their accomplishments in fucking over the judiciary stood out because of how little they achieved legislatively. Now they have considerably less power, hate each other considerably more, and are dealing with a toothier Democrat party than they've dealt with in the past. (Yes, the Dems are still, like, a 2/10 on the toothiness scale at most, but they've been at a .5/10 for decades.)

I have no idea whether or not this ends in consequences for Republicans, or how deep those consequences might run. None of us do, because this has never happened before. But what I've consistently learned is that political consequence is unpredictable: I've predicted happy outcomes and gotten misery, and I've prepared myself for bloodbaths that never happened.

Skepticism where political outcomes are concerned is pretty justifiable, but skepticism slides into cynicism, and cynicism slides into outright doomerism, and at some point it does get a little detached from reality. The reality isn't Pollyanna—it sucks at the best of times, and these aren't the best of times—but again, this is a conversation that we've had on this web site across the whole of 2022. My own weariness is not that people are skepticism or cynical or even doomer about all this—I have been all 3!—but that the entire cycle of "nothing will happen FUCK this place FUCK america" comments happens in literally all of these threads, in a recursive way that I personally find tedious and avoidable.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 10:02 AM on December 26, 2022 [38 favorites]


Wherever we go from here, at least it is a matter of public record that Republicans are traitors, having tried and failed to overthrow the government. It's important to document what Republicans did. That bell can never be unrung.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:03 AM on December 26, 2022 [24 favorites]


To paraphrase a saying, I do not fight so that I can sit in the shade. I fight so that my kids can plant trees that allow my grandchildren to sit in the shade. Those trees will eventually die, and my great-grandchildren will need to fight a different battle.

But I can fight today. Whether that is arguing against doomerism on a website or gently leading my conservative family members towards a better understanding of class warfare or raising my kids to fight, I can make a difference. We all can make a difference.
posted by gwydapllew at 11:08 AM on December 26, 2022 [11 favorites]


Handwavy dispair?

Oh no. Very different ideas.
posted by aiq at 11:51 AM on December 26, 2022 [1 favorite]


Consequences? Trump couldn't even stay banned from Twitter. Sure, Republicans had a bad midterm and only won the House rather than both the House and Senate. But that's a temporary setback. They'll field better candidates in 2024 and the upcoming Senate map is absolutely terrible for the Dems. Barring divine intervention, Republican control of congress in 2024 is pretty much assured. Democrats shot themselves in the foot by not changing filibuster rules to pass voting rights and there will be a lot of internal finger pointing once colleagues start dropping like flies.

I'm so tired of "the wheels of justice turn slowly" too. There will be no accountability. None. You better believe that if Garland actually lands a conviction, the first promise out of any Republican 2024 presidential candidate will be to pardon Trump or anyone else convicted "as a victim of a Democrat witchhunt." The MAGA-heads will cheer and eat it up, and when the pardons start flowing there's not a damn thing anyone can do to stop them because our democracy is fundamentally broken.
posted by lock robster at 11:52 AM on December 26, 2022 [8 favorites]


I've been watching the Nerd Avengers podcast run by Mary Trump. It's literally a collection of the smartest people in the room (Maggie Haberman is there regularly, as is Jen Taub and many others, Norm Ornstein joins this chat). I'm going to do a time link in this video to after the hearing was finished, because I love what Taub says, and it reflects my feelings. Beginning with a lead in statement, and a question, and then Taub channeling me until about the 7 minute mark.
posted by hippybear at 12:12 PM on December 26, 2022


Tidings of comfort and joy, sisters and brothers.
posted by lumpy at 12:28 PM on December 26, 2022 [1 favorite]


I mean, Elon paid 44 billion for the right to unban fascists from his shiny new platform
posted by Jacen at 12:31 PM on December 26, 2022 [1 favorite]


And then he got invited to the World Cup where his loan masters told him that he needed to quit fucking around. And remarkably, he did. "remarkably"
posted by hippybear at 12:34 PM on December 26, 2022 [2 favorites]


There has already been some accountability for relatively low-level players, but it's harder to see a pathway there for the elected officials.

If the Department of Justice successfully convicts Trump for insurrection (there are mountains of evidence and some pretty high-ranking cooperating witnesses, so this feels relatively possible), the next step will be for 2/3 of Congress votes to disqualify him from future office under the 14th amendment.

This, unfortunately, seems very unlikely, as it would require 1/3 of the Republicans in Congress to show the same integrity and commitment to the Constitution as Liz Cheney and Mike Pence.
posted by box at 12:59 PM on December 26, 2022 [3 favorites]


Just Security’s January 6 Clearinghouse

“ Welcome to this all-source repository of information for analysts, researchers, investigators, journalists, educators, and the public at large.

Check out our new addition below: A curated repository of deposition transcripts from the House Select Committee.

Readers may also be interested in Major Highlights of the January 6th Report.”
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:02 PM on December 26, 2022 [4 favorites]


box, I fear you're reading that amendment wrong. It's automatically disqualifying UNLESS Congress votes to override the disqualification.

The full text of Section 3:
Section 3.
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.
Only by a 2/3 vote of each house, can they REMOVE such disability.
posted by hippybear at 1:14 PM on December 26, 2022 [14 favorites]


I mean, based on that one paragraph, I feel like we have a giant amount of house cleaning to do, from the Senate to cops who are also Proud Boys.
posted by hippybear at 1:16 PM on December 26, 2022


This, unfortunately, seems very unlikely, as it would require 1/3 of the Republicans in Congress to show the same integrity and commitment to the Constitution as Liz Cheney and Mike Pence.


Liz Cheney yes. Mike Pence no. He refused to go along with an obviously illegal plan that was unlikely to actually work. That's not a profile in courage.

As for the 14th amendment congress can stop Trump from being a post master, a senator, a Vice-President or any other federal office except President. The qualifications for being President are explicitly stated in the constitution and congress has no power to change them. If they were so inclined they could immediately impeach him after he becomes president. It's academic because DJT is a loser that will drag the Republican party into hell with him. He's already given us two Georgia and at least one Pennsylvania senators. He will not win a second term. I'm betting that TFG will actually end up going to prison not because we live in a country of just laws but because he won't be able to stop himself from committing crimes, then bragging about his crimes , and giving powerful elites, Republicans politicians, Democratic politicians, industrialists, etc. an incentive to put him away.
posted by rdr at 1:52 PM on December 26, 2022 [4 favorites]


Here's the Congressional Research Service memo ("legal sidebar") on the Insurrection Bar. Opinions differ on whether it covers the Presidency. (The purely statutory one in the US Code section on insurrection can't, but the 14th's might.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 2:23 PM on December 26, 2022


"... the Insurrection Bar. Opinions differ on whether it covers the Presidency."

that's kinda kooky, don'tcha think? I know it's the case, but it doesn't make it any less kooky.

If you step away from the political angle (which I realise is impossible) not charging Trump and associates for everything they are, legally, guilty of is a terrible terrible Nero-tuning-his-fiddle level problem
posted by From Bklyn at 2:40 PM on December 26, 2022 [5 favorites]


Well, that's the insanity and frustration of all this. Back in the 40s we had actual Nazis in congress (run out of Germany) using the mechanisms of the US state to distribute Nazi messages, and they planned an armed insurrection but the trial failed and the records were buried for generations. Back in the 70s, our vice president under Nixon was more crooked than his boss, which is shocking, and they did a handshake deal to make it all go away because somehow the US public couldn't handle having both of their leaders being corrupt.

Trump needs to be charged so this doesn't happen again, it's all public, but somehow he can't be charged because wanting to prevent that is a political decision. I feel like I'm in a Vonnegut novel.
posted by hippybear at 2:46 PM on December 26, 2022 [18 favorites]


I'm so tired of "the wheels of justice turn slowly" too.

The wheels of justice don't turn slowly when they're grinding down a Black guy who didn't show enough deference to the cop who pulled them over on a pretextual stop. They end up in handcuffs in a cage in the back of a patrol car within minutes.
posted by mikelieman at 3:00 PM on December 26, 2022 [13 favorites]


The trick is that those aren’t the wheels of justice; those are the wheels of injustice, of racism and oppression.
posted by curious nu at 3:16 PM on December 26, 2022 [7 favorites]


The wheels of justice don't turn slowly when they're grinding down a Black guy who didn't show enough deference to the cop who pulled them over on a pretextual stop. They end up in handcuffs in a cage in the back of a patrol car within minutes.

I mean, I get what you're saying, but isn't the point that it's not justice that cops abuse their power like this, and that a just system would not, in fact, do shit like that? We probably shouldn't be modeling our dreams of how the criminal justice system works on how cops treat black Americans.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 4:03 PM on December 26, 2022 [7 favorites]


"or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States" would seem to cover the president
posted by mbo at 7:21 PM on December 26, 2022 [4 favorites]


> Wherever we go from here, at least it is a matter of public record that Republicans are traitors, having tried and failed to overthrow the government. It's important to document what Republicans did

To my cynical soul this is the one balm. I have no hope that Trump will face any justice, or be held accountable. However, I do know that the Jan 6 committee has achieved its goal phenomenally well simply by conducting this inquiry and documenting its findings for posterity. That they released the complete transcripts to the public is a cherry on top. The committee kicked its mandate's ass. I'm in awe of them for doing so successfully what they set out to do against tremendous odds!

And honestly, I think they deserve proper kudos rather than people just hop-skipping over what they've successfully done, and only bemoan how the next institution down the line from them probably won't do anything. Finding things out and writing them down really does matter in the long run. This isn't nothing: indeed there's an argument to be made that this is almost everything. Trump is mortal. The record is forever.

If we are so unlucky a civilization as to only go downhill from here, if we are so unfortunate as to lose our hold on democracy in the coming years and succumb to the worst elements of our society, STILL this record will matter. Some student of history will study this document three hundred years from now and know this effort we made in the face of the forces arrayed against us. That means something. It shows we aren't going gently into the night.
posted by MiraK at 7:43 PM on December 26, 2022 [25 favorites]


As for the 14th amendment congress can stop Trump from being a post master, a senator, a Vice-President or any other federal office except President. The qualifications for being President are explicitly stated in the constitution and congress has no power to change them.

on the one hand it's tempting to be all "well actually" and point out that the thing the 14th amendment is amending *is* the constitution, so effectively the qualifications for being president include not being an insurrectionist.

on the other hand, the supreme court is now clearly a superlegislature controlled by shitheads who have no problem interpreting the constitution in whatever way appeases their masters so it makes fuckall difference what the 14th amendment or any other part of the constitution says
posted by logicpunk at 9:35 PM on December 26, 2022 [5 favorites]


Mike Pence no. He refused to go along with an obviously illegal plan that was unlikely to actually work. That's not a profile in courage.


Also the insurrectionists came for him personally. There is nothing quite like having an armed angry mob attempt to lynch you to clarify your thinking; at least in the short term.
posted by Mitheral at 12:29 AM on December 27, 2022


Maybe I’m just petty but if my boss sent an angry, armed mob after me, I would bear a grudge against them that would outweigh any policy objectives we might happen to share.
posted by The Card Cheat at 4:29 AM on December 27, 2022 [7 favorites]


Big shout out to folks jumping in with some positivity. We are heading someplace unknown, but can only build towards a future we can imagine.
posted by rebent at 6:06 AM on December 27, 2022 [7 favorites]


This guest editorial (NYT, archive) came out a few days ago and talks about the other side of the picture - beyond the need to punish the politicians who actively tried to overthrow the government (and the ones who didn't try to stop them), there's the need to put institutions, processes, and laws into place to make future attempts more difficult.

The article talks about some of the reforms that came in the wake of Watergate, like the War Powers Resolution of 1973, the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, the amendment of the Federal Election Campaign Act in 1974 establishing the Federal Election Commission, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, the Ethics in Government Act of 1978, the Independent Counsel Law, and the Presidential Records Act of 1978, as well as the establishment of organizations like Common Cause and Congress Watch. Clearly none of those was enough, but the author's point is that these are the kinds of things we need to be working on now.

They list 6 reforms that need to happen, four of which are proposed by the Jan. 6 report (wording mostly taken from the article):

- legislation to prevent state governments from changing rules after elections happen and stop partisan state officials from interfering in elections.

- instituting tougher measures to combat “white nationalist groups and violent anti-government groups” targeting democratic institutions.

- stronger penalties on those who threaten election officials and the peaceful transfer of power.

- the joint session of Congress where the electoral votes are counted should be designated as a national special security event with the appropriate protections.

- strengthening the ability of Congress to enforce its subpoenas, a change that would give the legislative branch greater muscle.

- restoring federal protections of the right to vote

- stemming the flow of private money into elections

I don't think this is a comprehensive list at all, but I guess the alternative to despair is to pressure politicians and organizations to start preventing the next overthrow and the next erosions of democracy, and to support the ones who are focusing on that. To be honest I'd been expecting more attempts for reform - and more talk about and focus on reform - ever since 2016; 2022 is pretty late, but better late than never.
posted by trig at 10:10 AM on December 27, 2022 [12 favorites]


I'd also like to see a greatly strengthened Voting Rights Act that would do things like require that states restore former felons' voting rights when they're in re-entry, mandate access to early and mail-in voting, require that redistricting is nonpartisan, etc., etc., etc.
posted by box at 10:40 AM on December 27, 2022 [2 favorites]


The thing about felons is that there's nothing that requires their voting rights to be taken away. That is, they don't need to be restored at some point in their release process if they never lost them in the first place. There are countries where the incarcerated vote from their cells.
posted by rhizome at 3:24 PM on December 27, 2022 [2 favorites]


the 14th amendment is amending *is* the constitution

This is why the Insurrection Bar in the 14th can apply to the Presidency, but we don't know for sure because it hasn't been interpreted. The same language appears in the language of the statute on insurrection — that one can't apply to the Presidency, as it's a normal law made by Congress, so can't override the Constitution.
posted by snuffleupagus at 3:29 PM on December 27, 2022


This thread's discussion did finally make me listen to Ultra though. Just for a little rhyming history I guess
posted by abulafa at 7:27 PM on December 27, 2022


This is why the Insurrection Bar in the 14th can apply to the Presidency, but we don't know for sure because it hasn't been interpreted.

not really disagreeing with your point, but the alternate take is that the 14th amendment automatically applies to the presidency because there is not a specific exception in it. Paraphrasing, it reads
No person shall... hold any office, civil or military, under the United States... who, having previously taken an oath... as an officer of the United States... to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same
it's a pretty clear disqualification from being president (the presidency being an office under the united states) if you swore an oath to support the constitution and subsequently dallied in insurrection.

the caveats about this extremely straightforward interpretation apply only because it is expected that the current supreme court will decide that, whatever the constitution says, it actually says something else. jesus fuck this is not a matter of interpretation, it's part of the rules.
posted by logicpunk at 9:29 PM on December 27, 2022 [3 favorites]


Barf, T***p got his sweaty greasy fingers on Lincoln's bible to do the rigamarole with.
posted by porpoise at 10:40 PM on December 27, 2022


We all know the the 14th SHOULD apply to Orange Julius Caesar, It's only a question in that corporate news programs make it so, much like trying to suggest despite all evidence to the contrary that J6 was a librul false flag op. The only REAL reason it won't is because we let the Scamburglar and his henchman pack the court with Reich wing ideologues that don't give a shit about actual law just about placing the Republicans in power permanently.
GODDAMNIT! It all makes me so angry.
posted by evilDoug at 2:36 PM on December 28, 2022 [1 favorite]


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