Tag Archives: 1/6

See ya in the slammer, Stewart Rhodes

Stewart Rhodes, the North Texan who helped mastermind the 1/6 insurrection, is now going to get to spend 18 years in federal prison.

How many ways can I say I applaud the sentence that came from the federal judge?

Rhodes remains defiant, of course! He calls himself a “political prisoner” even though a jury convicted him of seditious conspiracy. Let us look at what sedition entails.

It is to “incite rebellion” against the government. Which is what occurred on 1/6. Rhodes, a one-time lawyer, is the founder of the Oath Keepers organization, a right-wing mob of goons who believe that Donald Trump should have remained president even though he lost the 2020 election to Joe Biden.

The Oath Keepers, led by Rhodes, sought to engineer a coup on 1/6. They failed.

Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes gets 18 years for Jan. 6 seditious conspiracy – POLITICO

Eighteen years in the slammer is a long time. My fond hope is that Rhodes serves every damn bit of it. Rhodes is the latest 1/6 ringleader to be held accountable for his disgraceful behavior on that day.

I’ll leave it to the presiding judge to put a cap on this commentary: “You, sir, present an ongoing threat and a peril to this country, to the republic and to the very fabric of our democracy,” said U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta, who described Rhodes as a uniquely powerful threat to democracy on 1/6. “You are smart, you are compelling, and you are charismatic. Frankly, that is what makes you dangerous.”

Lock him up!


Special counsel closes in

I am not a lawyer … and I don’t even play one on TV, but I have a hunch about a legal proceeding that I want to share.

It is that former Vice President Mike Pence’s testimony this week before a grand jury examining the 1/6 insurrection well might be the beginning of the end of Donald Trump’s idiotic quest for the presidency in 2024.

Special counsel Jack Smith summoned Pence to testify before the panel; Pence initially fought it, then he and the Pence-Trump legal team were told that the ex-VP had to testify.

Today, he did. Prosecutors sworn him to tell the truth and they then worked him over behind closed doors.

They likely asked Pence: What did Trump say to you in advance of the 1/6 assault on the government and what did you say to him?

I suppose it is possible that Pence could invoke the Fifth Amendment, which protects him against self-incrimination. Except that he isn’t the subject of the probe; Pence is a low-risk witness, given that on that terrible day he stood his ground and stood on the Constitution, which required him to do his duty that day, which was to preside over congressional certification of the Electoral College results from the 2020 presidential election.

Oh, yes, that’s the election that Joe Biden won over Donald Trump. 

Pence has told TV interviewers that Trump’s remarks that day were “reckless” and that they put “everyone in the Capitol that day” in dire danger. Indeed, traitors who stormed the Capitol threatened to assassinate Pence and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

What did Trump do to stop it? Not a damn thing!

That’s the kind of testimony that the former vice president of the United States can deliver to the special counsel and the grand jury that will determine whether to indict the former president of the United States.

My non-lawyerly gut tells me the special counsel’s hammer is about to hit home … as it must.


What about those tapes?

House Speaker Kevin McCarthy turned over about 40,000 hours of video recording of the 1/6 insurrection to Tucker Carlson, the former star of the Fox Propaganda Network.

Fox canned Carlson this past week. My question now is this to the speaker: What about the video recordings you turned over to Fox? Are you going to get them back or is Carlson now free to use them whenever and wherever he pleases?

Carlson edited the video heavily while trying to develop a narrative on Fox that the insurrection wasn’t a violent attack on the government, that it was just a bunch of tourists out for a stroll through the Capitol grounds.

It was all part of The Big Lie that Carlson fomented after the 2020 presidential election.

Well, he’s gone from Fox. Speaker McCarthy must be compelled to get those recordings back … realizing, of course, that Carlson can reproduce them anyway.

The damage is done, but McCarthy needs to cut his losses — and the losses suffered by Americans concerned about what happened on that horrifying day of insurrection.


Pence sees light … finally!

Let’s call it a “well, duhhh” moment, shall we?

Former Vice President Mike Pence spoke this weekend to a group of supporters and leveled some very harsh criticism directly at the man he served for a single term.

He said Donald Trump endangered the VP and his family by failing to act to end the violent insurrection that erupted on 1/6.

Hmm. Wow! I don’t quite know how to respond to that other than to state the obvious, such as, “Well, it’s about damn time, Mr. Vice President!”

Pence has been tippy-toeing around criticism Trump ever since the two men left office after Joe Biden and Kamala Harris defeated them in the 2020 election. He’s been reluctant to say out loud what the rest of the country has known all along, which is that Trump refused to call off the traitorous mob that threatened to “Hang Mike Pence!” while smashing windows, beating cops mercilessly and sh***ing on the floor of the Capitol Building on 1/6.

I don’t know what the former VPOTUS’s newfound anger signifies, other than a potential run for the presidency in 2024 … opposing the man who selected him to be VP in 2016.

If that’s the case, fine. Go for it.


Will the ex-VP do the right thing?

Former Vice President Mike Pence often is held up as a paragon of moral rectitude, of unflinching loyalty to doing the right thing.

Well, we are going to learn — probably quite soon — whether the real man is true to his reputation.

A special counsel appointed to examine Donald Trump’s involvement in the 1/6 insurrection has subpoenaed Pence to testify before a grand jury. Pence was “in the room” when Trump exploded at him for his refusal to do Trump’s bidding on 1/6, which was to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

Pence said he couldn’t do it, that the law wouldn’t allow it; nor would the U.S. Constitution. He was only able to preside over a joint congressional session that had gathered that day to certify the Electoral College result that elected Joe Biden president of the United States. That wasn’t good enough for Trump and he berated the vice president to break the law and violate his constitutional oath.

Special counsel Jack Smith wants Pence to tell him under oath what we all know happened that fateful and hideous day.

Will the ex-VP declare some bogus form of executive privilege — which he is not entitled to do — or will he answer the summons to talk to the investigators and tell them the whole truth?

From my seat in the North Texas peanut gallery, it looks for all the world as if Jack Smith is getting ready to do something really significant in this probe. He just needs one of the key players in this drama to come clean on what he knew and when he knew it.


Two years on, it still hurts

This is no day to ” celebrate” with vacuous expressions of “happy anniversary.” It is, rather, a day to commemorate with observations about how dangerously close this event came to unraveling our cherished democratic system of government.

Two years ago today the mob of traitors stormed the Capitol Building intending to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. I won’t go into the details of who ignited it or assess blame for the chaos that ensued.

All I want to do in this moment is note that the traitors who committed the insurrection came too damn close to succeeding in their failed effort.

The House select committee assigned to study the event and recommend ways to prevent a recurrence has finished its job. It was thorough and meticulous in its effort. I commend that. It has recommended criminal referrals to the former president. I comment that, too.

Let’s just today take note of what could have happened that day. Let’s also cling tightly to the love we express about our liberties and the benefits of living in this great nation.


‘Shameful low’? Is he serious?

U.S. House of Representatives Republican leader Kevin McCarthy calls the approval of a $1.7 trillion spending bill a “shameful new low” in Congress.

I damn near did a spit take when I read that.

Then I practically nodded visibly when I read House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s response to McCarthy’s overreaction to a bill that keeps the government running.

“Does he not remember Jan. 6?” Pelosi asked.

Indeed. Now that was a “shameful low” for all of us, Mr. GOP Leader.


Here comes the report!

I already have marked down — in a manner of speaking — the date in which the House 1/6 select committee is set to reveal its findings into the insurrection, the attack on our government and whether the Donald J. Trump did what many millions of us know he did.

Which is that he incited the assault intending to stop the transition of power to the Joe Biden presidential administration.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., has spilled a few of the beans, meaning he has told us the committee plans to issue “criminal referrals” to the Department of Justice. In other words, the panel is going to recommend that someone gets indicted for the hideous events of 1/6.

The big date is Dec. 21. Think of the irony for just a moment. That is the date of the winter solstice, meaning it’s the day with the shortest span of daylight during the calendar year. The day of prolonged darkness, therefore, could be the darkest day in Donald J. Trump’s life. Why? Because the panel well might recommend indictments for the 45th POTUS for his role in inciting the attack and for purposely doing nothing to stop it as the mob stormed Capitol Hill.

There had been reports of disagreements among committee about the focus of the report. Rep. Liz Cheney reportedly argued for the committee to focus intensely on Trump’s role; others said the focus should turn elsewhere, such as recommending steps to prevent future such assaults.

There can be both.

I also want to caution us all about what the referrals might involve. They could recommend indictments related to the assault. There could be referrals to cases involving witness tampering. The field happens to be wide open.

My own belief is that Trump committed at least one demonstrable offense in calling for the insurrection and for refusing to stop it.

I am going to await the date of the panel’s report with keen interest.


House panel faces deadline

The select committee that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi chose to investigate the 1/6 assault on the U.S. Capitol is facing a deadline.

It needs to finish its work and present its findings prior to the start of the next Congress. Or else … the Republican leaders who might assume control of the chamber could pull the plug on the whole enterprise.

I say “might assume control” because a GOP takeover of the House isn’t as much of a lead-pipe cinch as it was, oh, six months ago.

However, Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson cannot even begin to presume that Democrats are going to maintain control of the House of Representatives. If I were the chairman, I would be making damn sure the panel’s work gets done a whole lot sooner than later.

Thompson has indicated that the committee is going to resume taking public testimony on Sept. 28. There is a damn near certainty to be more fireworks ignited in the hearing room after the chairman gavels the proceedings to order.

But looking forward it will be imperative for the committee to present its complete findings prior to the new Congress taking its seat. It then can submit those findings to the Justice Department — which already is conducting its independent probe.

What causes me great alarm is the revenge rhetoric coming from the likes of House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, who has made no secret of his desire to protect Donald Trump’s ample rear end if given the chance.

Make no mistake that McCarthy has been a profile in cowardice as it relates to the insurrection that Trump incited that day on The Ellipse. McCarthy once said the right thing in blaming Trump for causing the attack, only to take it all back and resume his role as legislative suck-up to the 45th POTUS.

I hope Chairman Thompson is on the same page cited in this blog post. He needs to get the work done and then hope Democrats can hold on to reins of power in the House.


Witness proves she’s credible

Cassidy Hutchinson arguably was the most credible witness to deal a potentially mortal wound to the Donald J. Trump administration.

It wasn’t what she said today that well might sink the Trump effort to hold onto power in the waning days of the presidency he lost in the 2020 election.

It was her continued devotion to Trump’s agenda. Yes, the 25-year-old former aide to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, remains a Trumpkin, no matter what she witnessed in the West Wing while the traitorous mob was attacking the Capitol Building on 1/6.

I don’t begrudge Hutchinson her continuing devotion to Trump. Indeed, as I listened to her testimony, I heard her express disgust and disappointment at the then-POTUS’s behavior. She was aghast and appalled that Trump would physically accost a Secret Service agent who told him he couldn’t venture to the Capitol to egg on the attackers.

Through all this surprise, last-minute testimony I found myself believing every assertion she made in describing Trump’s orchestration of the effort to undermine the Electoral College vote count and his effort to cling to power by using any means he deemed necessary.

Cassidy Hutchinson is no disgruntled ally of Trump who sought to exact revenge for being wronged. She instead appears to be someone who remains devoted to his agenda but who has separated his policy views from his personal conduct.

She endorses the policy. Hutchinson condemns the conduct.

U.S. House Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson convened today’s surprise hearing while keeping the contents of what would come forth a secret. To be candid, I wasn’t expecting to hear from someone such as Cassidy Hutchinson. She isn’t flashy or gregarious. She doesn’t have a single connection to Donald J. Trump … other than devotion to his agenda.

All of that made her an extremely credible deliverer of grim news for the disgraced — and thoroughly disgraceful — former president.