Tag Archives: House select committee

Trump makes history!

Donald John Trump pledged — in so many words — to make history if voters elected him president of the United States in 2016.

Well … today the ex-president made good on that promise by making history of a staggering type. He became the first POTUS in U.S. history to ever be referred for criminal prosecution by a duly constituted congressional committee.

The House 1/6 select committee held its final meeting today and referred four charges against Trump to the Justice Department. They all refer directly to his role in inciting the 1/6 insurrection and in refusing to stop the attack on the Capitol that resulted in many injuries and some deaths.

The treasonous mob’s intention was clear: It was acting on Trump’s orders to stop the Electoral College certification of the 2020 presidential election.

Now comes the real hard task awaiting DOJ. It must decide whether to indict Trump on any of these referrals. Therein we have the words of Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has told us repeatedly that “no one is above the law.”

To be absolutely clear, the congressional referrals have zero legal consequence. They are symbolic in nature. However, Justice Department prosecutors have been handed an enormous pile of evidence that ought to persuade them that Trump did obstruct justice, that he did conspire to overturn the 2020 election results and that he most surely did incite the assault on the Capitol Building.

My head is spinning as I ponder the consequences of whatever the Justice Department decides. If it indicts Trump but then whiffs on getting a conviction, then the MAGA crowd will be energized beyond belief. If it chooses to forgo any indictments, it will signal to Congress that the work of the select committee was essentially a waste of time.

Then again, if DOJ indicts Trump and a trial jury convicts him of a felony … I would spend American real money to see this individual hauled away to spend time behind bars.


Now … comes the 1/6 report

Americans with an interest in how the government came under attack on Jan. 6, 2021, and how we might prevent a recurrence of such a travesty have some riveting TV viewing ahead of them.

The House 1/6 select committee is going to meet one final time Monday in front of you and me. It will discuss what it has discovered after interviewing more than 1,000 witnesses and reviewed more than a million documents.

The committee then will take arguably the most monumental congressional votes in U.S. history. It will vote on whether to refer criminal charges against the former president of the United States who, in 1/6, incited the insurrection that tore through the Capitol Building with the aim of overturning a free and fair presidential election.

To be abundantly clear, Congress only can refer criminal charges to the Department of Justice. DOJ must decide whether to indict whoever the congressional committee refers in its report.

And … yes. Donald J. Trump’s name needs to be among those referred for criminal prosecution.

To suggest that the1/6 committee has been anything but meticulous, patient, diligent and courageous in its pursuit of the truth about 1/6 is to be guilty of the most partisan cynicism imaginable.

On the receiving end of those referrals, of course, is Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has insisted repeatedly that “no one is above the law.” By “no one,” he means precisely what we must infer, which is that Donald Trump is vulnerable to a criminal indictment … or two … or three.

Having watched many hours of previous testimony and commentary from committee members, I have no doubt — none, zero! — that Donald Trump committed multiple crimes before, during and after the assault on the Capitol Building.

What remains to be determined if whether the AG is going — after poring through the committee’s findings — to make history by doing something to previous attorney general has done. Will he indict Donald J. Trump?

I believe that moment is coming.

Meanwhile, I am going to listen with the most intense interest possible at committee members’ message as this drama draws to its long-awaited conclusion.


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.


Trump gets subpoena … good!

Donald John Trump has been formally summoned to appear before the 1/6 House select committee examining the insurrection that Trump incited.

Except that Trump keeps insisting he did not do a damn thing wrong. That his challenge of the 2020 presidential election result is valid and that he has proof of “widespread voter fraud.”

But, wait! He hasn’t presented a shred of evidence to back his specious contention of non-existent widespread fraud.

We now are going to see whether this individual believes in the rule of law. Will he appear before the panel? Will he tell House members the “whole truth?” Will he dispel any notion that his fiery speech on the Ellipse on 1/6 intended to result in the frontal assault on the government?

Excuse me while I laugh my ass off!

This individual who pretends to stand for toughness, truth and the American Way is likely to cower behind the Fifth Amendment constitutional guarantee against self-incrimination. That’s his right. It also suggests to me that he is guilty as hell … just as he said of those associated with criminal activity involving his political foes.


Rule of law set for challenge

Here it comes: We’re going to see, more than likely, a supreme test of the notion that “no one is above the law” that Attorney General Merrick Garland keeps reminding us.

The House select 1/6 committee has subpoenaed Donald J. Trump to talk to the committee about all he knows about what happened before, during and after the insurrection. Trump has issued a 14-page response that doesn’t way whether he will honor the summons and talk to the committee.

Congress could cite the ex-president of contempt of Congress. He could be indicted for that. Trump could go to trial. A jury could convict him … all of which happened to former Trump adviser/toadie Steve Bannon, who now is facing a two-year term in a federal prison.

Is Trump on the same plain as the rest of us? Must he face the consequence of prison time if he refuses honor the demands of a duly constituted congressional committee?

Merrick Garland says he must. I believe we are to learn in due course whether The Donald actually dodges this bullet.


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.


Go for it, Liz!

Liz Cheney well might find out that being a lame-duck member of Congress has an advantage or two … such as freeing her from the threat of political blowback as she seeks to find the truth behind a president’s corruption.

The New York Times is reporting that Cheney will continue on her crusade to keep Donald J. Trump far away from the Oval Office even if she loses her Republican Party primary race next week.

Cheney is running for re-election to her fourth term in the House. She has signed on to the House select committee examining the 1/6 insurrection. Cheney has left no doubt as to her belief that Trump is responsible for the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and has said out loud that the Justice Department must find evidence to indict the ex-POTUS.

The Trump-backed Republican is favored to defeat Cheney next week. I am not going to take that outcome to the proverbial bank just yet, although I acknowledge that it doesn’t look good for Rep. Cheney at the moment.

Accordingly, lame-duck status would seem to fit Cheney quite well. It will free her to speak even more bluntly — if that is even possible — about the corrupt and criminal intent she and others on the panel have found.


Public hearings to commence

Mark it down on your calendar — or perhaps log it into your smart phone: June 9 is when the House select committee investigating the 1/6 insurrection takes its hearings onto the public floor.

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson vows a complete hearing before the whole world when he calls witnesses to testify on what they knew on that hideous day. He will make them tell the truth about when they knew it and whether the POTUS at the time, Donald Trump, is culpable in the effort to overturn our cherished democratic process with the aim of keeping Trump in power.

I don’t know about you, but I intend to watch as much of it as I can. I understand there will be roughly five days of public testimony.

I am going to look forward to hearing the Trumpkins defend the activities of their hero. Defend his inaction. His refusal to stop the attack on our law enforcement personnel guarding the Capitol Building.

Moreover, I am going to hope my stomach is strong enough to digest all the lies we are about to hear.

Ladies and gentlemen, pass the popcorn, because we are about to watch a political drama play out.


Subpoena = direct order

What do you do when a governing authority orders you to do something, such as … oh … testify under oath about what you might know about a criminal act?

I know what I would do. I would report to the authority and tell it what I know. Or don’t know.

The 1/6 House select committee is issuing subpoenas to former Donald Trump aides, friends, family members (who also worked for the government) about what they know about the events that led to the insurrection on 1/6. Many of them are refusing to comply with what I would describe as a “direct order” from the committee.

I will add that it is a direct lawful order by a duly constituted congressional committee charged with finding the truth behind the insurrection.

The committee chaired by Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., is working with breathtaking speed. It is proceeding at a pace I didn’t think was possible. Congress isn’t known as a breakneck organization. Yet, the chips have been thrown down and this panel is moving with remarkable speed and efficiency toward what I hope is a well-researched conclusion.

As for the subpoenas it is issuing, the subjects of those summonses need to understand the gravity of the orders they have been given. They are issued in the name of an American public — at least most of it — that is horrified at the events of 1/6. We all witnessed what Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell has rightly defined as a “violent insurrection” against the U.S. government. Such hideous violence cannot be allowed to stand.

When the powers that be issue an order for those with direct knowledge of the circumstance to report, well, they need to comply or else face the consequence of their refusal.

I believe that is what they call the “rule of law.”


Comply, or else!

Quiz time: What do you do when a duly constituted governing authority tells you to talk to them about a serious policy matter?

Answer: You do what they tell you to do; you show up under threat of prosecution for contempt of whichever authority has issued the summons.

So it must be for those who get subpoenaed by the House select committee looking into the 1/6 insurrection. The panel is going full force against those who might know details about what happened before, during and after the riot that sought to stop the 2020 presidential election result certification.

If I were to get a summons from those folks, well, dang … I would show up and tell ’em what I know. They won’t call me, as I was sitting in the cheap seats that day watching it unfold on TV. It was a frightening event to witness, even from afar.

Donald Trump’s minions keep resisting. Their Republican allies in Congress keep giving them a pass, even though they have declared in prior congressional investigations — those chaired by the GOP in search of dirt on Democrats — that anyone who gets subpoenaed must comply or face prosecution. Not now? C’mon!

We cannot choose which authorities to obey and which ones to stiff-arm. The House committee is a legitimate governing authority and those who get these orders must obey them … or else.