Tag Archives: insurrection

Contempt of Congress: what now?

Steve Bannon, a one-time key aide to the former president of U.S., is facing contempt of Congress charges from the panel that has summoned him to testify about what he knows regarding 1/6.

Bannon has refused to testify until the courts weigh in on Donald Trump’s contention that he is entitled to presidential executive privilege.

Here is the question I am pondering: What can Congress do to enforce the contempt charge? Answer, as near as I can tell: Not much … just yet.

The Justice Department has to determine whether to bring criminal charges against Bannon, or against any other of the former Trumpkins who are likely to resist the subpoenas that the House select committee has issued.

The panel wants to know the truth behind what occurred within the White House on 1/6. So do many millions of Americans want to know. I am one of them.

Explainer-What’s at stake for Trump allies facing ‘contempt of Congress’? (msn.com)

Bannon is the keeper of plenty of secrets, I am certain. He needs to share them with the nation and the world.

Let me be clear about one more thing. What happened on 1/6 posed a dire threat to the very government we all cherish. The riot on Capitol Hill could have ended far differently than it did had the terrorists been allowed to achieve their mission to “Hang Mike Pence!” and to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election result.

Bannon and his former boss have no right to invoke executive privilege. I hope the DOJ sees it that way, too.


An insurrection? Um … yep

A critic of this blog, a gentleman with whom I have a casual acquaintance, posited an interesting notion that I believe needs a response.

He wrote: An insurrection is an attempt to overtake a government. How are you going to overtake a government without weapons?

He refers to the riot that erupted 1/6 on Capitol Hill. I have called the riot an “insurrection.” So have others. Those on the far right have declined to use that term. That is their call. I’ll stick with my description of what happened.

My critic wonders how one can have an “overtake a government without weapons.”

Actually you can. Indeed, from what I witnessed on 1/6, the mob that stormed into the Capitol Building had plenty of “weapons,” which they used with brutal efficiency as they stormed into the halls of our federal government. Did you see ’em beat the cops with flag poles, blasting them with chemical spray, throwing fire extinguishers … that kind of thing? Oh, and what about the zip ties recovered from many of the suspects arrested on that day?

What would have occurred had they been able to storm into the rooms where members of Congress were accepting the Electoral College ballots that declared Joe Biden the winner of the 2020 election? The terrorists, as near as I could tell, weren’t joking when they hollered “Hang Mike Pence!” while looking for the vice president of the United States, who was presiding over this governmental ritual.

Could this mob of terrorists stopped the process of certifying the result? Absolutely!

The best news of all is that they were prevented from getting their grimy mitts on more victims by quick-thinking Capitol Police officers.

My blog critic referred to the “so-called insurrection.” There was nothing “so-called” about we witnessed that day.

The U..S. House of Representatives select committee that is ramping up its probe of that horrific event vows to get to the truth. May the panel find all of it.

One more point: I checked my American Heritage Dictionary and looked up “insurrection.” It describes the word as “an act of open revolt against civil authority or a constituted government.”

Yep. That’s what we witnessed on 1/6.


No to ‘executive privilege’

Earth to Donald John Trump.

There is no “executive privilege” available to the former POTUS as he fights to prevent a House select committee from issuing subpoenas for key aides in its hunt for the truth behind the 1/6 insurrection.

The former POTUS said this, according to The Hill: “We will fight the Subpoenas on Executive Privilege and other grounds, for the good of our Country, while we wait to find out whether or not Subpoenas will be sent out to Antifa and BLM for the death and destruction they have caused in tearing apart our Democrat-run cities throughout America,” the former president said in a statement.

It’s not gonna work, Mr. Former Liar in Chief.

Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump | TheHill

You see, there is no executive privilege for former POTUSes.

The House of Representatives formed a select committee to root out the cause and effect of the insurrection that erupted on 1/6. It also intends to seek recommendations on how to prevent attacks from recurring. I wish the panel well in that search.

As for the former Insurrectionist in Chief, he is whistling in the wind if he thinks he can find a way to prevent the likes of former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and former chief strategist Steve Bannon from testifying before the House committee.

President Biden said as well that he won’t allow such executive privilege requests to be processed through the White House.

The former president incited the riotous mob to storm Capitol Hill on 1/6. Its intent was to disrupt the certification of the Electoral College result of the 2020 election that chose Biden over his predecessor. It failed, but the riot managed to inflict grievous damage to our democratic process.

So the House select committee’s work will require members of the former POTUS’s administration to stand before it, take an oath to tell the truth and then to divulge what they knew and when they knew it. The former president’s effort to prevent that from occurring is doomed to fail … as it should.


‘Justice for J6’ rally fizzles

I don’t know what kind of crowd they were expecting today at that “Justice for J6” rally in Washington, D.C.

My good ol’ trick knee tells me they didn’t get nearly the response that the Donald Trump cultists had envisioned.

“Less than a half-hour before the start of this ‘Justice For J6 (Jan. 6)’ rally, there are not a ton of people at the protest site. There are just as many journalists here, and probably more police,” David Jackson, a correspondent with USA Today tweeted.

Justice for the insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol? Justice for the individuals who sought to “Hang Mike Pence!”? Justice for the terrorists who thought they could — at the urging of the 45th POTUS — overturn the results of a free, fair and legal presidential election?

Far-right rally draws small crowd at Capitol | TheHill

Are you serious? Are any of these clowns serious?

The Hill reported: “Still seems like more press than protesters. Less than one demonstrator per member of Congress as the scheduled event begins,” Jonathan Allen, an NBC News reporter, tweeted.

The criminals who have been charged should spend a long time behind bars if the courts convict them of what I happen to believe was an act of insurrection against the U.S. government.

Right there would be “justice” delivered to the rioters of J6.


Bring on the clones!

President Biden has called a leading opponent of California Gov. Gavin Newsom a “clone of … ” oh, you know, the immediate former president of the United States.

I just refer him by various epithets and a mention that he once was the 45th president of the U.S. of A.

Cult leaders have this way of building followings that comprise many such “clones.” Larry Elder, a right-wing talker/blowhard/Big Lie conveyer is just one of ’em.

Newsom figures to survive the recall effort launched against him in the Golden State. Then he can get back to governing and trying to (a) deal with the climate change-induced wildfires and (b) wage war against the COVID 19 pandemic.

What happens now with the cultist who rose to become a leading challenger to the governor? He’ll try to parlay his enhanced celebrity status into some sort of mini-following of his own out west.

This guy Elder is just one of the sickening consequences of the wreckage left behind by the 45t POTUS. He ain’t alone. We have seen and heard from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, congressmen and women from various states throughout the old Confederacy.

My “favorite” clone happens to be Kevin McCarthy, the GOP House leader from California (which goes to show that not all Californians can be labeled as far-leftists). McCarthy actually has said some harsh things about the 45th POTUS in the immediate wake of the 1/6 insurrection. Then he backed off. Now he opposes any independent probe into what happened that terrible day when terrorists stormed Capitol Hill to overturn the certification of the 2020 presidential election.

McCarthy also is a clone of the disgraced, twice-impeached ex-Liar in Chief. McCarthy is a disgraceful political hack. Enough about him … the loser.

The Cult Leader in Chief is leaving us with a shameful legacy of lying, political perversion, sedition and conduct that I would consider to be treasonous. He won’t darken the White House door ever again. His clones will keep up the fight whenever they have a forum to spew their filth.


Well … how should this end up?

The following comes from Section 3 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

It states: 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 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 be a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Let’s see now. How is this going to play out?

A House of Representatives select committee is in the process of rounding up phone records of members of Congress or any other communication they might have had with White House officials on Jan. 6. Oh, that was the date of the insurrection that the former POTUS sought to incite, the one that sought to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

A number of those messages apparently involve Republicans who supported POTUS 45’s phony allegation of “widespread voter fraud.” Now, were they culpable in inciting the riot that resulted in the deaths of police officers and others? Or did their acquiescence contribute to the mayhem that occurred on Capitol Hill on 1/6?

You know who some of them are, right? GOP Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri, and Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Matt Gaetz of Florida and Jim Jordan of Ohio … just to name five of ’em!

Most of us know the truth about the election, that President Biden won it fairly, squarely and legally. We also know what we witnessed on 1/6, the cursing, screaming, the battering administered by the terrorists who stormed into the Capitol Building.

The question of the day, in this context, appears to be this: If the select panel determines that members of Congress aided and gave “comfort to the enemies thereof,” will Congress have the courage and commitment to the oath they all took to remove them from the halls of power?

I hope they will. I fear they won’t.


Lt. Byrd saved lives

Capitol Police Lt. Michael Byrd says he fired a fatal shot during the 1/6 terrorist attack on the Capitol Building only after the rioters refused to heed his commands to cease their assault.

The shot he fired killed Ashli Babbitt, who’s become a martyr among the insurrectionists/cultists who stormed the building.

I believe Byrd is a hero who saved an untold number of lives by acting as he did. Indeed, the Capitol Police internal investigation has cleared Byrd of any punishment for his deed.

Babbitt was one of thousands of rioters who stormed the Capitol after being egged on by the 45th POTUS to “take back our government.” From whom, of course, remains a mystery. I guess it’s the so-called “deep state.” Babbitt sought to break into the building. Byrd yelled at her to back off. She refused. He fired his pistol and Babbitt, an Air Force veteran and QAnon believer, died in the melee.

Lt. Byrd saved lives. He acted heroically as did all the officers who sought to prevent the mob from overturning the results of a free and fair presidential election.

I am damn proud of Michael Byrd.


Officer acted correctly on 1/6

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ashli Babbitt was a casualty of 1/6.

She died while trying to break into the Capitol Building, along with several thousand of her fellow terrorists/rioters/insurrectionists. A Capitol Police officer shot her to death.

Well, today the Capitol Police internal investigation released its decision, which is that the officer did nothing wrong. That Ashli Babbitt was killed by an officer performing his lawful duty to protect the nation’s seat of government.

Now, is this the end of it? Hardly.

I fully expect there to be plenty of growling and grumbling from those who believe the officer went beyond his orders to protect the Capitol Building.

Internal Probe Clears Officer Who Shot Capitol Rioter Ashli Babbitt | HuffPost

I want to be clear on a couple of points. I am saddened that the 35-year-old Babbitt died in the melee. However, the Air Force veteran was breaking the law at the time of the incident. She was trying to smash her way into Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office lobby when the officer, a lieutenant with the Capitol Police force, fired his weapon at her.

No one should have been died or been injured in the chaos that unfolded on 1/6. Then again, the mob should not have stormed into the Capitol Building, beaten security officers with poles, or sprayed them with chemicals, or crapped on the floor of Congress. Nor should they have been threatening to “Hang Mike Pence!” or sought Speaker Pelosi by chanting her name in that frightening cadence we all could hear on the audio recordings taken of the event.

Pelosi has impaneled a House select committee to examine all the details of the 1/6 attack on our government. She vows a thorough probe. Congressional Republicans oppose this investigation for reasons that seem clearer by the day: They don’t want to be implicated in any fashion by what the panel determines.

Now, though, we have completed one key element in that probe. The investigation into Ashli Babbitt’s death will go down as a tragic consequence of the riot that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

GOP faces a reckoning

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

There can be no denying that the Republican Party is facing a reckoning.

It has to decide if it is going to remain on the track laid out by an individual who has corrupted a once-great party. Or will it return to matters of principle and public policy?

The individual who corrupted the party — the 45th POTUS — lacks any defining principle. Unless you consider revenge, spite and chaos to be principles that define a political party.

POTUS 45 had zero Republican Party policy experience when he entered the 2016 GOP primary campaign. He won the party’s nomination that year by hammering his foes into submission. Then he won the presidency — with a bit of help from the FBI and its infamous e-mail investigation. He also won because of incompetence in the Democratic nominee’s campaign.

The presidency became POTUS’s play thing. Many of his top campaign aides found themselves indicted on criminal charges. The corruption ran throughout the highest rungs of his political ladder.

Oh, and then he got impeached twice. Once for trying to coerce a foreign government into doing his political bidding and once for inciting an insurrection that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

Many of the men and women who served with him have stood behind his corruption and his venality. For what? Someone needs to explain to me the strange grip this clown has over a party with which he had no prior knowledge or familiarity.

The 2022 midterm election is coming up. POTUS 45 wants to have a big time say in who gets elected. He wants to elect those who are blindly loyal to him. Oh, boy. If the party follows that course, it will consign itself — as well as the nation — to a future shrouded in darkness and corruption.

I am a good-government progressive who wants the Republican Party to rediscover its basis for existing and to debate the Democratic Party openly and honestly without the hatred that stains the rhetoric that comes from the one-time Liar in Chief.

Is that possible? For the nation’s sake, I hope so.

No mention of 1/6

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

A town hall meeting in Rockwall, Texas, this week produced plenty of fiery rhetoric from a congressman who represents the Northeast Texas region contained in the Fourth Congressional District.

Rep. Pat Fallon came loaded with plenty of ammo to fire at President Biden over Afghanistan (the withdrawal), infrastructure spending, COVID-19 and the Democratic House caucus over the rules it is imposing over the way lawmakers behave.

But … no mention from Rep. Fallon about 1/6 and — if you’ll excuse my use of a term not heard among members of the GOP caucus — the insurrection incited by the former Insurrectionist in Chief.

Nor was there any mention of the riot from any of the folks crammed into a Rotary Club office to hear from their congressman.

Now, I suppose I could have raised the issue, given that I was there covering the event for a local weekly newspaper near where I live. Indeed, I did give it some thought. Then it occurred to me: If I raise the issue and ask Fallon why he and most of his fellow congressional Republicans refuse to examine the why and wherefore of the attack on the Capitol, I would have become part of the story.

I feared the folks in the audience would have turned on me, given that Fallon already had taken shots during his remarks at what he called “the mainstream media.” The audience also took a dim view of the media’s coverage of the 2020 election,

My task while there was to report on the event, to record what Fallon said and to chronicle the town hall meeting for the readers of the newspaper for which I write. That’s it, man. I did my job.

However, it did frustrate me a little to hear not a word from Rep. Fallon — an ardent supporter of the former POTUS — about his take on what went down on 1/6 and whether he believes POTUS 45 was in any way culpable in provoking the attack that sought to overturn the results of a free, fair and legal presidential election … which the former president lost to Joe Biden.

Well, I know the answer to that notion. I just wanted to put him on the record. Oh well. There might be another time. I’ll wait.