Tag Archives: sedition

Walls closing in — again!

I heard it said today that federal prosecutors would “rather not bring a case than bring one that they cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt.”

With that in mind, I am astonished today to learn that special counsel Jack Smith well might have the goods to drop on Donald John Trump as he concludes his probe into the 1/6 insurrection and assault on the federal government that sought to overturn the 2020 presidential election … which Trump lost to Joseph R. Biden Jr.

I say “astonished” not because I am surprised, but because I am overwhelmed by the gravity of what I now expect to happen.

Which is that Smith is going to indict Trump on a whole array of charges, which might include conspiracy to commit sedition, obstruction of justice and Lord knows what else.

Trump revealed over the weekend that he got a “target letter” from Smith, acknowledging that the special counsel has targeted the former president in his criminal probe.

Oh, brother.

What’s important to note there is that this case will not be tried by the same federal judge — Aileen Cannon — who is thought to favor Trump, who nominated her for the federal judgeship. It will fall onto the lap of another jurist. Cannon is presiding in south Florida over the case involving the classified documents — for which Trump has been indicted.

We are about to enter some mighty rough waters, ladies and gentlemen. Strap yourselves in.


Democracy scores big!

Democracy has taken it on the chin in recent years as elements of our society have sought to overturn legitimate presidential elections through force and intimidation.

Well … today our democratic principles scored a big victory when a criminal trial jury delivered guilty verdicts to four members of a group called the Proud Boys, convicting them of seditious conspiracy.

These dipsh**s now stand to serve many years in prison for their actions on 1/6, which included assaulting law enforcement officers while seeking to storm the Capitol Building as Congress was meeting to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

This attack was a direct frontal assault on the very tenet on which our democratic process was founded: the peaceful transfer of power from one presidential administration to another.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland’s Justice Department has scored a major victory for all of us who love this nation and who adhere to the principles on which the founders created it.

What’s more, Garland dropped a bit of a hint of more to come when he declared that his “work continues.”


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.


Hillary is right about Trump

Say whatever you want about Hillary Rodham Clinton, who grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory in the 2016 presidential election … but she is correct in asserting that the man who defeated her then is a criminal.

Donald Trump, said 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Clinton, has committed an act of “seditious conspiracy” against the federal government. She is convinced of the evidence that has been gathered and she wants him prosecuted.

So do I and so do millions of other Americans.

Clinton told CBS News what many of us already know, that she was unhappy that she collected 3 million more votes than Trump but lost the Electoral College vote, which is the count that matters in electing presidents.

“Did I consider for a nanosecond” an effort to overturn the results of that election? Clinton asked. “No!” she answered with stunning emphasis.

Clinton lost the 2016 election in one of the most bizarre political flukes in U.S. history. Trump pilfered states that by all rights should have ended up in Clinton’s column. She lost them and I, for one, am not going to dispute that Trump was elected president in 2016. Thus, he benefited from a peaceful power transition that he denied the man to whom he lost four years later.

And in denying that peaceful transition to an opponent, Joe Biden, who defeated him decisively, Trump committed a criminal act of “seditious conspiracy.”

The record is now chock full of evidence presented to a select House committee. Just think: this is just one of at least three probes into criminal activity involving the twice-impeached former president of the United States of America.

The beat, as they say, just goes on.


DOJ files landmark sedition charge … wow!

So, just how serious is the U.S. Department of Justice in its pursuit of who did what and when during the 1/6 insurrection against the federal government?

It has filed sedition charges against the leader and founder of the ultra-right wing group Oath Keepers in an unprecedented allegation that the group sought to topple the government in an effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The main target is a North Texas resident, Stewart Rhodes, founder of Oath Keepers who faces a potential 20-year sentence in a federal prison if he is convicted of the charges leveled against him.

This is a big deal, man!

According to CNN.com: Attorney General Merrick Garland had balked at the earlier efforts to bring the seditious conspiracy charge. But in the months since, people briefed on the matter say FBI investigators and DC federal prosecutors have spent much time building the case, at least in part with the help of cooperators and the benefit of internal communications among the Oath Keepers.

Takeaways from the landmark sedition indictment against the Oath Keepers – CNNPolitics

I have heard from critics of this blog who have suggested that there have been no “insurrection” charges filed against any of the defendants accused of participating in the riot on Capitol Hill. Attorney General Merrick Garland has rendered that point moot with the charge against Rhodes and others.

The DOJ probe took a year to complete, which suggests to me that the AG made damn sure to cover every possible detail before announcing the indictments.

The investigation into this hideous event is sure to pick up a head of steam. It certainly should. The House select committee is moving forward with its own probe into what transpired on that terrible day. It is issuing summons to members of Congress and is getting push back from the Trump cult members of Congress who are resisting requests to talk to the panel.

Are the walls closing in on the former president, the guy who incited the riot with his call on the Ellipse on 1/6 to “take back our government”? I certainly hope so.

I applaud AG Merrick Garland for demonstrating an astonishing level of courage in following the law, as he said he would, “wherever it takes us.”


Shades of ‘good people … on both sides’

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Ron Johnson has a screw loose in that vacuous noggin of his.

The Wisconsin Republican U.S. senator made a statement about the insurrection of The Sixth of January that truly makes me wonder about this clown’s fitness to serve in the World’s Greatest Deliberative Body.

He told a Wisconsin radio interview several things, two of which stand out in my mind.

One is that the insurrection didn’t “scare me at all” because the terrorists were Donald Trump supporters. But … had the shoe been on the proverbial other foot and Trump had won the 2020 election and had Black Lives Matters or antifa followers had rioted in that fashion, why, then he would have felt endangered.

The racist tenor of that remark stands alone. It is hideous in the extreme. Oh, but then he said something else that makes my spine shudder.

He said the terrorists were “law-abiding” citizens who “would never do anything” against the law. Look at the picture I posted with this blog. It shows terrorists storming into the Capitol Building. Hmm. Oh, and they killed a Capitol Police officer during the melee and injured several others, not to mention causing the deaths of about five other Americans.

To which laws were these lunatics abiding? None.

It reminds me of Donald Trump’s infamous declaration after the KKK/Nazi-inspired riot in Charlottesville when he declared there to be “good people … on both sides” of that deadly riot.

Someone needs to slap a straitjacket on Sen. Johnson.

Lesson needs to be learned

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Well, my fellow Americans … we have been treated to a serious lesson on the fragility, yet sturdiness, of our democracy.

The first half of the Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial has concluded in the U.S. Senate. The House of Representatives prosecutors — members of the House, the managers — made, in my view, a compelling case for conviction. That Trump incited an insurrection against the government he took an oath to protect and defend.

He didn’t do either during his single term as president. He incited a riotous mob of terrorists on Jan. 6, exhorting them to march on Capitol Hill and intervene in Congress doing its job on that day, which was to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.

We saw in graphic terms how close the terrorists came to bringing physical harm to Congress, and to the system of government we cherish.

They didn’t succeed. Our democracy stands to this day. It stands strong and it will survive this horrendous episode.

Donald Trump’s legal team takes the Senate floor on Friday. They say they can make their case in a single day. I am going to go out on a limb here: Trump’s team will talk past the House managers. They will divert the argument, send it down another path.

They cannot argue against the constitutionality of the trial. The Senate has voted already that the trial met constitutional standards. Nor can they possibly defend what transpired on Jan. 6. I double-dog dare them to suggest that Donald Trump’s remarks on The Ellipse didn’t incite the mob to attack the Capitol Building, egg the mobsters to smash windows, to ransack offices, to injure and kill people.

They won’t go there. Instead, I am going to presume Trump’s lawyers might hang their defense on the First Amendment, suggesting that Trump merely was exercising his constitutional free-speech guarantees by declaring his opinion that the election was stolen from him. You know, though, that it wasn’t.

Sigh …

I am left then to salute the founders of this great nation for establishing a governing framework that can withstand the assault that developed on Jan. 6. It was a full-on frontal attack incited by a lame-duck president.

He is likely to get away with what he did; the Senate won’t convict him of the deed I happen to believe he committed. However, his hideous conduct is now on the record for history to judge. Americans have seen it unfold in real time. I don’t know about you, but I never will forget what we learned on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

We must not commit such a horrendous error — electing someone of this individual’s ilk — ever again.

More than QAnon Queen to worry about

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It is tempting to single out an individual who stands above a particular fray. So it has been with Marjorie Taylor Greene, the person I have dubbed the QAnon Queen of the House … of Representatives.

She deserves to be stripped of her committee assignments and sent to the back of the room. She can talk to herself and to her friends in the sedition caucus of the Republican membership in the House.

This brings me to a critical point, which is that there are more House members and senators who share this individual’s warped, distorted and disgusting world view. We need to keep our eyes peeled to their activities as well.

Who else is out there? I shudder to think that a newly elected rep from North Texas, Republican Beth Van Duyne of Irving, might be among them. She has become the target of vigorous political advertising that suggests she shares the loony bin notions being touted by Greene and others.

Oh, then we have Rep. Louie Gohmert from Tyler, who’s been faithful to his birther notions about former President Obama.

You know how I feel about Sen. Ted Cruz, the Houston Republican. Enough said about the Cruz Missile.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has warned us that the “enemy is within” the ranks of House members and senators. Boy howdy, Mme. Speaker.

I intend to remain vigilant to the nuttiness that can — and no doubt will — arise from Capitol Hill.

One more final point. Think of the irony that the very place that came  under attack on the Sixth of January from the terrorist mob — the halls of Congress — is now a potential hotbed for the type of lunacy that the rioters followed.


Videos keep worsening Jan. 6 tragedy

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

So help me I don’t know how much more of this I can take.

The New Yorker magazine today released a video from the Jan. 6 invasion of Capitol Hill by the horde of terrorists. It sent chills up my back; it made the hair seemingly stand up. Videos such as this provide ample and graphic evidence of what Donald Trump incited that morning while exhorting the crowd gathered in front of him.

Oh, and then we had Don Trump Jr. saying something like “coming after you” those who don’t turn from “zeroes to heroes” and Rudy Giuliani calling for “trial by combat.”

It just gets more repulsive daily, it seems, as video after video surfaces to show the world — yes, the entire planet — what kind of moron this nation saw fit to elect as its president four years ago.

The latest video shows terrorists busting through windows at the Capitol Building. They are marching under Old Glory, wearing those hideous MAGA hats, yelling “Where’s f***ing Nancy (Pelosi)!” They chant “Hang Mike Pence!” The video shows rioters pulling a police officer into the crowd and beating him within an inch of his life with flagpoles.

And  they scream “USA, USA, USA!” while attacking the very seat of our national government!

How in the name of decency does any of this make any godd*** sense?

The House impeached Trump one week later. He now will stand trial in the Senate. Trump will be out of office. Following true to form Trump said his conduct was proper. He takes no responsibility for the “incitement of insurrection” that he clearly and without any serious question is guilty of committing.

A Senate conviction won’t remove him from office. It can bar him from ever seeking public office again. That punishment would be good enough for me, even though I preferred a conviction during the first impeachment a year ago would have prevented all of this tragedy from unfolding in the first place.

Three days to go before President Biden takes the reins.

Oh, my. Let’s hold on for dear life.

Biden facing tough prosecutorial call

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid down an important marker a while back when he said he had no interest in pursuing federal criminal charges against his predecessor as president of the United States.

I’ll just get this off my chest: I think that was the correct course for President Biden to take. However, Biden made that judgment prior to the events that occurred on Jan. 6, which is the insurrection that Trump incited with that hideous speech on The Ellipse.

The House of Representatives impeached Trump a second time just one week after that tragic event. Joe Biden will take his oath of office just one week after the impeachment.

Trump will stand trial in the Senate. What the senators do, of course, remains the Question For the Ages. A conviction won’t remove Trump from office; he’ll be long gone from the White House. It would deny Trump the ability to seek public office ever again.

Should the Justice Department pursue criminal sedition charges against a former president if it determines there is evidence that he committed a crime by telling the mob to walk down the street and “take back the government”? If it doesn’t pursue them, does that let Trump off the hook, letting him get away with a punishable felony?

Here’s another question. Would a federal prosecution put the soul of the nation — which President Biden vowed to restore — in even more dire peril? Would such a prosecution inflict mortal wounds on our national psyche?

I now am officially undecided on the pledge that President-elect Biden made, that he has “no interest” in prosecuting Trump.

Joe Biden might have to assess the national mood in real time as he faces whether DOJ should proceed with prosecuting Trump.

I am not suggesting that Trump should avoid all prosecution. State authorities are looking into myriad other allegations leveled against the president. They involve campaign finance violations, his personal finances, the activities of his closest advisers and even his own family and a host of other matters. Local prosecutors’ ability and willingness to prosecute Trump are beyond the federal government’s reach, which renders DOJ’s view irrelevant.

What’s more, I also believe that local authorities need to keep looking until they determine whether they have enough to level charges. And if they don’t …

President Biden’s lengthy political career, burnished by his legal background, prepared him to ponder the decision he likely must confront.

If only Donald Trump had exhibited a scintilla of decency on Jan. 6 by telling the rioters to stand down. He didn’t. He incited them to attack the bastion of the government of this great nation.

That’s why President Biden faces an agonizing decision.