For all the bravery among Republicans that they will scrutinize the work of the Jan. 6 committee once they take power from House Democrats next month, they and their dwindling leader, Donald Trump, are at his best become sponsors. Their (mis)conduct ensures the panel’s findings – the full report is expected on Wednesday – are as relevant for looking ahead as they are for looking back at this tragic time. In fact, you could say they legitimized what Republican House leader Rep. “My Kevin” McCarthy once tried to call the “least legitimate committee in American history.”
At the committee’s public finale on Monday, it plans to release a summary of its report and vote to recommend criminal and ethical action against various parties — probably including Trump and some of his henchmen from the house – to the Justice Department, the Home Ethics Committee and various state bar associations.
Jackie Calmes takes a critical look at the national political scene. She has decades of experience reporting on the White House and Congress.
While the committee’s lifespan is extended 30 days after the release of its report, under the terms of the parliamentary resolution that created it last year, the panel effectively dies next week. Not only is there no chance the Republican-led House would renew it, McCarthy has vowed the new majority will investigate investigators. This from the man who made “Benghazi” the catchphrase for truly illegitimate, politically motivated congressional investigations.
But McCarthy’s colleagues in the House of Representatives and Trump have greatly complicated these plans to limit the investigation. The recent actions of defeated former President and fangirl Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, along with newly reported texts from Republican lawmakers about the 2020 presidential election overthrow, only underscores that the Jan. 6 report will not simply be a repeat of nearly 2- annual event.
Instead, the committee’s findings will highlight an ongoing “clear and present danger” ahead of the next national election in 2024, as conservative former federal judge J. Michael Luttig puts it. This is especially true because the number of refusers will increase and power in the house.
Trump first. His declaration a month ago that he was running again for the job voters fired him from, and his continued lying about that defeat, make a full account of his role in leading to the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot all the more important .. From what we already know, this accounting should disqualify him for voters. But the report and the criminal leads that accompany it may help keep him from even voting, since the 14th Amendment bars anyone from office who is “reported to have participated in any insurrection or rebellion.”
there is more Trump, who has remained silent about the officers who died defending the Capitol, earlier this month sent supportive video to a fundraiser for the so-called Patriots who attacked it on Jan. 6. He has already said he would apologize and pardon the rioters and conspirators who will be prosecuted if he is re-elected. More recently, he dug even deeper, calling for the “cancellation” of the constitution to “THROUGH OUT the results of the 2020 presidential election.”
As Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, tweeted as an answer: “That was his view on 1.6. and is still his opinion today. No honest person can now deny that Trump is an enemy of the Constitution.”
Speaking of enemies of the Constitution, we turn to Georgia Rep. Greene. Last weekend, you entertained a Republican audience in Manhattan that included Donald Trump Jr., who boasted that efforts to block Joe Biden’s election to the presidency would not have failed if she and his colleague Steve Bannon carried out the attack on the Capitol that day “organized”. “Not to mention,” she said, “it would have been armed.”
This by a lawmaker who will soon be re-authorized in the majority of the House of Representatives and is a celebrity among the party’s radicalized base. She has emerged as perhaps McCarthy’s most prominent supporter in his embattled bid to become speaker; If he wins despite opposition from some of Greene’s comrades-in-arms, he will owe them.
And then there are the other House Republicans likely to be singled out in the Jan. 6 committee report for varying degrees of guilt for helping Trump become a truly historic president: the first to commit to the peaceful transfer of power resisted. This week we got something of a preview of who they are.
Online site Talking Points Memo reported hundreds of previously unpublished text messages sent by 34 Republicans in Congress to Mark Meadows, Trump’s White House chief of staff, after the 2020 election. Among the messages Meadows delivered to the committee and the Justice Department, 11 days after the attack on the Capitol and three days before Biden’s inauguration, was this cry of despair from Rep. Ralph Norman of South Carolina: “Our LAST HOPE is to call Marshall Law!! PLEASE ASK THE PRESIDENT TO DO THIS!!” Yes, Norman wrote Marshall Law.
In late 2020, Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry wrote to Meadows, “11 days to 1/6 and 25 days to inauguration. We gotta go!” Other Republicans supported Republican-controlled legislatures in states where Biden won to throw out their lists of Biden electors in favor of Trump on grounds of false fraud.
Last January, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich warned on Fox News and in a comment that members of the January 6 committee would go to jail if Republicans won control of Congress in the midterm elections. He accused them of being partisan wolves, a “lynch mob”.
Thankfully, we have the January 6 committee report to document the actual lynch mob, who erected a gallows on the Capitol grounds and roared “Hang Mike Pence!” and “Where’s Nancy?” The one who threatened American democracy.
House Republicans think they will bury the committee’s work? Through their own words and deeds they give it life.
https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-12-16/jan-6-committee-report Calmes: The GOP just keeps stoking the ‘clear and present danger’ of Jan. 6