Lazy Caturday Reads: “I’m not getting in that car.”
Posted: April 23, 2022 Filed under: just because
This post will be brief, because I’m not feeling so great today.
By Olesya Hudyma, Ukrainian artist
January 6 investigation news is breaking constantly over the past few days. I know lots of other things are happening, especially in Ukraine; but it really feels to me as if we are building toward something big happening either in the committee or the DOJ. Here’s the latest:
NBC News: Jan. 6 revelations will ‘blow the roof off the House,’ Rep. Jamie Raskin says.
Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., suggested that the House Jan. 6 committee’s upcoming hearings will be dramatic and include explosive revelations that the panel has been piecing together behind the scenes for months.
“The hearings will tell a story that will really blow the roof off the House,” Raskin said Thursday at an event hosted by Georgetown University’s Center on Faith and Justice in Washington.
Members of the committee plan to hold those hearings in June and aim to have a report out about their investigation by the end of the summer or early fall, said Raskin, who sits on the panel.
“No president has ever come close to doing what happened here in terms of trying to organize an inside coup to overthrow an election and bypass the constitutional order,” he said. “And then also use a violent insurrection made up of domestic violent extremist groups, white nationalist and racist, fascist groups in order to support the coup.”
Raskin said the committee will present “evidence” that proves there was coordination among then-President Donald Trump and his inner circle and his supporters who attacked the Capitol on Jan. 6 in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
Summer, window, red cat, by Vladiir A Abat Cherkasov
The plan was to use then-Vice President Mike Pence to try to get President Joe Biden’s electoral vote tally below the 270 majority needed for victory, Raskin said, which under the 12th Amendment would shift the contest to a vote in the House. If that occurred, he said, Republicans would have the majority to seize the presidency because the votes would be cast by the state delegations, and the GOP controls more state delegations than the Democrats do.
“It’s anybody’s guess what could have happened — martial law, civil war. You know, the beginning of authoritarianism,” Raskin said, speculating on what might have unfolded if the plan was successful. “I want people to pay attention to what’s going on here, because that’s as close to fascism as I ever want my country to come to again.”
“This was not a coup directed at the president,” Raskin said. “It was a coup directed by the president against the vice president and against the Congress.”
There’s a lot of talk on Twitter about what happened with Mike Pence when he was removed from the House floor by Secret Service agents. Remember the story about how the agents tried to get him to get in a vehicle and he refused? He said “I’m not getting in that car.”
Newsweek, July 2021: Mike Pence Refused to Get in Car With Secret Service During Capitol Riot: Book.
“Tim Giebels, the lead special agent in charge of the vice president’s protective detail, twice asked Pence to evacuate the Capitol, but Pence refused,” the book says.
Pence reportedly told Giebels: “I’m not leaving the Capitol.” He was concerned that his 20-car motorcade leaving would “vindicate their insurrection,” Leonnig and Rucker add.
Giebels asked Pence to evacuate a third time but it was “more of an order than a request” as the agent believed Pence and his family were no longer safe where they were. They were evacuated down a staircase to an underground area of the Capitol. Pence’s limousine was waiting for them, but the then vice president reportedly refused to get in.
Some people are now suggesting that Pence suspected he would be prevented from returning later to certify the electoral votes. Recall that Chuck Grassley tweeted back then that he, not Pence, would handle the certification.
Back to today’s news.
The New York Times: Meadows Was Warned Jan. 6 Could Turn Violent, House Panel Says.
Mark Meadows, the final chief of staff for President Donald J. Trump, was told that plans to try to overturn the 2020 election using so-called alternate electors were not “legally sound” and that the events of Jan. 6 could turn violent, but he pushed forward with a rally anyway, the House committee investigating the Capitol attack alleged in a Friday night court filing.
Tohukiro Kawai, Japanese artist
In the 248-page filing, lawyers for the committee highlighted the testimony of Cassidy Hutchinson, a White House aide in Mr. Meadows’s office, who revealed new details about the events that led to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on Congress by a pro-Trump mob.
“I know that there were concerns brought forward to Mr. Meadows,” Ms. Hutchinson told investigators at a deposition on March 7, adding: “I know that people had brought information forward to him that had indicated that there could be violence on the 6th. But, again, I’m not sure if he — what he did with that information.”
Ms. Hutchinson — who testified twice before the panel in closed-door interviews in February and March — said Anthony M. Ornato, the former White House chief of operations, told Mr. Meadows that “we had intel reports saying that there could potentially be violence on the 6th. And Mr. Meadows said: All right. Let’s talk about it.”
“But despite this and other warnings, President Trump urged the attendees at the January 6th rally to march to the Capitol to ‘take back your country,’” Douglas N. Letter, the general counsel of the House, wrote in the filing.
More on the filing from The Washington Post:
In the motion, the committee outlines seven “discrete categories of information” about which it seeks to question Meadows and argues that his claims of executive privilege should not preclude his testifying about those matters.
Cats on the porch, by Igor Selivanov
Those categories of information include testimony and documents relating to communications with members of Congress; the plan to replace acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen with Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark; efforts by Trump to “direct, persuade or pressure then Vice President Mike Pence to unilaterally refuse to count electoral votes on January 6th”; and activity in the White House “immediately before and during the events of January 6th.”
The committee laid out new examples of warnings Meadows received before Jan. 6, 2021, along with a deepened understanding of his involvement with planning and coordinating efforts to disrupt the counting of electoral college votes in Congress.
Perhaps the most significant new piece of evidence presented by the committee is testimony from Hutchinson, who told investigators that her boss was informed “before the January 6th proceeding about the potential for violence that day,” according to the filing.
Axios: Lawmakers met with Meadows on election schemes, ex-aide testifies.
A former aide to ex-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows testified to the Jan. 6 Select Committee that Meadows met with several right-wing House members in December to discuss efforts to overturn the election, a new court filing reveals….
Driving the news: Cassidy Hutchinson, a former executive assistant to Meadows, testified that at least ten lawmakers – mostly members of the right-wing House Freedom Caucus – met with Meadows on Dec. 21, 2020, according to the filing.
She named Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Mo Brooks (R-Mo.), Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.), Louie Gohmert (R-Texas), Jody Hice (R-Ga.), Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.) and Scott Perry (R-Pa.), but said a “handful” of others were present or dialed in as well.
Some of the members professed belief in a legal theory that then-Vice President Mike Pence could unilaterally reject electoral votes on Jan. 6, Hutchinson said.
There were multiple meetings of this kind with lawmakers during that period, Hutchinson testified. Some members, including Perry and Jordan, would “dial into meetings frequently.”
The White House Counsel’s Office also explicitly advised that another scheme planned by Trump allies was “not legally sound,” according to Hutchinson.
She testified that, in a December meeting that included Meadows, Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani’s associates, the Counsel’s office raised concerns about a plan to have alternate electors cast votes for Trump.
Giuliani was reportedly a central figure in the Trump campaign’s coordination of the alternate electors.
Read the rest at Axios.
Politico: Jan. 6 panel gets inconsistent testimony on key Trump family conversation.
The Jan. 6 committee has received apparently inconsistent testimony from key witnesses on a notable point: just how much effort it took Ivanka Trump to persuade her father to criticize the attack.
Garden Patrol by Anne Mortimer
Three months ago, the panel sent a letter to Ivanka Trump asking her to voluntarily cooperate with its investigators. Chair Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) said investigators wanted to ask her about former President Donald Trump’s behavior as the attack unfolded. The letter homed in on White House staffers’ efforts to get Trump to speak out against the unfolding violence.
That letter leaned heavily on testimony from now-retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who was formerVice President Mike Pence’s national security adviser on the day of the attack. Kellogg “explained that White House staff wanted the President to take some immediate action to quell the unrest,” the letter to Ivanka Trump said, adding that Kellogg thought she could help get Trump to make a statement aimed at stopping the violence“The testimony also suggests that you agreed to talk to the President, but had to make multiple efforts to persuade President Trump to act,” the letter continues. Then it quotes from the transcript of Kellogg’s interview.
“And so presumably the first time she [Ivanka Trump] went in, it wasn’t sufficient or she wouldn’t have had to go back at least one more time, I assume. Is that correct?” the transcript reads, quoting the investigator who was interviewing Kellogg.
“Well, yes, ma’am,” Kellogg replies. “I think she went back there because Ivanka can be pretty tenacious.”
But multiple witnesses have described that specific episode differently to the panel, according to two people familiar with the testimony to the select committee. Those other witnesses, including the former president’s daughter herself, have testified that Trump sent out a tweet supporting Capitol Police just a few minutes after she first went in and asked him to say something about the attack, the people said.
A few more interesting stories:
CNN: Takeaways from Friday’s January 6-focused hearing on the bid to disqualify Marjorie Taylor Greene.
The New York Times: McCarthy’s Lie Puts G.O.P. Hypocrisy on Trump on Display.
The Washington Post: Opinion: McCarthy audio shows Congress must bolster our democratic system — now.
Have a nice weekend, Sky Dancers! And hang on, we may yet get those public hearings.