Finally Friday Reads: J6 Committee Finale

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I admit to needing my support dog Temple and her support Kitty Kristal to get through the last of the January 6 Committee’s hearings.  Cassiday Hutchinson’s testimony continues to frame the narrative of how Trump planned and carried out his attempted insurrection. Over 30 of Trump’s cronies testified simply by exercising their fifth amendment right.  That was one of two clips that really was irritating. The second was a series of statements made by Trump that made his weird cadence so obvious it hurt my ears worse than country music.   The scene stealer for the day was Leader Pelosi, whose daughter was filming a documentary and captured the senate and house leadership in their hidey-hole at Fort McNair.

BB pointed out the presence of Republican Louisiana Congressman Steve “Sleazy” Scalise because I was so fixated on watching Senate Minority Leader McConnell’s expression.  It’s significant for several reasons.  First, he was standing behind McConnell while Leader Pelosi was trying to figure out how to get the Virginian and Maryland National Guard to the Capitol. You could tell it was early in the insurrection because as she spoke to the Governor of Virginia, you could see the mob breaking windows to surge into the Capitol building on a TV screen in the room.

The second reason it’s very important is that Scalise and other Republicans insisted that Pelosi tried to slow down the call to get the Guard a little over a year later. At the same time, we know the only person ignoring that duty was Trump himself.

This is the same guy who once called himself David Duke without the baggage.  Steve appears to forget that Italians and Sicilians weren’t considered white in this country for a long time.  He even forgets they did field work alongside black Americans in Louisiana. They kept to themselves and spoke their native language for a long time.  One of the largest lynchings in New Orleans happened to eleven Italian men who were in the wrong place at the wrong time in 1891.  Every time I remember his self-appellation, I remember that not so long ago, the likes of David Duke would’ve been happy to lynch him.

Colored figures of the birds of the British Islands / issued by Lord Lilford.. London :R. H. Porter,1885-1897

Today’s Republicans are genuinely unable to speak the truth. Senator Liz Cheney of Wyoming is now telling everyone who will listen to vote a straight Democratic ticket rather than lose our democracy.  She didn’t make it through the republican congressional primary in Wyoming.  Cheney and Adam Kinzinger will be out of Congress after the elections.  Kinzinger and Cheney will no longer be able to sit on the Committee should it continue after the elections.

Trump had one of those days yesterday after the January 6 Committee unanimously issued a subpoena for his appearance at the end of that hearing.  Earlier in the morning, SCOTUS denied “Trump’s request to allow a special master in the Mar-a-Lago case to review classified documents.”   This op-ed is written by Jeff Greenfield for Politico.

It was essentially two-and-a-half hours of leadup to the final moment of the Jan. 6 hearing. Donald Trump, in the words of Vice Chair Liz Cheney, had a “premeditated plan to declare the election was fraudulent and stolen before Election Day”; he knew he had lost and fed his base endless lies about it; he welcomed a siege of the Capitol and did nothing to stop it. And because, in Cheney’s words, the “cause of Jan. 6th was one man… his state of mind, his intent, his motivations…,” his testimony was required.

With that, the committee unanimously voted to subpoena the former president, ensuring the day’s headline news.

It is almost surely a symbolic act. The odds that Trump will enthusiastically appear to make his case is roughly equivalent to Herschel Walker’s admittance into Mensa, and the committee’s writ will expire by year’s end, long before a court fight over the subpoena would be resolved. While it may make for full employment for cable news legal experts, it also has the potential to overshadow the most striking revelations from today’s hearing — that the Secret Service had days of advance knowledge about the potential for violence at the Capitol, as well as the steely resolve of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who reached out for help in combatting the violence as it was happening. (Her conduct also makes a strong case that age is not necessarily a disabling quality in a leader.)

I still believe the actions of Nancy Pelosi were a big deal in the hearing presentation. This is especially true given the events unfolding around her.  It truly should put down the old adage that women do not have the “steely resolve” to be leaders under pressure.

Still, the unsigned SCOTUS decision is likely a bigger blow to Trump in the long run.

… the U.S. Supreme Court turned down Trump’s request to allow a special master in the Mar-a-Lago case to review classified documents. The unsigned order involved a relatively narrow dispute, but the lack of any dissents suggests that the court may not give Trump the protection he will seek from the Justice Department, should it end up indicting Trump for violating one or more federal laws. For all of the legal landmines in Trump’s path — breaking Georgia’s laws on election interference, a possible contempt citation if he refuses to comply with today’s subpoena — the Mar-a-Lago case remains the most damaging to Trump, especially considering that at different times, he has more or less acknowledged breaking one or more of the laws regarding federal documents.

The Republicans are trying to make hay with the bad news on inflation.  This inflation is due to the Saudi manipulation of the oil market and the Putin invasion of Ukraine.  The worst inflation resides in the core elements of oil, gas, and food.  This is a worldwide problem, meaning none came from us or any policy. This was the third thing that Greenfield spoke to if you’re interested.

Meanwhile, Trump only appears to have one condition to testify before the Committee.  This is via The Daily Beast’s  Zachary Petrizzo.

After the Jan. 6 committee unanimously voted in favor of subpoenaing former President Donald Trump, he’s been telling those in his orbit he’s not opposed to the idea. “The former president has been telling aides he favors doing so, so long as he gets to do so live, according to a person familiar with his discussions,” The New York Times’ Maggie Haberman reported on Thursday evening. “However, it is unclear whether the committee would accept such a demand.” Not everyone in Trump’s circle is convinced that him testifying would be a wise idea, however. “He should not,” a Trump adviser who speaks regularly with the former president told The Daily Beast on Thursday evening. A Trump spokesperson didn’t immediately return The Daily Beast’s request for comment. Taking to Truth Social, Trump said he will share his response to the subpoena Friday morning, while claiming the committee is “a giant scam, presided over by a group of Radical Left losers, and two failed Republicans.”

Trump did “lash out” this morning.  This is from The Hill.

Former President Trump on Thursday dismissed a House committee’s vote to subpoena him for testimony about the events of Jan. 6, 2021, as a publicity stunt.

“Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago?” Trump posted on Truth Social shortly after the House panel investigating the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 voted to subpoena him.

“Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their last meeting? Because the Committee is a total ‘BUST’ that has only served to further divide our Country which, by the way, is doing very badly – A laughing stock all over the World?” Trump continued.

He’s so predictable!

An illustration of the largest flower in the world.   Its name is Rafflesia Arnoldii, and it grows in the rainforests of the Philippines.

This is the other story that was big news for me.  NBC News reports, “FBI official was warned after Jan. 6 that some in the bureau were ‘sympathetic’ to the Capitol rioters. “There are definitely varying degrees of enthusiasm from agents across the country,” a source told NBC News.”

A week after the Jan. 6 attack, an email landed in a top FBI official’s inbox expressing concern that some bureau employees might not be particularly motivated to help bring to justice the rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol and threatened lawmakers’ lives.

“There’s no good way to say it, so I’ll just be direct: from my first-hand and second-hand information from conversations since January 6th there is, at best, a sizable percentage of the employee population that felt sympathetic to the group that stormed the Capitol,” and that it was no different than the Black Lives Matter protests of the summer of 2020, the person wrote in an email to Paul Abbate, who is now the No. 2 official at the bureau. “Several also lamented that the only reason this violent activity is getting more attention is because of ‘political correctness.’”

The email, recently disclosed publicly in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, reflects an issue that’s been hanging over the Jan. 6 investigation since it began: the notion that there are some in the bureau who weren’t, and aren’t, particularly driven to bring cases against the Capitol rioters.

The content of the full email, which includes a reference to “my first unit,” coupled with the fact that Abbate replied suggests that the sender, whose name is redacted, was likely someone plugged into the bureau or a former agent. The email was labeled external, indicating it was not sent from an active bureau account.

“I literally had to explain to an agent from a ‘blue state’ office the difference between opportunists burning and looting during protests that stemmed legitimate grievance to police brutality vs. an insurgent mob whose purpose was to prevent the execution of democratic processes at the behest of a sitting president,” the person wrote to Abbate. “One is a smattering of criminals, the other is an organized group of domestic terrorists.”

The person also wrote that an official in one FBI office in a “red state” said that more than 70% of that office’s counterterrorism squad and about three-quarters of its agent population disagreed with the violence, “but could understand where the frustration was coming from.”

In his response, Abbate wrote: “Thank you [redacted] for sharing everything below.”

Chrysanthemes Dautomne flower, Charles Antoine Lemaire
Illustrations extracted from Illustration horticole
Published 1854-1896

Christopher Wray has some explaining to do.  And so does the Secret Service, according to this article in The Daily Beast. David Rothkopf writes, “ The Jan. 6 Committee Gave Us Some Bad News About the Secret ServiceRather than presiding over an intelligence failure, they actually actively enabled the insurrection to take place, with some among their ranks content to look the other way.”

The Secret Service has too many secrets. The Federal Bureau of Investigation requires a thorough investigation.

These are among the most striking conclusions that emerged Thursday from the last public meeting of Congress’s Jan. 6 committee. Laying out its meticulously crafted case against former President Donald Trump for leading an insurrection against the government he had sworn an oath to protect, the committee made it clear that there were many targets that warranted further investigation. Not least of these were the two law enforcement agencies that had long prided themselves on being among the U.S. government’s most shining examples of integrity and service.

The real culmination of the inquiry must be left to the Sphinx-like Department of Justice, whose silence might reveal its commitment to the secrecy that should surround an historically significant investigation. Or that silence might be followed by inaction. We just cannot know at this point, even though the Jan. 6 committee’s revelations made it clear that inaction in the face of the evidence that exists would be one of the greatest miscarriages of justice in U.S. history and would set a dangerous precedent, leaving our entire system at risk.

But there were other disturbing threads that emerged from the congressional inquiry that themselves appeared to require their own independent inquiry. Several of these concern the seeming existence of what might be called the “dark state.” This is not the conspiracy theory fantasy spun by the far right about a “deep state” permanent government that was foiling the will of the people: That was always such a stalking horse, a concept that would enable MAGA officials to root out public servants who placed fealty to the Constitution ahead of loyalty to a political party. Rather it was a real loose alliance among Trump allies in the government who were willing to set aside the rule of law in the service of Trump himself.

At the core of this movement were officials within key government agencies—including the Department of Homeland Security and within it the Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice and the intelligence community—who had been placed in positions of responsibility because they could be counted upon to bend the rules for Trump.

That’s a lot to read and think about, so I’ll leave BB to pick up what breaks as the day goes on tomorrow.  You can also share articles and thoughts below.  I found it a very emotionally exhausting day.  What have they done to our democracy based on diversity and rights?

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

14 Comments on “Finally Friday Reads: J6 Committee Finale”

  1. dakinikat says:

    Elon Musk is at it again. He’s right up there with Trump on the Narcissistic Personality disorder scale.

  2. dakinikat says:

    Have a good weekend every one! I’m going to do some fall garden and yard clean up, so please have more fun than me!!!

  3. dakinikat says:

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  6. bostonboomer says:

    Great post and I love the illustrations!

  7. dakinikat says:

    Watch Herschel Walker Debate Warnock: Live Stream Options To View Online
    Here are multiple live-streaming options to watch on the internet if you cannot tune in on TV.

  8. dakinikat says:

  9. dakinikat says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Great actor, and he spoke up for JKR when others pretended she was transphobic, even though they couldn’t quote anything she said that was actually transphobic.

  10. NW Luna says:

    Re: Nancy Pelosi

    a strong case that age is not necessarily a disabling quality in a leader.