January 6 Committee Closing in On Trump

New evidence gets us a wee bit closer to a smoking gun.

I have other reports and editorials on yesterday’s hearings to digest but won’t get to it today. So consider this a conversation starter, not my final say on the matter.

WaPo (“Trump hid plan for Capitol march on day he marked as ‘wild’, panel says“):

Donald Trump scrawled the words on Twitter that motivated right-wing extremists to seek blood on Jan. 6, 2021, and kept secret a plan to direct his supporters to the Capitol that day, according to evidence and testimony presented Tuesday at the seventh hearing of the House select committee investigating the pro-Trump riot.

The tweet came at 1:42 a.m. on Dec. 19, 2020, after an hours-long meeting with outside advisers about seizing voting machines that a White House adviser described in real time as “unhinged.”

“Big protest in D.C. on January 6th,” wrote the president. “Be there, will be wild!”

The message marked a turning point in Trump’s efforts to stay in power and, in the telling of Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.), “would galvanize his followers, unleash a political firestorm and change the course of our history as a country.”

Notably, the committee member said, the president’s move to advertise a protest on Jan. 6 caused the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, two right-wing extremist groups that have not historically worked together, to join hands and coordinate their planning, including with maps of D.C. that pinpointed the location of police.

So far, nothing new here. The tweet, after all, was public. And, while we’ve long understood that he seemed to be signaling to right-wing extremists (including telling the Proud Boys to “stand by” during a nationally televised debate!) any direct link has been tenuous.

The tweet also illustrated, said committee members, Trump’s pattern of escalating efforts to thwart the peaceful transfer of power at every moment when he had an opportunity to dial them down.

That tendency, they argued, reflected his disregard for the advice of his lawyers. A clip of new testimony from White House counsel Pat Cipollone showed he was among those pushing back on baseless conspiracy theories launched by pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, demanding during an extended encounter in the White House on Dec. 18, 2020, “Where is the evidence?”

And the same impulse has continued to shape Trump’s behavior, claimed Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the committee’s vice chair, who said the former president had recently tried to call a witness in the panel’s investigation. She said the committee had notified the Justice Department of the episode, promising, “We will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously.”

Again, we’ve known for a while now (mostly thanks to the Committee) that Trump knew damned well that there was no evidence the election was stolen.

As she has throughout this summer’s hearings, Cheney insisted on Trump’s ultimate responsibility for instigating an insurrection that was built on a lie. “President Trump is a 76-year-old man,” she said. “He is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices.”

Despite Dan Drezner’s Toddler-in-Chief thesis, nobody disputes this.

The committee presented evidence showing that Trump’s tweet on Dec. 19 altered planning for the protest activity that would ultimately bring deadly mayhem to the Capitol. Originally, a pro-Trump group called Women for America First had been preparing for a rally after the inauguration of Joe Biden on Jan. 20. But, following the president’s tweet, the group changed the permit to Jan. 6, according to documents displayed by the House panel.

Among pro-Trump influencers who enjoy broad online followings, the tweet was a siren. Alex Jones, the far-right host of Infowars, said, “President Trump, in the early morning hours today, has tweeted that he wants the American people to march on Washington.” Tim Pool, a prominent YouTuber, said of Jan. 6, “This could be Trump’s last stand.” And Matt Bracken, a right-wing commentator, became specific, envisioning “storming right into the Capitol.”

Further afield, the tweet caused violent rhetoric to course through anonymous pro-Trump sectorsof the internet. “Trump just told us all to come armed,” one message read. Another user said volunteers were needed “for the firing squad.” Jim Watkins, the owner of the online message board where the extremist QAnon ideology took root, told the House panel he was moved by Trump’s tweet. “When the president of the United States announced that he was going to have a

So, again, strong evidence that incitement occurred but not that it was intended. (Again: I think it was clearly intended. But we need proof, not my instinct.)

Some of the messages were “openly homicidal,” Raskin said, and littered with racist and genocidalrallying cries. One asked, “Why don’t we just kill them. … every last democrat ….” Another said, “white revolution is the only solution.”

A post on a popular pro-Trump forum, thedonald.win, envisioned police officers “laying on the ground in a pool of blood.” The site’s founder, Jody Williams, told the committee that the president’s tweet focused attention on Jan. 6.

“After it was announced that he was going to be there on the sixth to talk, then yes, everything else was kind of shut out, and it was just going to be on the sixth,” Williams said.

A post on that forum pressed, “JOIN YOUR LOCAL PROUD BOYS CHAPTER AS WELL.”

The Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, some of whose members have been indicted on charges of conspiracy related to Jan. 6, “responded immediately to President Trump’s call,” Raskin said.

Kelly Meggs, the head of the Florida branch of the Oath Keepers, took to Facebook on the morning of Dec. 19 to declare an alliance between the two groups, writing, “We have decided to work together and shut this … down,” with an expletive for emphasis.

Phone records obtained by the committee, Raskin said, show Meggs called Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio, who has been indicted on conspiracy charges in the Capitol attack, that afternoon.

The next day, the Proud Boys “got to work,” Raskin said, launching an encrypted chat called the “Ministry of Self Defense,” in which they used maps of D.C. and other tools to engage in “strategic and tactical planning about Jan. 6.”

So, this is more evidence that the extremists are extreme and that they coordinated with one another. We kinda knew that.

The lawmaker said members of both extremist groups worked with Flynn — the former lieutenant general who attended the Dec. 18 meeting in the White House and had beenpictured just days before being guarded by an Oath Keeper — as well as with longtime Trump friend Roger Stone. Both men were pardoned in the final weeks of the Trump administration.

Way to bury the lede, WaPo. This is new news! It’s not quite a smoking gun but it’s definitely a red flag.

Flynn did not respond to a request for comment. Stone, in a text message, said, “Any claim assertion or implication that I knew in advance about, was involved in or condoned any illegal act at the Capitol on Jan. 6 is categorically false.” He defended his decision to give a speech on Jan. 5 “consistent with my constitutional free-speech rights to skepticism about the anomalies and irregularities in the 2020 election. I am certainly entitled to my apocalyptic view of America’s future as expressed in my speech.”

Sure. But you’re not allowed to coordinate with extremist groups to commit violence.

Ahead of Tuesday’s hearing, Trump attacked the committee on Truth Social, the social media platform developed by his allies after he was banned from Twitter, saying the investigation was an effort to harm his poll numbers.

Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.), who co-led Tuesday’s hearing, presented evidence that Trump planned in advance to direct his supporters to the Capitol but kept his intentions veiled.

An undated draft tweet, marked as being seen by the president, promoted his Jan. 6 speech at the Ellipse and concluded, “March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!”

A Trump campaign spokeswoman, Katrina Pierson, wrote in an email after a Jan. 2 call with White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that the president’s “expectations are to have something intimate at the Ellipse and call on everyone to march to the Capitol.”

He literally called on people to march to the Capitol in person on January 6. Indeed, we now know that he intended to march with them but was stopped by the Secret Service. I’m not sure how an unsent tweet is bigger than that.

Rally organizers indicated they had advance knowledge that the president would issue the call at the last minute. “POTUS is going to call for it just unexpectedly,” Kylie Kremer, a leader of Women for America First and an organizer of the rally at the Ellipse, wrote in a text message on Jan. 4. She did not respond to a request for comment.

Ali Alexander, another organizer of pro-Trump protest activity, also exhibitedprior knowledge of the president’s plans in a text message the following day. “Trump is supposed to order us to the capitol at the end of his speech but we will see,” he wrote.

Alexander said Tuesday he could not recall who notified him about the president’s remarks. “Plans were changing daily,” he said. “We went with the flow and were focused on compliance.”

But Murphy said the “evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president.”

When he executed that strategy — and ad-libbed remarks instructing his supporters to “show strength” and “fight like hell,” in changes to his prepared speech revealed by evidence from the National Archives and witness testimony, according to Murphy — the images of violence emerging from the Capitol hours later left some of his former top aides uncomfortable.

This is probably the most interesting part. The headline writers agree, although it would have been nice to preview this in the lede, since it comes really, really far into the piece.

So, somehow, Trump’s intention to call on people to march to the Capitol was communicated to various Stop the Steal organizers. Yet it wasn’t in the speech but rather a seeming ad-lib. That certainly suggests that there was coordination and yet an intent to keep it a surprise from the “adults” in the White House.

Whether that’s enough to show conspiracy, I don’t know. I’m not an attorney but I doubt it. But, certainly, it creates additional suspicion.

Brad Parscale, his onetime campaign manager who had stepped away from the reelection effort, reacted to Trump’s conduct in a text message that evening to Pierson. “A sitting president asking for civil war,” he wrote.

“If I was Trump and knew my rhetoric killed someone,” he added. When Pierson pushed back, saying, “It wasn’t the rhetoric,” Parscale replied, “Katrina. Yes it was.”

Parscale is now advising Trump’s leadership PAC, Save America, and has been paid $150,000 by the group since he sent those text messages. He declined to comment. But a person familiar with Parscale’s thinking said he was angry with Trump at the time for dismissing him as campaign manager and thought the president should have commented hours before he did to tell people to leave the Capitol. The person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a sensitive matter, said Parscalehas since made peace with Trump. The two spoke Tuesday after the texts were revealed, the person said, adding that Parscale would be involved in a prospective 2024 campaign.

I mean, what’s one measly instance of “asking for civil war” when stacked against $150,000? A man’s gotta eat, right?

Trump’s mood was brightest during the post-election period on the evening of Jan. 5, 2021, former White House aides told the committee, according to clips from their depositions. That’s because he could hear his supporters gathering from his perch in the Oval Office, they said.

Those supporters, said Murphy, “believed him” when he said falsely that the election had been stolen.

“And many headed towards the Capitol. As a result, people died. People were injured,” she said. “Many of his supporters’ lives will never be the same.”

One of those supporters, Stephen Ayres, a cabinet maker from Ohio who pleaded guilty in June to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building, testified Tuesday.

He said he marched to the Capitol on the president’s instructions, recalling, “We basically just followed what he said.” Ayres said he left the Capitol after Trump instructed the rioters to do so in a video message that also called them “very special,” and would have gone home sooner had the president asked.

Trump likes it when crowds of people show up to cheer him. Was his mood a function of that or because he knew what would happen the next day? They’re not mutually exclusive options, of course. But, again, not evidence that’s useful in court.

Instead, Raskin said, Trump “became the first president ever to call for a crowd to descend on the capital city to block the constitutional transfer of power.”

“The creation of the internet and social media has given today’s tyrants tools of propaganda and disinformation that yesterday’s despots could only have dreamed of,” he said.

Doubtless true.

Ayres, asked to reflect on lessons from Jan. 6, said, “The biggest thing for me is take the blinders off, make sure you step back and see what’s going on before it’s too late.”

One certainly hopes. While putting Trump and those who abetted the attempt to steal the election behind bars wold be an ideal outcome of all of this, the main thing is to ensure that he doesn’t regain the White House. If just 10 percent of those who voted for him in 2020 “take the blinders off,” it should be enough.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. CSK says:

    Judged by itself–barring any other evidence–I thought that the “will be wild” tweet could have been interpreted as Trump using the word “wild” the way his generation did: to mean “great, exciting, fun, terrific,” etc.

    Taken alone, it could be relatively harmless. Not now.

    2
  2. Kathy says:

    The point now is this: If Garland won’t prosecute Trump, he should resign or be fired and replaced by someone who will.

    11
  3. Jon says:

    One of things I’ve found interesting, which has been mentioned before and was brought up again in yesterday’s hearing, is that part of Trump’s explanation to the WH lawyers as to why he was meeting with the crazy folks (Powell/Rudy/Flynn/etc.) was “at least they’re giving me options” (paraphrasing). Which, to me, rather strongly indicates he was more interested in *having* options than in the *legality* of said options. He’d been told that all his legal options were exhausted, apparently repeatedly, by lawyers and staffers. It seems that whether or not something was legal was not really part of the decision making process, or at least not an important part.

    4
  4. Mikey says:

    @Jon: Of course Trump didn’t give a shit if what he was asking for was legal. When has he ever?

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  5. Scott says:

    The lawmaker said members of both extremist groups worked with Flynn — the former lieutenant general who attended the Dec. 18 meeting in the White House and had been pictured just days before being guarded by an Oath Keeper — as well as with longtime Trump friend Roger Stone. Both men were pardoned in the final weeks of the Trump administration.

    IANAL but … That last sentence is misleading (if I understand the pardons correctly). Flynn was pardoned WRT any crimes associated with the Mueller investigation and Roger Stone was issued clemency and a get out of jail free card.

    Too bad we don’t have a UCMJ expert lying around here because Flynn, I believe, is still subject to it, even though he is retired. Considering his behavior, claiming the fifth, etc. it seems as though, as a minimum, be subject to a Conduct Unbecoming charge.

    Any actions subsequent or in addition to those specifics are fair game.

    5
  6. Smooth Jazz says:

    Yawn. How many times have we heard since Trump started campaigning in 2015 that the walls are ‘closing’ in? 576? Mueller? Russian collusion? Alfa bank? Pee tape? Dirty dossier? etc etc etc. Trump is boorish, self centered, narcissistic & clearly can’t control himself, but you can’t charge people for being “cray cray”, tweeting fanciful stuff that crazy people run with, for challenging a dubious election where Dems in certain key states changes codified state laws to benefit their candidate under the guise of COVID, or because the DC cocoon doesn’t like his personality.

    At a time when inflation is approaching the Carter malaise years & folks purchasing power are destroyed by the policies of this Admin, this 1 sided “January 6th” is revealing itself to be a CNN & MSNBC side show, perceived as a fraud by 50% of the Country. The people who have thought Trump was Hitler ever since hem came on the scene will buy into this, but half the Country can see through this January 6th committee BS & grandstanding, including the lack of exculpatory evidence such as when Trump told the people to march to the Capitol ‘peacefully’ in his Jan 6 speech. This is a BIG deal, but this 1 sided committee apparently thinks he was joking, while serious about other thoughts they want to put in his mind.

    Their “bombshell” witness Ms Hutchison credibility has been compromised & most of the other “bombshell” testimony is from people on his staff who didn’t think the election was stolen. Yawn. He felt otherwise. Trump didn’t commit a crime for having the POV that the election was stolen. & this pressure on the DOJ to “charge” Trump is unseemly. Charge him for what exactly? For being “cray cray”. If that’s the case, maybe the DOJ should charge people that objected to Repubs winning the Presidency in 2000, 2004 & 2016.

    I realize you Dems need something to mitigate the wipeout that is coming in the Midterms this Nov, but this grandstanding Jan 6 committee isn’t it. Sorry. It is obvious the people on this committee are about the lucrative anti-Trump DC grift @ this point (CNN hits, etc) & got nothing beyond a few crazies who rioted at the Capitol.

    4
  7. Jon says:

    @Mikey: Oh, I didn’t mean to imply I was surprised.

    I just think it is noteworthy that multiple people have now testified to that same thing, which helps speak to his state of mind. He’s pretty much explicitly acknowledging that since the legal options have failed him he’s started looking at other options.

    Also I enjoyed the fact the ex-Oath Keeper was wearing a Descendants t-shirt at the hearing yesterday. I also would have accepted Minor Threat.

    3
  8. Mikey says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Trump didn’t commit a crime for having the POV that the election was stolen.

    As if all he did was have a point of view. Get the fuck out if you’re going to try gaslighting us with this bullshit.

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  9. Mikey says:

    @Mikey: And don’t let my comment lead you to think I actually believe Trump had that point of view. If there’s one thing these hearings and the evidence they have revealed tells us, it’s Trump KNEW he lost and immediately began doing everything he could to steal the election.

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  10. Mu Yixiao says:

    “We went with the flow and were focused on compliance.”

    “I was just following orders”. Now… where have I heard that before?

    3
  11. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Mikey:

    “As if all he did was have a point of view. Get the fuck out if you’re going to try gaslighting us with this bullshit.”

    This is why I was saying the other day that this once middle of the road blog has evolved into a cesspool of Liberals — DailyKOS 2.0 for example — who only listen to each other in a self reinforcing cocoon where dissent is not tolerated and where Conservatives are attacked.

    Your profanity laced post is 1 of the reasons why Conservatives no longer post here from what I can tell. You people R getting more unhinged by the day as you come to the realization Biden is failed POTUS & you’ve put everything in this 1 sided January 6th committee.

    What did Trump do that is a chargeable offense?? What has this January 6th proven beyond hearsay & grandstanding by NeverTrumpers looking to cash in on anti Trump $ grift & CNN hits? Be specific.

    3
  12. Mikey says:

    @Smooth Jazz: Awww, did a couple bad words hurt your widdle fee-fees? Poor baby. Well, I don’t take kindly to being gaslit, so too fucking bad.

    What did Trump do? He engaged in a criminal conspiracy to disrupt the official proceeding of the certification of electoral votes. Whether or not he believed his nonsense about the election being stolen is irrelevant. That is what this committee has demonstrated.

    And if your big whine is about it being “one sided,” that’s the GOP’s fault. They killed an independent committee and then tried to send reps to the current committee who were part of the conspiracy themselves.

    So again, get the fuck out if all you’re offering is gaslighting and bullshit.

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  13. Jc says:

    @Smooth Jazz: you lost me at “challenging a dubious election”. No serious person is going to take you seriously with that belief, no matter what side of the aisle they are on. Would you listen to a flat earther? It’s at the same level.

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  14. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Mikey:

    FU too.

  15. Jay L Gischer says:

    Their “bombshell” witness Ms Hutchison credibility has been compromised & most of the other “bombshell” testimony is from people on his staff who didn’t think the election was stolen.

    Many people feel differently. Many. Lots of them aren’t Democrats, either.

    And you? Do you think the election was conducted illegally?

    Also, what is your take on someone who has been told, by several people who are in a position to know, that there is no evidence, and yet continues to believe it, espouse it, and act on it? That’s just normal to you? Is it admirable?

    I’m genuinely curious about these things, about what you think. I’m anticipating that you won’t answer my questions, since similar things have happened in the recent past. But I’m giving you a shot…

    4
  16. JKB says:

    Skepticism seems to be dead. What you are seeing is a one-sided, non-adversarial “hearing” cum trial. And the news reports are presenting the show in a very propaganda manner. One really has to learn to pay attention to how the “news” presents something and what they leave out. Always be questioning. What might be the alternative explanations of the “evidence”?

    Just a verification that things haven’t changed. Problem is, Democrats really need to get below the fold to reach those not so easily gulled.

    “Why you fool, it’s the educated reader who CAN be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they’re all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the high-brow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They’re all right already. They’ll believe anything.”

    — C.S. Lewis, That Hideous Strength

  17. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Jc:

    “you lost me at “challenging a dubious election”. No serious person is going to take you seriously with that belief, no matter what side of the aisle they are on. Would you listen to a flat earther? It’s at the same level.”

    50% the Country believes the 2020 election was stolen or compromised for a reason. I understand you & your ilk think everything was up & up, but a sizable part of the Country thinks otherwise. Nothing flat earth when so many people think the 2022 election was dubious.

    The fact is numerous states changed 2016 election laws on the fly — contrary to codified state laws — that allowed aggregation of ballots by 3rd parties, un attended drop boxes, auto mailing of ballots to registered voters, different policies of “curing” ballots in different counties in same state (ie PA & AZ), ballot harvesting and relaxed signature & ID requirements under the guise of COVID. As a result, it was impossible for any court or DOJ to definitively signature verify millions of mail in & drop box ballots that arrived in the dead of night or after Election day.

    Bill Barr saying the election was up & up after reviewing a few cases is not the answer. Courts didn’t have the resources to trudge through millions of questionable ballots to vet signatures. That is why WI outlawed drop boxes & other states eliminated many of these potential for fraud loopholes for future elections.

    If your answer is “see no evil, hear no evil” far enough. But under millions of people feel opposite of view & you can’t charge people for saying crazy stuff or for questioning the 2016 that was administered with relaxed rules like no other before it due to COVID.

  18. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    “The fact is numerous states changed 2016 election laws on the fly.”

    I obviously meant “2020 election laws”.

  19. Jen says:

    Trump knew full well that he’d lost the election, he just didn’t want to give up power and would listen to any crackpot who had a theory on how he could stay in office.

    Sidney Powell, Gen. Flynn, the Overstock.com guy…these were the people in the Oval Office on Dec. 18, arguing that there was a way forward (other than, you know, accepting the loss and moving on).

    They should all be in jail.

    8
  20. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    “The fact is numerous states changed 2016 election laws on the fly.”
    I obviously meant “2020 election laws”.

    That is true. There was a pandemic on, remember? Legislatures and their designated state officials get to do this by law. I could credit you with being irritated by it. The Supreme Court told Florida to stop counting votes in 2000. I was irritated by that.

    And yet, there’s no, “this is where it stops” with Trump. Is there with you?

    9
  21. Jen says:

    50% the Country believes the 2020 election was stolen or compromised for a reason.

    These people do not understand how elections work.

    It is incredibly hard to compromise an election. This is because of the way that balloting works.

    Think of your voter ballot–it has races on it all the way down to local ones. With that level of granularity, it is VERY VERY EASY to spot anomalies. Put another way, in order to load up enough fake votes to affect the outcome of a presidential race, you’d have weird spikes that would show up very easily–e.g., double the numbers in a state rep district, or thousands upon thousands of “topped off” votes (which would itself be an anomaly).

    There was nothing, nothing, “dubious” about this election, other than the character of the man at the top of the ticket.

    17
  22. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    I’ve often wondered why the MAGAs don’t seem to notice that the only people supporting Trump in this effort were crackpots and crooks.

    Why do they not wonder why he was abandoned by everyone even remotely decent and competent?

    12
  23. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    Their “bombshell” witness Ms Hutchison credibility has been compromised

    Not until someone compromises it under oath.
    But you’re right it has been one-sided – it’s been all Republican’s who have decided that our Democracy is more important than fealty to Trump.
    You’re clearly more of a fealty kind of cult member.
    Screw you for wanting a King instead of a Republic.
    We fought a war 245 years ago, and all the people like you were called loyalists. Loyal to the King. Most of them ended up in Nova Scotia. Maybe you modern day loyalists would prefer Russia?

    11
  24. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    What did Trump do that is a chargeable offense?

    Seditious conspiracy.
    Conspiracy to obstruct a Government proceeding.
    Conspiracy to defraud the U.S.
    In Georgia; Criminal solicitation to commit election fraud

    16
  25. Scott says:

    50% the Country believes the 2020 election was stolen or compromised for a reason.

    40% believe in creationism.

    What people believe is irrelevant to actual facts. And the fact is the election had zero election fraud and very little voter fraud. Just because people were propagandized by un-American malevolent elements in our great country doesn’t change those facts.

    14
  26. Mikey says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: And possibly witness tampering.

    9
  27. wr says:

    @Smooth Jazz: “Your profanity laced post is 1 of the reasons why Conservatives no longer post here from what I can tell.”

    Because if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the Trump administration is that “conservatives” hate profanity.

    24
  28. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    50% the Country believes the 2020 election was stolen or compromised for a reason.

    Yes.
    Because Trump, other Republicans, and the right-wing nut-job echo chamber, have been pushing the Big Lie since before the election. This in spite of people all around Trump telling him it was bullshit.
    Yet – there is zero evidence to support this lie. Not one shred. Zilch. Nada.
    Fruity Rudy: “We have plenty of theories, but no evidence.”
    The Kraken: “…no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact.”
    In other words, you MAGAt’s might as well believe in Sasquatch.

    17
  29. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Mikey:
    Certainly Obstruction.

    5
  30. wr says:

    @JKB: “Always be questioning.”

    Good thought. You first. When was the last time you questioned something you heard on Fox or OAN or from any Republican other than Liz Cheney?

    8
  31. Kathy says:

    @Mikey:

    And the obstruction of justice back in the Mueller era, too.

    2
  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    The fact is numerous states changed 2016 election laws on the fly…

    This was adjudicated in some of the 60 court cases, related to the election, that Trump lost.

    17
  33. Mikey says:

    @JKB:

    What you are seeing is a one-sided, non-adversarial “hearing” cum trial.

    If it’s one-sided, again, it’s the GOP’s fault. They had a chance at both an independent commission and to seat reputable representatives on the current committee, and killed both. The obvious objective is to do exactly what you’re doing: try to discredit the committee by calling it one-sided. As one of our blog hosts said a few days ago, it’s like a guy killing his parents and then pleading for mercy in court because he’s an orphan.

    And the news reports are presenting the show in a very propaganda manner.

    You can watch the hearings in real time, in full and unfiltered, and avoid the news commentary, but I don’t think you are actually after what that option would provide.

    Always be questioning.

    Irony dies yet again.

    13
  34. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    In other words, you MAGAt’s might as well believe in Sasquatch.

    OMG!! Sasquatch stole the election??

    I thought it was Nessie and Hugo Chavez with the Jewish Space Lasers(TM)

    6
  35. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @JKB:

    What you are seeing is a one-sided, non-adversarial “hearing” cum trial.

    Yes – it’s all Republicans who have chosen country over Trump.
    Why do you hate this country so much that you want to have a King installed?

    9
  36. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Smooth Jazz:
    There are two sides: the truth and lies. You are a liar. And that is why you are not welcome here. A liar’s words are just wind, they mean nothing, they add nothing, they just stink, like what they are: mouth farts.

    Want to be taken seriously? Stop lying. It’s as simple as that.

    13
  37. Michael Reynolds says:

    The reason @Smooth Jazz and @JKB keep re-surfacing on these January 6 stories is that they can feel the ground shifting beneath them. Trump is scared, so like good little toadies they’re scared, too.

    Here’s the bottom line: Before the hearings the GOP nom was Trump’s for the asking. And now that is no longer true.

    15
  38. becca says:

    I see the party of Stupid (thank you, Bobby Jindal) has shown up, well- representing their chosen one.

    Poor little lambs…

    1
  39. becca says:
  40. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    LOL. Nice to know you are the arbiter of what constitutes a liar. Conservatives R not welcome here because it is a Liberal cesspool where everybody agrees with each other & dissent is not allowed. Liar is in the eye of the beholder.

    Nothing wrong with making yourself the truth arbiter, but don’t pee on my leg and suggest dissent is tolerated here. Years ago I was 1 if many Repubs who posted here who had respectful repartee with many Dems.

    Now the typical commenter here is an unhinged Lib hurling profanities who almost certainly hated Trump from day 1. No imagination when everyone agrees with each other.

  41. Just nutha says:

    @Smooth Jazz: I didn’t think Smoove had it in him to get this, and even so, he doesn’t express it well, but, sadly, until someone with power, stature, and authority gets indicted, it’s all just politics.
    Smoove needs to up his game and focus on the meta of this circus instead of going for the cheap (and meaningless) shots.

  42. Smooth Jazz says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    No it was not. No court had the resources to trudge through & signature verify millions of ballots. Certain judges did rule for Repubs on inconsistent ballot curing rules across counties in the same state, for example, but no court had time to verify all the drop box, harvested ballots & vote by mail signatures to confirm they were all legit ballots before the states certified in Dec.

    The courts just washed their hands of it all. The court didn’t investigate the hundreds of thousands of affidavits either. Too much media pressure combined with lack of resources and even less time.

  43. Mikey says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    everybody agrees with each other & dissent is not allowed

    Bahahahahahahaha…come back next time there’s a discussion about “woke-ism.”

    Years ago the typical Republican didn’t support a seditious, lying fascist. That has changed. Now there are precious few who have any honor or integrity at all.

    I disagree with Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on 100% of things political, but at least they’re holding to their oaths. That’s more than can be said about 99% of today’s GOP.

    As far as “dissent is not allowed,” wrong. As I pointed out above, there are times when discussions here are indeed spirited and disagreements are strongly worded. But “dissent” that starts with gaslighting and support of blatant election lies and attacks on the very fabric of American democracy? That kind of “dissent” can fuck right off.

    21
  44. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    OMG!! Sasquatch stole the election??

    He most certainly did not. Sasquatch is Canadian. Big Foot did it.

    5
  45. ptfe says:

    @Smooth Jazz: don’t pee on my leg and suggest dissent is tolerated here.

    Obviously you have not read any thread about protests from the last 2 years. It’s comical to say that in response to MR, too, who famously has major disagreements with several of us on the reg. And I might disagree with some of his opinions or conclusions, but like the other contributors on this board, he’s honest, willing to accept when the facts fall against him, and ready to discuss and assess reality.

    You’re following a grifting bullshitter and rubbing that bullshit around in comment form. I mean, the rest of us are here trying to roundtable and you’re jumping on the table to spank your bare ass and yell “LIBTARDS!” Do you think that’s worth engaging with anything but derision?

    20
  46. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    because it is a Liberal cesspool where everybody agrees with each other & dissent is not allowed.

    {raising my hand} Ummm….

    10
  47. Jc says:

    @Smooth Jazz: not to mention lack of evidence. I see you had no concern with 2016, when he lost by almost 3 Million votes instead of 7 Million. When you were on the boards back then were there tons of “libs” calling “stop the steal”? No, because as painful as it was to have an ignoramus in charge, reality was accepted. The sooner you accept reality the sooner you may get some exchanges, but until then it’s pointless. And it’s not hate they feel towards you, it’s just frustration at someone being so lost.

    7
  48. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Smooth Jazz:
    You aren’t just a liar, you’re a bad one. Your lies are geared for cretins – you know, MAGAts. You are in the wrong room, you don’t have the chops to produce lies anyone here will pay any attention to. You’re like a toddler holding a half-eaten cookie while denying you got into the cookie jar. Mom and Dad are not impressed.

    11
  49. Kathy says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    OMFG! Why haven’t you invaded Canada yet?

    1
  50. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Silly me. Here I thought I would find a reasonable, fact based discussion on the pros and cons of yesterday’s hearing.

    Then I saw Smooth Jazz had shown up. At least he did it early so I wouldn’t waste much time. Now I can do something important like polish my tiddlywinks collection.

    3
  51. Mu Yixiao says:

    @Kathy:

    The troops are on their way, but they stopped off at Tim Horton’s for coffee and waffles.

    3
  52. Jon says:

    Wow, I get sidetracked by work and come back to find that two trolls have managed to completely derail the entire thread and make it all about them. Well done, I guess?

    3
  53. dazedandconfused says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    You must ask yourself a question: “Is there anything that could convince me the counts were accurate?”

    4
  54. Just nutha says:

    @Jon: I don’t think you should count JKB because he’s only a drive by so far.

    2
  55. BugManDan says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: To put this whole discussion to rest, we just need @Lounsbury to explain to in detail that he & Smooth Jazz are ex-associates, who worked in the ME together turning water into oil. And if only the lefties in the US would realize that that Smooth Jazz now is the equivalent of Bebop in the 70s, all the world’s problems would shrink to a manageable 4.3%.

    4
  56. Jon says:

    @Just nutha:

    I don’t think you should count JKB because he’s only a drive by so far.

    Give it time? To be honest I only skimmed down once I saw what had started, so my apologies to JKB.

  57. dazedandconfused says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Well, on topic, it seems to me Navarro’s “Green Bay Sweep” narrative is holding up and may even be accurate. At any rate it appears there will be no direct evidence linking Trump to the violence. I suppose that would take either Stone or Flynn to flip (unlikely) and they, being nuts, may have acted independently. I can’t imagine anyone in close contact to the Oath Takers and PBs not knowing what their plan was for 1/6 and can’t imagine they would’ve gone ahead with their plan if word had come down from Trump not to do it.

    This does not worry me in the least. The last hearing will all but certainly focus on Trump doing nothing for to stop it for 3 hours. It will not go well for him.

    1
  58. Lounsbury says:

    @Jon: It’s really quite boring the way you all label disagreement with you as trolling and deviation from the grand mutual admiration of agreement as derailing. There is no particular sign the Smooth Jazz person is baiting you for reaction or posturing for reaction – he is by historical and current evidence most sincerely deluded ideologue from the Right and I should think quite legitimately dim, and not merely playing. JKB I confess on the other hand probably is.

    At least with this there was something vaguely more entertaining than a round and round of agreement on how awful the Orange Cretin is, etc. and rather less of the Fire Garland for not achieving magical actions, which has been done so many times before.

    Of course Smooth Jazz should be less of a whinger.

    @Smooth Jazz:

    “bombshell” witness Ms Hutchison credibility has been compromised

    For the record, compromised – really pre-compromised – only amongst the Pre Deluded MAGA, but then pointing out the grotesque actions of the Orange Cretin does rather upset you.

    5
  59. wr says:

    @Smooth Jazz: “Years ago I was 1 if many Repubs who posted here who had respectful repartee with many Dems.”

    Dude, you were on here constantly screaming about President Palin and Unskew The Polls. It wasn’t “respectful repartee,” it was the same clown show it is today. You have never said a single honest word here and I don’t expect you to start now.

    11
  60. Michael Reynolds says:

    OK, Jesus, not that @Lounsbury needs me to defend him, but we are drawing the borders rather tightly if he’s to be excommunicated. I just despise this notion that it’s either enthusiastic 100% agreement or you’re attacked. We are getting our asses kicked, the rights we fought for are being rolled back.

    What we all collectively need to get through our heads is that whatever the Left is doing it’s not working very well. It’s past time for some criticism. Not idiot MAGA lies, but criticism. IMO Lounsbury is inside the tent pissing out, not outside pissing in. That’s an ally.

    6
  61. steve says:

    Deluded or just stupid? 50% of people think True won the election. 10% of people think the world is flat. So because 50% is larger than 10% it is a legitimate belief. No. It is evidence that supports an idea not how many people believe it. Even if 90% of people thought the world was flat it would still be round.

    Steve

    3
  62. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @BugManDan: Thanx for the sustained chuckle. I needed one today.

    1
  63. Lounsbury says:

    @BugManDan: How very bafflingly incoherent your comment… well I suppose it’s part of the whole ideological tribalism, wherein if someone isn’t in lockstep with the Tribe although really given I have never made a kind comment on JKB or the other MAGA, your delusional imagining is rather sad.

    Does remind me that back in the days of the Iraq War to which I was ascerbically against, the US Righties had me as a Leftie… all because it was necessary part of Tribal Identity to be for the war, as the President with an R as his tag was for it.

    Amusing at some level, at another a regrettable reminder that Beni Adam Beni Adam and all the Beni Adam are nothing more than hooting chimpanzees with souped up grey matter with a thin veneer of a pretence to reason.

    1
  64. Pete S says:

    @Mu Yixiao:

    And it’s Camp Day today so the lineup at Tim’s was really long

    1
  65. Gustopher says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    What has this January 6th proven beyond hearsay & grandstanding by NeverTrumpers

    Why were there so many NeverTrumpers in the Trump administration?

    They’ve been calling witnesses from the Trump Administration, along with that notoriously NeverTrumper organization The Oath Keepers.

    If all “conservatives” have is obvious lies, it’s no surprise that they get called fucking liars. Be better — less transparent lies or fewer transparent lies, either would be an improvement.

    (You also went from claiming to not be MAGA a few days ago to complaining about NeverTrumpers is a relatively quick turnabout)

    4
  66. Gustopher says:

    @Lounsbury:

    How very bafflingly incoherent your comment

    Well if that’s not the obsidian implement calling the onyx void inky…

    6
  67. Michael Cain says:

    @CSK:

    I’ve often wondered why the MAGAs don’t seem to notice that the only people supporting Trump in this effort were crackpots and crooks.

    Yep. The early absolute dead giveaway was how quickly the white shoe law firms that normally represent the RNC completely disappeared.

    4
  68. Mister Bluster says:

    @Smooth Jazz:..The courts just washed their hands of it all. The court didn’t investigate the hundreds of thousands of affidavits either. Too much media pressure combined with lack of resources and even less time.

    So the courts are subject to media pressure. Tell it to the Judge.
    Or maybe these cases went nowhere because as Trump’s Ace mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani said: “We’ve got lots of theories. We just don’t have the evidence.”

    3
  69. Lounsbury says:

    @Gustopher: I do like the turn of phrase, even if entirely misplaced. @Gustopher: The dropping of the pretence on MAGA is rather indeed quite something. Incoherent? Clumsy?

    1
  70. grumpy realist says:

    @Smooth Jazz: Do you even care about reality? Or are you one of those immature crackpots like Trump who doesn’t have the guts to admit when reality contradicts his own ego?

  71. Tony W says:

    @wr: He’s even worse on Twitter – enabled by MAGAts, I suppose.

    1
  72. Matt Bernius says:

    @Smooth Jazz:

    No it was not. No court had the resources to trudge through & signature verify millions of ballots. Certain judges did rule for Repubs on inconsistent ballot curing rules across counties in the same state, for example, but no court had time to verify all the drop box, harvested ballots & vote by mail signatures to confirm they were all legit ballots before the states certified in Dec.

    If you look at the actual cases raised in the courts–the literal issues brought by the Trump campaign representatives–they were INCREDIBLY narrow claims and largely procedural. In other words, when there were legal ramifications for the attornies for bringing false claims, they didn’t bring up said “No court had the resources to trudge through & signature verify millions of ballots.”

    The courts just washed their hands of it all. The court didn’t investigate the hundreds of thousands of affidavits either. Too much media pressure combined with lack of resources and even less time.

    This isn’t how courts work. First, they don’t “investigate.” Second, they only consider issues that are brought before them. And, repeat after me, Trumps team never brought those issues.

    In other words, the courts didn’t wash their hands of it. They were NEVER asked to consider it by Trump’s own team. And let’s not forget the results of the case where the Trump team brought the broadest claims and the resulting sanction that happened to members of the Trump team: https://www.bridgemi.com/michigan-government/giuliani-sanctioned-trump-targets-senators-amid-fallout-over-michigan-vote

    4
  73. Blue Galangal says:

    @steve: Not to mention, 50% of MAGAs/GOP believe it now *because Trump keeps saying it*. They didn’t believe it at that percentage even in November; it grew steadily along with the Trump/deniers’ drumbeat about it.

    2
  74. Matt Bernius says:

    Btw, for a good analysis of the absolute failure of the Trump Campaign to raise its claims in court, see this analysis by a number of conservative legal scholars and lawyers:

    https://lostnotstolen.org/