Curious: Does Jan. 6 Committee Want to Stop Trump From Running?
Constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, at the conclusion of Monday’s hearing, said the committee appeared to be trying to “lay the foundation” for what they’ve claimed was an attempted coup. But what this really seems to be is a sort of a “persona non grata” trial, he said, intended to show that Trump is “a horrible person.”
Who Would Object?
Turley laughed at something that happened at the end on Monday that he said “sort of put a pin on it” regarding the outrageously one-sided nature of these hearings. “The most telling moment,” he said, was when the chairman said he was going to “introduce this video, unless there is an objection.” Of course, everyone knew there would not be an objection! Who could imagine Liz Cheney suddenly rising to her feet and saying, “Wait, this seems unfair! Maybe we need to look at other evidence to be introduced as well!” That will not be happening.
“…This sort of emphasized,” he said, “there isn’t anyone to object.”
He’s right — we won’t be seeing any Perry Mason-like moment when someone in the room lets conscience prevail and tearfully sputters, “I confess! We’re all guilty! This hearing is a sham! We just couldn’t help ourselves!” These people don’t have consciences.
A Nancy Pelosi ‘Signature Move’
Turley observed that this one-sidedness is a “signature move,” a “fairly common practice” by Speaker Pelosi. She “muscles through, to get the conclusion she wants.” In the first Trump impeachment, for example, she “decided to forego investigation in the Judiciary Committee and the calling of essential witnesses.” In the second impeachment, “she did one better: she had a ‘snap impeachment,’ with no hearings at all.” I would add that she had to move lightning-fast because at that point, Trump was practically out the door. She had to get in just one more impeachment before he left!
But Turley isn’t so sure she’ll get the conclusion she wants. Other than hard-core anti-Trumpers, people will see that there’s no other side presented, the “other side” being not that violent protest was a good thing but that key issues such as the deliberately lax security at the Capitol are not being examined at all.
He also made the point that through all the chaos, the system “did actually work to some extent.” Well, it worked in that power was indeed transferred; that’s about all that can be said for it.
We would add that to support their desired conclusion, Liz Cheney had to lie, saying, for example, “Donald Trump did not condemn the attack,” when he did — unequivocally — in a heartfelt Oval Office address. Read what he said at the link here. He also condemned the violence on Twitter; Twitter blocked him. Cheney is a bald-faced liar, but, by design, there was no one at the hearing to point out her lies.
(By the way, as of this writing, President Biden has yet to condemn the unlawful protests at Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s home or even the aborted attempt to kill him, which most of the media have ignored as well. Kayleigh McEnany and I spoke about this, and the double standard of justice in general, on last night’s Hannity.)
This is Messaging
Legal analyst Andrew C. McCarthy said Monday’s hearing was a “much tighter production” than Thursday because it had one theme: Trump must have known the election was not stolen because those around him were “telling him it was nonsense.” That’s a compelling story to tell, but they’ve set it up in a way that’s “not a fair process that’s aimed at getting to the truth and giving whatever contra-arguments there are their day in court.”
So, it’s “more like messaging than it is like a real investigation,” he said. No kidding. “I could have been very impressive in court if there were no defense lawyers, you know?” he laughed. “You let the government put on its own case, own witnesses, own exhibits, and then no cross-examination and no defense arguments; I’d have been 1,000-and-0.”
He later said he did not think they’re doing this to stop Trump from running again — he thinks they might even prefer that he run — but to set up the case against Trump in case he does. They also want to deliver what they hope would be “the predicates” for criminal prosecution against him. McCarthy is concerned that Biden’s DOJ has been giving in to “the loudest voices on the progressive left” and that a Trump prosecution is what they want, no matter how it divides the country.
Monday evening Brit Hume echoed what McCarthy had observed, saying that the Democrats might find out “they’ve done the Republican Party a great service” if they stain Trump too much for him to run again.
Because I think many Republicans think they can’t win with Trump at the head of the ticket again. They’re afraid of his supporters — don’t want to come out against him directly, but they’d like him to go away. If the effect of this committee is to make his possible candidacy go away, I think a great many Republicans would privately be very glad.
That thought is consistent with our new poll, which, in breaking news, has just concluded and shows a very strong preference for DeSantis over Trump, 56.6 percent to 42.2 percent. (For “someone else,” 2.1 percent.)
Get The Stream’s daily news roundup, quick and served with a healthy splash of humor. Subscribe to The Brew
Even so, I’d like to think that if Hume had had time to elaborate, he would also have said that, to any conservative, the Democrats’ flagrant abuse of the system to achieve that goal is far too great a price to pay.
But maybe the Democrat’s main goal is something else entirely. According to top Democrat strategist Murshed Zaheed, the primary purpose is “fundraising for a lot of the Democratic Party institutions and establishments.” What the heck, they spent $8 million of your money on this extravaganza, and they’re expecting a big payoff on that investment! Zaheed’s tweets will give you a good “inside” view.
The Ratings Are In
Oh, and here’s a bit of good news: Last week, my writers said they would much rather have been watching the re-run of Young Sheldon that normally would have run on CBS Thursday night. The ratings are in, and, according to The Washington Free Beacon, the January 6 hearing actually did worse in the ratings than the Young Sheldon re-run that had aired the previous week. Of course, my writers still wish they could have watched Young Sheldon, along with just about anything else that would have been on afterwards. That was 2 1/2 hours of their lives they’ll never get back.
The Brouhaha About 2,000 Mules
One last thing, about Bill Barr. You already know that Democrats have been exploiting clips of him expressing doubt early on about 2020 election fraud. (NOTE: We could cherry-pick other quotes that give the opposite impression of his view on fraud.) Barr laughed heartily at the mention of Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary 2,000 MULES, saying he was not impressed. D’Souza shot back at him in a series of insulting tweets, calling Barr ignorant about geotracking — which, ironically, was used to find the precise location of January 6 protesters — and saying,
I’d be happy to appear before the committee and debunk all the debunkers. Let’s settle the issue of who’s perpetrating the ‘big lie’ through open debate…With Bill Barr and Liz Cheney ranting today about the documentary, it’s the perfect occasion to watch 2,000 MULES and see for yourself what the brouhaha is about.
That we’d love to see. But we never will.
Mike Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas and longtime conservative commentator on issues in culture and current events. A New York Times best-selling author, he hosts the weekly talk show Huckabee on TBN.
Originally published at MikeHuckabee.com. Reprinted with permission.