Trump’s Allies in Congress Are About to Be Humiliated in Prime Time

Early reports suggest tonight’s reportedly final 8 pm House Select Committee hearing on the January 6 Capitol attack will be quite the stemwinder. According to The Washington PostOne core element of the evening will include showing outtakes of a Donald Trump video he attempted to make the day after the attack. Although the video was intended to calm things, it was not as effective as it could have been. Post has it, “Over the course of an hour of trying to tape the message, Trump resisted holding the rioters to account, trying to call them patriots, and refused to say the election was over.”

You just knew Dr. Strangelove trying to suppress a Nazi saluteI was going to be there.

It gets worse. We all remember how heated everyone was in immediate aftermath of the attack. Mitch McConnell and Kevin McCarthy, as well as Lindsey Graham, a notorious lickspittle, publicly washed their hands off Trump. In that climate, accordingTo a CNN report, Trump was pushed to make that video because “his own cabinet might be preparing to use the 25th Amendment to remove him from office.”

Chicken-fried Trump isn’t the only option. Rolling Stone reports:

The Jan. 6 committee plans to use its Thursday-night hearing to call out insurrection-friendly lawmakers who cowered during the Capitol attack but have since downplayed the insurrection’s severity, according to two sources familiar with the committee’s planning.

“They have plans to paint a really striking picture of how some of Trump’s greatest enablers of his coup plot were — no matter what they’re saying today — quaking in their boots and doing everything shy of crying out for their moms,” one source tells Rolling Stone. “If any of [these lawmakers] were capable of shame, they would be humiliated.”

In other words, tonight’s festivities will apparently be a nationally broadcast humble pie, and everyone in Trump’s corner has to take a bite. This hearing comes right after the prosecution laid its case against Trump ally Steve Bannon, for contempt of Congress. Two witnesses were called. The defense attempted to “flood the zone with shit,” in the immortal words of Mr. Bannon, but was soundly smacked down by Judge Carl J. Nichols. “I do not intend for this to become a political case,” the judge warned the defense, “a political circus, a forum for partisan politics.” Thus was Bannon deprived use of the most well-worn club in his bag.

All good things must come an end. So it is with tonight’s apparently final event. These hearings have shown what government can do if it lets the facts speak for itself. Despite being dominated by Democrats, the panel also includes two notable GOP expats. However, almost all of the witnesses have been Republican and their testimony has been devastating for Trump and his predecessor administration. A large part of the credit for salvaging democracy from its ashes will go to the group of lawmakers led by Liz Cheney of The Range and Bennie Thompson of Delta.

“I believe this is the most important thing I’ve ever done professionally,” Cheney recently told The New York Times, “and maybe the most important thing I ever do.” No argument from me on that score; before the insurrection, “important” to Cheney involved going on Fox NewsTo defend torture, to support Donald Trump 93% of the time and to denounce Democrats as antisemitic, jihadist baby-killing socialists. She was Matt Gaetz’s favorite Republican. As Adam Serwer saidIn The Atlantic last year, “Cheney now finds herself on the wrong side of a line she spent much of her political career enforcing.”

Although it was distasteful for progressives and other mammals that Cheney was allowed to sit on the committee, her presence gave credence to hearings that could have been dismissed as partisan sideshows.

These were all crucial moments in the history of this republic. The committee needed to prove beyond doubt that Trump was responsible for the violent chaos visited upon us all, that every opportunity he had to settle things down — before, during and after that fateful day — he instead deliberately used to make everything worse. This case is a classic. has been madeApparently, this will be underscored with emphasis tonight.

Or, to put it another way, if Democrats had been allowed run the Trump impeachments like they ran these hearings, the odds of his removal would be significantly higher, especially after the second riot inspired proceeding. This committee doesn’t have the power to do so, so Attorney General Merrick Galrland is obligated to take the battle field and defend the high ground. Garland’s recent missiveThe agency’s warning to everyone to be kind to politicians makes me think that nothing will happen before November, except maybe to motivate Trump to act early.

It doesn’t matter what. Since I can recall, the Justice Department is a nightmare factory. Why should it be any different tonight? It was worth it, as we all deserved to hear the truth.

I’ll see you tonight. Bring a towel to comfort all the congressional Trumpers about to be humiliated during prime time. Let the million flowers blossom.