In a scorching column for Cleveland.com, editorial board member Ted Diadiun claims Republicans will come to regret blocking the Democrat’s attempt to create a bipartisan commission tasked with investigating the Jan. 6th Capitol riot.
According to the columnist, the Capitol insurrection that followed Donald Trump’s speech at a “Stop the Steal” rally was “a national embarrassment, a dark day in the country’s history,” that sickened him but admitted he was on the fence about a commission to investigate the events of that day — but now he has changed his mind.
“I’ve changed my opinion on the Democrat-led effort to establish an independent bipartisan commission to investigate and report on what happened that day. And I’m beyond disgusted with the Senate’s refusal Friday to allow that to happen,” he wrote. “I initially assumed it was simply another political gambit from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to keep the events fresh in people’s minds as we move toward the 2022 midterm elections that could change the balance of power in both houses of Congress. And I’m probably right. Pelosi doesn’t do anything that’s not steeped in a striving for partisan advantage.”
What changed his mind, he admitted, is that there are people who have taken to downplaying the riot — including a GOP lawmaker who attempted to paint the insurrectionists as “tourists” — and that a commission is needed to set the record straight.
According to Diadiun, the very fact that Republicans have attempted to quash the investigation will haunt them when the 2022 midterms roll aorund — and that Democrats will hang it around their necks.
“The measure needed 10 Republican votes to reach the 60 required to overcome a filibuster and advance the bill. It got six – including Ohio’s Rob Portman, who called the assault ‘an attack on democracy itself,'” he reported. “But here we are again, with Republicans painting themselves into an electoral corner by resisting something the bulk of the country wants (a YouGov/The Economist survey released Thursday showed 56% of Americans either somewhat or strongly approving the commission. Only 29 percent opposed it). Democrats will pin that resistance to every Republican candidate all the way through to the 2022 midterms and beyond.”
He then warned, “The political price of this decision would have been high no matter which way the Republicans had gone. But it will be higher now that they have failed to do the right thing.”
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Here Are the Two Avenues the DOJ Will Now Follow After Seditious Conspiracy Indictments
The Department of Justice has two new investigatory avenues to pursue after indicting eleven Trump supporters for seditious conspiracy for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
“The most interesting aspect of the recent indictments of 11 people accused of involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on charges of seditious conspiracy isn’t who has been charged — but who might be charged next,” former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade wrote for MSNBC.
The former U.S. Attorney wrote that it is “likely that prosecutors aren’t done yet.”
McQuade explained that the indictments help prosecutors move up to the higher people behind Jan. 6 and may result in cooperation agreements.
“Working up the chain of organized criminal conduct is part of the standard Justice Department playbook. Lower-level offenders can provide leads to higher-level offenders in two ways. One way is through the investigation of simpler crimes. For example, prosecutors may find ample evidence that a particular subject unlawfully entered the Capitol on Jan. 6. If prosecutors can also demonstrate probable cause that the person used his cellphone as a so-called instrumentality to commit the crime, a search warrant can be obtained for the contents of his physical device. A phone may contain evidence of criminal conduct, and it can also provide links to other offenders. Access to phones is particularly valuable in cases in which, as here, the defendants are alleged to have used encrypted messaging applications, such as Signal, to communicate, making it impossible for investigators to obtain the content of incriminating text messages through the normal route — from the service providers,” McQuade wrote.
She also explained the indictments may make it more likely suspects will “flip” and testify against other co-conspirators.
“Another way lower-level offenders can lead to evidence against more serious offenders is through cooperation. Defendants who are charged with crimes and are likely to face conviction can often help themselves by sitting down with prosecutors and providing debriefings of everything they know. Prosecutors refer to this process as ‘flipping’ a defendant from the defense side to the prosecution team. If that information is valuable, prosecutors will ask the court to reduce the cooperator’s sentence. Cooperators can provide verbal testimony, as well as point investigators to documents and other witnesses who can corroborate their stories. Cooperators can even voluntarily share the contents of their cellphones, providing access to encrypted messages that prosecutors may have been unable to obtain in the absence of probable cause that they used the phones as instrumentalities for the crime,” she explained.
The evidence obtained from this methodical approach can be “devastating.”
“The recent charges indicate that this methodical approach has yielded results. The indictment includes verbatim quotations from encrypted text messages among the Oath Keeper defendants, and they are devastating,” she wrote. “The content of other text messages appears throughout the indictment. No evidence is more powerful than the incriminating words of a defendant himself.”
Read the full analysis.
Trump’s Latest Endorsement? A White Christian Nationalist Xenophobic Strongman
Donald Trump recently has thrown the GOP into disarray, endorsing far right wing extremists who are opposed by Republican Party leadership, but his latest move is more an endorsement of his own political philosophy – and a statement about how he would govern if he becomes president again.
On Monday Trump, the one term, twice-impeached, insurrectionist former president who is under investigation by multiple legal authorities, endorsed authoritarian Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary.
Calling Orbán the “American right’s favorite strongman,” VOX in 2020 reported he “has given significant state support to Hungary’s churches, officially labeling his government a ‘Christian democracy.’ He provided generous subsidies to families in an effort to get Hungarian women to stay at home and have more babies. He launched a legal assault on progressive social ideals, prohibiting the teaching of gender studies in Hungarian universities and banning transgender people from legally identifying as anything other than their biological sex at birth.”
“After winning Hungary’s 2010 election, the prime minister systematically dismantled the country’s democracy — undermining the basic fairness of elections, packing the courts with cronies, and taking control of more than 90 percent of the country’s media outlets.”
And as NPR reported in 2019 when Trump hosted Orbán in the White House, the Hungarian authoritarian said: “We must state that we do not want to be diverse and do not want to be mixed: we do not want our own colour, traditions and national culture to be mixed with those of others. We do not want this. We do not want that at all. We do not want to be a diverse country.”
Last year Orbán was slammed for a “racist and xenophobic” speech, likening it to “fascist, Nazi, violent and genocidal ideologies that led to the Holocaust.”
Does all this sound familiar?
“Viktor Orbán of Hungary truly loves his Country and wants safety for his people,” Trump said in a statement Monday, The Washington Post reports. “He has done a powerful and wonderful job in protecting Hungary, stopping illegal immigration, creating jobs, trade, and should be allowed to continue to do so in the upcoming Election. He is a strong leader and respected by all. He has my Complete support and Endorsement for reelection as Prime Minister!”
Ben Rhodes, the former Obama White House Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, responded to the Trump endorsement, saying “we aren’t headed for a Hungary model – we are almost there.”
Jan 6. Committee Report on Mark Meadows Is a ‘Blueprint of a Coup’: WaPo Columnist
Washington Post opinion columnist Greg Sargent is serving up a damning look at former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows‘ refusal to give a deposition before the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, saying it appears he is the one person who can testify to “how Trump responded to all these repeated demands that he call off the violent assault.”
Late Sunday night the Committee released its 51-page report that outlines its case against Meadows, including the bombshell that on Jan. 5 Meadows sent an email saying the National Guard was on standby to “protect pro Trump people.” The House will vote on sending the report to the Dept. of Justice for possible prosecution of Meadows for criminal contempt of Congress. The vote is expected to be successful.
Sargent says the “committee’s report on Mark Meadows is extraordinary — it’s a detailed blueprint of a coup. Notably, it shows Meadows can testify to Trump’s reaction to the violence as it unfolded. This is a huge element of what he’s covering up.” He adds that it “blows a big hole in Meadows’s pleasing little propaganda piece.”
He calls Meadows’ book “almost comically sanitized,”
“In his telling,” Sargent adds, “the rioters attacked the Capitol with ‘absolutely no urging’ from Trump, and the notion that Trump sought to incite them to disrupt his loss is purely an invention of the ‘Fake News.'”
In a passage that would embarrass a North Korea disinformation specialist, Meadows writes that the mob assault left Trump “mortified.” But, Meadows piously insists, this didn’t distract Trump from focusing only on the welfare of the country in his final days as president, a noble and selfless impulse that “never wavered.”
Sargent says the “whole coup blueprint is right there in black and white. And so is the scope and reach of what Meadows and others stonewalling the Jan. 6 committee are so eager to cover up. But we’ve now learned the committee has extensive receipts, and soon enough, we’ll see all of them.”
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