Is below me Columns on the hill About the January 6 committee hearings and how the Democrats undermined the legitimacy of their inquiry by breaking with the long tradition of bipartisan and balanced membership in such special committees. Many of us support the effort to spread more information and evidence about what happened that day. However, the Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, Nancy Pelosi, decided to abandon even the pretense of a full bipartisan investigation.
Here is the column:
In 1924, Lord Gordon Hewart famously declared, “Justice must not only be administered, it must be administered openly and unequivocally.” Lord Supreme Judge of EnglandHe believed that even a small claim of possible bias by a clerk of a court means that justice is not done and therefore not done.
A quote from Lord Hewart came to mind as I watched the opening night of the January 6 plenary session of the House Electoral Committee. Speaker of Parliament Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Decided a year ago Breaking tradition And blocked two members of the Republican committee elected by Republican leaders. In response, the minority leader of parliament Kevin McCarthy (R-California) The other candidates for the committee withdrew, and Pelosi then ousted two hardline anti-Trump Republicans. Liz Cheney (Wyoming) and Adam Kinsinger (Illinois).
Congress has a long history of investigative and bipartisan elected committees. Many were formed through deep political divisions – yet, for 230 years, Congress maintained the need for bipartisan membership. This was the case with the Watergate Committees, the House Assassination Committee, the National Defense Program Review Committee, the House Electoral Committee to investigate covert arms deals, and other investigations. It is easy to gather the decks and limit the members to the party in each of those committees, but the leaders of the last Congress realized that the credibility of such research requires balance, including opposing views.
Pelosi’s decision to do this process was something like a muscle game. I was a witness in Trump’s first impeachment Very critical His insistence that the parliament impeach before Christmas, rather than conducting traditional interrogation investigations with witnesses. Pelosi preferred interpellation instead of creating a more convincing case There is virtually no record of a definite defeat in the Senate. In the second interrogation, he did a better thing: he did not hear at all and put pressure through interrogation. The first “immediate interrogation”
The January 6 committee was similarly barred from any demonstrations. It was a subtle political move like Pelosi Disrupting President Trump’s Union Speech, speech. Asked what he hoped to achieve on the first day of the hearings, Pelosi categorically described it as a “story.” This is the difference between seeing and simulating justice.
According to the New York Times, The meaning of this narration is “rewriting the medium-term message” and “presenting [Democrats] A platform to create a broader record of why they deserve to stay in power. It was packed with help A powerful media figure Brought to help organize this event. Many media outlets covered the meetings.A must see TVAnd forces voters Let’s not look at the “Trump coup”. Contradictory evidence was edited. Thus, it was shown that Trump was inviting protesters to “march” to the Capitol – but not him. Extra words to do this “peacefully”.
This hidden line from Trump could hardly acquit the former president. I publicly condemned Trump’s speech While being givenAnd I He demanded that both parties vote against him Because of his responsibility in the congressional uprising. The new film shown by the committee only intensified the disgust of many of us watching this desecration of the Congress building and its constitutional process. However, such one-sided reports deprive the process of a sense of authenticity and credibility.
However, they offer exactly what Pelosi wants: a process-free politics. Ironically, this is the same ignorance of the process and principle that is often attributed to Trump.
It is a shame that if the committee was balanced and allowed a wider scope of research to be done, it could have been much larger.
For example, the first two eyewitnesses emphasized the ongoing controversy over the failure of Congress to adequately prepare for the uprising despite repeated warnings from the executive branch. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and Nick CostedA British documentary filmmaker both cited the shocking absence of enough officers around the Capitol. Quested described the “hundreds” of arrogant boys who marched on the congressional building and saw an officer in a trench. Edwards described the handful of officers who restrained hundreds of protesters. Vital riot equipment was not or was not distributed Positively refused. Security targets were ignoredAnd even Edwards said the officers were quickly and easily raped for lack of support.
Four days before the uprising, records show that Capitol was apparently asked if he wanted to ask the National Guard, but he refused. yet still Washington Post And پولی فکت They insisted that this was incorrect. It would be helpful to get the full story of the decisions made – but parliamentary leaders seem to have limited investigations into the lack of equipment or staff on the scene, the erection of fences, or the call-up of the National Guard after the uprising. Erupted.
This was the first meeting, like the undisputed opening statement of a non-Greta persona meeting, designed to condemn or expel a person. Much of the evidence was designed to show that Trump was repeatedly told he had lost the election and therefore had no basis in good faith to challenge his credentials.
Well, many of us said exactly that two years ago. In addition, if trying to condemn Trump for being narcissistic or fanciful, you hardly need an elected committee to bring it to the Democrat base or in many other American countries.
Perhaps the most surprising element at the beginning of the meetings was the person who introduced himself as the guardian of democracy: former Attorney General William Barr. After Democrats called for impeachment or even criminal charges, he was repeatedly shown to oppose Trump’s claims and demands. For us that we have He defended the burden for yearsA welcome sight but a strange one.
There is considerable evidence that Trump’s people had planned for the certification challenge, but it was always anticipated. Long after the election, I wrote about that possibility What I call the “Death Star Strategy.” It is not a crime to raise such a challenge, even without good reason. Without a direct connection to organizing or supporting subsequent violence, it would remain a moral failure – not a legal one.
In fact, if dissenting opinions were allowed, Republicans would probably call for the committee chairman to testify. Benny Thompson (Ms.), who Voted to challenge endorsement of 2004 results Re-election of President George W. Bush; Committee member Jimmy Ruskin (D-fashion) in pursuit Challenging Trump Certification in 2016. Both did so under the same rules that Trump’s congressional supporters used in 2020. Pelosi and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dick Camera (D-Ill.) Admired the challengeOrganized by Sen-Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) In 2004.
Of course the difference is that while there was Violent protests in 2016 in Washington, There was no insurgency to violate the Congress building. However, given that date, it was more important than ever for House leaders to strengthen the committee’s credibility by adhering to the respected principle of bipartisan appointments.
But this “court” is President Pelosi – not Lord Hewart – where the only thing that is “clearly and unequivocally” guaranteed is politics, without pretending to principles.
Jonathan Torley is Professor of Shapiro Public Interest Law at George Washington University. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.