Liz Cheney, the vice-chair of the J6 committee, has been criticized for holding a series of one-sided hearings without alternative or opposing views. some call it “Show trialwith members using teleprompters in carefully controlled listening sessions. Cheney as if to do that test demo image He ended the hearing This week, calling for more officials to come forward, noting that Trump family members and former officials have now come forward with their “public confessions.”
As in past sessions, the summation included Cheney’s direct appeal to voters to oppose Donald Trump in the upcoming election: “Can a president who is willing to make the choices that Donald Trump made during the violence of January 6 Trust any side. Again, authority in our great nation? This is the kind of pitch that is as unnecessary as it is counterproductive. Many voters called the hearings weeks ago because of the lack of balance in the presentation of evidence. Adding directly political content will only further reduce the audience. The result is that mostly Democratic-aligned voters are being told not to vote for Trump.
The alternative was to ensure a larger audience by creating more balance. It did not change the power of these accounts. It could simply add more credibility to the proceedings. He could have changed his mind instead of reaffirming his previous views. Instead, once again, the committee simply redacted conflicting evidence. For example, the committee re-edited Trump’s line where he said, “I know everyone here will be going to the Capitol soon to peacefully and patriotically make your voice heard.”
This line does not exonerate the former president. However, this reflects the committee’s refusal to hold these meetings for research and not for persuasive purposes.
What was particularly strange was Cheney’s attempt to dismiss the need for any dissenting views at the hearings. In one of the most controversial and forceful claims, Cheney said that such a balance would not make a difference:
And for those of you who seem to think that the evidence would have been different had McCarthy, the Republican leader, not removed his nominees from this committee, let me ask you this. Do you really think Bill Barr is such a delicate flower that he wilts under cross-examination? Pat Cipollone, Eric Hershman, Jeff Rosen, Richard Donoghue?
No one suggests that he would have changed the burden of his testimony. Rather, the issue is that no questions were asked to the witnesses and no evidence was presented. For example, when two former members of the Proud Sons and Oath Keepers testified, the members carefully considered the Lots of cross-questionsincluding any direct contact with Trump or the White House.
However, it was the moment of true confession that stood out in the final recap. More people will be called to come forward, Cheney said. He then added:
He said: “The case against Donald Trump was not raised in these meetings by witnesses who were his political enemies. Instead, it is a collection of confessions from Donald Trump’s own appointees, his own friends, his campaign officials, people who have worked for him for years, and his own family. have come forward And they have told the truth to the American people.”
I seriously doubt that figures like former Attorney General Bill Barr or other Trump officials believed they would be presented with public confessions. They talked about courageous and principled positions that put them at odds with the former president.
What was so striking about Cheney’s description of such testimony as “confessions” is that it seemed to signal a stark break for many Democratic critics. The meeting showed that nearly all Trump officials in the White House took the same position against efforts to decertify the election, calling for an immediate response to the insurgency. Many of these faces like bar For years, he was unfairly attacked as a Trump peddler or an enemy of democracy.
The fact is that our system worked. Courts (including Trump-appointed judges) have rejected these challenges. Executive officials have steadfastly refused to allow the Department of Justice or other agencies to be used for further attacks on the election without evidence of widespread election fraud. For figures like Barr or Vice President Michael Pence, there was no question or hesitation, and they have always been public about their positions. In these sessions, there were no confessions, except for a few witnesses, such as members of extremist groups.
The fact is that no new proposals have been presented in the last two meetings. There was still a glaring absence Long-promised new evidence of Trump’s criminal behavior. The two witnesses yesterday were important new voices who gave truthful and heartfelt accounts of their decisions to resign on January 6.
The biggest news was the announcement of other meetings. While the Democrats brought in a former ABC producer to frame the hearings, George Lucas could have been behind the camera. Whenever a session ends with something like a wrap-up, the chair is presented with a follow-up line that says, “There is another“
I welcome other meetings. I believe these reports are important for people to hear what happened on that terrible day. However, the hearings had the feel of a political briefing at points due to heavy whispers. While both sides blamed each other for the absence of any Republican appointee, that is no license for the committee to waive any need to give the public a full and fair account of the underlying evidence and allegations. Even Democrats have admitted that the hearings are unlikely to change the minds of many conservative or Republican voters. The reason may be that many of them spoke about what had happened from different perspectives, rather than pursuing a comprehensive case, weeks ago when they considered the hearings to present a single narrative.
The announcement that Trump family members and former officials have now “confessed” only added to the criticism of the hearings. By succumbing to the temptation to eliminate any dissenting voice or viewpoint, the committee appears intent on fulfilling the stereotype of the hearings as a show trial. It could be much more, but it would require politicians to do something they are almost genetically resistant to: give the opposition time. It’s the difference between making a case for the next election versus making a record for history.