The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

Thoughts on the First Night of the Hearings

I believe the only revelation from last night that was completely news to me was that “multiple” GOP lawmakers, including Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), had asked Trump for pardons regarding their role in trying to get him another term. Perry is denying this, of course; I assume the committee has proof. I believe I’d heard some version of the rest of it before. I wasn’t even surprised by Ivanka’s testimony that she believed Bill Barr about the election results over her father. I predicted yesterday that she or Jared might throw Daddy under the bus, or partway under, anyway.

But Jared is in deeper doodoo, it appears. See Rolling Stone, Jared Kushner Wasn’t Just Involved in Trump’s Push to Overturn 2020. He Helped Start It.

According to four people familiar with the matter, in the week following Election Day in early November of that year, Kushner took charge in overseeing the development of plans to keep Trump in office — Kushner just wasn’t publicly ostentatious about it in the way Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others were. During that first week, Kushner repeatedly met with Trump and other high-ranking aides to the then-president to discuss and map out possible strategies for multi-pronged legal battles and a scorched-earth messaging war against the victorious Biden campaign, the knowledgeable sources tell Rolling Stone. …

…“Jared was directly involved,” one of these sources, a former senior Trump aide who worked on the effort to nullify the election outcome, said. “There was a [brief] window…when it seemed like he was positioning himself to be the Jim Baker of this fight … It didn’t last long. He backed away from it, but he was there and got his hands dirty like everyone else did.” (Baker, a towering figure in the Republican Party, helmed the legal team for George W. Bush during the chaotic Florida recount that ultimately handed Bush the presidency.)

“Jared helped create what then morphed into the Rudy clown show,” the source added.

Now Jared is trying to wash his hands of the mess, seeing as how he’s running a legitimate olive oil private equity business. But as in most things in his sorry-ass life, Jared screwed it up before he walked away.

There’s a lot of good commentary out there, along with a lot of pathetic excuses on right-wing sites. As I said in a comment yesterday, I think the first two hours of the hearings did what they needed to do, which was to establish that the January 6 insurrection was seriously dangerous and not just a protest that spun out of control. It was an attempt at overturning the election. Trump was in the middle of it, and the Big Lie really is a big lie.

Worth noting — Philip Bump at WaPo says that Trump’s inactions on January 6 may have been the most damning evidence of the night.

Trump, Cheney said during Thursday’s hearing, “did not call his secretary of defense,” “did not talk to his attorney general,” “did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security,” “gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day” and “made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and display and deploy law enforcement assets.”

Pence demanded action. Trump demanded nothing.

Why? Why wouldn’t the president want immediate action to stem the violence? Messages from allies were flooding his chief of staff’s phone, demanding he do something. But he didn’t. Why not?

It was Pence, not Trump, who made multiple phone calls demanding that Homeland Security, the Justice Department, and everybody else please send reinforcements to the Capitol. Pence was in danger, of course, so I don’t blame him. He’d also talked to Gen. Mark A. Milley at the Pentagon. Trump did not.

Trump could have done three things on that day. He could have kept pushing the rioters forward, offering more tweets like his one soon after the Capitol was breached disparaging Pence. At the other end of the spectrum, he could have done what Pence did, demanding immediate action to protect the safety of legislators and the security of the Capitol. Or he could have done what he did: little to nothing, avoiding criticism for actively stoking the riot as it was underway while reaping the benefit he enjoyed — seeing his furious supporters fight to keep him in office.

I have a hard time understanding how Trump supporters can’t see they were just being used.

Liz Cheney said that Trump was employing a “sophisticated seven-part plan” to overturn the election, and these would be explored in the future hearings. Here are the seven parts, according to Matt Shuham at TPM:

1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.

2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.

3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law.

4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.

5. President Trump’s legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.

6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol.

7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

Those who are deeply invested in believing the Big Lie are unlikely to ever admit to the truth. They’ll always find some excuse to cling to. And it’s known Trump is pretty skilled at not leaving his own fingerprints at crime scenes. But let’s hope there are enough people not so invested who will appreciate what the hearings are showing them.

9 thoughts on “Thoughts on the First Night of the Hearings

  1. I have a hard time understanding how Trump supporters can’t see they were just being used.

    One of the main indicators of cult membership is refusing critical thinking about your cult.

    I look forward to the August 16th primaries in Wyoming.  If Cheney wins re-nomination it will be because these hearings penetrated some tRumpTards cult bubbles and caused the old-guard republicans to vote in larger numbers.  

  2. What was new to me, came from that British documentarian.  Maybe I missed it before, but I hadn't realized until last night that the White supremacist group he was filming skipped the "Thing's Speech," and went right to the Capitol Building early, to prep things for the assault.

    That proved to me just how planned everything really was that day.  The "Marching Moron Militia" members were setting up their attack, waiting for tRUMP to send the mob of faithful suckers they all needed to add the chaos necessary to confuse everyone else, giving them cover.

    IMO – "Me-vanka" came across ok. 

    But her hubby, Jared, came across as the ultimate entitled rich A-HOLE.  When asked about the threats of quitting coming from tRUMP's legal team, the pale, dumb-ass rich punk said that after awhile, it all sounded like "whining."

    I'm not a violent man.  But I think there's little I'd enjoy more than punching that entitled rich A-HOLE right in his blank, pampered puss!

    I'd let him punch me first, of course.  That way, when I shattered his teeth, and they landed on the floor like so many spilled Chiclets, I could claim self-defense.

    After this committee's presentation is over, if our AG doesn't focus the long arms of the law on tRUMP and the rest of the coup plotters, then he was a horrible choice for AG – and his name will be reviled throughout history.

    • "I'd let him punch me first, of course."

      You'd be waiting a very long time. Kushner has "people" to do those things for him.

  3. IMO, before you can appraise the quality of the hearing, you must consider two things:

    1) What is the objective?

    2) Who is the audience you are trying to reach to achieve the objective(s)? 

    This is complex because there are multiple objectives and multiple audiences. Two audiences it's not directed at is us (woke informed progressives) and Trumpsters. I think the committee knows they don't need to convince anyone capable of critical thinking who has been paying attention. The other group is the clowns who won't be swayed by the facts – those idiots who want Trump in the White House and do not care how it happens.

    Who does that leave? All low-information voters who prefer democracy to autocracy. Also, the Department of Justice, especially Merrick Garland. Liz Cheney laid out her case like a prosecutor. (I don't like her politics or her dad but she did a great job.) Last, voters who might or might not show up for the midterms.  

    IMO, the committee, even Liz, would like to see the Trump-endorsed candidates get creamed in November. Nothing will prevent the Trump crazies from winning in the primaries. The question is whether the Trump brand can be damaged by reaching independent voters in large numbers to the degree they vote AGAINST the Trump brand. This year. 

    As I mentioned – the DOJ. My guess is that the committee would like criminal indictments against the conspirators responsible for this scheme. Rudy at the top of the list. Eastman. Sidney Powell. Why not Trump? We need someone who will testify that Trump knew it all and approved it. You won't find any memos from Trump – no emails – and no recordings. I'm not sure the jury exists that will convict a past president of a crime. IMO, there won't be an indictment of Trump before the mid-terms even if everything goes perfectly. 

    BTW – the ratings for the first hearing were good – 20 million viewers – about 4 times the normal audience for a weekday in that time slot. The next hearings will be during the day. Not sure how the ratings will change but I'm encouraged that people are watching and talking. It's up to the committee to go heavy on the documented facts AND keep it interesting. Any flaw or mistake will be seized on by Fox as the single issue of the hearings.

    • Per the Nielsen Ratings, close to 20 million viewed the hearings.  Also, Fox Noise viewership 8-10 PM was less than 3 million and DOWN from their normal viewership.  I am guessing that some number (maybe more than 10%) of normal Fox viewers wanted to see the hearings and I suggest that most of those wanted to learn.


  4. The Proud Boys, et al., were clearly counting on the rabid mob to provide a spearhead and cover for the assault on the Capitol. Where they screwed up was underestimating (thankfully!) how much the mob would get in the way, buying time for the congress people and VP Pence to evacuate.

  5. Every time Scott Perry or Jim Jordan open their they should immediately be asked by colleagues and the press "why did you ask for a pardon?" And don't ever stop asking.

  6. I'm sitting here thinking about Jared Kushner's video clip that was introduced during the J6 hearings when it dawned on me that what he was saying was very similar to a statement I had heard before. Although the words were different and the substance of the topic were different there was a strange familiarity in the spirit of his words that caused me to ask myself, where have I heard that before?

    Then it occurred to me that the familiarity I was seeing I had seen before during the trial of Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann claimed as his defense that he was only a logistics man responsible for the trains running on schedule.He didn't concern himself the fact that those trains were loaded with human being slated for extermination in the death camps. He couldn't ( or didn't want to) grasp the concept that his actions were an intregal part of the holocaust. Kushner displayed the same obliviousness to his criminal involvement by claiming that he was too busy working on pardons to pay attention to the White house lawyers. All the time thinking he was conducting a legal activity while in reality the pardons were an intregal part of an overall criminal activity.

    Another little thing… Life has taught me that when someone qualifies a statement either in its opening or closing with the words, in all honesty, be highly suspicious because, in all honesty, they're probably lying. The truth doesn't need to be buttressed.


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