The Mahablog

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The Mahablog

This Afternoon’s January 6 Hearing

Today’s hearings begin at 1 pm EST. Feel free to comment here about them before, during, and after.

By now you’ve probably heard about the January 5 tour of the Capitol complex led by Rep. Barry Loudermilk, in which the same guy seen photographing stairwells and hallways also took part in the January 6 march to the Capitol. It’s not clear to me if he entered the building.

This is from the New York Times

A lawyer advising President Donald J. Trump claimed in an email after Election Day 2020 to have insight into a “heated fight” among the Supreme Court justices over whether to hear arguments about the president’s efforts to overturn his defeat at the polls, two people briefed on the email said.

The lawyer, John Eastman, made the statement in a Dec. 24, 2020, exchange with a pro-Trump lawyer and Trump campaign officials over whether to file legal papers that they hoped might prompt four justices to agree to hear an election case from Wisconsin.

Eastman said that the chances SCOTUS would hear this case depended more on the “justices’ spines” than on legal merit. Then this part is revealing:

The pro-Trump lawyer, Kenneth Chesebro, replied that the “odds of action before Jan. 6 will become more favorable if the justices start to fear that there will be ‘wild’ chaos on Jan. 6 unless they rule by then, either way.”

Their exchange took place five days after Mr. Trump issued a call for his supporters to attend a “protest” at the Ellipse near the White House on Jan. 6, 2021, the day Congress would certify the electoral vote count confirming Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory. “Be there. Will be wild!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter.

Another piece of the puzzle. Note that I don’t assume Eastman had any insight into whether the justices were engaged in any kind of “heated fight.”

However, Eastman may have been getting info for Ginni Thomas, who apparently is nuttier than a peanut farm. This is from the Washington Post:

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has obtained email correspondence between Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and lawyer John Eastman, who played a key role in efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to block the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, according to three people involved in the committee’s investigation.

The emails show that Thomas’s efforts to overturn the election were more extensive than previously known, two of the people said. The three declined to provide details and spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

The committee’s members and staffers are now discussing whether to spend time during their public hearings exploring Ginni Thomas’s role in the attempt to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election, the three people said. The Washington Post previously reported that the committee had not sought an interview with Thomas and was leaning against pursuing her cooperation with its investigation.

I wouldn’t call her to testify, based on this. I question her grasp of, well, reality.

Updates to come.

Update: The bobbleheads on MSNBC are saying that this afternoon’s hearing proved that Trump knew his plan to have Mike Pence nix the election result was illegal. Yes, but as I’ve said before, for Trump “truth” and “knowlege” are meaningless abstractions. All he recognizes is what he wants.

CNN has a document that it calls Judge J. Michael Luttig’s statement to the committee. The thing is, though, that I don’t remember Judge Luttig readng this statement. I believe he did say some of this in response to questions, but not all of it. It’s a very good document, nonetheless.

Against my advice, the committee will ask Ginnie Thomas to speak to them. Maybe this will not be part of a publicc hearing. I think she’s too erratic and delusional to put in front of a camera.

The hearing today emphasized how much danger Pence was in that day. It also emphasized that John Eastman didn’t believe that Pence had the constitutional power to question the election results, even as he pitched the idea to Trump and the mob at the January 6 rally. I believe this was the first time I have heard he asked Trump for a pardon.

A bobblehead on MSNBC criticized Pence for refusing to testify himself, instead of letting his aides speak for him.

He might do better to position himself as a leader of a “save the Republican party from Trump” movement. But I guess he doesn’t have the nerve.