Well, this was the Republican plan all along, wasn’t it? Of course it was. I knew it. Speaker Pelosi knew it. Kevin McCarthy knew it. Mitch McConnell knew it. Republicans don’t want an investigation in to the January 6 insurrection, the attack on the Capitol that resulted in several deaths, hundreds of injuries to Capitol police, and threats of execution against lawmakers. Republicans don’t want the public to know how it happened.
We all know how it happened, of course. Trump started planning an attack on the election in late spring when it was clear that his incompetent (lack of) response to the COVID pandemic and dishonest downplaying of the crisis was going to negatively affect his chances for reelection. Trump, along with Republican leaders, began lying to the public as cover for voter suppression tactics. After the election, Trump and Republican leaders stepped up their lying into the “Big Lie” of election fraud. No significant election fraud occurred. This has been confirmed by every state, including every single one of the Republican-run states. There was no election fraud.
McCarthy knows this. Scalise knows this. McConnell knows this. Even Trump knows this (or, at least he has been informed of this; it’s difficult to know exactly what Trump knows because he seems to be unable to separate his own lies from his mental delusions, which in itself tells you a lot about the Republican party). Every Republican knows they are lying. And yet they still do it. When the lies proved false in over 60 courts, every state, and every election district, Trump turned to inciting an attack on the Capitol, tweeting on December 20th: “Big protest in DC on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” Trump’s staff, friends, and long-time associates then coordinated with the racist Proud Boys and other white supremacist groups to militarize the protest and lead them to the Capitol. Trump’s crony organizations led the attack. We all know this already. More than 500 people have been indicted, some have already pled guilty, and many use as their “defense” that they were there acting on the instructions of Trump.
We all know this.
Republicans blocked an independent investigation into the January 6th insurrection. They blocked it because they knew it would find many of them – Republican House and Senate members – guilty of inciting, and then aiding and abetting, the insurrection attack. Some House members in particular would likely be found guilty of treason for their actions helping the terrorists who attacked the Capitol. Others could be expelled from Congress for treason. At least two Republican Senators also could be expelled for their giving aid and incitement to terrorists. That is what the Republican party is trying to hide.
By blocking the independent investigation that would have found Republicans complicit, Republicans could then scream that any Select Committee of the House would be “partisan.” Republicans don’t want the facts; they know them already. They want to block the public from learning the whole extent of the facts. And they will do that by distracting the public with dishonest cries of partisanship.
We all knew that McCarthy would pick Jim Jordan to be one of the Republican representatives on the committee. Jordan has been implicated in covering up the Ohio State sex abuse scandal (in which he tried to pressure wrestlers to lie to protect himself and others). He is Trump’s prime mafia enforcer, attack dog, and surrogate in the House. McCarthy made a point to transfer Jordan to a committee he wasn’t on just so he could gum up the impeachment hearings with his dishonest and anti-American pit bull attacks on witnesses. We all knew McCarthy would put him on the committee. His job would be to make the hearings into a circus that would distract from the truth of Republican involvement in the Capitol attack. Why? On the day of the attack, Rep. Liz Cheney told Jordan: ‘Get away from me. You f—— did this.’” She knew. They all knew.
Speaker of the House Pelosi rejected Jordan and Republican Jim Banks from the committee because they were named specifically, and intentionally, to to disrupt, distract, and be deflect. (Banks is a less overtly obnoxious but equally dishonest protector of Trump corruption). McCarthy knew that Pelosi would have only two choices: Reject Jordan (after which McCarthy would scream partisanship) or accept Jordan (after which McCarthy would still scream partisanship while Jordan makes a mockery of the proceedings). In both cases, McCarthy and Jordan have succeeded in creating the talking point they were going to talk anyway. Never mind that McCarthy and Jordan are acting in the most dishonestly partisan way themselves, as is the case every time.
So for however long this Select Committee takes (the original independent investigation would have been time limited but a House select committee is not), McCarthy and Jordan and the other guilty Republicans who assisted the attackers will scream partisanship. They will never address the facts. Their goal is to keep the public from learning too many facts.
Because the facts prove McCarthy and many members of the Republican party to be complicit, and in some cases willfully aiding and abetting an insurrection against the United States. An insurrection that caused the deaths of several people, including Capitol police officers, and threatened the lives of hundreds of members of Congress, the Speaker, the party leaders, and the sitting Vice President, who were kept moments away from harm or death by the quick actions of House security and the secret service.
Speaker Pelosi notes that “we need a comprehensive investigation as to who organized this attack, who paid for it, how they nearly succeeded in overthrowing a presidential election, why they did it and how we must organize ourselves to prevent anything like it from ever happening again.”
Republicans don’t want that because they know they are guilty.
Pelosi rejected only the two overtly Trump attack dogs from the list of five McCarthy appointed. She accepted the other three – Representatives Davis, Armstrong, and Nehls (despite the latter having voted to overthrow the election results). She asked McCarthy to appoint two other members who could act more responsibly. Instead, McCarthy pulled the appointments of all the members.
That was his plan.
There is one Republican who remains on the committee – Rep. Liz Cheney. Cheney had been third in the Republican House hierarchy behind McCarthy and Scalise until she was thrown out of that position for refusing to lie about the election. This is who the Republican party is today – a far right conservative member isn’t suitable for leadership because she refuses to lie and refuses to support an attack on our very democracy. Cheney is certainly no friend of the Democrats or liberals or “partisans.” She was chosen by Pelosi as the only Republican that could be counted on to maintain some degree of integrity in the investigation.
Without an investigation, this attempted insurrection serves as a training exercise for the next one. Next time we can’t count on such an overtly dishonest but incompetent inciter of an insurrection. McCarthy and the Republican party have proven they will stop at nothing to keep power of, by, and for the few. Even if they have to destroy democracy to do it. They didn’t start this action on January 6, 2021. That was simple a battle. Republicans started attacking democracy decades ago, and they will continue to attack democracy unless there are enough honest Republicans, honest conservatives, and honest individuals willing to stand up to the cult takeover.
David J. Kent is an avid traveler, scientist, and Abraham Lincoln historian. He is the author of Lincoln: The Man Who Saved America, Tesla: The Wizard of Electricity and Edison: The Inventor of the Modern World as well as two specialty e-books: Nikola Tesla: Renewable Energy Ahead of Its Time and Abraham Lincoln and Nikola Tesla: Connected by Fate.