Guardian says House Jan. 6 committee to hold six public hearings in June, but is that enough?

The Guardian is reporting that the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol attack is planning to hold six public hearings in June on how Donald Trump and some allies broke the law in their efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. But Rick Wilson, a former top GOP strategist and the co-founder of The Lincoln Project, sounded alarm bells, saying the committee members are not putting enough effort into making their case to the public.

The British newspaper, citing sources familiar with the inquiry, said it had reviewed a draft schedule prepared by the House committee. The first hearing is scheduled for June 9 and the last hearing on June 23 will be televised in prime time.

The Guardian wrote:

We want to paint a picture as clear as possible as to what occurred,” the chairman of the select committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson, recently told reporters. “The public needs to know what to think. We just have to show clearly what happened on January 6.”

The select committee has already alleged that Trump violated multiple federal laws to overturn the 2020 election, including obstructing Congress and defrauding the United States. But the hearings are where the panel intends to show how they reached those conclusions.

According to the draft schedule, the June public hearings will explore Trump’s efforts to overturn the election, starting and ending with prime-time hearings at 8 pm on the 9th and the 23rd. In between, the panel will hold 10 am hearings on the 13th, 15th, 16th and 21st.

The Guardian said the schedule is still subject to change. The two prime-time hearings are scheduled to last between one-and-a-half and two hours, while the four other morning hearings will last between two and two-and-a-half hours.

Each hearing will be led by a select committee member, the sources told the newspaper, but the questioning of witnesses who have been subpoenaed to appear will be primarily conducted by the committee’s top investigative lawyers. The investigators also intend to use flash texts, photos, and videos to illustrate the testimony, the sources said.

The Guardian report added that the panel will lay out how the efforts to overturn the election results unfolded over a 65-day period from the time Trump falsely claimed victory until Jan. 6:

The select committee is expected, for instance, to run through how the Trump White House appeared to coordinate the illegal plan to send fake electors to Congress, the plot to seize voting machines, and the unlawful plan to delay the certification of Biden’s win.

The panel is also expected to chart the reactivation of the Stop the Steal movement by the Trump activist Ali Alexander and associates, and how he applied for a permit to protest near the Capitol on January 6 but never held the “Wild Protest” and instead went up the Capitol steps.

The select committee additionally intends to address the question of intent, such as why Trump deliberately misled the crowd that he would march with them to the Capitol, and why he resisted entreaties to call off the rioters from obstructing the joint session on January 6.

The sources said the current schedule calls for capping off the six hearings with a close examination of video footage of leaders of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys groups meeting in a parking lot on Jan. 5 and their activities at the Capitol.

The sources said the select committee wants to draw a connection between “Trump’s political plan for January 6 and the militia groups’ violence at the Capitol in what could form evidence that Trump oversaw an unlawful conspiracy.”

Wilson sharply criticized the committee’s plan to only hold six hearings in a Twitter thread:

“SIX HEARINGS? SIX? Are. You. F*cking. Kidding. Me?" before adding, "Does no one understand the ballgame here?"

2/ Does no one understand the ballgame here? The witnesses from the Trump world will filibuster, bullshit, evade and jerk themselves off on live TV for roughly 40% of the hearings. Everyone will have a long statement at the opening.

— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 23, 2022

Wilson went on to say: "You have to create a spectacle. You have to make people care. You have to have drama. You have to drag and grind the people who tried to do this so long and so hard their knees bleed. A coup attempt that goes unpunished is a training exercise."

And he warned that should the GOP take control over Congress next year, they will hold months of hearings on Hunter Biden’s laptop, begin impeachment proceedings against President Joe Biden for failing to secure the border, and hold months of “show trials” on Afghanistan or antifa.

4/ I PROMISE you, if the GOP was in charge of this, the hearings would NEVER, EVER, EVER stop. cc: @kurtbardella @TaraSetmayer Six hearings means the GOP will try to disrupt them (see Gaetz et al previously) and the Democrats will mumble their objections.

— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) May 23, 2022

Just for comparison’s sake, the Senate Watergate Committee headed by Democratic Sen. Sam Ervin of North Carolina began holding public hearings on May 17, 1973. In all, the committee held 51 days of public hearings, a total of 319 hours, before issuing its final report on June 27, 1974.

Here are highlights of that Senate committee’s hearings:

In May 1974, the House Judiciary Committee began holding formal impeachment hearings against President Richard M. Nixon, and in late July approved three articles of impeachment. Nixon resigned in August 1974 before he could be impeached in a House vote.

Of course, now we probably don’t have that amount of time to hold extended public hearings given the looming midterm elections, but the question is whether the House committee is allowing enough time to make its case to the American public.

Investigators tighten circle around Proud Boys for Jan. 6 violence with two more key arrests

Life comes at you fast sometimes. Just last summer, Zach Rehl led his Philadelphia-based contingent of Proud Boys in a counterprotest to support then-Vice President Mike Pence. This week, he was arrested for helping lead a mob inside the U.S. Capitol that was intent on lynching Pence.

Rehl was one of two Proud Boys arrested by the FBI this week and charged with the most serious federal crimes facing the insurrectionists at the Jan 6 Capitol siege: conspiracy to obstruct the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, and to attack Capitol Police officers. Also arrested this week was a Proud Boys leader from North Carolina, Charles Donohoe.

A total of 13 Proud Boys, who played a central role in the ability of the pro-Trump mob to break down police barricades and enter the Capitol building that day, have now been charged in the insurrection. The indictment is similar to one unveiled by prosecutors against two other key Proud Boys figures—Ethan Nordean and Joe Biggs—who played key roles in leading the mob that day.

Last July, Rehl’s Philadelphia Proud Boys group gathered outside a Fraternal Order of Police lodge where Pence was speaking, and a small cluster of protesters had gathered. The men shouted at Black Lives Matter protesters and at a group of women.

Rehl, left, with Biggs on Jan. 6.

Rehl, a 35-year-old Port Richmond man, was among them, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “drinking beer and chatting with others in the parking lot who were openly carrying a Proud Boys flag.” Among the men they were chatting with were Philadelphia police officers, underscoring the Proud Boys’ cozy relationship with police officers around the country—a relationship that helped feed their smug far-right extremism. Rehl is a veteran and the son of two Philadelphia police officers.

On Jan. 6, their view of Pence had clearly transformed, largely because the vice president had chosen not to try to contest the validation of the Electoral College votes as Donald Trump had urged him to do—which the crowd at Trump’s rally that morning viewed as a betrayal. The mob entering the Capitol was filmed chanting: “Hang Mike Pence!” Pence himself narrowly escaped encountering this mob, it was revealed during Trump’s subsequent impeachment trial.

Rehl, who later turned up in photos in The New Yorker showing Proud Boys trashing the Senate offices of Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley, is expected to have his first hearing in federal court in Philadelphia Friday. His indictment makes clear that federal prosecutors are preparing a conspiracy case charging several Proud Boys with conspiracy, including Biggs and Nordean.

According to indictments released in those cases, investigators say that Biggs, 37, of Ormond Beach, Florida, and Nordean, 30, of Auburn, Washington, were equipped with radios and a bullhorn as they led a mob of about 100 men through the streets of Washington and up the Capitol Mall. Several Proud Boys were among the rioters who shattered windows that enabled others to enter the building and attack Capitol Police officers inside.

Watch right winger give out offer code for MyPillow during ‘StopTheSteal’ rally in Washington, D.C.

The Trump administration is a swamp. The great con that Trump was able to to perpetrate on the Americans who voted for him was that his political outsider credentials—which were and remain real—would allow him to clean up the big money corruption developed and fostered predominantly by the Republican Party in Washington, D.C. The reality has been that not only has Trump further swampified the government, he’s also brought in new con men and women into the government—or more realistically, brought around the government to leech off of. These are people like Mike Lindell and David Harris. Lindell you might remember as the MyPillow guy who sort of makes up a lot of right-wing media advertising dollars. He’s a shameless mad hatter pushing unproven COVID-19 remedies and alien-level conspiracy theories about the election.

David Harris is a lesser known former vitamin huckster who rebranded himself as a Black conservative and received a big boost from Trump in popularity. His angle is that he’s conservative and he’s Black and there’s a financial niche market to be found in super racist right-wing circles if you can serve the purpose of making right-wingers feel less racist than they are. Harris was highlighted as one of the top “superspreaders” of Trump’s false election misinformation by The New York Times in the weeks after Election Day. On Sunday, Harris was in Washington, D.C. for one of the “Stop The Steal” Trump rallies of people trying to overthrow the U.S. government. He spoke on stage in front of others, like the Mike “MyPillow” Lindell. It turns out that before Harris went into his speech, which mostly consisted of a long-winded recitation of a Bible passage, he had some shilling to do.

One of the people helping to fund these rallies is Lindell, and Harris wanted to make sure the audience gave Lindell the applause and recognition he deserves; being a scumbag who wants to overthrow the government takes money and time and conning. Before Lindell went up to bluster away relatively incoherently about how all of the Biden votes are proof that Donald Trump has more votes (yes, that was the basic statement by MyPillow man on Sunday), Harris had some business to do for what we call in the entertainment business the money.:

DAVID HARRIS: A special thank you to the cosponsor that really helped fund a lot of this. Mr. MyPillow himself, Mike Lindell! Amazing patriot, loves this country, loves us, loves the president, and the president loves him. And I gotta tell you I love his codes, right? I love his pillows, I love his sheets, I love his mattress topper, and I love his codes because you know what, the Kraken has been released. You are a part of the Kraken. So for the best deals to support this patriot, use the code “Kraken” at mypillow.com. He does not talk about a lot of what goes through behind the scenes, but he goes through a lot of hell for standing up for us.

It’s very important to note here how Harris began by saying, “And I gotta tell you I love his codes, right?” before remembering that he needed to do the whole make sure to mention the things Lindell sells (i.e., sheets and bed toppers), and then mention the codes. It’s one of the things you learn doing live readings for ads. There are a few things you need to hit and if you nail it, you make it seem like you aren’t doing an ad. Usually you just have to remember to mention all of the things in the right order. Harris does a fine job selling that MyPillow merch. We are just weeks away from their discount promotional codes going from “Kraken” to things like “IAMASucker” and “PleaseTakeMyMoney.”

After the day’s events, Proud Boys and other racists from the day’s “peaceful protests” went on to enact seemingly state-sanctioned violence against Americans who are interested in protecting our democracy from ethno-state insurgents and domestic terrorists like Trump and friends.

Even a Republican governor isn’t safe from Trump followers on an anti-good government rampage

At this point, the number of politicians being threatened by Donald Trump-supporting extremists could merit its own news channel, and its own division at the FBI. There has been the scheme to kidnap and/or murder Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by right-wing militia groups egged on by Trump; there’s been the MAGA bomber who mailed out 16 bombs to Democratic leaders including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; there’s been a plan to kill Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam; and there have been at least two threats to assassinate Joe Biden, one of which brought the AR-15-carrying assassin practically to Biden’s doorstep. But the latest target of the extremists is Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. As in Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

How did a Republican governor end up on the hit list? Tyranny. Tyranny in the form of trying to make reasoned decisions about how to best address the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases in Ohio at their highest level in the entire pandemic, DeWine hasn’t instituted a statewide lockdown, but has been warning those in the hardest hit areas to restrict their movements voluntarily. But DeWine’s refusal to remove all restrictions, and his support for wearing masks, is more than some in the state can bear. Ohio state house members from DeWine’s own party have launched an impeachment movement against the governor for the “madness” of instituting a statewide mask mandate. That effort has fueled another—one that means to arrest DeWine and then “permanently exile or execute” him.

As the Ohio Capital Journal reports, DeWine was at a conference to discuss allocation of funds from the CARES Act when he was told of the plot to conduct a citizen's arrest by Ohioans who were just done with having a government that tried to save their lives. 

State police were tipped off to the scheme when someone who had signed a petition calling for DeWine’s arrest got a phone call from someone who was ready to do more than just scribble his name on paper. The caller made it clear that there would be an attempt to arrest DeWine at his home over the weekend—on a charge of tyranny, of course. The caller reportedly asked if they wanted to take part in an attempt to arrest the governor at his home later that weekend and try him for allegations of tyranny. 

Even at that point, the person who eventually tipped off the police said he “absolutely” believed that DeWine needed to be arrested and said they were “excited” about the opportunity to take part. It was only when the caller made it clear they intended to follow the arrest with a kind of drumhead court martial followed by the immediate application of potential penalties, including death, that the tipster got nervous. The idea that the intention was to kill DeWine finally caused the tipster to contact the police. It doesn’t seem that anyone connected to the scheme has yet been arrested or charged, but state police are apparently investigating.

Ohio was also the origin site for the scheme to kidnap Whitmer. The same group of men who organized that scheme were also involved in the plan to target to target Northam. It’s not clear if there is also a connection with those plotting to execute DeWine for the tyranny of asking people to wear masks.

In the spring, protesters complaining about DeWine’s restrictions surrounded the state house while wearing Proud Boys T-shirts and carrying anti-Semitic signs. Those protest came the day after Donald Trump tweeted calls to “liberate” states that were then in the first weeks of restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Hey! A second pic of these cool dudes from today. #makethemfamous pic.twitter.com/5y8UCJuvNQ

— Rep. Casey Weinstein (@RepWeinstein) April 19, 2020

All of this illustrates that while Trumpism may have taken root in the Republican Party, even Republicans aren’t immune to being found wanting of … purity.

Even a Republican governor isn’t safe from Trump followers on an anti-good government rampage

At this point, the number of politicians being threatened by Donald Trump-supporting extremists could merit its own news channel, and its own division at the FBI. There has been the scheme to kidnap and/or murder Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer by right-wing militia groups egged on by Trump; there’s been the MAGA bomber who mailed out 16 bombs to Democratic leaders including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris; there’s been a plan to kill Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam; and there have been at least two threats to assassinate Joe Biden, one of which brought the AR-15-carrying assassin practically to Biden’s doorstep. But the latest target of the extremists is Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine. As in Republican Gov. Mike DeWine.

How did a Republican governor end up on the hit list? Tyranny. Tyranny in the form of trying to make reasoned decisions about how to best address the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. With cases in Ohio at their highest level in the entire pandemic, DeWine hasn’t instituted a statewide lockdown, but has been warning those in the hardest hit areas to restrict their movements voluntarily. But DeWine’s refusal to remove all restrictions, and his support for wearing masks, is more than some in the state can bear. Ohio state house members from DeWine’s own party have launched an impeachment movement against the governor for the “madness” of instituting a statewide mask mandate. That effort has fueled another—one that means to arrest DeWine and then “permanently exile or execute” him.

As the Ohio Capital Journal reports, DeWine was at a conference to discuss allocation of funds from the CARES Act when he was told of the plot to conduct a citizen's arrest by Ohioans who were just done with having a government that tried to save their lives. 

State police were tipped off to the scheme when someone who had signed a petition calling for DeWine’s arrest got a phone call from someone who was ready to do more than just scribble his name on paper. The caller made it clear that there would be an attempt to arrest DeWine at his home over the weekend—on a charge of tyranny, of course. The caller reportedly asked if they wanted to take part in an attempt to arrest the governor at his home later that weekend and try him for allegations of tyranny. 

Even at that point, the person who eventually tipped off the police said he “absolutely” believed that DeWine needed to be arrested and said they were “excited” about the opportunity to take part. It was only when the caller made it clear they intended to follow the arrest with a kind of drumhead court martial followed by the immediate application of potential penalties, including death, that the tipster got nervous. The idea that the intention was to kill DeWine finally caused the tipster to contact the police. It doesn’t seem that anyone connected to the scheme has yet been arrested or charged, but state police are apparently investigating.

Ohio was also the origin site for the scheme to kidnap Whitmer. The same group of men who organized that scheme were also involved in the plan to target to target Northam. It’s not clear if there is also a connection with those plotting to execute DeWine for the tyranny of asking people to wear masks.

In the spring, protesters complaining about DeWine’s restrictions surrounded the state house while wearing Proud Boys T-shirts and carrying anti-Semitic signs. Those protest came the day after Donald Trump tweeted calls to “liberate” states that were then in the first weeks of restrictions meant to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Hey! A second pic of these cool dudes from today. #makethemfamous pic.twitter.com/5y8UCJuvNQ

— Rep. Casey Weinstein (@RepWeinstein) April 19, 2020

All of this illustrates that while Trumpism may have taken root in the Republican Party, even Republicans aren’t immune to being found wanting of … purity.