MTG touts climate change ‘benefits’ while bizarrely claiming no one can see Jan. 6 video footage

You may not have heard of Right Side Broadcasting Network, and if that’s the case—congratulations! You live a rich, full life unadulterated by brain weevils. Obviously, you’re not part of the network’s target demographic, which appears to consist almost entirely of Scott Baio getting shambolically drunk on Boone’s Farm.

But what the network lacks in gravitas it more than makes up for in goofy-ass displays of meretricious nonsense. Enter the ever-benighted Marjorie Taylor Greene, Georgia’s modest contribution to our slow-rolling apocalypse.

In a recent interview with RSBN’s Brian Glenn, Greene was so gobsmackingly weird, for a moment I thought my Jewish space LASIK surgery was making me hallucinate.

Watch: 

“I thought the Capitol was the most secure building in our country ... There are lots of cameras, but you can’t see the video footage. I don’t know why you can’t.” — Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), who apparently missed the January 6th committee’s first public hearing pic.twitter.com/OSzcEZhcow

— The Recount (@therecount) June 13, 2022

Transcript!

GREENE: “My third day on the job, the Capitol gets breached and then they blame me and President Trump and many other Republican members of Congress for doing it. I was so shocked, and I’ll tell you what was so shocking, I thought the Capitol was the most secure building in our country at least.”

GLENN: “Right, with thousands of cameras.”

GREENE: “Well, there are lots of cameras, but you can’t see the video footage. I don’t know why you can’t ....”

And in case you haven’t been waterboarded recently, here’s the full hour-plus interview

So how does one respond to this? 

For one thing, there is video footage of the attack—including lots of Capitol security footage—and it’s definitely viewable to anyone who cares to look at it. For instance, there’s this NBC News video from Trump’s second impeachment, helpfully titled “Impeachment Managers Show New Graphic Security Footage Of Capitol Riot”:

Meanwhile, Greene is also convinced that humans aren’t actually hurting the planet by burning fossil fuels—we’re enhancing it! Think of it as our new, improved operating system, Earth 2.0—only without all the usual bugs. No, really. There will be no bugs. They can’t possibly survive what’s coming. Earth 2.0 will be a fungus-and-lungfish paradise, which gives MTG a fighting chance, come to think of it.

Marge Greene presents her scientific argument why global warming is a good thing: “This earth warming and carbon is actually healthy for us.” pic.twitter.com/fw5DMMeSJN

— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) June 13, 2022

Transcript:

GREENE: “We’ve already warmed 1 degree Celsius, and do you know what’s happened since then? Here, let me tell you. We have had more food grown since then, which feeds people. We are able to, producing fossil fuels, keep people’s houses warm in the winter. That saves people’s lives. People die in the cold. This Earth warming and carbon is actually healthy for us. It helps us to feed people, it helps keep people alive. … The Earth is more green than it was years and years ago, and that’s because of the Earth warming, that’s because of carbon.”

Uh huh. People do die in the cold, and those deaths are strongly correlated with both climate change and Ted Cruz wearing flip-flops in airports. Meanwhile, plenty of people also die in the heat, but never mind those jabronis.

In January 2021—with a big assist from our worst-ever president—Georgia was kind enough to gift us two Democratic U.S. senators. They also gave us this moist, quavering mound of peach tree-dish detritus.

Do better, Georgia. You can start by making wiser choices this November.

Check out Aldous J. Pennyfarthing’s four-volume Trump-trashing compendium, including the finale, Goodbye, Asshat: 101 Farewell Letters to Donald Trump, at this link. Or, if you prefer a test drive, you can download the epilogue to Goodbye, Asshat for the low, low price of FREE.

We talk to gun control advocate and executive director of Guns Down America, Igor Volsky on Daily Kos' The Brief podcast

Liz Cheney had strong words for Republicans in first Jan. 6 committee hearing. Here’s a transcript

In case you missed Republican Rep. Liz Cheney’s powerful opening remarks as prepared for the Jan. 6 select committee’s initial public hearing Thursday evening, we’ve provided her full statement below, courtesy of Politico. 

The Wyoming congresswoman is the daughter of former vice president Dick Cheney; as one of only two Republicans on the committee, she serves as vice-chair. 

Almost every Republican has chosen to side with former President Trump’s version of events on that fateful day. Cheney is not one of them, and she is paying the price in her pursuit of the truth of what happened and who was behind the events of Jan. 6. 

In an op-ed for The Washington Post, Dana Milbank writes that “Republican members of Congress forced Cheney out of her party leadership position and are trying to oust her in a primary.” 

It’s worth noting that while we appreciate Cheney's presentation and performance last night, she remains diametrically opposed to a lot of progressive ideology and has actively worked (and voted) against racial and economic justice. 

RELATED STORY: Capitol Police Sergeant Gonell talks about Jan. 6 hearings and what really happened that day

Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. And let me echo those words about the importance of bipartisanship, and what a tremendous honor it is to work on this committee.

Mr. Chairman, at 6:01pm on January 6th, after he spent hours watching a violent mob besiege, attack and invade our Capitol, Donald Trump tweeted. But he did not condemn the attack. Instead he justified it:

“These are the things and events that happen,” he said, “when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long.”

As you will see in the hearings to come, President Trump believed his supporters at the Capitol, and I quote, “were doing what they should be doing.” This is what he told his staff as they pleaded with him to call off the mob, to instruct his supporters to leave. Over a series of hearings in the coming weeks, you will hear testimony, live and on video, from more than a half dozen former White House staff in the Trump administration, all of whom were in the West Wing of the White House on January 6th. You will hear testimony that “The President didn’t really want to put anything out” calling off the riot or asking his supporters to leave. You will hear that President Trump was yelling, and “really angry at advisors who told him he needed to be doing something more.” And, aware of the rioters’ chants to “hang Mike Pence,” the President responded with this sentiment: “maybe our supporters have the right idea.” Mike Pence “deserves” it.

You will hear evidence that President Trump refused for hours to do what his staff, his family, and many of his other advisors begged him to do: immediately instruct his supporters to stand down and evacuate the Capitol.

Tonight, you will see never-before-seen footage of the brutal attack on our Capitol, an attack that unfolded while, a few blocks away, President Trump sat watching television in his dining room off the Oval Office. You will hear audio from the brave police officers battling for their lives and ours, fighting to defend our democracy, against a violent mob Donald Trump refused to call off.

Tonight and in the weeks to come, you will see evidence of what motivated this violence, including directly from those who participated in this attack. You will see video of them explaining what caused them to do it. You will see their posts on social media. We will show you what they have said in federal court. On this point, there is no room for debate. Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them: that the election was stolen, and that he was the rightful President. President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack.

You will also hear about plots to commit seditious conspiracy on January 6th, a crime defined in our laws as “conspir[ing] to overthrow, put down or destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to oppose by force the authority thereof.” Multiple members of two groups, the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, have been charged with this crime for their involvement in the events leading up to and on January 6th. Some have pled guilty. The attack on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot. Intelligence available before January 6th identified plans to “invade” the Capitol, “occupy” the Capitol, and take other steps to halt Congress’ count of Electoral Votes that day. In our hearings to come, we will identify elements of those plans, and we will show specifically how a group of Proud Boys led a mob into the Capitol building on January 6th.

Tonight I am going to describe for you some of what our committee has learned and highlight initial findings you will see this month in our hearings. As you hear this, all Americans should keep in mind this fact: On the morning of January 6th, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain President of the United States despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power. Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power. In our hearings, you will see evidence of each element of this plan.

In our second hearing, you will see that Donald Trump and his advisors knew that he had, in fact, lost the election. But, despite this, President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information – to convince huge portions of the U.S. population that fraud had stolen the election from him. This was not true.

Jason Miller was a senior Trump Campaign spokesman. In this clip, Miller describes a call between the Trump campaign’s internal data expert and President Trump a few days after the 2020 election:

A: I was in the Oval Office. At some point in the conversation, Matt Oczkowski who was the lead data person was brought on and I remember he delivered to the President in pretty blunt terms that he was going to lose.

Q: And that was based, Mr. Miller, on Matt and the data team’s assessment of this sort of county by county state by state results as reported?

A: Correct.

Alex Cannon was one of President Trump’s campaign lawyers. He previously worked for the Trump Organization. One of his responsibilities was to assess allegations of election fraud in November 2020. Here is one sample of his testimony -- discussing what he told White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows:

A: I remember a call with Mr. Meadows where Mr. Meadows was asking me what I was finding and if I was finding anything and I remember sharing with him that we weren’t finding anything that would be sufficient to um change the results in any of the key states.

Q: When was that conversation?

A: Probably in November, mid to late November, I think it was before my child was born.

Q: And what was Mr. Meadows’ reaction to that information?

A: I believe the words he used were “so there’s no there there.”

There’s no there there. The Trump Campaign’s General Counsel Matt Morgan gave similar testimony. He explained that all of the fraud allegations and the campaign’s other election arguments taken together and viewed in the best possible light for President Trump, could still not change the outcome of the election.

President Trump’s Attorney General Bill Barr also told Donald Trump his election claims were wrong:

A: And I repeatedly told the President in no uncertain terms that I did not see evidence of fraud, you know, that would have affected the outcome of the election. And frankly, a year and a half later, I haven’t seen anything to change my mind on that.

Attorney General Barr also told President Trump that his allegations about Dominion voting machines were groundless:

“I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations, but they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people, members of the public that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count, and that these machines, controlled by somebody else, were actually determining it, which was complete nonsense. And it was being laid out there. And I told him that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that and that it was doing great, great disservice to the country.”

But President Trump persisted, repeating the false Dominion allegations in public at least a dozen more times even after his Attorney General told him they were “complete nonsense.”

And after Barr’s resignation on December 23rd, the Acting Attorney General who replaced him, Jeff Rosen and the acting Deputy, Richard Donoghue told President Trump over and over again that the evidence did not support allegations he was making in public.

Many of President Trump’s White House staff also recognized that the evidence did not support the claims President Trump was making. This is the President’s daughter, commenting on Bill Barr’s statement that the Department found no fraud sufficient to overturn the election:

Q: How did that affect your perspective about the election when Attorney General Barr made that statement?

A: It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr so I accepted what he was saying.

As you will hear on Monday, the President had every right to litigate his campaign claims, but he ultimately lost more than 60 cases in state and federal courts. The President’s claims in the election cases were so frivolous and unsupported that the President’s lead lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, not only lost the lawsuits, his license to practice law was suspended. Here is what the court said of Mr. Giuliani:

Giuliani “communicated demonstrably false and misleading statements to courts, lawmakers and the public at large in his capacity as lawyer for former President Donald J. Trump and the Trump campaign in connection with Trump’s failed effort at reelection in 2020.”

As you will see in great detail in these hearings, President Trump ignored the rulings of our nation’s courts, he ignored his own campaign leadership, his White House staff, many Republican state officials, he ignored the Department of Justice, and the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump invested millions of dollars of campaign funds purposely spreading false information, running ads he knew were false, and convincing millions of Americans that the election was corrupt and he was the true President. As you will see, this misinformation campaign provoked the violence on January 6th.

In our third hearing, you will see that President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Attorney General of the United States so the U.S. Justice Department would spread his false stolen election claims. In the days before January 6th, President Trump told his top Justice Department officials “Just say the election was corrupt and leave the rest to me and the Republican Congressmen.” Senior Justice Department officials, men he had appointed, told him they could not do that, because it was not true. So President Trump decided to replace them.

He offered Jeff Clark, an environmental lawyer at the Justice Department, the job of Acting Attorney General. President Trump wanted Mr. Clark to take a number of steps, including sending this letter to Georgia and five other states, saying the U.S. Department of Justice had “identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election.” This letter is a lie. The Department of Justice had, in fact, repeatedly told President Trump exactly the opposite – that they had investigated his stolen election allegations and found no credible fraud that could impact the outcome of the election. This letter, and others like it, would have urged multiple states to withdraw their official and lawful electoral votes for Biden.

Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue described Jeff Clark’s letter this way: “This would be a grave step for the Department to take and could have tremendous constitutional, political and social ramifications for the country.” The Committee agrees with Mr. Donoghue’s assessment. Had Clark assumed the role of Attorney General in the days before January 6th and issued these letters, the ramifications could indeed have been grave. Mr. Donoghue also said this about Clark’s plan:

“And I recall towards the end saying, what you’re proposing is nothing less than the United States Justice Department meddling in the outcome of a Presidential Election.”

In our hearings, you will hear first-hand how the senior leadership of the Department of Justice threatened to resign, how the White House Counsel threatened to resign, and how they confronted Donald Trump and Jeff Clark in the Oval Office. The men involved, including Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen and Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, were appointed by President Trump. These men honored their oaths of office. They did their duty, and you will hear from them in our hearings.

By contrast, Jeff Clark has invoked his 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination and refused to testify. Representative Scott Perry, who was involved in trying to get Clark appointed as Attorney General, has refused to testify here. As you will see, Representative Perry contacted the White House in the weeks after January 6th to seek a Presidential Pardon. Multiple other Republican congressmen also sought Presidential Pardons for their roles in attempting to overturn the 2020 election.

In our fourth hearing, we will focus on President Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count electoral votes on January 6th. Vice President Pence has spoken publicly about this:

“President Trump is wrong. I had no right to overturn the election. The presidency belongs to the American people and the American people alone. And frankly, there is no idea more un-American than the notion that any one person could choose the American president.”

What President Trump demanded that Mike Pence do wasn’t just wrong, it was illegal and it was unconstitutional. You will hear this in great detail from the Vice President’s former General Counsel. Witnesses in these hearings will explain how the former Vice President and his staff informed President Trump over and over again that what he was pressuring Mike Pence to do was illegal.

As you will hear, President Trump engaged in a relentless effort to pressure Pence both in private and in public. You will see the evidence of that pressure from multiple witnesses live and on video. Vice President Pence demonstrated his loyalty to Donald Trump consistently over four years, but he knew that he had a higher duty – to the United States Constitution. This is testimony from the Vice President’s Chief of Staff:

A: I think the Vice President was proud of his four years of service and he felt like much had been accomplished in those four years. And I think he was proud to have stood beside the President for all that had been done. But I think he ultimately knew that his fidelity to the Constitution was his first and foremost oath, and that’s – that’s what he articulated publicly and I think that’s what he felt.

Q: His fidelity to the Constitution was more important than his fidelity to President Trump and his desire …

A: The oath he took, yes.

You will also hear about a lawyer named John Eastman. Mr. Eastman was deeply involved in President Trump’s plans. You will hear from former Fourth Circuit Federal Judge Michael Luttig, a highly respected leading conservative judge. John Eastman clerked for Judge Luttig. Judge Luttig provided counsel to the Vice President’s team in the days before January 6th. The Judge will explain how Eastman “was wrong at every turn.” And you will see the email exchanges between Eastman and the Vice President’s Counsel as the violent attack on Congress was underway. Mr. Jacob said this to Mr. Eastman: “And thanks to your bullshit, we are under siege.” You will also see evidence that John Eastman did not actually believe the legal position he was taking. In fact, a month before the 2020 election, Eastman took exactly the opposite view on the same legal issues.

In the course of the Select Committee’s work to obtain information from Mr. Eastman, we have had occasion to present evidence to a federal judge. The judge evaluated these facts and he reached the conclusion that President Trump’s efforts to pressure Vice President Pence to act illegally by refusing to count electoral votes likely violated two federal criminal statutes. And the judge also said this: “If Dr. Eastman and President Trump’s plan had worked, it would have permanently ended the peaceful transition of power, undermining American democracy and the Constitution. If the country does not commit to investigating and pursuing accountability for those responsible, the Court fears January 6th will repeat itself.” Every American should read what this federal judge has written. The same Judge, Judge Carter, issued another decision on Tuesday night, indicating that John Eastman and other Trump lawyers knew that their legal arguments had no real chance of success in court. But they relied on those arguments anyway to try to “overturn a democratic election.”

And you will hear that while Congress was under attack on January 6th and the hours following the violence, the Trump legal team in the Willard Hotel war room continued to work to halt the count of electoral votes.

In our fifth hearing, you will see evidence that President Trump corruptly pressured state legislators and election officials to change election results. You will hear additional details about President Trump’s call to Georgia officials urging them to “find” 11,780 voted – votes that did not exist, and his efforts to get states to rescind certified electoral slates without factual basis and contrary to law. You will hear new details about the Trump campaign and other Trump associates’ efforts to instruct Republican officials in multiple states to create intentionally false electoral slates, and transmit those slates to Congress, to the Vice President, and the National Archives, falsely certifying that Trump won states he actually lost.

In our final two June hearings, you will hear how President Trump summoned a violent mob and directed them, illegally, to march on the U.S. Capitol. While the violence was underway, President Trump failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.

As we present these initial findings, keep two points in mind. First, our investigation is still ongoing, so what we make public here will not be the complete set of information we will ultimately disclose. And second, the Department of Justice is currently working with cooperating witnesses, and has disclosed to date only some of the information it has identified from encrypted communications and other sources.

On December 18, 2020, a group including General Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani and others visited the White House. They stayed late into the evening. We know that the group discussed a number of dramatic steps, including having the military seize voting machines and potentially rerun elections. You will also hear that President Trump met with that group alone for a period of time before White House lawyers and other staff discovered the group was there, and rushed to intervene.

A little more than an hour after Ms. Powell, Mr. Giuliani, General Flynn and the others finally left the White House, President Trump sent the tweet on the screen now, telling people to come to Washington on January 6th: “Be there,” he instructed them. “Will be Wild!”

As you will see, this was a pivotal moment. This tweet initiated a chain of events. The tweet led to the planning for what occurred on January 6th, including by the Proud Boys who ultimately led the invasion of the Capitol and the violence that day. The indictment of a group of Proud Boys alleges that they planned to “oppose by force the authority of the government of the United States.” And according to the Department of Justice:

“On Jan. 6, 2021, the defendants directed, mobilized and led members of the crowd onto the Capitol grounds and into the Capitol, leading to dismantling of metal barricades, destruction of property, breaching of the Capitol building, and assaults on law enforcement.”

Although certain former Trump officials have argued that they did not anticipate violence on January 6th, the evidence suggests otherwise. As you will see in our hearings, the White House was receiving specific reports in the days leading up to January 6th, including during President Trump’s Ellipse rally, indicating that elements in the crowd were preparing for violence at the Capitol. And, on the evening of January 5th, the President’s close advisor Steve Bannon said this on his podcast: All hell is going to break loose tomorrow. Just understand this, all hell is going to break loose tomorrow.

As part of our investigation, we will present information about what the White House and other intelligence agencies knew, and why the Capitol was not better prepared. But we will not lose sight of the fact that the Capitol Police did not cause the crowd to attack. And we will not blame the violence that day, violence provoked by Donald Trump, on the officers who bravely defended all of us.

In our final hearing, you will hear a moment-by-moment account of the hours-long attack from more than a half dozen White House staff, both live in the hearing room and via videotaped testimony. There is no doubt that President Trump was well aware of the violence as it developed. White House staff urged President Trump to intervene and call off the mob. Here is a document written while the attack was underway by a member of the White House staff advising what the President needed to say: “Anyone who entered the capitol without proper authority should leave immediately.”

This is exactly what his supporters on Capitol Hill and nationwide were urging the President to do. He would not. You will hear that leaders on Capitol Hill begged the President for help, including Republican Leader McCarthy, who was “scared” and called multiple members of President Trump’s family after he could not persuade the President himself.

Not only did President Trump refuse to tell the mob to leave the Capitol, he placed no call to any element of the U.S. government to instruct that the Capitol be defended. He did not call his Secretary of Defense on January 6th. He did not talk to his Attorney General. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security. President Trump gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day, and he made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement assets. But Vice President Pence did each of those things. For example, here is what General Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, testified to this committee:

A: There were two or three calls with Vice President Pence. He was very animated, and he issued very explicit, very direct, unambiguous orders. There was no question about that. And I can get you the exact quotes from some of our records somewhere. But he was very animated, very direct, very firm to Secretary Miller. Get the military down here, get the guard down here. Put down this situation, et cetera.

By contrast, here is General Milley’s description of his conversation with President Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on January 6th:

A: “He said: We have to kill the narrative that the Vice President is making all the decisions. We need to establish the narrative, you know, that the President is still in charge and that things are steady or stable, or words to that effect. I immediately interpreted that as politics. Politics. Politics. Red flag for me, personally. No action. But I remember it distinctly.”

And you will hear from witnesses how the day played out inside the White House, how multiple White House staff resigned in disgust, and how President Trump would not ask his supporters to leave the Capitol. It was only after multiple hours of violence that President Trump finally released a video instructing the riotous mob to leave, and as he did so, he said to them: “We love you. You’re very special.”

You will also hear that in the immediate aftermath of January 6th, members of the President’s family, White House staff and others tried to step in to stabilize the situation “to land the plane” before the Presidential Transition on January 20th. You will hear about members of the Trump cabinet discussing the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment, and replacing the President of the United States. Multiple Members of President Trump’s own Cabinet resigned immediately after January 6th. One member of the Cabinet suggested that remaining Cabinet Officers needed to take a more active role in running the White House and the Administration. But most emblematic of those days is this exchange of texts between Sean Hannity and former President Trump’s Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany. Sean Hannity wrote in part: “Key now, no more crazy people.” “No more stolen election talk.” “Yes, impeachment and 25th amendment are real, and many people will quit.” Ms. McEnany responded in part: “Love that. That’s the playbook.”

The White House staff knew that President Trump was willing to entertain and use conspiracy theories to achieve his ends. They knew the President needed to be cut off from all of those who had encouraged him. They knew that President Donald Trump was too dangerous to be left alone. At least until he left office on January 20th. These are important facts for Congress and the American people to understand fully.

When a President fails to take the steps necessary to preserve our union, or worse, causes a constitutional crisis, we are at a moment of maximum danger for our Republic. Some in the White House took responsible steps to try to prevent January 6th. Others egged the President on. Others, who could have acted, refused to do so. In this case, the White House Counsel was so concerned about potentially lawless activity, that he threatened to resign, multiple times. That is exceedingly rare and exceedingly serious. It requires immediate attention, especially when the entire team threatens to resign. However, in the Trump White House, it was not exceedingly rare and it was not treated seriously. This is a clip of Jared Kushner, addressing multiple threats by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone and his team of White House lawyers to resign in the weeks before January 6th.

Q: Jared, are you aware of instances where Pat Cipollone threatened to resign?

A: I kind of, like I said, my interest at that time was on trying to get as many pardons done, and I know that he was always, him and the team, were always saying oh we are going to resign. We are not going to be here if this happens, if that happens … So, I kind of took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you.

Whining. There is a reason why people serving in our Government take an oath to the Constitution. As our founding fathers recognized, democracy is fragile. People in positions of public trust are duty-bound to defend it – to step forward when action is required.

In our country, we don’t swear an oath to an individual, or a political party. We take our oath to defend the United States Constitution. And that oath must mean something. Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.

Finally, I ask all of our fellow Americans as you watch our hearings over the coming weeks, please remember what’s at stake. Remember the men and women who have fought and died so that we can live under the Rule of Law, not the rule of men. I ask you to think of the scene in our Capitol rotunda on the night of January 6th. There, in, a sacred space in our constitutional republic, the place where our presidents lie in state, watched over by statues of Washington and Jefferson, Lincoln and Grant, Eisenhower, Ford and Reagan, against every wall that night encircling the room, there were SWAT teams, men and women in tactical gear with long guns deployed inside our Capitol building.

There in the rotunda, these brave men and women rested beneath paintings depicting the earliest scenes of our Republic, including one painted in 1824 depicting George Washington resigning his commission, voluntarily relinquishing power, handing control of the Continental Army back to Congress. With this noble act, Washington set the indispensable example of the peaceful transfer of power. What President Reagan called, “nothing less than a miracle.” The sacred obligation to defend this peaceful transfer of power has been honored by every American president...Except one.

As Americans, we all have a duty to ensure what happened on January 6th never happens again, to set aside partisan battles to stand together to perpetuate and preserve our great Republic.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

LIVE: Follow along with the Jan. 6 committee hearings

The Jan. 6 committee launches its public hearings tonight. For the first hearing—a total of six are currently slated—the panel is expected to present its findings to the American public about former President Donald Trump’s role in a scheme to overturn the 2020 election and more specifically, how extremist elements were involved in efforts to stop the peaceful transfer of power. 

Daily Kos will post live updates from tonight’s hearing starting at 8 PM ET.

Watch live here:

For in-depth information about the committee’s investigation so far, check out the related story links below. There’s a BIG Guide to help you stay on top of who’s who plus Daily Kos interviews with one of the committee’s first witnesses as well as members of law enforcement who fought off the mob on Jan. 6. 

The next hearing is scheduled for June 13 at 10 PM ET. Additional hearings are expected on June 15 at 10 PM ET. and June 16 at 1 PM ET. A time for the June 21 hearing has not yet been confirmed.  A final presentation is anticipated on June 23 and that hearing will be in primetime, like tonight, at 8 PM. 

Witnesses on Thursday night are filmmaker Nick Quested, who embedded with the Proud Boys in the lead-up to Jan. 6, and U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury after being assaulted by members of the mob. 

New video footage from Jan. 6 is expected to be released during tonight’s hearing, putting the extremist elements that were at play that day in sharp relief. Heavy attention will likely be paid to the speech that Trump delivered from the Ellipse as well. It was those remarks that earned him his second impeachment for incitement of insurrection. 

Next week, witnesses reportedly in the mix include Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who once fielded a call from Trump to “find” 11,000 votes so he could beat now-President Joe Biden’s victory in that state. Members of former Vice President Mike Pence’s office, including onetime chief of staff Marc Short and former chief counsel Greg Jacob, have been invited to testify. Other witnesses reportedly invited include officials who worked at the Department of Justice under Trump, including Jeffrey Rosen and Richard Donoghue. More details to come on that in the days ahead.

RELATED: Jan. 6 public hearings begin, Daily Kos interviews witness Nick Quested

RELATED: The BIG Guide: Who’s who in the Jan. 6 committee’s investigation

RELATED: Three Big Lies about Jan. 6: A quick fact check

RELATED: Exclusive: USCP Officer Harry Dunn shares notes, personal artifacts of the insurrection

RELATED: Reflections on the Jan. 6 insurrection from U.S. Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn

RELATED: Capitol Police Sergeant Gonnell talks about Jan. 6 hearings and what really happened that day 

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 · 11:36:04 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

We are roughly a half-hour away from tonight’s hearing.

I will post updates here and on Twitter tonight. Don’t forget to follow Daily Kos!

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 · 11:57:40 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

The hearing will get underway tonight at 8:02:30 PM ET, if you take CSPAN’s word for it—and since they are the only cameras in the room tonight, we will. Live updates to post soon.

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 · 11:59:10 PM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

USCP Officer Harry Dunn is in the chamber tonight: 

Capitol Police Officer Harry Dunn is here and delivering a not so subtle message. pic.twitter.com/EBonZOV4fo

— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) June 9, 2022

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:01:59 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

The members of the committee have entered the chamber and are taking their seats.

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:04:18 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

Chairman Bennie Thompson begins tonights hearing by thanking everyone for their attention. 

“I’m Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Jan. 6 Committee, I was born raised and still lived in Bolton, Mississippi,” he says, explaining his background, a part of the country where people justify the actions of slavery, the KKK and lynching. 

“I'm reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try to justify the actions of the insurrectionists on Jan. 6, 2021,” Thompson says.

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:08:57 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

In his opening remarks this evening, Chairman Thompson outlines how in 1862, after citizens took up arms against the country, Congress adopted a new oath that no person who supported a rebellion could hold an office of public trust. Members swear an oath to protect the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. 

He praises the officers who defended the Capitol on Jan. 6. 

They did this to defend “your vote,” Thompson said, to protect the peaceful transfer of power. 

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:16:35 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

Chairman Thompson says the truth must be confronted with resolve and determination and delivers a barn-burner of a speech. He has made it plain what the committee believes it has uncovered: overwhelming evidence that the 45th president attempted to overthrow the election. We move now to remarks from Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the committee. She is just one of two Republicans, including Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:23:24 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

In her opening remarks, vicechair Liz Cheney says that the public will hear extensive evidence tonight and in the coming weeks about the overarching conspiracy by Trump to overturn the 2020 election 

Cheney: "Jan. 6 was not a spontaneous incident." Intelligence has revealed that this was a well-orchestrated plan. The committee will identify elements of those plans and will show how Proud Boys led a mob into the Capitol on Jan. 6”
She continued: “On the morning of Jan. 6, President Donald Trump's intention was to remain POTUS despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power.”
Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated 7-part plan to overturn the election and prevent a presidential transfer of power.
In the 2nd hearing, evidence will be shown demonstrating how Trump knew he lost the election but he perpetrated fraud, they argue, by promoting the lie that he won.
Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:26:03 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

Recorded deposition from Attorney General Bill Barr: 

WATCH: Attorney General Barr declares that Donald Trump lost the Presidential election in 2020. There is no doubt that the American people voted Trump out of office and the Select Committee has found no evidence of election fraud. pic.twitter.com/qa5qNyMXqS

— January 6th Committee (@January6thCmte) June 10, 2022

Friday, Jun 10, 2022 · 12:30:10 AM +00:00 · Brandi Buchman

In a recorded deposition of Ivanka Trump before the Jan. 6 Cmte where she faced questions about AG’s Barr's conclusion of no widespread fraud, she says Barr's determination "affected her perspective.

"I accepted what he was saying," Ivanka Trump said.

Thursday, Jun 9, 2022 · 10:37:04 PM +00:00 · April Siese

In an excerpt of his opening statement for tonight's @January6thCmte hearings, chair Bennie Thompson says what happened cannot be swept under the rug and that he appears tonight as an American first and one who swore to protect the Constitution. pic.twitter.com/pGX4BxScg1

— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) June 9, 2022

Big surprise: Fox News won’t air Jan. 6 hearings

 It’s not really a huge surprise that Fox News is declining to air the public hearings of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol. I mean, what did we expect?

The conservative media outlet made the announcement Monday, stating that its hosts will “cover the hearings as news warrants.” Shannon Bream, Fox News’ chief legal correspondent, will anchor a two-hour live special on the hearings, and anchors from Fox Business (the lower-rated network) Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will host live continuous coverage, The Hill reports.

There are numerous reasons one can point to for why Fox won’t air the coverage, starting with the fact that the constant stream of bullshit from off-the-rails GOP faves Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Laura Ingraham garners the network millions of eyes nightly. The loss of revenue is probably a consideration since the network has spent every second since Jan. 6 assuring its viewers that the entire event was a tourist trip and the investigating committee is a witch hunt.

RELATED STORY: Trump campaign instructed bogus GOP electors in Georgia to use ‘complete secrecy,’ email shows

But another important reason is the direct involvement of many of Fox News’ biggest players on Jan. 6 itself—the day a bunch of white supremacists and QAnon-ers stormed the Capitol, cheered on by Trump and assured by Fox News that the election had been stolen.

As we reported in January, Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, and Jeanine Pirro, to name a few, were on the Oval Office’s speed dial, and on Jan. 6, Ingraham, Brian Kilmeade, and Hannity all texted Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, in the hopes of getting him to intervene during the insurrection.

“Mark, the president needs to tell people in the Capitol to go home,” Ingraham wrote, per The Washington Post. “This is hurting all of us. He is destroying his legacy.”

Kilmeade urged Meadows to get Trump “on TV” and stop the terrorists, and Hannity begged Meadows to demand Trump “make a statement” and “ask people to leave the Capitol.”

According to CNN, one of the last texts on the chain of the 2,319 texts to and from Meadows starting from Election Day 2020 to President Joe Biden’s 2021 inauguration was from Hannity.

The Fox News host shared the video of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell denouncing Trump from the Senate floor, saying the insurrectionists were “provoked by the President and other powerful people.” Hannity’s text read: “Well this is as bad as this can get.”

Hannity has been remarkably comfortable appearing in public with former President Donald Trump for years. He appeared on stage with Trump during a midterm election rally in Missouri in 2018, where he had the audacity to call the assembled media covering the event “fake news,” just as he’s referred to the five Democrats and two Republicans on the select committee continuously as “fake,” The New York Times reports.

But Trump ignored his buddies at Fox News and elsewhere and allowed the riot to explode, resulting in the deaths of five police officers who served at the Capitol. Fox News has mostly refused to acknowledge or cover what happened on Jan. 6.

Philip Bump, a national correspondent with The Washington Postcompared coverage of Jan. 6 by Fox News with its competitors MSNBC and CNN to find that on average, Fox rarely mentioned it at all—less than 1% during any 15-second segments in a week. They also rarely, if ever, mentioned the House select committee, the riot at the Capitol, the Proud Boys, the bogus GOP electors, and certainly not text messages from Meadows.

Oh, were the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in the news over the past year? Who knew! Mark Who's Whats?https://t.co/I1DIirYNUa pic.twitter.com/YTCBU2HbKf

— Philip Bump (@pbump) June 7, 2022

Bump also sites Fox’s coverage of Trump's impeachments. During impeachment hearing number one, the networks aired it without sound, allowing its hosts to babble on about it audibly. And during impeachment hearing number two, “the network cut away at key points,” Bump writes.

At least one Republican lawmaker has spoken up about Fox News’ cowardly decision not to air the hearings. Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois wrote on Twitter, “If you work for Fox News and want to maintain your credibility as a journalist, now is a good time to speak out, or quit. Enough is enough.”

If you work for @FoxNews and want to maintain your credibility as a journalist, now is a good time to speak out, or quit. Enough is enough. https://t.co/zASss6kWUA

— Adam Kinzinger🇺🇦🇺🇸✌️ (@AdamKinzinger) June 7, 2022

Democratic voters increasingly want ‘fighters.’ Cheney plans to deliver in Jan. 6 hearings

House Democrats have been here before: debating exactly how to handle an unprecedented congressional proceeding involving the most prominent Republican in the country who, once again, committed unconstitutional and potentially unlawful acts. This time around, the sometimes heated discussions surround preparation for next month’s televised hearings on the Jan. 6 assault on the Capitol.

During Donald Trump’s first impeachment hearing, Democrats anguished over exactly what angle, tone, and how far to reach, according to what one person involved in those deliberations told The Washington Post.

The difference now as the select committee investigating Jan. 6 plots its next phase is that an old-school rock-ribbed Republican, Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, is in the room alongside Democrats, fighting for what she clearly views as an existential battle for her future, her party, and indeed the country.

By all accounts, Cheney—who serves as vice chair of the panel—has led the way in adopting an aggressive prosecutorial posture during the Jan. 6 investigation. Her counterparts say she is the most well-versed, well-read, and prepared member of the panel, and she has leaned heavily on her legal training to inform her approach.

The Daily Kos Elections Team talks about how the MAGA civil war might be hurting the GOP in races across the country on The Downballot podcast

So as the panel debates format, tone, and priorities for the upcoming hearings, Cheney has championed making Trump the focal point while some Democrats have reportedly argued for emphasizing the security and intelligence failures that allowed the MAGA mob to storm the Capitol.

“Cheney has wanted to make sure we keep the focus on Trump and the political effort to overthrow Biden’s majority in the electoral college and to attack the peaceful transfer of power,” a committee member told the Post. In other words, Cheney is focused on Trump’s intentional effort to subvert U.S. democracy rather than the technocratic failures that played out during the attack.

"Rep. Cheney’s view is that security at the Capitol is a critical part of the investigation, but the Capitol didn’t attack itself," explained Cheney spokesperson Jeremy Adler.

Amen: The Capitol didn't attack itself.

The committee is still grappling with multiple questions, such as how much to emphasize the legal significance of its findings and whether to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department (a purely symbolic act); whether to adopt a more prosecutorial tone during the hearings; and whether to make a bid to interview Donald Trump and/or Mike Pence before they conclude their work.

But one person who is crystal clear about the threat Cheney poses to him is Trump himself, who told the Post he views the Wyoming Republican as a bigger rival than Rep. Adam Schiff of California, who led Democrats' first impeachment effort.

“From what people tell me, from what I hear from other congressmen, she’s like a crazed lunatic, she’s worse than anyone else,” he said. “From what I’ve heard, she’s worse than any Democrat.”

That's because Cheney has always known where the bodies were buried, and Trump knows it.

While much about the hearings is yet to be determined, here's what we do know:

  • Committee Chair Bennie Thompson of Mississippi and Cheney will co-lead the hearings, while a third lawmaker joins them depending on the topic.
  • They expect to field eight hearings covering material mined from more than 1,000 interviews and 125,000 records.
  • The panel is considering interviewing witnesses such as top Pence aide Marc Short as well as former Justice Department officials Jeffrey Rosen, who was acting attorney general during Trump's post-election pressure campaign, and Richard Donoghue, Rosen's top deputy.
  • The final hearing is expected to be in September, when the panel will enumerate its key findings and recommend action items aimed at preventing future coup attempts.

In focus groups, Jan. 6 accountability has emerged as an important and motivating issue for some voters. Democrats in particular likely want to see heads roll among GOP officeholders who stoked 2020 conspiracy theories, fomented violence, and worked to overturn the election.

Democratic voters in two other recent focus groups written about by Amy Walter of Cook Political Report expressed a desire for more "fighters" among Democratic lawmakers and candidates, more generally. Walter writes:

When asked to describe Democrats in Congress as an animal, almost all picked docile creatures, or as one man described them, animals that are "slow and arboreal." When asked what kind of animal they wished Democrats would be, they chose "great white shark," and "grizzly bear." Another said she wanted them to be like a hyena, an animal that is "fast, aggressive, assertive, and gets what they want done."

What Democratic voters are effectively describing there is a desire for what Cheney has brought to the Jan. 6 probe, at least in approach and disposition if not her actual politics.

And while the committee has no legal authority to hold Trump and GOP lawmakers criminally liable for the Capitol attack, it is certainly positioned to make a moral judgment about who was responsible for the deadly assault that day.

At the very least, Cheney seems hell-bent on delivering that to the American public.

Audio: McCarthy weighed 25th Amendment for Trump in private after Jan. 6

A new audio recording of House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy has reportedly captured him weighing whether to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove then-President Donald Trump from the White House two days after the assault on the Capitol.

With much attention largely trained right now on the Supreme Court after the leak of a draft opinion poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, McCarthy has managed a slight reprieve from the headlines. 

It was just over a week ago that a different series of audio recordings featuring the House GOP leader went public and he was heard, in his own words, telling members of his party that he was prepared to call for then-President Donald Trump’s resignation. 

In those recordings, and now in this new set, McCarthy’s private agony is yet again starkly contrasted against the public support—and cover—that he has ceaselessly heaped upon Trump. 

Related story: Jan. 6 committee may have another ‘invitation’ for Kevin McCarthy

The latest audio recordings—obtained by New York Times reporters Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns as a part of their book, This Too Shall Not Pass and shared with CNN—reportedly have McCarthy considering invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump as he listened to an aide go over deliberations then underway by House Democrats. 

Christine Pelosi talks about the Supreme Court's leaked decision on Roe v. Wade, and what Democrats are doing now, on Daily Kos’ The Brief podcast

When the aide said that the 25th Amendment would “not exactly” be an “elegant solution” to removing Trump, McCarthy is reportedly heard interrupting as he attempts to get a sense of his options.  

The process of invoking the 25th Amendment is one not taken lightly and would require majority approval from members of Trump’s Cabinet as well as from the vice president.

“That takes too long,” McCarthy said after an aide walked him through the steps. “And it could go back to the House, right?”

Indeed, it wasn’t an easy prospect.

Trump would not only have to submit a letter overruling the Cabinet and Pence, but a two-thirds majority would have to be achieved in the House and Senate to overrule Trump. 

“So, it’s kind of an armful,” the aide said. 

On Jan. 7, 2021, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on the president’s allies to divorce themselves from Trump after he loosed his mob on them, Capitol Hill staff, and police. 

“While there are only 13 days left, any day could be a horror show,” Pelosi said at a press conference where she called for the 25th Amendment to be put in motion.

Publicly, McCarthy would not budge.

The House voted 232-197 to approve a resolution that would activate the amendment on Jan. 13.  McCarthy called for censure instead of impeachment through the 25th Amendment. Then, from the floor of the House, McCarthy denounced Trump. 

“The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding,” McCarthy said. 

During the Jan. 8 call, the House GOP leader lamented that impeachment could further divide the nation. He worried it might also inspire new conflicts. He also told the aide he wanted to have Trump and Biden meet before the inauguration.

It would help with a smooth transition, he said. 

In another moment in the recording after discussing a sit-down with Biden where they could talk about ways to publicly smooth tensions over the transition, McCarthy can be heard saying that “he’s trying to do it not from the basis of Republicans” but rather, “of a basis of, hey, it’s not healthy for the nation” to continue with such uncertainty. 

Yet within the scant week that passed from the time McCarthy said Trump bore some responsibility for the attack and the impeachment vote, McCarthy switched gears again. 

He didn’t believe Trump “provoked” the mob, he said on Jan. 21. 

Not if people “listened to what [Trump] said at the rally,” McCarthy said. 

McCarthy met with Trump at the 45th president’s property in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, a week after Biden was inaugurated. Once he was back in Washington, the House leader issued a statement saying Trump had “committed to helping elect Republicans in the House and Senate in 2022.” 

They had founded a “united conservative movement,” he said. 

Tuesday Was A Huge Night For Trump – And J.D. Vance

By Susan Crabtree for RealClearPolitics

In his 2016 bestselling autobiography “Hillbilly Elegy,” J.D. Vance thanks his grandparents – his “Mamaw” and “Remember in 2019 when workers were doing well in this country, not struggling terribly. Thanks [to] the president for everything, for endorsing me.”

Tuesday night, as Vance stepped closer to his goal of joining the most exclusive club in the country – the U.S. Senate – he thanked his grandparents again, along with President Trump.

“I absolutely gotta thank the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump, for providing, ladies and gentlemen, an example of what could be in this country,” Vance, 37, said in his primary victory speech. “Remember in 2019 when workers doing well in this county, not struggling terribly, thanks for the president for everything, for endorsing me.”

RELATED: Trump Endorsement Vaults J.D. Vance To Top Of Contentious Ohio GOP Senate Primary Race

Vance then pulled a trademark Trump maneuver, slamming the “fake news media” for wanting to write a story that “this campaign would be the death of Donald Trump’s America First agenda … Ladies and gentlemen, it ain’t the death of the America First agenda.”

It’s been a heady, evolutionary six years for Vance, the Yale law school graduate and venture capitalist who burst on the scene with his book about growing up “dirt poor’ in Appalachia. Coastal elites immediately embraced his life story as a way to understand Trump’s appeal among the white working class.

During the 2016 campaign, though, Vance declared himself a Never Trumper, dubbing the casino-developer-turned-reality-TV-star-turned-politician “cultural heroin” for the masses, and argued he was leading working-class voters into a dark place.

However, during the Trump presidency, Vance shifted sharply to become an avid Trump supporter, citing the tumultuous Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as a significant turning point. (His wife, Usha Chilukuri, had clerked for Kavanaugh when he was an appeals court judge.)

Meanwhile, Ohio transformed from a Republican-leaning swing state to a solidly red GOP bastion, supporting Trump by nine percentage points in 2016 and double digits in 2020.

Vance’s win brings to a close a crowded and contentious Republican contest to fill the seat of retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman, a respected moderate. It also marks a major victory night for Trump, who has taken the unusual step for a former president of picking sides in primaries – a way to solidify his role as party kingmaker while he weighs another White House run in 2024.

Trump undoubtedly tilted the race in Vance’s favor. Before his endorsement, Vance was trailing former Ohio state treasurer Josh Mandel, another Trump acolyte, 28%-23%, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average of polls. Meanwhile, State Sen. Matt Dolan faded in the final stretch.

With more than 95% of the vote reporting late Tuesday night, Vance won 32.2% compared to Mandel’s 23.9% and Dolan’s 23.3%.

RELATED: There Are 11 Million Unfilled Jobs In America – Where Are The Workers?

Before and after Trump endorsed Vance, his GOP opponents spent millions of advertising dollars reminding voters that Vance had called himself a “Never Trumper” just a few years ago. The conservative Club for Growth’s sister PAC, which backed Mandel, funded an ad that Factcheck.org labeled “misleading” for suggesting that Vance had said some Trump supporters were motivated to back him because they are racist. In fact, the full Vance quote said most of Trump’s voters were inspired by his economic policies or “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

Peter Thiel, the billionaire founder of PayPal, channeled $13.5 million into a political action committee backing Vance in the race. Vance had worked for Theil as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley before moving back to Ohio. Thiel, along with Trump, influenced Vance’s politics, especially when it comes to opposing China and placing stricter limits on immigration. Despite the infusion, Vance continued to run behind in the polls until Trump’s endorsement.

“The question presented in this primary was, ‘Do we want a border that protects our citizens? Do we want to ship our jobs to China or keep them right here in America for American workers? Do we want a Republican Party who stands for the donors who write checks to the Club for Growth or do we want the Republican Party for the people right here in Ohio?” he asked the crowd Tuesday evening.

Even though Trump’s endorsement inevitably boosted Vance’s candidacy, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. Just two days before the primary, Trump appeared to flub J.D. Vance’s name when citing his endorsement, seemingly merging it with Vance’s opponent’s last name. A Newsmax host claimed that it wasn’t a gaffe by Trump but a way to hedge his bets in the race.

“We’ve endorsed … J.P? Right?” Trump asked during his Ohio stumping on Vance’s part Sunday. “J.D. Mandel – and he’s doing great.”

On Monday, Vance minimized the gaffe, saying Trump speaks with such enthusiasm and so often that he was bound to “misspeak” sometimes. Vance now faces Democrat Rep. Tim Ryan, who handily won his party’s primary with 69.7%, with approximately 96.1 of the votes counted, according to the Associated Press.

Another big boon for Trump in Ohio Tuesday was the primary victory of Max Miller, a former Trump campaign and White House aide, who won the Republican nomination for the newly written 7th Congressional District in Northeast Ohio. Miller led the pack as of late Tuesday night despite abuse allegations from his ex-girlfriend, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. Miller has denied it.

Miller was initially recruited to challenge Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted in favor of Trump’s impeachment. But Gonzalez opted to retire instead.

J.R. Majewski, an Air Force veteran who painted a giant “Trump 2020” sign on his front lawn ahead of the last presidential election, won a crowded GOP nomination and this fall will face Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving woman in the history of the House of Representatives. (Kaptur was first elected in 1982.) Majewski defeated Theresa Gavarone, Craig Riedel, and Beth Decker.

RELATED: Repair Shop Owner Who Serviced Hunter Biden’s Laptop Files Lawsuit Against Adam Schiff, CNN

And in a close contest in Ohio’s 13th district, southeast of Cleveland, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert, a lawyer, political commentator, and former Miss Ohio whom Trump endorsed, is projected to win her crowded GOP primary, defeating six other Republicans. She will face Emilia Sykes, the former House minority leader, who ran unopposed in her primary.

At the top of the Ohio state ticket, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine also survived the primary even though he is considered a moderate who does not back Trump. Still, the crowded primary kept DeWine’s showing under 50% even though he has served in some elected capacity in the state for more than 40 years.

DeWine was widely criticized by Republicans over the state’s COVID shutdowns, drawing three Republican opponents, including U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, former state Rep. Ron Hood, and farmer Joe Blyston. The three, however, split the Trump vote, leaving DeWine to pick up a solid 48.1% compared to Renacci’s 28%, Joe Blyston’s 21.8%, and Ron Hood’s 2.1%. DeWine will face Democrat Nan Whaley, the former mayor of Dayton in the general election.

Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

The post Tuesday Was A Huge Night For Trump – And J.D. Vance appeared first on The Political Insider.

Trio of Republican lawmakers called up before Jan. 6 committee

Seeking information about their alleged roles in events that led up to the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, the select committee probing the insurrection has now called on Republican Reps. Andy Biggs of Arizona, Mo Brooks of Alabama, and Ronny Jackson of Texas, to cooperate. 

The committee wants Biggs to face multiple questions, including those involving right-wing conspiracy theorist Ali Alexander and Alexander’s claim that Biggs was just one of a handful of sitting lawmakers whoactively worked to stop the peaceful transfer of power. 

Rep. Mo Brooks, who took the stage before Trump incited the mob and called on people to “fight like hell,” is again under the microscope for his remarks. This time, it was a public admission he made while running for the Senate. Brooks declared in March that Trump demanded he overturn the 2020 election. 

And in arguably the most troubling letter the committee issued Monday, in its request to Rep. Ronny Jackson, investigators asked the Texas Republican to pry back the curtain on his potential ties to the extremist Oath Keepers group and its members currently facing trial for seditious conspiracy. 

The requests come as the committee verges on resuming its public hearings on June 9, but they are not formal subpoenas. Investigators have historically aired on the side of caution when it comes to forcing compliance with their congressional colleagues. They have cited concerns over lengthy legal battles they anticipate they would face as the clock on the probe runs down. 

But they have not ruled this option out altogether. Before Monday, previous requests were sent to Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. Both have refused to cooperate. 

According to investigators, Biggs is taking front row and center now for several reasons, chief among them his alleged relationship with right-wing conspiracy theorist Ali Alexander. 

Last December, over a series of live streams, Alexander boasted that the ‘Stop the Steal’ movement he founded was receiving help from Biggs, then the chair of the House Freedom Caucus. 

Alexander also named Reps. Paul Gosar of Arizona and Mo Brooks of Alabama as instrumental facilitators. 

“We’re the four guys who came up with a Jan. 6 event,” Alexander said in one since-deleted video. 

In another video, as noted by The New York Times, Alexander said:

“We four schemed up putting maximum pressure on Congress while they were voting so that who we couldn’t lobby, we could change the hearts and the minds of Republicans who were in that body, hearing our loud roar from outside,” he said.

Biggs has denied ever meeting with Alexander or talking to him. Biggs did not immediately return a request for comment to Daily Kos on Monday.

Alexander, however, has cooperated with the Jan. 6 committee—along with more than 800 other people—and turned over several records. 

In April, he agreed to appear before a federal grand jury after receiving a subpoena for testimony relevant to the Justice Department’s investigation of Jan. 6.

The right-wing bombast has been mum about details of his cooperation, and when talking to the press, his attorney has underlined Alexander’s disavowal of the violence that unfolded. 

Investigators also want to question Biggs about his conduct on Dec. 21 at the White House where he and other House Freedom Caucus members attended an in-person and prominently advertised meeting with Trump. 

Trump’s then-chief-of-staff Mark Meadows boosted the signal after the meeting, noting he and other attendees were “preparing to fight back against mounting evidence of voter fraud.”

Several members of Congress just finished a meeting in the Oval Office with President @realDonaldTrump, preparing to fight back against mounting evidence of voter fraud. Stay tuned.

— Mark Meadows (@MarkMeadows) December 21, 2020

That meeting, according to the testimony already obtained by the committee, centered on the role then-Vice President Mike Pence could play if he would abandon his constitutional role during certification.

“As you may be aware, a federal judge… recently concluded that President Trump’s effort to pressure the vice president to refuse to count electoral votes likely violated two provisions of federal criminal law,” the committee wrote Monday, referencing a ruling from a federal judge in California.

In that ruling, the committee successfully obtained access to emails from conservative attorney John Eastman, the author of the six-point memo strategizing how to stop the certification. 

Biggs could also answer questions about his push to see “alternate electors” installed for the count. In a text message to Meadows on Nov. 6—just three days after the election and before results were finalized—the Arizona Republican was already pushing a proposal to get Trump’s electors set up in battleground states. 

Biggs acknowledged the scheme was “highly controversial.”

“It can't be much more controversial than the lunacy that we’re sitting out there now. And It would be pretty difficult because he would take governors and legislators with collective will and backbone to do that. Is anybody on the team researching and considering lobbying for that?" Biggs wrote.

Meadows replied: “I love it.”

In the end, election fraud was not found in Arizona or elsewhere. 

There’s also a push by the committee to learn more about a reported effort by House Republicans angling for presidential pardons after Jan. 6.

The committee disclosed Monday that White House personnel have already testified about the issue.

Just ahead of President Joe Biden’s inauguration, it was widely reported that Trump seriously entertained issuing pardons for those tied up in crimes related to Jan. 6. In February, Politico reported that two people familiar with the discussions, including an adviser to Trump, said Trump was worried about possible criminal charges. 

“Is it everybody that had a Trump sign, or everybody who walked into the Capitol” who could be pardoned? Trump reportedly asked. 

The 45th president believed if he pardoned people, they would “never have to testify or be deposed.”

Trump ended up abandoning the idea when he was informed it could cause him new legal headaches and fresh campaign finance scrutiny. His impeachment-worn attorney Pat Cipollone also allegedly threatened to resign if Trump went through with the plan. 

Rep. Ronny Jackson on Monday slammed the request, dubbing the committee “illegitimate” and consumed by a “malicious and not substantive” agenda. He also described the investigation as a “ruthless crusade against President Trump and his allies.”

Jackson was particularly irked, he claimed, because the committee did not seek him out privately first, according to CBS. 

A committee spokesperson did not immediately return a request to Daily Kos.

Jackson’s cooperation is being sought because of his potential relationship with Oath Keepers accused of orchestrating a complex, weaponized conspiracy to stop the nation’s peaceful transfer of power on Jan. 6.

Related: Oath Keepers text expose talk of security details for Trump world figures, more Proud Boys ties

Prosecutors revealed last month that in the trove of text messages seized off Oath Keeper devices, the extremist group members discussed providing a personal security detail to Jackson during the attack. 

Critically, the @January6thCmte also calls on Rep. Ronny Jackson to answer questions about why the extremist Oath Keepers, including leader Elmer Rhodes, discussed him in their encrypted chat and their efforts to protect him because he had "critical data to protect" pic.twitter.com/xqMuzD4Xj9

— Brandi Buchman (@Brandi_Buchman) May 2, 2022

“Dr. Ronnie Jackson on the move,” one message from an unidentified person said. “Needs protection. If anyone inside cover him. He has critical data to protect.”

Other users in the chat worried about Jackson, once  the White House physician to Trump. 

“Hopefully they can help Dr. Jackson,” a text at 3:03 p.m. read. 

Rhodes responded two minutes later. 

“Help with what?” he wrote.

Within the same minute, Rhodes replied again. 

“Give him my cell,” he said. 

As for Mo Brooks, the Alabama Republican is being called up to discuss his comments in March when he appeared to lapse in total fealty to Trump. 

Trump dropped his endorsement of Brooks’s senate run following weeks of lethargic polling.

The former president first backed Brooks a full year in advance of the primary. But in that time, Brooks—looking to shore up more moderate Republicans in a tough race—began to backpedal, much to Trump’s ire. 

Brooks voted against certification on Jan. 6 and even campaigned with life-size Trump posters at his side, according to the Associated Press.

But during a pro-Trump rally in Alabama in August 2021, Brooks urged the crowd to forget about the failures of the previous year’s election. 

“There are some people who are despondent about the voter fraud and election theft in 2020. Folks, put that behind you, put that behind you,” Brooks said. 

He was booed and as noted by reporters on-site, he “nearly lost the crowd” before waffling again. 

”All right, well, look back at it, but go forward and take advantage of it. We have got to win in 2022. We’ve got to win in 2024,” Brooks said. 

Oh boy. Mo Brooks suggested, in seriousness, that those in attendance should accept the results of the 2020 election and move on to the next one … needless to say it did not go well and he nearly lost the crowd 😮 pic.twitter.com/1htgV3QAgm

— Ryan Phillips (@JournoRyan) August 22, 2021

All lawmakers have been asked to set up a time to meet with investigators beginning next week. 

Though it was nearly a foregone conclusion that Reps. Jackson, Brooks, and Biggs would not comply, ultimately, the panel has made clear that forcing testimony from some individuals would not make or break the entire probe given the voluminous evidence already collected.

McCarthy said he’d tell Trump to resign after Jan. 6. McConnell thought he’d be out, book reports

What Rep. Kevin McCarthy and Sen. Mitch McConnell said behind closed doors about President Trump’s involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection and what they said to his face were in complete opposition, according to a book set to hit shelves next month.  

This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden, and the Battle for America’s Future releases May 3, and with it will come a few surprises about the conversations key GOP members reportedly had about their leader.

The New York Times exclusively reports that not only did McCarthy and McConnell believe that Trump was directly responsible for the insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, but they told other GOP lawmakers they intended to ask the president to resign. “I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy reportedly told a group of Republican leaders. Naturally, a spokesperson for McCarthy, Mark Bednar, denied to the Times that the congressman ever “said he’d call Trump to say he should resign.”

RELATED STORY: Can Kevin McCarthy be any more gutless? Yes, he can ‘forget’ what he said to Trump on Jan. 6

The book, co-written by Jonathan Martin and  Alexander Burns, two New York Times reporters, compiles interviews and records of hundreds of lawmakers and officials, according to the Times, and lays out a timeline where McCarthy and McConnell both lost their respective chutzpah—a great Yiddish word for nerve.

Listen Jennifer Fernandez Ancona from Way to Win explain what how Democrats must message to win on Daily Kos' The Brief podcast with Markos Moulitsas and Kerry Eleveld

According to the Times, before McCarthy’s spine dissolved, he reportedly suggested that several GOP lawmakers should be banned from social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook following the insurrection.

“We can’t put up with that,” McCarthy reportedly said. “Can’t they take their Twitter accounts away, too?”

Again, Bednar denied to the Times that Rep. McCarthy ever suggested any GOP leaders be banned from social media.

However, we know that McCarthy did publicly say in mid-January 2021 that Trump was at least partially responsible for the riot. "He told me personally that he does have some responsibility. I think a lot of people do."

Here's the audio of McCarthy saying Trump has responsibility for Jan. 6th and Trump admitted responsibility. He strongly urges a commission to investigate the attack. McCarthy said Thursday he didn't recall telling members Trump took responsibility.https://t.co/fsZYL5Q1ss pic.twitter.com/T7Rwb8Yd0n

— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 14, 2022

McCarthy also blabbed about Trump to House Republicans during a private conference call on Jan. 11. CNN obtained a copy of a transcript of that call.

"Let me be clear to you, and I have been very clear to the President. He bears responsibility for his words and actions. No if, ands, or buts," McCarthy said. "I asked him personally today if he holds responsibility for what happened. If he feels bad about what happened. He told me he does have some responsibility for what happened. But he needs to acknowledge that."

But four days later, McCarthy conveniently forgot all that he’d said.

Here's McCarthy yesterday when asked directly if he told members on a 1/11/21 call about Trump taking responsibility. "I'm not sure what call you're talking, so....," pivots quickly to next question. pic.twitter.com/GeWQTs0FSs

— andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 14, 2022

According to the Times, McCarthy was told by Rep. Bill Johnson of Ohio that Trump supporters did not want their president challenged on Jan. 6 events.

“I’m just telling you that that’s the kind of thing that we’re dealing with, with our base,” Johnson said.

As a result, by the end of January and after seeing that a scant 10 House Republicans would support a Trump impeachment, McCarthy reversed course and stepped away from any condemnation of HerrTrump. He shut his mouth and kept his job as the House Minority Leader.

As for McConnell, theTimes reports that he initially believed Trump’s actions on Jan. 6 were so heinous that he was convinced his GOP colleagues would surely break with the president. He reportedly even predicted a conviction vote for Trump’s impeachment.

“The Democrats are going to take care of the son of a bitch for us,” he reportedly said during a Jan. 11 meeting with Terry Carmack and Scott Jennings, two of his advisors. “If this isn’t impeachable, I don’t know what is,” he reportedly said.

McConnell was so convincing in his ire against Trump, the Times reports, that Senators John Thune and Rob Portman privately said they believed he’d vote to convict Trump.

But as we all know, McConnell eventually voted to acquit Trump, despite following it with a blistering speech against the president.

Then, he too, shut his mouth to keep his job and the support of a failed, twice-impeached president and his millions of supporters.

Mike Lee has some explaining to do about Jan. 6

In 2020, when a reporter asked Utah Senator Mike Lee about the extent of his involvement in then President Donald Trump’s push to overturn that year’s election results, Lee chalked up his own investment in the president’s scheme to a benign curiosity. 

His recently published text messages to Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows at the time, however, tell a far different story. The texts appear to show Lee pledging himself to find every “legal and constitutional remedy” to assist Trump’s mission. He was quick with a suggestion—like an audit of ballots in swing states—and stumped for Trump to use conspiracy theory peddling lawyer Sidney Powell to take up the cause in court.

And when Lee received a copy of John Eastman’s memo laying out a scheme to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election just four days before the insurrection, he publicly derided it as “ridiculous.”

Yet in private, Lee appeared to strongly advocate for that strategy and lamented the hours he otherwise spent searching for ways to “unravel” a pathway to victory for a clearly defeated president. 

RELATED STORY: Texts show they were all for Trump overturning the election—until a lack of key evidence got in the way

Samuel Benson over at Utah’s Deseret News published an article on Wednesday raising questions—and rightly so—over Lee’s track record of conflicting positions. Benson interviewed Lee at length before and after the assault on the Capitol. 

And when CNN published the text messages, Benson followed up, asking for an interview. Where once Lee was willing to speak on the subject at length, he has now clammed up. Instead, he dispatched his spokesman, Lee Lonsberry, to do damage control. 

Lonsberry told Benson: 

“When Senator Lee reviewed evidence and legal arguments related to the 2020 presidential election, his principal concern was for the law, the Constitution, and especially the more than 150 million Americans who voted in that election. From the moment the electoral college cast its votes in mid-December, he made clear that Joe Biden had won, and would within weeks become the 46th president of the United States absent a court order or state legislative action invalidating electoral votes.”

Further, “once it became clear” to Lee that no states would be rescinding their electoral slates, he told Meadows any effort to reverse the election results would “end badly.” 

Lee, Lonsberry said, just wanted to “let the country move on.”

Lee publicly acknowledged that Biden won the Electoral College on Dec. 14, the final deadline for states to send their slate of electors to the National Archives. But he also delicately couched his statement with a nod to Trump’s “fraud” claims.

There were still  “concerns regarding fraud and irregularities in this election remain active in multiple states,” Lee said at the time.

Then-Attorney General Bill Barr had already declared two weeks earlier there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud. Trump too had been on a losing streak in various courts around the U.S.  as his team of attorneys bumbled through lawsuits demanding election results be thrown out or electors decertified. 

Nevertheless, in the two days after Lee proclaimed Biden was the rightful winner, in a text to Meadows, the Utah Republican was still exploring alternatives. 

“Also, if you want senators to object, we need to hear from you on that ideally getting some guidance on what arguments to raise,” Lee wrote on Dec. 16. 

Right up to Jan. 4, the senator was “calling state legislators for hours” and planning to do the same, or so he told Mark Meadows, on Jan. 5. 

“We need something from state legislatures to make this legitimate and to have any hope of winning. Even if they can't convene, it might be enough if a majority of them are willing to sign a statement indicating how they would vote,” Lee fretted to Meadows just a day before.

In the end, but only after Trump incited a mob that stormed the Capitol and hundreds of police officers—including those sworn to protect Lee and others—were violently assaulted and one woman was killed, Lee voted to certify Biden as the winner. 

In his remarks from the House floor on Jan. 6, Lee said his initial speech for proceedings had looked a little different. But, he said, he would keep his message mostly the same. 

“Our job is open and then count. Open, then count. That’s it. That’s all there is to it,” Lee said of electoral college votes.

He noted how he spent “the last few weeks” meeting with lawyers representing “both sides of the issue” and representing the Trump campaign. 

“I didn’t initially declare my position because I didn’t yet have one,” he added. “I wanted to get the facts first and I wanted to understand what was happening.”

However, when Trump was impeached for incitement of insurrection, Lee voted against it. He could not “condone the horrific violence” of Jan. 6, he said. Lee also said he could not condone Trump’s “words, actions or commissions on that day.” 

“But the fact is that the word incitement has a very specific meaning in the law, and Donald Trump’s words and actions on Jan. 6 fell short of that standard,” Lee remarked before also calling the impeachment a “politically suspicious process.”

Less than six months after the insurrection, Lee also opposed to the formation of a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack. He voted against a bill for a bipartisan commission that was equally divided between five Republicans and five Democrats. Both sides, according to the resolution he opposed, would have had equal subpoena power. 

Lee opposed the bill 24 hours after meeting privately with U.S. Capitol Police officers who were attacked as well as Gladys Sicknick, the mother of U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick. Sicknick died one day after the insurrection. A coroner’s office said Sicknick, 42, experienced multiple strokes.