Just this morning we predicted that even though this week is a quasi-holiday week, there would end up being meaningful news out of the January 6th Committee probe. After all, too many things are already in motion, and some things were likely to come to a head.
Sure enough, January 6th Committee Chair Bennie Thompson is upping the stakes by revealing that the committee is all over Donald Trump’s January 6th “command post” at the Willard Hotel, where his top underlings huddled to try to overthrow the election results. Thompson is pointing out that that once the Supreme Court inevitably shoots down Trump’s request to block the National Archives from turning over White House records, the committee will have Trump’s phone records.
At the least, this will allow the committee to prove the longstanding reporting that Trump was in regular telephone contact with his people at the Willard Hotel during January 6th, which will shoot down his inevitable claim that he had no idea what his own people were doing. The Guardian spells out that whether or not there are detailed records about what Trump actually said on these calls may come down to whether he made them from the Oval Office or the White House Residence. But either way, there will at least be records of when and how often Trump called the Willard command post.
In any case, it’s becoming more clear that the January 6th Committee is focused on not just exposing the election tampering and Capitol attack crimes committed by Trump’s henchmen, but also on tying Trump directly to these crimes. One key benefit of busting non-cooperative witnesses for criminal contempt is that it’ll scare some witnesses into cooperating. The committee doesn’t need the cooperation of everyone who was at the Willard Hotel command post that day; it’s just needs the cooperation of any one of them.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report