The House Select Committee is continuing its investigation into the January 6 insurrection even as Republicans try to obstruct. The Guardian reports that Bennie Thompson, chair of the committee, wants to uncover the Trump White House’s role in the insurrection. Specifically, Thompson wants to know if Trump’s White House helped with planning or had advance knowledge. Thompson had already requested records from the White House relating to the event through letters to the National archives and other agencies, including the DOJ and FBI but now, Thompson wants communications between White House personnel and members of Congress both before the insurrection and on January 6. Republicans are, of course, having a fit, but how else can the committee get to the bottom of this disaster?
It is vital that the committee look at January 5. The “stop the steal” rally was a well-planned out event that was promoted all over social media. At the same time, the insurrectionists came prepared to storm the Capitol with weapons, wore body armor, and with seeming familiarity with the inner sanctum of the Capitol. They did not do all that alone. Clearly, some Republican members of the House were instrumental, which many believe led to them blocking the bipartisan commission proposed by Nancy Pelosi. That decision was not good because instead of a bipartisan commission, they now face a formidable foe in Pelosi, who is determined to get to the bottom of events that day. As part of that determination, several news outlets have reported that the committee is planning to order the preservation of phone records held by telecom companies belonging to Lauren Boebert, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar, Mo Brooks, Madison Cawthorn, Matt Gaetz, Louie Gohmert, Jody Hice, and Scott Perry. That news brought Trump out of hiding, threatening to invoke executive privilege that he no longer holds to stop them. Since that is never going to work, Trump’s biggest lackies are now issuing threats.
Washington Post reported that Kevin McCarthy threatened telecom and social media about releasing information to the committee. McCarthy went so far as to claim that cooperation with the committee’s subpoenas would “violate federal law,” which is patently false. Since McCarthy knows his threat is bullshit, he then came back with the threat that when Republicans assume power, they “will not forget.” Funny, we did not hear any of these threats when Trump’s DOJ was surreptitiously securing phone records of Adam Schiff and various journalists. Is that not the same thing McCarthy claims violates federal law? These threats are nothing more than typical Republican scare tactics, but the real question remains: What are they trying so hard to hide? If they did nothing wrong, why fight releasing these records, which the committee—unlike Donald Trump’s DOJ—is doing in the light of day? It is likely that we will find out more about what really happened that led up to the assault on our Capitol of January 6 and that many of those whose records are being requested were directly involved.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years