Jamie Raskin now says the January 6th Committee’s upcoming public hearings will “blow the roof off” the scandal. He’s a savvy guy. He knows that in politics, you only ramp up expectations for something if you know you’re going to be able to more than meet those raised expectations. So the committee must really have the goods.
If it turned out the committee wasn’t able to unearth as much as it had been hoping, members like Raskin would be out there trying to tamp down expectations, or saying nothing at all.
So why haven’t the public hearings started yet? From the start, the committee had a long term strategy of making an example out of Steve Bannon right out of the gate, and then building cooperating witnesses from the bottom up – and that strategy appears to have ultimately paid off in spades.
Reluctant high level witnesses, ranging from the Trump White House Counsel to multiple members of Trump’s family, have recently decided to give cooperative testimony. Presumably because they don’t want contempt charges and they’re afraid of what other witnesses may have said.
If you’re a higher level witness and you’re afraid that some lower level witness who’s already testified may have tried to pin it all on you, you’re motivated to go in and defend yourself. That’s what we’re seeing now with with a number of high level witnesses, some of whom had previously been trying really hard to avoid testifying.
So this rush of last minute high level testimony has perhaps held up the start of public hearings by a bit. But who cares? There’s no downside to holding the hearings in June instead of April. And they’ll be more effective now, because there’s a lot more to work with than if the hearings had already taken place.
At some point the committee has to say “the midterms are coming” and just start the public hearings. But the committee knows how to read a calendar. There’s no way will it start its public hearings any later than summer.
In the meantime, the committee is already putting some of the evidence out there in ways such as Friday’s court filing against Mark Meadows – which reveals that Meadows conspired with several House Republicans to overthrow the election. Those details are explosive, yet they’re apparently not the committee’s biggest revelations, or we wouldn’t be seeing them so soon.
The committee wants to motivate average Americans – not you and me, who will watch anyway, but average Americans – to tune in for these hearings. It’s why we’re seeing some of these juicy details surface in advance, so the media can play it up ahead of the hearings. The January 6th Committee probe appears to be playing out exactly like we’d hoped. And now we’ve got Jamie Raskin confirming that the committee has indeed hit paydirt.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report