Right now the House of Representatives of the Congress of the United States feels like Afghanistan just before the return of the Taliban. I don’t mean to employ hyperbole, but when a wise, just and democratic ruling body is replaced in a single day with a vengeful, divisive cabal of theocratic monsters, find me a better analogy if you can.
Okay, if you prefer, with their heads still above water and feet firmly planted on the deck of RMS Titanic, the January 6 Committee of the 117th Congress has intoned a final epitaph for Donald Trump and his co-conspirators. In their report, limited to oversight of the crimes for which they had a specific remit, the J6 Committee recommended that four criminal charges be considered by the DOJ: obstruction of justice, conspiracy against the United States, false statements, and inciting an insurrection. Each of these charges are to apply to Donald Trump and his co-conspirators. Specifically, they are to apply to Kenneth Chesebro, Jeffrey Clark, John Eastman, Mark Meadows, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald John Trump.
Will the DOJ use any of the findings and charge recommendations of the J6 Committee? I can’t imagine their not doing so. After all, there’s thousands of hours of testimony here. If nothing else, the DOJ will want to use some of it to fill the occasional gaps in their two year long investigation. Besides, one never knows what testimony will ultimately sway a jury, and the answer may lie somewhere in the final report scheduled to be published today.
But that is not the most valuable utility of the executive summary. The most valuable central message, the one that we must believe in going forward, is that justice is coming for the masterminds, ring leaders and evil plotters behind the insurrection, not merely the foot soldiers. Indeed, that message is an essential component of final justice to guarantee that it doesn’t happen again.
For the first time since January 6, 2021, we are about to find out what it’s like to have part of the legislative branch of the American government filled with a majority of toxic and hateful traitors. We should be grateful that they plan to spend their time — as far as we know, anyway — squabbling among themselves and pursuing irrelevancies. The House will resemble an assembly of infighting Batman villains. Imagine each future proceeding filmed at a Dutch tilt.
That is why the villains of the 118th Congress will need to understand that they are not free to contrive future insurrectionist plots without consequences. That is the message that the department of justice must deliver to them in no uncertain terms if America is to remain a free and democratic nation.
It is also an important message for the American people. We the People need to be reminded that, of the 45 men who have occupied the exalted position of the office of the president of the United States, only one of them betrayed his oath to the Constitution of the United States. And for that betrayal, only one of them is going to prison.
Not only has the United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack delivered a powerful message to the American people, it has delivered a powerful lesson to all who would think to subvert our nation. That it was a masterfully compiled and almost universally acknowledged masterpiece of investigation no credible person can deny. That it has delivered a powerful warning that no one can ride the back of the tiger without dire consequences is a lesson soon to be learned. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.