House Republican Liz Cheney is not in any way a friend of the Democrats. In fact she frequently votes against the Democrats on various issues, and she frequently tweets dishonest criticisms of the Democrats. Cheney is simply a far right Republican extremist who happens to have a problem with Donald Trump’s treason. That makes her an ally of the Democrats when it comes to the January 6th Committee, and nothing more – but she’s a crucial ally nonetheless.
Spoiler alert: the January 6th Committee was always going to end up subpoenaing Donald Trump in the end. It’s a probe focused primarily on his actions, so of course it’s going to go after him. It’ll just go after him last, because that’s how these things work. The point of going after everyone else first is to build the strongest case possible against Trump before going after him. But the committee has merely held the public position that it’ll “consider” subpoenaing Trump in the end, because that’s the judicious language that politicians use when they want to make sure they look reasonable in the eyes of the voters in the middle.
But after Donald Trump asininely announced this week that he wants to hold some kind of “debate” with the January 6th Committee, Liz Cheney – who holds the position of Committee Vice Chair – decided it was time to step up the rhetoric accordingly. Cheney fired back with this:
“This committee’s investigation into the violent assault on our Capitol on Jan. 6 is not a game. When this committee convenes hearings, witnesses will be called to testify under oath. Any communications Mr. Trump has with this committee will be under oath. And if he persists in lying, then he will be accountable under the laws of this great nation and subject to criminal penalties for every false word he speaks.”
In other words, the committee is indeed going to subpoena Donald Trump to testify when the time comes, and if he tries lying his way through the hearing, the committee will refer him to the DOJ for criminal prosecution for perjury. It’s also fair to presume the committee will refer him to the DOJ for criminal contempt if he fails to cooperate. And since the DOJ has already arrested Steve Bannon on this same charge, it’s reasonable to expect the DOJ will arrest Trump accordingly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report