During its televised prime time hearing last night, the January 6th Committee revealed January 6th text messages between Trump surrogate Mark Meadows and a certain member of Congress – but it didn’t reveal that person’s name. It was also intimated that the committee has similar texts from multiple Republican Congress members. It’s led to questions about why the committee is still keeping their identity a secret. But the move is already producing results that speak for themselves.
Mitch McConnell made a point today of announcing that it wasn’t him. There’s never a reason to simply take a liar like McConnell at his word. But given that the committee already knows the person’s identity, there would be no point in McConnell lying. McConnell also said it’ll be “interesting” to see who it turns out to be.
This is notable because we’re likely about to see a number of high profile House and Senate Republicans publicly confirm that it’s not them. As more of them take themselves off the board, process of elimination is going to leave a short list of remaining Republicans – and the media is going to start harping on why those Republicans are declining to say that it wasn’t them.
Once the pressure gets ratcheted up on these specific Republicans who have refused to say it wasn’t them, that’s when they’ll start making panic moves. Either they’ll confess to it, in the hope of mitigating the impact of the text messages in question, or they’ll end up telling some stupid lie about how it wasn’t them.
If they confess to being behind the text messages, then it’s good news for the committee, because then it doesn’t have to risk looking partisan by outing them. If they tell a stupid lie, then the committee can reveal the text messages without looking partisan, because in such case they’re simply disproving someone’s lie.
These kinds of probes are always best done one step at a time, backing the perpetrators and hostile witnesses into a corner, so they panic and screw up, thus making it easier for the probe to take them down or flip them on the bigger fish. The tactic of leaving the owner of the text messages a secret, is already working to the point that Mitch McConnell of all people is yelling ‘not me’ in an effort to distance himself from the ugliness that’s coming.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report