The January 6th Committee continues to make clear that it has Donald Trump and certain House Republicans by the you-know-what, and prepares to hold televised hearings in the new year to make its case so the American people are on board when it makes criminal referrals to the DOJ against Trump and others. The reality-based narrative here is clear. But the media loves stirring the pot by being contrarian, so we’re now seeing an increase in the number of headlines suggesting that committee might “run out of time.”
The ratings-driven narrative goes like this: the committee is in a desperate race against the clock and may not complete its work before the midterms, at which point the Republicans will definitely win the House and then get rid of the committee, thus ensuring that all of its work will disappear and the bad guys will get away with it all. That narrative might make for an interesting movie script. But when it comes to the actual January 6th Committee, this narrative is in fact total fiction.
Here’s how things will actually go. The committee knows that the Republicans might win the midterms, so it will carry out the pace of its investigation accordingly. The committee will absolutely, with zero doubt, complete its work ahead of the midterms. The committee will then make all of its criminal referrals to the DOJ, and that’ll be that. Even if the Republicans win the midterms, it will be too late to somehow magically undo those criminal referrals. And the DOJ will move forward with those criminal referrals no matter how the midterms go, because the DOJ is not impacted by the midterms in any way, shape, or form. And those who failed to cooperate will go to prison for contempt, meaning they won’t have managed to “run out the clock” at all.
This is how things will go. There is zero doubt about this. It’s not “optimism” or “keeping the faith.” It’s literally just how things work. These doomsday scenarios coming from the media are based on the premise that the committee can’t read a calendar and will forget when the midterms are, or will forget to make its criminal referrals before disbanding, or that 2022 will be some kind of special midterms where the winning party is magically handed control of the DOJ.
These are all laughably absurd scenarios, yet the media’s “running out of time” narratives are all based on the above things somehow happening. You can decide for yourself if the media pundits pushing these narratives are honestly this clueless about how any of this works, or if they’re intentionally deceiving you for the sake of ratings and page views and retweets. But there simply is no “running out of time” or “running out the clock” scenario. There just isn’t. Every supposed example given of this is either sleight of hand or gibberish. We have far too much work to do in the new year to become paralyzed into inaction by these doomsday narratives.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report