Jan 6 Hearings Alleging Trump Extremism Are an ‘Unhinged’ Kangaroo Court – Opinion

As most Americans, I hadn’t seen a House Select Committee hearing about the January 6th, 2021 events. Ratings are notoriously low. But I tuned in for their Tuesday attempt at linking former President Donald Trump to extremism… and seditious conspiracy. Those are serious allegations, with conspiracy being especially hard to determine, and can quickly devolve into alleged “thought crime.”

Is Congress trying to show thought-crime via Live TV?

It’s clear the members of the Select Committee are making bold allegations aimed squarely at Trump, but it is less clear why Congressional members would try to prove their pseudo-charges as a daytime media special instead of this being the work of the Department of Justice. It is expected that the DOJ will use the allegations made by the Select Committee at the end of the hearings. “blueprint”Further prosecutions are possible. This is how the House Committee acts in criminal trials, except that this mock trial makes mockery of both the government and January 6 defendants. The witness testimony presented was filled with conjecture, speculation, and hearsay, but the hearing was very light on something known as “evidence.” It’s like watching the Johhny and Amber Heard trials: The Story, without the poignant use of the word “objection” and knowing a cross-examination is never coming.

In the one-sided hearing on extremism brought to you by the US taxpayer, the committee focused on a tweet by former President Trump in which he told people to come to Washington DC on January 6, saying “Be there, will be Wild!” Of course, the committee exhaustively played semantics over the word wild. Another highlighted event was a December 18 meeting with lawyers and advisors with one aide describing it as being “unhinged” in a text message. The panel of committee members would continue to reference this as the “unhinged meeting” throughout the hearing. 

The committee also presented an anonymous ex-Twitter employee, whose voice was muted during the testimony. The recording revealed this person expressing their “concerns” about how Trump used Twitter and speculating as to if he was an average user of Twitter instead of the President and whether or not his account would have been suspended sooner. Yes, that’s anonymous conjecture that proves… nothing.

Next came the major event: extremists. Or Stewart Rhodes who was once a member of Oath Keepers and is currently in prison. Seditious conspiracy accusations. Rhodes offered to You can waive your Fifth Amendment rights to testify before the committee, on the condition his testimony would be taken in a live on-air hearing. Instead we receive the testimony of Jason Van Tatenhove (the former spokesperson/graphic artist for Oath Keepers).

Tatenhove spoke out about his radicalization as well as his opinion on Rhodes.

“…in large part fed by the ego and drive of Stewart Rhodes who at times seemed to see himself as this paramilitary leader.”

While Rhodes is in federal custody, he has not been released on bail. However, these characterizations are freely made available to the American public. This poisons the DC pool of possible jurors.

If this is McCarthyism, then “at times, seeming to see yourself as…” must be Grade-A evidence of thought-crime.

Van Tatenhove, then laments the fears of the committee to the chairman next election,

“And I do fear for this next election cycle, because who knows what that might bring? If — if a president that’s willing to try to instill and encourage to whip up a civil war amongst his followers using lies and deceit and snake oil, and regardless of the human impact, what else is he going to do if he gets elected again?”

Did that campaign advertisement advertise a political candidate? Espousing the risk that could happen if people voted again is undemocratic, but the purported risk of Trump being… elected? The hearing should be all about something Except the idea that Americans should not elect a specific candidate in the next cycle. It would be an offense to even use the hearings in campaigning purposes. 

I expected to watch political theater when I tuned in, I’ve seen Congressional Story-time before during the ever-persistent Trump impeachment attempts. The reality was far worse than what I anticipated. It was not only a poor campaign tactic, but it was also worse than any meritless candidate. (and sometimes anonymous) conjecture, hearsay, and speculation that would be struck down in any court in the country:

This hearing seemed to me to be an ineffective court, which actively undermines January 6 defendants’ rights awaiting trial. 

“Our committee’s overriding objective is to fight fiction with facts; to create a full account for the American people and for the historical record; to tell the truth of what happened and why it happened; to make recommendations so it never happens again; to defend our democracy.”

Congress is broadcasting what Rep Stephanie Murphy (D) called “a full account for the American people and for the historical record,” while it is anything but that. If jurors were present at any work of this committee, or heard anything under the pretense of witness testimony, they should be expelled. A strong argument should be presented by defendants for changing the venue to avoid this lowbrow show in DC. It’s all-hands-on-deck to hunt Trump, but This time there are defendants caught in the undertow with a low chance of an untainted jury pool if this is what the American public is to believe are the Complete account and Histories No, it’s not. It’s completely unhinged.  

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