The January 6th committee held another “primetime” hearing on Thursday evening, an event I was admittedly unaware of until I started seeing people comment on social media about it. They are less relevant and serve more to coping mechanisms for liberals than they do anything that actually moves the ball forward.
Perhaps that’s because there’s no ball to actually move forward? The January 6th committee began with a promise to provide evidence of a “seven-step” plan by Donald Trump to organize and execute the unrest that day with the express purpose of overthrowing the government. The latest hearing, which my colleague Nick Arama touched on in the aftermath, didn’t even attempt to prove that theory.
What we got was more random emotional dredge tossed against the wall in hopes of getting people to think, “Man, this was really bad.” But again, the stated purpose of this committee, which is being paid for by taxpayer money, was to prove a seditious conspiracy. Rep. Liz Cheney spent the evening discussing the shocking revelation that Josh Hawley ran through a corridor.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) — who raised his fist in support of the Capitol insurrectionists earlier in the day — runs for his life from the rioters inside the building in never-before-seen video. pic.twitter.com/GU1L8ttN8u
— The Recount (@therecount) July 22, 2022
This video became the viralest thing from the hearing. It was quickly shared by journalists with humorous commentary. The case is closed. It is clear that Josh Hawley, jogging down a hall in the video shows that Donald Trump organised an insurrection. In actuality, it doesn’t show that at all, and the only purpose of the video is to try to embarrass Hawley for political gain, accusing him of fist-pumping at the “rioters” before tucking tail and running away.
Of course, there’s no context offered for why Hawley was jogging down the hall. Is it possible that he was ordered by Capitol Police to do this? It seems probable, given the context. However, such context is not important to a committee
Another big “revelation” was a text message sent by Tim Murtaugh, a former Trump aide, accusing the then-president of not taking responsibility for riling up the protest crowd (Trump had spoken a mile away at a much larger protest before a splinter group of several hundred went to the Capitol). One MSNBC legal analyst called the text the “whole case.”
— Katie S. Phang (@KatiePhang) July 22, 2022
This is it. The “whole case” that Donald Trump organized and executed a coup is that one of his aides believed he “lit” the crowd that ultimately got out of control? That’s the whole case? Does Phang not realize what she’s admitting in stating that? Is it that the case is untrue?
Murtaugh believed that the crowd had murdered a Capitol Police Officer. Months later and despite media assertions, it became clear that Brian Sicknick, the officer at issue, had suffered a stroke the day after his death. According to the medical examiner, there was no evidence that he had been assaulted or bear-sprayed.
Lastly, the committee played radio chatter and offered information that showed then-Vice President Mike Pence’s security detail was scared about the unfolding situation.
It is clear from the radio traffic that Mike Pence’s life had been put in danger.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 22, 2022
Putting aside any personal sympathy I may have for how they felt in the moment, in the context of the January 6th committee, my response is “So what?”
Really, not to come across as harsh, but what does the fear of people in the Capitol that day have to do with the committee’s stated purpose of providing evidence of a supposed “seven-step” plan to violently overturn the election? Again, you can have sympathy for those who were fearful that day, but that isn’t relevant at all to prove the central thesis put forth by the committee.
Why then does this committee continue to tinker on the edges, refusing to offer any substance? Simple answer: We don’t have any evidence Donald Trump orchestrated or carried out a violent rebellion on January 6.