Patterico's Pontifications

10/14/2021

Congressional Democrats Not Doing What It Takes to Give the January 6 Committee the Power It Needs

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



CNN:

Trump ally Steve Bannon’s game of chicken with the House committee investigating the January 6 Capitol Hill riot is on the cusp of entering a new and critical phase Thursday as he faces his last chance to reverse course and comply with the panel’s subpoena before lawmakers likely move to seek criminal charges.

Bannon’s lawyer on Wednesday wrote a letter to the panel saying that his client will not provide testimony or documents until the committee reaches an agreement with former President Donald Trump over executive privilege or a court weighs in on the matter. “That is an issue between the committee and President Trump’s counsel and Mr. Bannon is not required to respond at this time,” attorney Robert Costello wrote.

The letter doubled down on previous instances in which the former White House adviser made clear he has no intention of appearing for a deposition Thursday as ordered by the committee and essentially dared lawmakers to sue or hold him in criminal contempt earlier this month in response to the subpoena.

If Bannon is a no-show, the committee is expected to immediately begin seeking a referral for criminal contempt after the subpoena deadline passes — essentially making an example of Bannon’s noncompliance as the House seeks more witnesses, sources familiar with the planning told CNN.

I don’t necessarily hold out a lot of hope for a criminal contempt prosecution.

The problem here is that congressional Democrats and Joe Biden don’t seem to really care about holding Trump accountable and making sure no coup happens in 2024. If they did, they would start making amendments to the Electoral Count Act, and would greatly streamline appellate review of enforcement of subpoenas. They could set an extraordinarily expedited timetable for such challenges, to be heard within weeks, not months or years.

And they could set special rules for challenges to subpoenas in case of impeachment. As to the case of subpoenas for impeachments — and this is a proposal off the top of my head, so if there’s something I have not thought through, please tell me — they could require that any such challenge be heard by the Supreme Court within a week. Or, they could simply deny any access to the federal courts for challenges in the case of impeachment. That would leave the matter squarely for the Chief Justice in his role presiding over the trial.

And they could pass legislation providing for adequate facilities and personnel to enforce subpoenas themselves, by having people arrested for disobedience, just like every trial court judge in the nation.

Instead, they’re futzing around with a radical left Big Spending Agenda and Big Racial Pandering Agenda like everything is normal and will stay that way. Meanwhile, preparations for a 2024 coup are not ending.

29 Responses to “Congressional Democrats Not Doing What It Takes to Give the January 6 Committee the Power It Needs”

  1. I think there are 2 main problems.

    1. They fear how increased oversight powers (which are badly needed) might be used against them in the future.
    2. The changes you describe would require 60 votes in the senate.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  2. A lot of descriptions of 1/6 are extremely overwrought, particularly the terms Coup and insurrection.

    In planning for the 2024 coup, what is the work-around for Kamala Harris in the role of Mike Pence?

    Mike S (4125f8)

  3. @2
    1. You have legislatures in key state send slates of electors that that don’t represent the result of the vote.
    2. You win the house & the GOP refuses to recognize electors from blue states.

    Anything you can do create chaos and a pretext that you’ve won even if you didn’t get the votes and refuse to recognize the rightful winner.

    If it’s close and 3 swing states send 2 slates how is that resolved? Because state level GOP officials are flirting with doing that.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  4. . If they did, they would start making amendments to the Electoral Count Act,

    I wouldn’t blame anyone for that. That’s difficult to do.

    What they could do is change some of the procedures for conducting an election.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  5. Today the New York Post has a big headline about how Mark Zuckerberg spent $419 million to elect Joe Biden.

    He funded a “nonpartisan” get out the vote drive that encouraged voting by mail but concentrated in Democratic areas. They cite some stud and some book that used statistical tests and these people think they may be able to show that this spending elected Biden. (and more certainly carried Georgia and Wisconsin)

    https://nypost.com/2021/10/13/mark-zuckerberg-spent-419m-on-nonprofits-ahead-of-2020-election-and-got-out-the-dem-vote

    But Zuckerberg could legally have set up a partisan PAC too.

    Sammy Finkelman (c49738)

  6. https://www.outkick.com/mayor-de-blasio-calls-for-removal-of-thomas-jefferson-statue/

    Keep electing communists. See our nation cease to exist.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  7. The problem here is that congressional Democrats and Joe Biden don’t seem to really care about holding Trump accountable and making sure no coup happens in 2024. 

    The choices for Biden are:

    1. Set a challenging, time sensitive agenda, or

    2. Do nothing and hope enough Independents and Republicans prefer Biden’s ineptitude to Trump’s dictatorship delusions.

    It doesn’t surprise me Biden and the Democrats would choose 2., especially since Biden is inept and impaired.

    DRJ (03cb91)

  8. I prefer an inept Democrat to Trump.

    DRJ (03cb91)

  9. I’m not sure how the Dems can change the Electoral Count Act without some Republican Senate participation, and I don’t see that happening. Similarly with appellate review. And since what goes around comes around, there may be a number of Democrats who aren’t thrilled about reform.
    The Dems should enforce their subpoenas to the full extent of their powers. We’ll see if it happens. Bannon is the test case.

    Paul Montagu (5de684)

  10. “Instead, they’re futzing around with a radical left Big Spending Agenda and Big Racial Pandering Agenda”

    democrats don’t seem very appreciative

    on the other hand, maybe this could’ve been anticipated

    JF (e1156d)

  11. The problem here is that congressional Democrats and Joe Biden don’t seem to really care about holding Trump accountable and making sure no coup happens in 2024.

    Or, they know or believe that there is not enough information to indict Trump – formally or in the court of public opinion – for the 1/6 insurrection.

    Hoi Polloi (ade50d)

  12. A federal judge in Washington has repeatedly sentenced people who stormed the U.S. Capitol to more prison time than prosecutors sought, saying that even people who were not violent should face consequences for joining the unprecedented assault.

    In the past week, U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan has imposed sentences ranging from 14 to 45 days on four people who pleaded guilty to unlawful parading and picketing inside the Capitol building on Jan. 6 — a misdemeanor offense.

    “There have to be consequences for participating in an attempted violent overthrow of the government, beyond sitting at home,” Chutkan said at one of the hearings.

    Chutkan, a former public defender appointed to the federal judiciary by former President Barack Obama, last week sentenced another defendant who admitted to the misdemeanor charge, Matthew Mazzocco, to 45 days in prison.

    That court hearing marked the first time that one of the judges overseeing the hundreds of Jan. 6 prosecutions imposed a sentence that was harsher than what the government asked for.

    https://www.reuters.com/world/us/there-have-be-consequences-judge-ups-sentences-us-capitol-rioters-2021-10-13/?utm_medium=Social&utm_source=twitter

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  13. Welcome back, your nightmare isn’t new
    Welcome back, where inflation gotcha feelin’ blue

    Well the names have all changed but results have not
    And your wallet’s so light from the food you bought

    Who’d have thought they’d fu*k us
    (Who’d have thought they’d fu*k us)
    Send teh Feebs ya start a ruckus
    (Send teh Feebs ya start a ruckus)

    Yeah, Joe mumbles a lot ’cause his brain’s begun to rot, welcome back
    Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back
    Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back

    Colonel Haiku (2601c0)

  14. @12 obama appointee, like the judge who gave clinesmith a slap on the wrist

    fortunately, we’ll get more of these nut jobs appointed the next four years cuz some thought dems would appreciate their vote

    JF (e1156d)

  15. Charge that inept pos democrat Holder for not showing.

    mg (8cbc69)

  16. @9 I agree with Paul Montagu. The thing about the Electoral College is that smaller states with lesser populations are never going to give up their representation. Never. That is not going to happen. The whole point of the Electtoral College is that it requires a presendiental candidate to campaign in all 50 states.

    Otherwise, the larger states with more populations, like New York, California, Florida, and Texas, would determine the outcome of every presendiental election. None of the smaller states are going to allow that to happen. It doesn’t matter who is representing them, Democrat or Republican; it doesn’t matter.

    The smaller states are never going to give up their Electoral College vote. Never. So that’s the end of it.

    Gawain's Ghost (c6fd3b)

  17. The whole point of the Electoral College is that it requires a presendiental candidate to campaign in all 50 states.

    Actually, that is not true. Candidates only campaign in the closely divided states-Republicans are not going to campaign in New York or California, and Democrats won’t be campaigning in Mississippi or Alabama. According one 2024 Electoral College vote projection, Democrats have a solid 209 EC votes and Republicans 125, with 204 in the balance (which includes Texas, Florida, and Georgia).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. I think that one has to be careful about “impeachment.” In the House, there is no real barrier to calling an investigation about “impeachment” other than a committee vote. I would not have any special rules there, to avoid it being used as a tactic.

    Now, should the House vote impeachment articles, I think that a lot of things need to change. Subpoenas are just part of it. There should be a clear process for immunity, to compel testimony for co-conspirators, for getting access to documents and even perhaps breaching the attorney-client privilege in some cases. Since impeachment is mostly political — more “does the crime warrant removal?” than “did he do it?” the rules of evidence that apply in a trial aren’t quite what you want.

    Of course THIS commission is not about impeachment. It’s about weakening Trump’s support, exposing some facts about Jan 6th (but not necessarily all), dumping dirt on Republicans and, just maybe, about getting at the truth. We’ll see. Done right and it could set Trump et al up for criminal charges. Done badly and it could make him a martyr.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  19. I still think that Biden is being short-sighted and political regarding Executive Privilege. He could have attempted to differentiate normal presidential advice from criminal conspiracy, as is done with the attorney-client privilege.

    By making it a blanket wavier, future presidents are going to find their advisors ass-covering in tricky situations. The precedent of the Nixon tapes has already led to a number of subsequent presidents (and cabinet members) moving sensitive communications out of federal systems. This will now get worse.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  20. Keep electing communists. See our nation cease to exist.

    Keep nominating idiotic assh0les in response and that’s what will happen.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  21. I prefer an inept Democrat to an ept Democrat. I prefer an inept Republican to any Democrat. I would much prefer a solid GOP candidate like days of old, but we seem to have a steep uphill climb before we even reach the level of, say, Bob Dole.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  22. The thing about the Electoral College is that smaller states with lesser populations are never going to give up their representation.

    Small states that have Democrat governors and legislatures are ALREADY giving up their representation by signing onto the execrable Electoral Vote Compact. NM (5 EV) did so the first week after the new Dem governor was sworn in.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. The thing that the Electoral College does, is make the state’s vote-counting and election laws far less important than otherwise, since individual votes from multiple states are never summed. If they were, states with lax laws about who could vote would have disproportionate influence and there would be a race to the bottom, with conservative areas lagging and losing.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. I still think that Biden is being short-sighted and political regarding Executive Privilege. He could have attempted to differentiate normal presidential advice from criminal conspiracy, as is done with the attorney-client privilege.

    Biden did.

    In a letter to the National Archives obtained by NBC News, White House Counsel Dana Remus rejected an attempt by Trump’s attorneys to withhold documents requested by the House Select Committee regarding the then-president’s activities on Jan. 6, writing that “President Biden has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not in the best interests of the United States, and therefore is not justified as to any of the documents.”

    “These are unique and extraordinary circumstances,” Remus added. “Congress is examining an assault on our Constitution and democratic institutions provoked and fanned by those sworn to protect them, and the conduct under investigation extends far beyond typical deliberations concerning the proper discharge of the President’s constitutional responsibilities. The constitutional protections of executive privilege should not be used to shield, from Congress or the public, information that reflects a clear and apparent effort to subvert the Constitution itself.”

    Source

    Rip Murdock (9ca350)

  25. Biden is NOT differentiating conduct, he is differentiating targets. And it won’t work — the Nixon tape case ended up in everything being the government’s, for everyone.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  26. Now, if the argument was that Bannon, say, was conspiring with Trump about Jan 6th, then yes, they should have the right to ask him about it under oath (and he has that 5th amendment thing). But they can’t shouldn’t just question everyone around Trump to see what turns up, just as they had to name which tapes of Nixon’s they wanted to hear.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. Hey, I’m all for more transparencies regarding executive privilege.

    I can’t wait for the next GOP President to unearth anything and everything under the Biden AND especially the Obama administration.

    Furthermore, you’ll see future administration doing what HRC did with her home brew email server. There will be lots of communication using things like Snap Chat or other privacy messaging system.

    whembly (7e0293)

  28. Whembly, The only thing you listed that i dislike is the home brew email. Which members of the Trump administration also did. I think we need stricter penalties for doing that.

    Kevin, I don’t have an problem with what you’re saying about making a distinction between the Jan 6 assault and say, steel tariffs. But do you think that Biden’s political opponents would feel that such a distinction were meaningful and adhere to it? I’m not sure they would.

    Also, I think we need to see what the Biden administration actual does. Do they open up all of privileged communication or do they just restrict it to Jan 6.

    Time123 (9f42ee)

  29. “If they did, they would start making amendments to the Electoral Count Act, and would greatly streamline appellate review of enforcement of subpoenas. They could set an extraordinarily expedited timetable for such challenges, to be heard within weeks, not months or years.”

    Why yes, Democrats could use their extremely hypothetical “bipartisan consensus mandate” to make sweeping changes by fiat that would only please a tiny number of lawyers with an axe to grind. Amazing suggestions, very realistic, we’ll keep your resume on file!

    “And they could set special rules for challenges to subpoenas in case of impeachment. As to the case of subpoenas for impeachments — and this is a proposal off the top of my head, so if there’s something I have not thought through”

    AND BOY IS IT SHOWN!

    “they could require that any such challenge be heard by the Supreme Court within a week. Or, they could simply deny any access to the federal courts for challenges in the case of impeachment. That would leave the matter squarely for the Chief Justice in his role presiding over the trial.”

    Congress could, in fact, paint a gigantic indelible target on their back saying “Please, Caesar me, Caesar me now! I’d Caesar you SO HARD!”

    “And they could pass legislation providing for adequate facilities and personnel to enforce subpoenas themselves, by having people arrested for disobedience, just like every trial court judge in the nation.”

    Yes, we could take an institution that holds what are widely known as ‘show trials’ for propaganda purposes and give them extraordinary punitive plenary powers out of nowhere, expecting no consequences, blowback, or repercussions. Theoretically, Congress has all the power, so why isn’t it doing what I want specifically?

    “Instead, they’re futzing around with a radical left Big Spending Agenda and Big Racial Pandering Agenda like everything is normal and will stay that way. Meanwhile, preparations for a 2024 coup are not ending.”

    Congress as an unpopular aggregate does not act in “its own interest.” The power brokers who buy Congressmen and Senators only act through Congress to sneak in new rules benefiting them when there’s a budget crunch. And they’re more tolerated when they do it because all they want is to enrich themselves, instead of turning a bunch of spineless shills into bloodthirsty enforcers. Even as a typical evil villain plan, its problem is that the personnel required for it (people-pleasers willing to push donor positions) are absolutely not a match for the process (extraordinary rendition of American citizens outside of all previous legal precedent) you want.

    Villain Compliance Officer (705fd4)


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