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Remembering January 6

January 18, 2022

It’s been just over a year since a protest over the lack of transparency of voting in the 2020 election turned violent on Jan 6 in our nation’s Capitol. Of the tens of thousands of those who were there to protest, the number of those who actually crossed the line of peaceful protest into criminal trespass, vandalism, or assault of a police officer was a tiny fraction in the hundreds. But to hear Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris or the mainstream media describe it, it was the darkest day in American history, equaling or surpassing 9-11, Pearl Harbor or the Civil War. Super-charged and hyperbolic rhetoric is normal in politics, but things said about Jan 6 of 2021 have ventured into the Twilight Zone and deep into Crazy-Town.

First, what happened that day was most certainly NOT an “insurrection” if one means there was an attempted takeover of the government. Webster does define “insurrection” as “an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government.” It was an instance of revolt, but most certainly not an attempt to overthrow the government. If it were, it was an even dumber effort than I first stated when I called it the actions of some over-heated chuckleheads who behaved in bone-headed, hurtful and destructive behavior. And it did in fact sometimes cross the line into criminal actions. But are you aware that despite the pearl-clutching hysteria of Nancy Pelosi, there were no firearms confiscated from protestors that day? Did the people who breached the security lines that day really believe they could take down a nation that possessed a standing army of about 1.5 million personnel armed with highly sophisticated weaponry, tanks, bombers, ships and nuclear weapons and do it with some flagpoles and fire extinguishers they grabbed off the wall?

And you’ve probably heard the repeated lie that several Capitol police officers were murdered that day by the rioters. That’s a lie. Officer Brian Sicknick was pepper sprayed but returned to his office that day and reported that he was fine. He died the next day, but the coroner ruled that his death was unrelated to the riot. There were two people who were killed by violence that day. Both were protesters. One was Ashli Babbit, an unarmed Air Force veteran who was shot at close range by a Capitol police officer. He refused to participate in an internal affairs investigation and his name was kept private for months, but he was cleared of wrong doing anyway despite the many questions that linger as to why he gunned down an unarmed woman. The other was Rosanne Boyland a protester from Georgia who was crushed and trampled when the crowd was pushed back by police officers who continued to advance against the protesters despite repeated cries for help to be given to her.

I haven’t and I won’t defend those who breeched security at the Capitol or who broke doors or windows, or who occupied Congressional offices. But neither will I be silent when the real insurrectionists who use their government-funded offices to shred the Constitutional rights of free speech, freedom of religion or protection against illegal search and seizure against citizens, some held for months in untenable jail conditions without proper medical attention or access to their attorneys for misdemeanor charges.

I forcefully spoke out against those who broke the law on Jan 6 of last year who assaulted police officers, destroyed public property, or broke into Congressional offices or threatened elected officials. But don’t insult the intelligence of the American people by pretending that the actions of a few that day were worse than Pearl Harbor while ignoring the fact that if was an insurrection, not one person has been charged with that crime or even the crime of terrorism. And some who espouse such nonsense defended the riots that happened throughout the summer of 2020, including Kamala Harris, who actually raised money to pay bail for rioters who burned police cars, assaulted cops, and looted private businesses.

Law and order ought to be the same for everyone no matter their political views. And it also ought to be the same for elected officials. Maybe especially for elected officials.

Last week, we looked at the charge of “seditious conspiracy” filed against members of the Oath Keepers and what that charge is actually supposed to mean within our legal system. Saturday, National Review published a commentary by legal analyst Andrew McCarthy in which he agreed that the charge of seditious conspiracy is not appropriate. We’ve certainly seen no evidence that Trump supporters --- at least the REAL Trump supporters, even those who entered the Capitol Building --- intended to forcefully interfere with a lawful exercise of government authority. Some have said they were trying to make a statement that they hoped the certification would be “paused” while certain irregularities were examined. They certainly were not trying to overthrow the government or anything close.

McCarthy, being the seasoned legal expert that we are not, was able to explain very precisely why “seditious conspiracy” is the wrong charge. It requires two conditions be met, he said: 1) that there is an agreement to use FORCE (not just “rambunctious” protest), and 2) that there is an attempt to wage war against the United States or oppose the LAWFUL authority of the United States.

And even if the actions that took place might be (wrongly) interpreted that way by some, it’s another thing to prove criminal intent. “Seditious conspiracy is the rare criminal offense in which motive matters,” McCarthy said. January 6, he explained, “involves people who committed serious crimes but believed --- however foolishly --- that they were saving the country, not waging war against it. Far from opposing the lawful authority of the government, they believed --- not irrationally --- that they were acting at the behest of the President of the United States.”

Here’s where I deviate significantly from McCarthy’s view of the protesters’ state of mind and Trump’s role in what happened. It WAS irrational for them to believe that President Trump wanted them to riot, break windows and vandalize the Capitol. Never did he “behoove” them to do such a thing.

Anyway, last summer, after the feds had set up what they called their “Sedition Task Force” (!) to address the events of January 6, 2021, McCarthy wrote that “the rioters will be punished appropriately, but not punished as if they were terrorists who were trying to overthrow the United States government.” Au contraire. That is exactly what the Biden administration is trying to do now. In fact, the last time a charge of sedition was made, it was against actual Islamic terrorists with bombs.

As it happens, McCarthy himself prosecuted that case, in 1995, against the Blind Sheikh’s jihadist cell after their bombing attempt on the World Trade Center and a later plot to bomb other New York City landmarks. Our current administration is trying to put the very same label of “seditious conspirator” on Trump supporters upset at what looked to them like blatant election fraud. They were expressing opposition to something they clearly believed was unlawful.

A bit of history: The law against sedition was first codified during the Civil War, to target Confederate sympathizers in the North who were helping the South –- a very different situation, with people literally at war with each other. “Our sedition law is designed to address conspiracies formed by anti-American enemies to attack our country and its government in an unambiguously hostile and violent manner,” McCarthy explained. The terrorists I prosecuted, in the course of plotting and conducting mass-murder attacks, were willfully at war with the United States and said so unabashedly. That is not true of the January 6 rioters.”

“Let’s be real,” McCarthy wrote in June. “With due respect to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Capitol melee is by no stretch of the imagination the greatest threat to our democracy in living memory. It is not 9/11. It is not the Boston Marathon bombing. Indeed, the June 14, 2017, Washington baseball field shooting spree, in which a radical leftist tried to mass-murder much of the Republican congressional delegation, bore more hallmarks of a terrorist attack --- albeit one that, like the deadly Black Lives Matter riots of last summer, the media-Democrat complex always remembers to forget.”

McCarthy did note “forcible entry, vandalism, and some theft of government property” on the part of some Capitol Hill rioters. He called it “a national disgrace.” At that time, some charges had already been filed and some participants had pleaded guilty, but none of this involved sedition. Oath Keepers founder Jon Ryan Schaffer had pleaded guilty to two charges: 1) obstructing a congressional proceeding, and 2) trespassing on restricted federal grounds while armed with a dangerous weapon (bear spray, which there is no claim that he actually used).

Last summer, McCarthy blamed President Trump for the riot, and he still does, as he sees Trump as responsible for making his supporters believe Biden hadn’t really won the election. I disagree, believing people are responsible for their own foolishness. If we’re going to attribute their anger to some outside force, how about the courts, for refusing to look at the evidence? Whether or not Trump had said the election was stolen, we saw enough jaw-dropping irregularities –- just on election night –-to generate enormous doubts. In fact, those doubts have grown with time, in part because of the stunning lack of transparency regarding the process, with over half of Americans now suspecting there was enough interference to change the outcome. Taking that “pause” would have been a good thing, instead of pushing ahead to formalize a "win" that millions of people saw as a likely fraud.

Finally, if you haven’t yet seen the documentary film CAPITOL PUNISHMENT, about the events and aftermath of January 6, I highly recommend you watch that. Nick Searcy, who was there that day and stars in the film, was a guest on my TBN show this weekend, and we had a great discussion. The film has lots of amazing “you-are-there” video from that day and interviews held later with participants who describe the shocking FBI raids they and their families endured, in which they really were treated like terrorists. There’s an enlightening segment on Ashli Babbitt, including video of her smiling and happy on her way to the Capitol just a short time before she was killed, and an interview with her husband that is not to be missed.

https://capitolpunishmentthemovie.com

Despite the Supreme Court’s split ruling that OSHA doesn’t have the power to mandate vaccinations but the HHS can mandate them for healthcare workers, this court battle might not be over yet for all healthcare workers.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/maine-health-workers-latest-to-take-vaccine-mandate-to-supreme-court_4214387.html?utm_source=newsnoe&utm_campaign=breaking-2022-01-16-1&utm

In a subscriber-only story, the Epoch Times reports that the Liberty Counsel has filed a brief with the SCOTUS on behalf of 2,000 health care workers in Maine who are seeking religious exemptions from the vaccine mandate. They’re using the same argument that succeeded in a Texas federal court against the Defense Department: if you allow for medical exemptions, people getting those exemptions pose the exact same risk to the state’s goals as those seeking religious exemptions. The virus doesn’t know the difference. So to allow secular exemptions and deny religious exemptions is unconstitutional religious discrimination.

I’ll keep you apprised on how this case goes. In the meantime, there are indications that support for vaccine mandates may be waning. For instance, there's this prominent person in the UK who says that considering that Omicron is a mild variant, Britain's mass vaccination effort is a "waste of time" and should come to an end. He says the government should focus instead on protecting the most vulnerable, such as unvaccinated elderly people.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/waste-of-time-to-keep-vaccinating-people-ex-head-of-uk-vaccine-taskforce_4216302.html

Now, before I get censored and demonetized for spreading "misinformation" from some quack, I should quickly note that those comments came from Dr. Clive Dix, the former chairman of Britain's Vaccines Taskforce.

President Biden is now openly calling for more social media censorship, saying, “I make a special appeal to social media companies and media outlets — please deal with the misinformation and disinformation that’s on your shows. It has to stop.”

https://townhall.com/tipsheet/leahbarkoukis/2022/01/14/biden-calls-for-opposition-to-be-censored-n2601852

As a reminder, I recently linked to a commentary at Instapundit that outlined a legal pathway to suing Big Tech companies for violating conservative users’ freedom of speech. These companies claim that they’re not subject to First Amendment protections because they aren’t government entities. However, we’ve already heard reports of White House staffers meeting with these companies to help formulate guidelines for who gets censored.

In addition, as the linked article points out, Biden is also in violation of a 1973 SCOTUS ruling that the government “may not induce, encourage or promote private persons to accomplish what it is constitutionally forbidden to accomplish.”

As we’ve seen many times, the definition of “misinformation” and “disinformation” is often “things that the powers that be don’t want anyone saying, but that later turn out to be true” (see “Hunter Biden’s laptop,” to cite just one of many examples.) There is a legal case to be made that if these companies are colluding with government authorities to determine who gets censored, then they’re acting as de facto government agents. If so, then they are bound by First Amendment protections. If so, then “Cry havoc and let slip the dogs of lawsuits!”

And if the White House wants to claim it hasn’t been telling these companies who to censor, someone should inform the President not to go on TV and tell them who to censor.

Direct TV will reportedly no longer carry the conservative OANN (One America News Network) after its contract expires in April. Since that’s the channel’s major distribution outlet, it could put OANN out of business.

https://redstate.com/nick-arama/2022/01/15/directv-drops-the-hammer-on-oan-which-may-do-them-in-n507025

YouTube has temporarily suspended and demonetized Dan Bongino for spreading COVID “misinformation” for saying that masks have been “useless” in stopping the spread of the disease. Which is obviously ridiculous. Look at how well they’ve worked!

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10407065/Fox-News-host-Dan-Bongino-suspended-YouTube-spreading-COVID-19-misinformation.html

MyPillow founder Mike Lindell claims that two banks are trying to force him to close his accounts, not because he’s done anything wrong financially but because they don’t like his political views and comments about the 2020 election.

https://www.westernjournal.com/mike-lindell-says-banks-gave-30-day-ultimatum-issues-defiant-challenge-instead/

And podcaster Joe Rogan is under assault for allegedly spreading “misinformation” about COVID. A letter stating that has been widely circulated that’s supposedly signed by 270 “physicians.”

But blogger Jordan Schachtel examined the signers and reports that he could find only about 100 of them who have qualified medical degrees, and most of those work at universities and don’t actually practice medicine. Of the two who co-authored the letter, neither has a medical degree. One has a masters and the other is a Ph.D. academic who researches psychiatry.