We’re not hearing a lot about Nancy Pelosi’s January “9/11-style” committee to examine events of January 6, but rest assured, it's still going on, and they are playing hardball. After all, they have domestic terrorism to combat! In fact, the chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, made a shocking statement about how he intended to deal with a subpoenaed Trump supporter who worked at the Justice Department, Jeffrey Clark –- someone who never entered the Capitol that day and has not been accused of any crime.
“Our charge is to get to the facts,” he said on MSNBBC. “Mr. Clark, through his attorney, has been deliberately avoiding us...Obviously, he is aware that something went on that’s illegal. And rather than be responsible and answer, he’s pleading the Fifth. But if he’s saying, ‘Okay, I’ll come, but I’ll plead the Fifth, then in some instances, that says you’re, part and parcel, guilty to what occurred.”
Sure enough, the committee voted unanimously to recommend that Clark be charged with contempt of Congress.
Jeffrey Clark is asserting his constitutional right not to testify. That doesn’t mean he’s guilty of anything. It might mean, however, that he’s concerned his testimony might be twisted and used by these partisan crazies to make him LOOK guilty. He gets to make that call. Rep. Thompson’s remark, if made in a court of law, might be enough to trigger a mistrial. A similar remark by a prosecutor almost did that during the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse.
Tucker Carlson opened his Monday show with a segment on this, saying of Rep. Thompson’s comment, “What you just saw is far more imminently dangerous to our democracy than anything that happened on January 6.” And he is correct.
Carlson also noted that Democrats on the committee (plus Liz Cheney) have subpoenaed AT&T for the phone records of Caroline Wren, who used to work as a fundraiser for Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham and who helped organize donations for the January 6 rally. This includes all records, including text messages, from November 1, 2020, to January 31, 2021. They also want her bank records and even everything she’s written in her own handwriting, including personal diary entries. Talk about an overreach --- this is monstrous.
And apparently this is just one example. Others who have yet to be accused of any crime are being treated the same way. Republican attorney Cleta Mitchell is another; she’s been informed by AT&T that the committee wants several months of her phone records. This is because she was on a phone call with President Trump and the Georgia secretary of state about problems with the vote in Georgia. (Oh, goodness, don’t tell me there might have been problems with the vote in Georgia!)
AT&T is complying with the committee’s requests.
Another Trump supporter targeted with a subpoena is attorney John Eastman, who worked with Trump in the election aftermath and spoke at the January 6 rally. On Friday, Verizon notified him that unless he gets a court order to stop it, they’ll turn over his personal text messages to the committee. The Washington Examiner has a report.
Eastman also plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment rights, as his lawyer, Charles Burnham, has informed Rep. Thompson. His letter states, “Members of this very committee have spoken of making criminal referrals to the Department of Justice and described the Committee’s work in terms of determining ‘guilt or innocence.’ ...Dr. Eastman has a more than reasonable fear that any statements he makes pursuant to this subpoena will be used in an attempt to mount a criminal investigation against him.”
Burnham also objected to the “legal propriety” of the subpoena, saying that the “lack of a ranking minority member makes it impossible for the Committee to comply with clearly applicable House rules.”
So, why would there be no ranking member? Recall that Pelosi rejected some of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s picks for the committee –- which he was supposed to be allowed to make under the resolution that created it –- and herself selected anti-Trump “Republicans” Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger to serve. McCarthy had wanted the too-effective Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and Indiana Rep. Jim Banks.
Thompson later named Cheney as co-chair of the committee for this show trial! Talk about a kangaroo court.
Eastman reportedly pressured Vice President Mike Pence not to certify the election results. Pence went ahead and did it, saying he lacked constitutional authority to refuse. It was also reported that Eastman spoke with legislators in swing states about sending alternate electors to the Electoral College.
Eastman appeared on Tucker’s Monday show, saying that not only has he not been charged with a crime, but there’s absolutely no evidence that he had “any connections or communications with anybody who is charged with a crime.” “This is the modern high-tech version of a general warrant [from English days of yore],” he said, the kind of thing that allowed fishing expeditions “to look for evidence of crime.” He said that in this case, “there’s no probable cause, there’s no linkage to any criminal activity that has occurred.” It’s the same for “hundreds of people on these subpoena lists that were sent to Verizon and AT&T, and probably every other phone company in the country. There’s no evidence at all, but they want to track Americans’ thinking, they want to know who your contacts are...about election integrity, and going back from before even the election occurred.”
The First, Fourth and Fifth Amendments are all being trashed here. Eastman accused Rep. Thompson of presuming people guilty instead of innocent as the Constitution requires. Even the Sixth Amendment, the right to counsel, is being violated, he said, when attorneys such as Cleta Mitchell have to give up phone records that surely include privileged communications. “They’re just shredding the entire Constitution,” he said, “and then claiming that it’s us that don’t support the Constitution. It really is rather extraordinary.”
Eastman says the committee has the weight of the “Justice” Department behind it now when it issues criminal contempt citations. “Normally those don’t go anywhere,” he said, and we’ve seen that is true when it comes to particular officials who’ve gotten away with lying. He also speculated that even the phone companies would prefer not to comply with what this committee is demanding they do, but that they know “they’re gonna be held in criminal contempt if they don’t.”
He said it will now take a court order to try and block “these unbelievably expansive and unconstitutional subpoenas of our private records and communications.”
“We have got to push back against this stuff,” he concluded, “or we’re gonna lose our country before our eyes.”
In related news, you’ll recall we’ve expressed strong suspicions that the FBI had agents mixed in with the crowd during Trump’s rally, spurring on the “insurrection.” Attorney Joseph McBride appeared briefly on Tucker’s Monday show, calling for the release of videos that he says will unmask these agents to reveal “the truth of that day.” He’s joined by a number of news outlets, including, believe it or not, The New York Times. The Washington Examiner has a report.