By Lambert Strether of Corrente.
The hearings begin at 8:00 EDT. How to watch:
Major television networks including ABC, CBS, CNN, and NBC/MSNBC are expected to air the hearings in full or in part, especially the hearings scheduled for primetime hours in the evening. The hearings will also be live-streamed and available to watch in full on C-SPAN and on the Select Committee’s YouTube channel.
I will be interested in your comments. Today’s Water Cooler has several items on the Capitol seizure, including the charges, which you might look at.
I should lay down a marker before the hearings begin. As readers know, I haven’t followed this story at all closely (with the exception of one post on the class composition of the rioters, and a second on their operational capacity and behavioral characteristics). I felt and feel that the people telling the story were RussiaGate fabulists (“The walls are closing in!”), and so it made sense to wait until they came up with something that wasn’t leaks from anonymous intelligence sources, or hearsay, or part of a book deal. These hearings, for example.
Following the events of that day from a great distance, it seems to me that there are eight, as it were, siloes of participants. The play begins with Trump’s rally on the Ellipse, a two-mile/seventeen minute walk away from the Capitol:
1) Petty bourgeois and local gentry who travelled to Washington motivated by the election; many of these seem to have wandered over to the Capitol during or after the rally;
2) Azov Battalion wannabes like the Proud Boys, who seem to have behaved in a quasi-military manner by occasionally marching in formation, using walkie-talkies, etc;
3) Republican operatives who organized the rally stage, permits, etc. These seem to have left the area for cocktails in Georgetown (although they have mobile phones, of course);
4) The Capitol police;
5) Electeds and staff or either party present at the Capitol (or in adjoining buildings);
6) Trump’s entourage, with whom he seems to have kept in contact by phone. This includes Jared and Ivanka, as well as gaggle of lawyers and hangers-on, who seem to have been hanging out at the Willard Hotel;
7) Pence, and his Secret Service detail;
8) Trump. Who of course merits his own silo.
UPDATE 9) State election officials, including electeds, poll watchers, poll worker, etc.
If the events of 1/6 are to be classified as an insurrection or an attempted coup, then we need a theory of the case. There must have been a plan. What was it? That implies connecting individuals and groups within the silos. So far as I know — and my mind is open on this — this only rarely been done. For example, can the Committee put together a timeline on the order of:
ROGER STONE (#3): The Proud Boys (#2) are ready when you are.
DONALD TRUMP (#8): Do it.
This connects three silos, and the status of each player could be documented: Stone at the Willard Hotel (say), Trump at the White House, and the Proud Boys waiting on Capitol Hill. There’s a timeline, evidence backing up each event on the timeline, and we can check if the Proud Boys did in fact “do it,” adding another link to the evidentiary chain. (Note that in both Watergate and Iran-Contra there was evidence of similar caliber.)
It’s possible, of course, that the Democrat’s “captivating multimedia presentation” will substitute — at least in the public’s mind — for my dry-as-dust and legalistic oldthink. It’s equally possible that the presentation will speak only to the already captivated, and serve merely as as source for thousands of YouTube and Tik-Tok clips.
I guess we’ll find out!
NOTE What kind of coup is it that can be defeated by Pence (#7) not getting into a car?