January 6/Capitol Seizure House Select Committee Hearings Live Blog/Open Thread

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?

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Wukchumni

    Any mention of My Kevin (since ’07) is a trigger word for downing a snappy cocktail, bottoms gottem’!

  2. petal

    My 74 year old mother just said she is so glad it’s now starting at 8pm instead of 9-10 so she can stay up for it. She has been convinced it was a real coup attempt. I told her by all means to worship Liz Cheney. sigh. Hopeless.

  3. Seth Miller

    It is a coup because it attempted to force Pence to refuse the rightful transfer of power. It can be a coup whether by occupying the palace by force, or merely by isolating the one thing that legally transfers power, and attempts to prevent it happening, by force or coercion.

      1. Seth Miller

        It was a dry run. But for Pence and a couple of others, it would have worked.

        1. Michael Ismoe

          No. Not quite. Mike Pence cannot overrule Congress. The only way the electoral votes wouldn’t be counted is if the Congress decided that the EV were flawed. We went through this crap in 2004 when Marcia Fudge tried to get Ohio’s EV declared null and void and she couldn’t get a co-sponsor in the senate.

          You do realize that the EV were counted later that day even when Pence was back at the Naval Observatory, right?

          1. Michael Ismoe

            Correction: Stephanie Tubbs-Jones, not Marcia Fudge

            During the counting of the vote in Congress, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) and Sen. Barabara Boxer (D-Calif.) raised objections to the Ohio Certificate of Vote alleging that the votes were not regularly given. Both houses voted to override the objection, 74 to 1 in the Senate and 267 to 31 in the House of Representatives.

            No mention of a vice presidential ruling one way or the other.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > The only way the electoral votes wouldn’t be counted is if the Congress decided that the EV were flawed.

            This is my understanding, although perhaps the Committee will come up with whatever it was Trump’s lawyers considered a workaround.

    1. PHLDenizen

      At best, it’s an “attempted” or “failed” coup. You can only call it a “coup” sans qualifiers if it succeeded.

      Using your very elastic and tortured definition of coup, I guess this would be the Bay of Pence Invasion? That it failed would indicate CIA involvement, since they themselves are a clown show/goat rodeo. And since the liberals have unyielding faith in both the righteousness of their definition of coup, as well as the CIA, it’s fitting.

      That the bulk of the “coup-ees” were charged with parading should alone embarrass you for making that ridiculous assertion.

      The again, you can’t spell “smart” in the world of liberals without dropping the “a”. Symbol manipulators gotta manipulate. So very Silicon Valley. Just drop vowels to be “clever”.

  4. Noone from Nowheresville

    Sorry, won’t be watching but I did happen by a room just now where it’s playing.

    I wonder if Cheney will switch parties and be part of the 2024 or 2028 presidential season?

      1. Michael Ismoe

        The Democrats are enthralled with Republicans who hate Trump so it might be Kemp-Cheney 2024. Maybe that’s their plan to get Stacey Abrams in as governor of Georgia.

        1. rowlf

          Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is too politically savvy to team up with Cheney. He may seem like a cracker from central casting but he is politically adept. Part of why Kemp (former secretary of state) and Raffensperger stood up to Trump was due to both knew the Georgia voting system better than Trump did. Trump stepped on his own wand.

          The Babylon Bee satire news site has had Abrams as the Georgia governor all along:

          Kemp Prepares To Face Off Against Incumbent Governor Stacey Abrams
          Stacey Abrams Says She Doesn’t Have To Wear A Mask Because She’s A Governor
          Stacey Abrams Says She Will Step Down As Governor If Asked To Run For VP
          Stacey Abrams Still Living In VR Simulation Of Alternate Reality Where She Won Georgia Election

    1. Henry Moon Pie

      At this point, I think it’s possible, even likely, that we will see a “union” ticket for the Democrats featuring Cheney. Given the quality of potential Democratic candidates, Cheney might even be at the top.

      This will be a coalition to defend the status quo on neoliberal domestic policy and neoconservative foreign policy. Given the likely state of the country in 2024, if there is an election, such a ticket will offer us voters a chance to tell the elites how we feel about the status quo even if Trump or DeSantis is the opponent.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Cheney will switch parties and be part of the 2024 or 2028 presidential season

      I can’t see it. Biden/Cheney 2024, no, because it does seem that Biden was trying to strengthen the Democrat bench (with Buttigieg et al. , but that’s another story). I think he will want to do that again.

      Clinton/Cheney 2024 [makes warding sign] would work, because Clinton doesn’t care about the Democrat bench at all. But na ga happen. Her closeup will never come.

      1. ambrit

        “Her closeup (may) never come,” but look at all the people floating face down in her pool.

      2. Pat

        I’d like to know what her plan is. This is clearly suicidal if she wanted to stay in politics. Changing parties isn’t going to make her viable in Wyoming, and her actual record would make her a hard sell in any blue state.
        Think of it as a desire for a heads up. Considering both her and her father’s CVs and histories, it will be personally profitable and detrimental to most everyone else.

  5. Duke of Prunes

    What silo are the FBI informats and other instigators/enablers in?

    Maybe all of them (except Trump)?

      1. Wukchumni

        There’s a bit of a tragedy in that Topo Chico is just another victim of the supply chain, my last foray to Smart & Final and a couple of Wal*Marts yielded precisely nada, forcing me to go to an inferior sparkling water-which everything else is.

  6. ChrisRUEcon

    This caught my ear …

    • People who egged him on
    • People who were against and tried to stop him
    People who could have done something but chose not to

    This sounds like an out of sorts … to forgive sins of omission

    1. ChrisRUEcon

      LOL … Along the lines of “Bran The Broken” … Trump was laying it all on “Pence The Pivotal”

      1. ChrisRUEcon

        Thompson sounds less like someone asking questions and more like Morgan Freeman narrating a documentary. I’m not sure what I’m watching here …

        1. ChrisRUEcon

          Can imagine all those NODAPL protestors looking at this with a combination of disbelief and schadenfreude …

        2. ChrisRUEcon

          Thompson asking about “memories to take away with you” …

          Exactly the kind of sh** Morgan Freeman would ask in the middle of a freaking documentary …

        3. ambrit

          Bennie has ‘form’ here in Mississippi. He’s solidly in the “Black Misleadership Class.” One Big Lie the Democrat IdPol strategy promulgates is that “the downtrodden” are automatically saintly and in the Number of the Elect. Let me tell you, there are crooks and liars in every demographic, without exception. Bennie is average for a grifter.

  7. timbers

    Biden / Obama / Hillary / America is being defeated by Russia after America launched an attack of a war of aggression against Russia. That’s really all this is about, to distract from the fact Russia defeated America when America and NATO and Europe and Japan and Australia and Britain attacked Russia.

    1. SpartaTodd

      US leaders and Pentagon are incredibly stupid if they think anyone could defeat Russia, a first-world military power, on their border. The US couldn’t even do this. They have EW and missile defense all over and all their reserves and resources right there. Our woke joke Milley probably believe the Russians would just sit and wait while we move all of our units to a staging ground in Poland and build up supplies. They would wait a little until there were enough units and destroy it. These dudes are not sand warriors driving around in technicals with sandals and turbans. By the same notion, Russia or China could never win a war fighting the USA from Mexico or Canada. They would be obliterated. It seems though, that no one realizes that logistics wins wars. The outcome of this war was guaranteed from the beginning and even boots on the ground couldn’t stop it and I don’t think trying a no fly zone against S400 and S500 would work out so well for the Chair Force. The Russian military like China is no joke and USA have not fought a first world power since Korea in the 50s and that was a draw.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > That’s really all this is about

      This hearing has been the works so long it can’t be about Ukraine. In fact, it’s been in the works so long it must be about the midterms.

    1. ambrit

      Tang has been in space! So, you’re drinking an Orange Moonbeam. A few too many and you’ll be loony!

  8. howseth

    Watching this live. No joke to me…
    I do recall – having been on Trumps Twitter feed that fall – months before the actual election. he was already saying that if he lost the election – then it had to be overturned – as he could not lose.

    1. Yves Smith

      You forget that Hillary was openly trying to flip electors in 2016 and top Dem outlets like the WaPo and NYT were too often discussing that a President who wasn’t approved by the military should not serve. They were trying to gin up a military coup or at least a change in the Constitutional order. Lambert commented on that extensively at the time.

      So how is this different? People say a lot of things, like they are going to quit their job or worse, that they never do. And Trump was a fount of wildly reckless and regularly contradictory statements.

      1. howseth

        OK. Good points. Yeah, lest I forget: a lot of crap from the oh so responsible big shots – like Hillary, The NY Times…. Russia Russia-gate Russia. Not being a Trump fan – maybe I was not too critical of all that as I might have been.
        However, Trump preparing to overturn the election in advance – telegraphing this – as president. Still nightmarish to me.

        1. Noone from Nowheresville

          Overturning the election was part of the RussiaGate narrative. Here’s an article from MSNBC and former Trump attorney Michael Cohen testifying before the House Oversight Committee back in February 2019. I originally thought it I saw it before 2019 but my search results are filled with Jan 6th references so I haven’t found anything.

          Just pointing out the narrative has a longer tail than we might remember without additional research.


          “I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power. And this is why I agreed to appear before you today,” Cohen said of Trump.

          In May 29, 2020, we have this one from Yahoo news.


          Vanita Gupta ran the civil rights division at the Department of Justice from 2014 to 2017 and is now part of an informal, bipartisan group that has spent the past year preparing for Trump to potentially contest the results of the election. She argued the president’s attacks on vote-by-mail programs signal that he intends to say the election was unfair and should not be considered legitimate if he loses.

          “He’s already talking about how this will be a rigged election and saying if more and more people are voting using these so called mail-in ballots, that the election will be rigged,” Gupta told Yahoo News’ “Skullduggery” podcast. “This is out of a playbook.”

          1. Nikkikat

            You make a good point here. This narrative had a very long tale. Maybe someone should ask Robbie Mook about this one. Lol
            This does appear to be their playbook.

          2. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Gupta/Cohen

            The problem here is that Trump says a lot of things. Trump, despite his reputation, is not always a poor planner (thinking back to the data operation he had organized in Texas, or the tiny shop of lawyers he had for his first impeachment that baffled DC by doing a good job).

            If this was in the works or two years, then why all the chaos? (It could be that Trump just couldn’t hire good people due to a professional services strike, and had to make to with idiots like the “release the kraken lawyer” and sycophants like Giuliani.)

      2. Seth Miller

        Wrong begets wrong. It goes back to Nixon killing the Paris talks, and Reagan with the October Surprise, if not further. Our history of stolen elections is very long. But yes, there are differences and they are important to discuss. Nixon and Reagan engaged in covert fakery to manipulate voters, but the voters were still in charge. Hillary’s nonsense took place after the fact, and (Lambert’s view notwithstanding) was never going to happen and was not serious. Only Jan. 6 was a real-time attempt to impose, by fraud, a different outcome at the time when the election is supposed to be decided. None of them justifies any other of them. Nixon and Reagan (and Casey) should have gone to jail. Hillary would be harder to prosecute, but should be ostracized from appearing in public. But even so, Trump’s conduct satisfies every element of seditious conspiracy.

        1. anon y'mouse

          only Jan. 6th did this?

          because i distinctly remember suffering through nearly 3 months in 2000 where no one knew who the president would be, and then the Supreme Court deciding something that was never really in their jurisdiction.

          and everyone just walked away and lived with that, even begrudingly so.

        2. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Hillary’s nonsense took place after the fact

          No, Clinton’s faithless electors gambit was put forward before the electoral college met. In the end, the usual suspects worked to destroy Trump’s presidency through the Steele Dossier and RussiaGate, rather than prevent him from taking office.

          If you use words like “impose by fraud,” you’ve got to explain the nature of the fraud and how it was to be imposed. Presumably the Committee will do this.

      3. neo-realist

        At Hillary didn’t call on John Podesta or Huma Abedin to stage an insurrection on the Capitol to stop the certification of the electoral count to elect the previous President, nor was there a massive false elector scheme in various states as there was with the previous President to flip the electoral count.

        1. Yves Smith

          It wasn’t an insurrection. It was a demonstration or at worst a riot.

          The Capitol is open to the public when Congress is in session, which it was. The Capitol police also let some of the crowd in, so that portion of the protestors would have every reason to think they weren’t even trespassing (some of them are still in jail under a charge of trespassing) They came, took photos, stole stuff and left. This didn’t even begin to reach the level of a serious effort to take over government. Where were the manifestos? The provisional leaders?

          And if Hillary had flipped electors, she would have had every reason to let the rest of the electoral mechanics proceed as usual.

          1. Larry

            What? The capital police let people in so it’s all no big deal? You can’t be serious Yves. This was no orderly tourist group on an orderly tour around the capital grounds. There were many actors with ill intent. Disorganized though they may have been, this argument seems thin.

            1. Yves Smith

              What about “the Capitol is open to the public when Congress is in session” don’t you understand?

              I am completely serious.

              Our John Siman, unlike you, was actually there, both at the Trump speech and he later walked over with the crowd to the Capitol. From his e-mails in real time that day:

              3 hours of Michael Jackson, Elton John, the Village People, & Laura Branigan.
              Macho Man twice!
              people in crowd are very relaxed & friendly
              Trump = beyond boring
              was this an official fuck-you to Trump supporters??
              now there are rumors that Antifa people dressed as Trump protesters have stormed the Capitol??
              tear gas??
              rubber bullets??
              I do see lots of fire trucks heading towards the Capitol.
              Walking over to check it out.


              Sort of like a very large high school pep rally.
              A few people have been tear-gassed & maced, but a couple of the Capitol cops accidentally maced each other & protestors helped them
              also a few rubber bullets
              overall, though, goofy
              everybody seems happy too, including the cops
              need to catch train home
              guy who got into Rotunda is emailing me film
              more later


              Then the next day:

              Susan, I spent seven hours yesterday in the midst of those people, then rode the train home with a group of them, and they were overwhelmingly cheerful, friendly, polite, and orderly.

              I felt a lot affection for the people I met.

              The actual storming of the Capitol felt a lot like fraternity prank, though one will of course say that most of these people did not go to college.

              Very many of their conversations were about evangelical Protestantism.

              They certainly represent a specific “demographic silo,” to use Taibbi’s phrase.

              When I got back to Harpers Ferry, I was invited to dinner by a wealthy friend who was up from Palm Beach for a few days. He and his wife had CNN on the TV, and I was nauseated by the morally superior pose taken by the CNN presenters.

              Bottom line: it seems clear that no one at CNN or at any other of the legacy media corporations spent any time hanging out with the protesters, who are being dismissed out of hand as icky deplorables.

              Behold the aggressive snobbism of the PMC, which wants to credit itself with being an aristocracy by being openly contemptuous of working class Protestants.


              Siman sent several photos from outside the Capitol that are consistent with his “happy goofy” take.

              1. Pat

                I spent a few hours on social media that day, not on the overwrought news coverage. The majority of the protesters that I found fit Siman’s descriptions. I was particularly struck by the families, and yes there were families there. Much of the posts from inside the Capital were like tourists on steroids, they were gawking or taking selfies behind the ropes.

                This is part of the reason that I have never taken January 6 as a problem equal to or greater than the slow motion actual coup taken on behalf of Clinton and her Russians made me lose crap. The January 6 crowd were largely average Joes with little or no institutional power taking a perfectly legal if inane protest past what it should have been because they met no to limited resistance. The 2016 tantrum/insurrection led to several trials, an impeachment, and a whole lot of justification for foreign policy actions that are now destabilizing the country because they did and do have institutional power base.

                If this were really about election integrity, as much time would be spent on open and clear registration standards, demanding equal access to polls and most importantly paper ballots counted by hand in public. That it isn’t tells me this is really about training the public to shut up and eat the dog food as in voting for PTB approved candidates and shutting up when the they, especially the winner, aren’t about doing anything for the voters.

                1. Yves Smith

                  Do you have any other first hand testimony to offer? I thought not. Pat also says that her review of social media confirmed Siman.

                  I’d be happy to get Siman to recount his experience here in person.

                  As for the video, surely you know that videos of demonstrations are artfully edited all the time to make them seem more threatening. The classic is when single building is torched (there’s a famous example from the UK) where it’s framed to seem enormous when a wide-angle shot would show it person.

        2. John Wright

          But what Hillary DID do with the entire “Russia, Russia, Russia stole the election from Hillary for Trump” was damage the willingness of Trump to work with them.

          The Democrats had a vain, none too clever, and insecure Trump who might have been stage managed by them into doing some good for the country.

          Instead they wasted four years antagonizing him (and his supporters) with claims of Trump being controlled by a foreign power.

          Jan 6 was over quickly and TPTB quickly asserted themselves and the USA land of milk and honey returned (\sarc).

          The Democrats wasted 4 years going after Trump as instigated by HRC.

          The USA paid a tremendous “opportunity cost” as a result of HRC’s efforts.

        3. podcastkid

          It’s a bit of a distraction IMO. In retrospect the duopoly’s erstwhile Ukraine hype’ll look just like “My rocket is bigger.”

          But we must be distracted from thoughts like that.

      4. LilD

        Whether it’s different is not the same as whether it was an attempted coup
        I agree with you that a bunch of team blues engaged in subversion re 2016
        But it’s looking like there’s evidence of serious… insurrection? Sedition? We’ll see…

        1. Yves Smith

          Congress does not have the power to prosecute. This is just theater to influence the elections.

          Prosecutions have to reach a “beyond a reasonable doubt” threshold.

          Think they’ve got the horses for that? I sure don’t or else they’d be going down that path.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > Congress does not have the power to prosecute

            And those who do have the power to prosecute have made their judgments: 208 charges for “illegal parading,” two (2) for “violence.”

            The Proud Boys were charged with sedition, it is true, but since their leader, Tarrio, was a “prolific” FBI informant*, it’s hard to imagine the FBI didn’t know well in advance what their plans were. And if the FBI ran true to form, they incited it all.

            NOTE * Tarrio was also indicted. Why, the ingratitude!

    2. Carolinian

      Leading up to the election didn’t some prominent Dems say that Trump couldn’t be allowed to win?–that it would be the end of democracy etc if he won? Whatever the facts, were suspicions of vote rigging completely off the wall? After all defeating Trump to this crowd would be like killing Hitler and subject to a higher moral imperative.

      I also think Trump saw trying to discredit the result as payback for the things Yves mentions that went on in 2016. So no, he shouldn’t have called all those people to Washington to satisfy his pique and end up with an easily manipulated Capitol invasion as the result. But how long is it going to be before this water is finally under the bridge? The Dem’s Trump obsession is kind of pathetic unless you believe the blowhard Trump really is Hitler reincarnated. I don’t

      1. Jeff

        The Dems are using this performance to deflect attention away from inflation, another pointless military conflict, baby formula shortages, gas price bs and the president’s embarrassing late night drop in.

        Can’t blame them. The last 2 years has been one train wreck after another with lots of unforced errors by team blue.

    3. ChrisPacific

      Biden was saying the same thing (“we know that if it’s a free and fair election, we win.”)

      Not that that invalidates your point. It’s even scarier if both sides are doing it.

  9. mistah charley, ph.d.

    I guess I’m in the minority here. I find the committee presentation by the chair and vice chair persuasive.

    1. Kelly

      Slick Hollywood productions tend to do that. The guy from Mississippi loaded so many adjectives into this questions that I thought his bald pate would explode. Let us know when these demonstrators have been successfully prosecuted and found guilty by a jury of their peers.

      Everything else is just a pre midterm sideshow.

      1. mistah charley, ph.d.

        The Capitol attack was part of a broader Trump Republican conspiracy to prevent the “peaceful transfer of power” in order to keep Trump illegally in office.

  10. marym

    Cheney did an ok job summarizing non-riot elements of the effort to nullify the results of the election. Too bad they’re so enamored with showing the riot footage. Most people with an opinion on it have already decided whether they think it was significant.

    1. fjallstrom

      Is this still it, or has it changed?

      * Republicans in congress objects to certain electors.

      * Pence upholds objections.

      * Appointment of electors sent back to states.

      * States appoint Trump loyalists.

      * Trump wins.

      It would at least create a crisis, and it is independent of the riot. The democrats hasn’t done anything to stop that from happening in the future right?

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Cheney did an ok job summarizing non-riot elements of the effort to nullify the results of the election. Too bad they’re so enamored with showing the riot footage.

      I think draping everything in the riot footage is a deliberate tactic: The Halo Effect.

      And if we’re going to moralize about riot footage (I’m not saying you are), there’s plenty of riot footage post-George Floyd (that time when liberal Democrats turned on a dime and said large gatherings were fine (IIRC, this was before the indoor/outdoor distinction was really clinched)). So, riots aren’t always an object of horror….

      1. Randall Flagg

        I think you are onto something with the riot footage, large gatherings and protests are okay after the George Floyd killing, the Halo effect and moralizing.

        I’m not saying the protests were not justified. It’s just that I can’t begin to tell you the number of times in conversation in this neck of the woods with lockdowns and people would be questioning ‘”What the hell is going on, you can gather to protest the police, or this or that, with masks.but God forbid I get together with family to lay a loved one to rest, Or be with them at their last moments of life,” It looked like a huge hypocrisy, and kinda was (TPTB, we approve of this, but not that), which caused, I think, more division among us as a country.

    1. Geo

      Didn’t watch but reading a bit on it. One part that stands out as particularly adorable is the “bombshell” (as it seems to be consistently referred to as) of: “Multiple Republican Congressmen contacted the White House seeking pardons for their roles in January 6th.”

      It’s adorable because Republican Congressmen momentarily thought there was accountability for elected reps and because so many Dems think this will amount to anything.

      Did they want to overturn an election? Yup. Will they try again? Yes, and they’re organized and planning it now. Will there be consequences? Hahaha! Iran-Contras, Iraq Wars 1 & 2, Wall Street pillage in ‘08, and “We don’t torture” all lead me to believe nothing will come of it. Did anyone take money from a rich person/corporation, or try to stop a war? If not, there will be no consequences. Laws are for little people.

      Only people that think The West Wing is real life believe our institutions still work.

      1. Nikkikat

        You are correct GEO, nothing is going to come of it anyway. Remember the Dems already tried to impeach the guy twice! There was Russiagate BS, now these so called hearings claiming insurrection was happening with maybe 3 hundred people. Yeah, right insurrection. I am more worried about the dead guy running the country into the ground right now than a fat big mouth billionaire want to be, that Hillary was trying to frame.

  11. Delfine

    A public hearing? Only CSPAN offers it without advertising, intrusive log ins and shrill commentary. CSPAN is great. It’s only there because federal law forces the cable providers to pay for it and support it technically.

    Worth a watch, Video and sound recording of FBI and DHS agents interviewing former Green Beret, Jeremy Brown, a member of the Proud Boys, before the event, trying to get him to be a confidential informant and outlining what they expected him to do. jeremybrowndefense.com Second video from top.

    1. marym

      If they asked him to be an informer and he said no, doesn’t that mean (if he did what he was arrested for) he acted on his own?

      1. Martin

        250 plus days in jail for two misdemeanors? No bail?
        Now if he’d done something like carjack, club or shoot a couple of people, and had a long rap sheet, then he would have gotten bail, or be under house arrest.

        Two bronze stars and multiple deployments? This is not a class of veterans you want pissed off at government, especially when it is committeed by people like Swalwell who sleep with probable PLAgents.

        1. marym

          I was commenting that it seems he was committed to the cause, not entrapped by the FBI “outlining what they expected him to do” or connected to any accusations people have made that the riot was instigated by the FBI. That may not have been the intended implication of the original comment, though. I don’t know anything about the particulars of his case, but from a quick search I don’t think he’s been sentenced, and there allegedly illegal firearms in the picture.


  12. IM Doc

    Just got home from work. I am not watching. My wife, however is.

    When I arrived, she immediately turned it off. She is basically the last holdout in our very Dem family. She announced that this presentation in her opinion was below the reputation of the USA. She was personally offended that they would turn something she felt was important into a side show. I think she is more offended by news reports she heard today that anti abortion activists will be trying to shut down the Supreme Court and prevent the justices from arriving. “Their insurrection is OK – all opponents go to jail for their “insurrection”…..

    The circle is now complete. In my immediate family, Dems all, myself, my siblings, my remaining elders all will be abstaining from voting Dem. The same is now true in my wife’s family.

    My grandparents and their generation were FDR Dems. They spoke constantly about standing up for the little man. They hated corporatists and bankers. I cannot in good conscience vote for this party anymore until big changes are made.

    If my wife’s instinctual revulsion is any indication, the Dems may have taken this one step too far. I hope someone is at the wheel that can understand this.

    1. PHLDenizen

      Mmmm. There’s no “someone” anymore. It’s algorithms all the way down. The political process is a Tesla EV with an AI lunatic at the wheel.

    2. kriptid

      Beautifully said. It’s a sentiment in many living rooms across the US right now and you’ve captured it well.

  13. Michael Ismoe

    Does anyone know when the Democrats are planning to hold hearings on fraud in the Covid relief funds?






        1. rob

          great reminder
          what truly sucks is that the “pretense” of shock here is akin to the casablanca line where the inspector was shocked to find out there was gambling going on, just as someone hands him his “winnings”…
          But , considering this whole new century has been nothing but a slide down this hole we are all in, the fact that people still support this duopoly…means we are all collectively F%$.ed
          If only people never voted for a republican again or a democrat… it would force the money power to co-opt someone new… but that would take a brief moment.. at least. and spin the wheel again.

    1. Geo

      Good oped. Thanks!

      “Using the events of Jan. 6 as campaign fodder is small-minded and likely to be ineffective. If you think you can find the magic moment that will finally discredit Donald Trump in the eyes of the electorate, you haven’t been paying attention over the last six years.”

      Goes well with your “learned nothing, forgotten nothing” quote used here often.

      They really do think politics is optics and decorum, not tangible material governance, don’t they?

      That said, it’s revealing what issues Dems decide to “look forward, not back” on and which they will hold events like this for.

      1. Michaelmas

        They really do think politics is optics and decorum, not tangible material governance, don’t they?

        And they’re absolutely correct, from their viewpoint. The politicians do not govern in the US. It’s the lobbyists who do the work of formulating US laws, getting them through, etc.

    2. OliverN

      One lawmaker told The Washington Post that voters have shifted their attention to issues like inflation and the pandemic, so it is key to tell a gripping story that “actually breaks through.”

      Oh jeez. Heaven forbid that voters shift their attention to problems that materially affect them personally. It is a good article though, that hopefully will sway some more people into thinking that it’s not about finding the magical phone recording where Trump said “Do it” (Lambert’s comment made me chuckle) which I’m sure can easily be dealt with through the courts/criminal system, it’s more about the fact that the riot/demonstration happened at all.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > the magical phone recording where Trump said “Do it” (Lambert’s comment made me chuckle)

        The thing is, in both Watergate and Iran-Contra there was evidence of such quality. I believe the Halo Effect strategy is meant to essentially degrade the burden of proof.

    3. BrianH

      Any thinking human should be able to pick apart this meaningless spectacle. Unfortunately Brooks is due credit for nailing it.

      “ We need a committee to look at how conditions in America compare to conditions in countries around the world that have already seen their democracies slide into autocracy and violence…

      …I’m trying to understand why committee members are not gripped by these realities. “

      The Dem/GOP just cannot relate. They are so focused on pleasing the funders and power brokers that they don’t seem to realize where this is headed. If they continue to ignore the desperation of the citizens it won’t be a lost election or a weak fundraising quarter, it will be chaos. Of course the alternative take is even worse: they know what they’re doing and like where they are driving us.

      1. Geo

        Reminds me of the election when Biden said Post-Trump Republicans would have an “epiphany” and be cordial or some such nonsense. Meanwhile:

        2021: “I made more than $1.7 million in a week selling doomsday bunkers. You know who doesn’t buy them? Democrats.”

        2017: “Meet the doomsday prepper making millions selling bomb shelters to people afraid of Trump”

        Definitely a healthy society. Nothing to be concerned about.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        The Democrats are focused on preventing any re-emergence of any form of New Deal. Never! Ever!

        The Republicans are focused on evolving America into a Christian Sharia Law Gilead Republic.

        Perhaps the Democrats think a Christian Sharia Law theocracy under Gilead Republican rule is a price worth paying for No New Deal. Never! Ever!

      3. Lambert Strether Post author

        > “ We need a committee to look at how conditions in America compare to conditions in countries around the world that have already seen their democracies slide into autocracy and violence…

        Well, we need that, too. Frankly, I’m “prove it, Pretzel Boy” on “domestic enemies” part, but presumably a case will be made. (I haven’t finished the introductory statements.)

    4. Noone from Nowheresville

      Brooks final paragraph:

      Either way, we need a committee that will be focused not on the specific actions of this or that individual but on the broad social conditions that threaten to bring American democracy to its knees.

      I think we already have committees (congressional, corporate, otherwise) which are focused on creating broad social conditions in order to bring American citizens and residents to their knees. Global residents too.

      Writing about caring about Democracy and finding solutions without point blank calling for straight-forward solutions like paper ballots hand-marked and hand-counted in public on a national voting day holiday with international observers, is kind of pointless. Except of course to point out how pointless these hearings will likely be. Which Brooks does do on a certain level to his chosen audience.

      What I’m also quite sure of is that we don’t need more committees to threaten the general public and the common good. That we need societal change that ranks the common good and actual people, as opposed to the fictional kind, as highest possible goal without sh&tting where we eat to make that happen. Or where other people eat.

      Even if we could manage that wish in the US, we’d also have undo the societal changes the US has installed around the globe. Could the US really be charged with such an important task? I think not. The US has proven itself Agreement incapable.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > paper ballots hand-marked and hand-counted in public

        Do this, and so many of the machinations go away. So naturally neither party is advocating it.

  14. IM Doc

    And I just glanced at MSNBC before retiring to my novel.

    And of course, it is Peter Strzok who is giving the expert commentary.

    That is all you need to know.

    What a complete joke these people are.

  15. root cause analysis

    I’m most interested in the alleged dozen (+/- ?) Congresscritters who went to Trump for preemptive pardons after Jan. 6. That was certainly news to me at the level of fact. Amateurs! Could there be more convincing evidence of mens rea if evidentially true? I want to find out how other members of Congress and the Executive are complicit and guilty of premeditated sedition and related crimes. Crimes, yes, finally! Conspiracy, yes, finally to be revealed!

    I thought the open was great — the prosecutors’ opening statement at a criminal trial. A simple, unqualified criminal indictment in form. Bennie ain’t no slickster, and that lent heft to his presentation. Which was awful from a production standpoint which made it good from an authenticity standpoint. Just boring, grinding bureaucracy headed your way,.

    Now for evidence and testimony, only whoops — no defence witnesses. The Rs may soon regret not going bipartisan on the committee, but that refusal is again pretty strong circumstantial evidence of mens rea. My hope is that we learn chapter and verse how they were screwed either way and painted themselves into a corner. Thank God the Dems at least went for the select. They better have the goods!

    1. marym

      Maybe the committee will get past its need to keep showing video and talking just about the riot. I agree Cheney did a good job laying out elements of the extensive planning and attempts at nullifying the election that took place for 2 months after the election, that will supposedly be the subject of subsequent hearings.

      As the capacity to execute some of these elements is still being refined for future elections, it seems worth knowing about, even if failure to act on this knowledge is just one more thing to demonstrate the corruption of Republicans and Democrats alike.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Well, it has been recently noted that the Republicans are planning and working as hard as they can to conduct a Brooks Brothers riot at every “likely Democratic majority” polling place in America, from border to border and sea to shining sea. Lambert has suggested that this shows the Republicans take their politics more seriously than the Democrats do. I think it shows something else.

        The Democrats take their politics of ” No New Deal. Never! Ever! ” very seriously. What the Republicans take seriously is not “politics”, but rather pre-violent religious war conquest of power. And it will require someone/something other than Democrats to take the Gilead Republicans’ Christian Sharia Law plan for conquest as seriously as the Gilead Republicans take it. And to take equally serious counter-measures to stop it, and then to try and roll it back and destroy it.

    2. Dalepues

      Thank you for your comment. I also thought Rep Thompson’s opening was very good, exactly because of his down-homeness. I even liked that he fumbled several times reading the teleprompter. And I believe that Rep Cheney’s outline of the prosecution was well done (without too much detail),
      especially the videos of Trump’s inner circle calling BS on his attempt to overturn the election. And the news that a number of Republican Congressmen/women had sought pardons from Trump for their involvement in 1/6 makes me want to keep watching to discover the identity of these traitorous Republicans. I’ll be interested to see what the committee has that could be used for indictments.

  16. JChimene

    So the whole Proud Boys advancing on the capitol roughly 2 hours before Trump gets onstage means nothing to you. Astonishing.

    Yves, I am quite close to asking you to take me off your “We Like You” list.
    And none of you can argue with the documentarian who happened to be with the Proud Boys.

    1. Yves Smith

      All you offer is one irrelevant factoid and agahatitute.

      Yes, it does mean nothing. Did they kill anyone? Did they take anyone hostage? Did they even successfully occupy the Capitol? Present a manifesto? Have an even semi-actionable plan to overthrow the government?

      Please meet Lambert’s challenge of identifying how the silos above are connected.

      And the American public agrees. Per the Hill, only about 20 million watched this session, despite it being on every major network versus 63 million for the final Presidential debate in 2020, when Presidential debates have not been on all three major networks for decades.

      And we aren’t hostage to particular readers. As Barry Ritholtz said, embrace the churn. Each e-mail from us has an unsubscribe button, so I suggest you avail yourself of it.

  17. anon y'mouse

    if all of this is some kind of coup or treason, then what does one call what is listed in the following article (which was also boasted about in Time magazine openly by the do-ers themselves)?

    Washington Insiders Reveal Their Plan for Chaos if Trump Wins the Election

    and there are a lot of different articles talking about the manipulation of social media and so forth if you simply search “election” on that website.

    i view all of this spectacle as “it’s ok when our guys do it, but when theirs do it then it is a SIN!”

    the ubiquitous “they” also made it seem that Bernie was not in the lead by allowing a few states to misrepresent the totals, and then in one declaring Juan Guaido-style that Mayor Pete “won” and rolling on with that pretense to the very end until no one was paying attention anymore.

  18. Nikkikat

    There will be no indictments of anyone. The dog and pony show is for show. Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney? Her old man got into office using the Supreme Court to stop counting votes in florida. There should have been some indictments there too. We didn’t see any did we now.
    The Dems have been flipping primaries for years now. Do you really think that over night a huge number of the electorate dropped Bernie Sanders and picked the dead guy? Lol

  19. chris

    The view from my social media feeds this morning is interesting. A lot of my liberal friends and acquaintances mocking people who compare what happened on Jan 6 to the George Floyd riots. Common statements among them were, “Please tell me you’re not stupid enough to think that an armed insurrection trying to take over our government is the same as demonstrations that got out of hand because the citizens we’re protesting a terrible injustice…”

    And I kept thinking, didn’t some of those protesters take over downtown Portland and Seattle? Didn’t Hillary suggest that electors should be faithless when presented with options they shouldn’t accept? Didn’t “serious people” say that the intelligence agencies or the military should intervene and stop Trump from taking office? Didn’t the military, the intelligence agencies, and the bureaucracy overrule and deny Trump when he was president – and why isn’t that considered a coup?

    Another statement I’m seeing is that “we’ve lost over 1 million people due to COVID” AND “many people died during Jan 6” AND those are written as if both are Trump’s fault. As if the majority of the COVID deaths didn’t occur on Biden’s watch?

    I think the narrative managers have over reached to an extent where even reasonably non-partisan people will disagree with their presentation. The propaganda is too obvious now.

  20. pstuartb

    Slightly off topic, but, “didn’t some of those protesters take over downtown Portland and Seattle?”

    I’ve worked in downtown Portland for close to 30 years. Most of the protesters in downtown Portland in the summer of 2020 were peaceful. Crowds would gather each evening, listen to speeches, people would light candles, chant, kumbaya, etc. And then most of them would go home.

    But around 10:00 on most of those nights, another element would come out. They are sometimes referred to as antifa, but they were mostly the same kids with hoodies and skateboards who’ve been cruising around downtown for years, but now they came with bats. A relatively small number, maybe a hundred or thereabouts, but they were the primary aggressors. They broke windows in cars and storefronts, and got the protesters who stayed late wound up. Mace flew back and forth between the cops who were trying to defend the federal courthouse and the agitators. This happened every night for a couple months. These “antifa” were mostly shiftless kids who likely had no idea what a fascist was, much less an anti-fascist. They were just vandals who saw an opportunity to bust some stuff up and get away with it. The vast majority of this behavior took place in the few blocks right around the federal courthouse downtown. Nobody took over downtown. It was just a mess for a while. Seattle…somewhat different story.

    1. anon y'mouse

      then what group, pray tell, were those granny defense brigades and leaf blower people in?

      and if this was so unserious, why did the government resort to black-bagging people off the streets in unmarked vans? and why did someone get gunned down, and then a swat team literally assassinated the person accused of doing the gunning down without even an attempt at an arrest (i think this happened over on the Vancouver, WA side)?

      it may have been localized, but there was something quite serious simmering under the surface there.

      1. chris

        Yeah, that’s where I’m at too. In the comments above, the treatment of what they said happened in Portland compared to how people responded to what happened in DC is what I was talking about.

        Everything I’ve seen as far as after action reports says that the damage to property and people after the George Floyd riots was far worse than what happened in DC on 1/6. Others on here have said what seems to be a reasonable conclusion – what makes 1/6 so unforgivable is that people who were considered unworthy of being in the Capitol took away the safe illusions of our rulers. There’s no evidence that they actually would have derailed the certification of the vote. The majority of charges being filed involve illegal parading. But the psychological damage done to our elite was incalculable.

        It’s as if a person driving a Bentley was zooming along, changing lanes without signaling, tailgating, do everything as if they were the only car that mattered on the road, and then a couple deplorables in beaters brake checked the Bentley. No one was hurt but now the fancy driver claims they have PTSD. That is what I hear every time I hear anyone go on about how 1/6 was some kind of insurrection. Some person learned that they can’t ignore everyone else in this country and now they’re scared.

        Good. Hopefully that will make them stop complaining about paying taxes and start supporting Medicare 4 All.

  21. ian

    I didn’t bother with it. Despite the pieties about ‘only wanting to get at the truth’, this was all about going after Trump – a prosecution. Being a prosecution, the defendant is entitled to a defense. This hearing lost all legitimacy when Pelosi vetoed McCarthy’s choices and installed her own pet Republicans, who were never-Trumpers. There may be some good points raised, but unless I get to hear the other side of the story – who cares?
    This is one big ‘Orange Man Bad’ infomercial. What else do the Democrats have to run on? I’m sure they would rather talk about Trump and Jan 6 than inflation, or the border, or crime …

  22. ghiggler

    May not make a lot of friends with this, but unless you watched the dog and pony show I will ignore your comments.

    And to some extent it was a dog and pony show. Thomson and Cheney got in their sly digs, they played Trump’s “There was a lot of love. I’ve heard that from everybody. Many, many people have told me that was a loving crowd” over video of police being beaten by a screaming crowd, and so on. But they actually spent most of their time presenting evidence, even though some of it, to this point, was only circumstantial.

    For me, telling points were:

    Video and witness evidence of the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers ignoring Trump’s speech in favor of surveilling the Capitol in the morning, waiting for and inciting the crowd that went up to the Capitol in response to Trump’s speech, in the lead as the crowd surged into and through the police lines, its leaders shown breaking down the windows and then the doors of the building, and consistently moving in hand-on-shoulder columns to maintain group cohesion.
    This speaks strongly of pre-planning and strongly hints that the crowd coming from the speech was expected.

    Video of Barr’s testimony before the Committee, records of the testimony under oath of the numbers guy and White House staff, and electronic records all indicating that Trump was told that there was no substance to the claim of voter fraud that could have made a difference, and video of Ivanka Trump stating that she trusted Barr’s statements.
    Trump either believed he lost but lied to subvert the normal transfer of power, or is delusional. Neither is a good look.

    The apparent fact that six Congresscreatures asked for preemptive pardons for their actions on or about January 6.
    While this was stated without specific proof, and Representative Scott Perry has called it a lie, I don’t yet believe the Committee doesn’t have it. Thus, guilty mind, presumably based on actual guilt.

    Anyway, trying to keep power without a legal basis is – guess what – illegal. We’ll see how it works out. But, as I said, I’ll ignore any saying without seeing.

    1. Swamp Yankee

      This was largely my impression, too, ghiggler.

      I realize I am in the minority perhaps on this question at NC, but I did watch it and my observations echo your own and those of a few others on this thread.

      I was fully expecting to find it as unimpressive as I have previous Dem/Never Trump GOP efforts, and it was not that, in my view. We shall see.

  23. Tom Stone

    Sweet Jeebus,I was at a number of antiwar demonstrations as well as witnessing the “People’s Park” demonstrations and riots.
    The reaction of the Federal and State Governments and the police in Berkeley was violent, to the point of gassing a large part of the City with CS teargas from helicopters and the cops driving around and beating whoever they found on the streets with clubs, randomly.
    One my sister’s HS friends had her jaw and several ribs broken by the cops as she was leaving her sorority on her way to class.
    I spent one afternoon with the owner of schilling’s books ( Near Moe’s,long gone) wearing gas masks and watching the show from behind a locked front door.
    He was a “premature antifascist” who had fought in Spain and Ifoundhis perspective thought provoking.
    The various police and security agencies had weeks if not months of warnings, no shortage of agents and informants in the crowds and the leaders of both the “Oathkeepers” and the “Proud Boys” have well documented links to various police agencies.
    What happened on1/6 was ALLOWED to happen as anyone who has any familiarity with how the US has dealt with protests in the past very well knows.

    1. rob

      I didn’t watch the show,
      so I don’t know if the actual questions were addressed(I’m guessing not)

      But, I agree with you that the only thing obvious; is that this was ALLOWED to happen.

      from the video, where we see a portion of one tiny line of cops are bicycle cops. With their bicycle helmets and street clothes.
      never mind the cops letting people through a barrier. The fact that the manpower chosen was an indictment of those who did the choosing.
      Even as a person “with other things to do”; I had “heard” of 1/6 …BEFORE 1/6… it was even discussed here at NC, before 1/6.
      On the morning of 1/6 @7:30 am… looking at the DOT streetcams over the internet… you could see the roads were empty. There was one camera off line that morning, maybe that is where the people were.. But dc cops were not in their usual places.
      And really, if the proud boys are FBI “friendly”… and we as a population have been subjected to DOD psy-op shenanigan’s for the last thirty years or so,… hard core
      Then what are we to think, but this is just another layer of the onion of destabilization that our overlords are providing to prevent us from thinking coherently.

      1. anon y'mouse

        allowed to happen so that they could lock down the capital entirely for the coronation.

        even staffers on capitol hill said the had been warned about crowds and potential disturbances, so many chose to stay at home that day.

        i remember one lady with Oathkeepers said she had some kind of coordination meeting with capitol staff to help “manage” the crowd situation. although i don’t remember which group she met with. she said they all knew who would be there and approx. how many.

  24. countrumford

    Well, I have been thinking too. I watched it live with my wife who found it persuasive evidence of Trump being a terrible person. For me I was uneasy and now I think I know why. I think they “got the wrong guy”. Liz sez it was a “7 part plan” that doesn’t seem like Donald to me. Jared could think up a 7 part plan but not the Donald. He has never authored a 7 part plan about anything IMO. The fact as it is presented that everyone around Donald told him he lost and he didn’t act on it reminds me of the other Don. Don Quixote. A not very clear headed man trying to disentangle Lost and Loser. I see Donald in a much more sympathetic light now. He dreams the impossible dream.

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