This week’s seventh public hearing of the House January 6 Committee, focusing on the relationship between Trump and leaders of the violent insurrection on January 6, 2021, had two key points generally overlooked in the reporting on the yet-another historically important event.
The first is the revelation by Rep. Cheney at the end of the hearing that there is evidence Trump, himself, attempted to contact a scheduled witness to a future hearing, and that such a “witness tampering” warranted a referral by the committee to the Justice Department. It may be a mere technicality by this point, but it does constitute the first time ever that a U.S. president has been referred to the justice department for a criminal activity. Still, it’s just the beginning.
The second has to do with the unique significance of the established relationship between Trump and the extremist criminal elements like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and others, even as mediated through Trump “marching orders” in the form of tweets.
Clearly, as Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote in the July 13 edition this week, “Trump and Trump Alone Turned Jan. 6 Into a Debacle.” as his column’s headline stated.
This is clear from the evidence presented to the committee especially in the last week as coming from Deputy Chief of Staff Cassie Hutchinson and White House counsel Patrick Cipollone. As Cheney asserted, the testimony confirmed that Trump was no misled “impressionable child” in this process, but a fully responsible adult who commandeered the attempted insurrection on his own, even at critical points where he deviated in his own twisted mind from even the worst laid plans of some of his “Team Crazy” advisers.
This means when it comes down to it, it is Trump who is looking at jail time, a lot of it, for his role in all this.
This is important to keep Trump from getting anywhere near an election where he could potentially return to the White House. So, as the challenge becomes the need for steps to prevent this type of thing from ever happening again, there is a critical collateral element that must be figured in at this point.
Trump may have been the sole responsible party for the January 6 insurrection, but it is also crucial to understand Trump’s role as a conscious agent of a hostile foreign power in this regard, as was documented in the Mueller Report and as this writer has continually stressed.
My collection of 10 columns published in after January 6 in my newspaper, the Falls Church News-Press, were collected and published as a short book, entitled, “The January 6 Capitol Sacking: Putin’s Role,” has taken on increased importance in the wake of the most recent hearings for getting to the bottom of what created the conditions whereby the insurrection took place, nearly succeeded, and might be unleashed again.
Both Trump and the right wing extremist groups involved have strong ties to Moscow, as did a number of key operatives in Trump’s “Team Crazy” orbit, not the least of whom is the disgraced former U.S. Gen. Mike Flynn.
Yes. it was “Trump and Trump Alone,” except for Putin.
The testimony before the January 6 committee about the violent extremist groups did not touch on where they came from, who aided and abetted them in the context of the long history of covert foreign intelligence operations that U.S. intelligence agencies have been hard at work countering in the shady fringes of the U.S. population. But U.S. intelligence agencies, as per their practice, have continued to keep assiduously quiet about it all.
Based on my own direct involvement in the political fringes of the 1970s, it was clear to me that Moscow, being deeply invested in covert U.S. operations, undertook a major shift in strategy in that decade from fueling the movements of the fringe left, to building up the fringe right.
A high profile consequence was the elimination of the Jonestown Cult. Another, perhaps, was the assassination of Harvey Milk. Both happened in November 1978. Moscow helped Reagan get elected, and by 1988 had determined that its preferred tool to become president of the U.S. was Donald Trump, as I documented. Yes, in 1988!