6 Takeaways from Second Jan. 6 Hearing
Hearing #2 of the January 6 Select Committee, held Monday, June 13, 2022, is in the books with the third hearing scheduled for Wednesday, June 15.
What can be taken away from the second hearing? Here are six points noted by NPR reporter Domenico Monanaro (6 takeaways from the second day of Jan. 6 hearings):
1. It was “Team Normal” vs. Trump.
And, yet, even “Team Normal” (vs “Team Rudy”) didn’t send up an alarm to put the brakes on Trump’s lie that the election was stolen.
2. Trump didn’t listen to the professionals and instead became “detached from reality.”
3. Coming from so many Republicans testifying, it’s much harder for them to simply be dismissed.
4. The committee began to lay out a fleecing of MAGA.
5. A lot of people have faced consequences from Jan. 6, but they’re mostly not the people at the top – yet.
6. Over two days of hearings, the committee is methodically establishing the building blocks of their public prosecution that Trump is responsible for Jan. 6.
I would add that one glaring point that came through in the second hearing was all the people around Trump who did not stand up and say STOP, who did not flock together to stand up to him, who did not look beyond their noses at what was good for the country, who did not feel they should do SOMETHING.
I will never understand how so many Republicans were able to be snookered by this guy, to be gaslighted, to be gullible enough to fall into the trap of Trumpism even though he had 40+ years of background that clearly showed who he was.
Vetting? What happened to vetting? Reince Priebus was Republican National Committee chair when Trump was accepted as a GOP candidate for the 2016 presidential election. After the GOP’s indignation and pursuit of Bill Clinton’s indiscretions in the Oval Office, how were they okay with a Donald Trump whose lack of character was notorious?
How could so many in the GOP lead the country to where we are today? Incidentally, most of them were totally against this Select Committee investigating January 6. They were okay sweeping January 6 under the rug and assuring their base that it was just a few friendly tourists at the Capitol and, thus, allowing a violent riot to go unanswered. In what world would any Republican Party I ever belonged to allow that? What am I missing and how was I lucky enough to not buy into this craziness?
And shouting out from Monday’s hearing: follow the money. Team Trump raised $250 MILLION for a supposed “Election Defense Fund” (that the committee said did not exist) after the 2020 election with his false claims of a stolen election ($100 million in the week after the election) with the prompt that it was to help uncover the fraud. Some feel $250 million is only the floor of this grift. There was no fund set up as claimed in the endless fundraising pleas, and part of the funds that were raised was dispersed in various accounts that benefitted those in Trump’s world (4 Takeaways From Day 2 of the Jan. 6 Hearing from reporter Michael D. Shear):
But a committee investigator said there was no evidence that such a fund ever existed. Instead, millions of dollars flowed into a super PAC that the president set up on Nov. 9, just days after the election. According to the committee, that PAC sent $1 million to a charitable foundation run by Mark Meadows, Mr. Trump’s former chief of staff, and another $1 million to a political group run by several of his former staff members, including Stephen Miller, the architect of Mr. Trump’s immigration agenda.
Representative Zoe Lofgren, Democrat of California, summed up the discoveries this way: “Throughout the committee’s investigation, we found evidence that the Trump campaign and its surrogates misled donors as to where their funds would go and what they would be used for.” She added, “So not only was there that big lie, there was the big rip-off. Donors deserve to know where their funds are really going. They deserve better than what President Trump and his team did.”
For this political nerd, the ability to watch these hearings is the equivalent of having a front row seat in this unfolding serial, better than anything on Netflix or other streaming entertainment. Talk about reality TV … this is it in aces. Not only that, this is our lives, our country, our futures. Even Fox News, that boycotted the first hearing last week after hosts reportedly called it propaganda, joined in on Monday.
Will it change minds? Probably none of the hard-right but there are many who have open minds who may possibly be reached. Let’s hope so. We have a republic to save.
The remaining 1/6 hearings are June 15 (10am), June 16 (10am), June 21 (10am), and June 23 (8pm).
-The Bulwark: No, Bill Stepien, You Weren’t On “Team Normal.” You Were On “Team Coup.” by Tim Miller. A side note: Stepien is working for Liz Cheney’s Trump-endorsed opponent (who, by the way, was a Never Trumper) in the Wyoming Congressional race where the GOP State Chair is an OATH KEEPER who was in D.C. on January 6, 2021, and is working against Liz Cheney’s reelection. Stepien is still on Team Trump.