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Contempt of Meadows vote shows growing power of January 6 committee


The move against the former White House chief of staff on Tuesday was the latest effort to penetrate the inner circle of a former president who saw the U.S. Capitol being attacked by a mob instigated by his plot to overturn a fair election. But it also showed how the special House committee investigating the assault now takes on a far more important role than simply documenting a day that will live in infamy. He has become a vital protagonist in the battle to save American democracy in the run-up to a presidential election in which Trump may attempt to reclaim power, through nefarious means if necessary.

The Justice Department contempt referral, following an earlier similar quote against Trump’s ex-political guru Steve Bannon, reflects the growing momentum of the committee, which has called more than 300 witnesses to offer testimonials and evidence. The investigation clearly has hidden depths. A flurry of texts in Meadows released by the panel, documenting panicked lawmakers, Fox News presenters and other members of the media, and even Trump’s own son begging him to call off the insurgency, alludes to a heaps of evidence collected but not yet made public. Not only did this treasure seemingly portray Trump’s dereliction of duty to defend lawmakers and the Constitution, it shows that those around the ex-president knew the damage he was causing in real time – although they did. continued tried to whitewash the truth.

By exposing such duplicity, the committee also paints a picture of the cowardice, dishonesty and for-profit propaganda of media figures and Republican lawmakers who have embraced the Trump personality cult, which has backed the President. twice impeached in multiple attacks on the Constitution while in office. The same “Make America Great Again” industrial complex is now fueling Trump’s preparations for a new presidential election, which could threaten American political traditions even more seriously in 2024.

The committee is racing against time as the Republicans will shut it down if they reclaim the House in 2022. And it is not clear whether voters will be swayed by the full and terrible truth about what happened on the 6th. January when they vote in the midterm elections. next year and in three years for the president.

Many other issues, including soaring inflation and a pandemic with no end in sight, rightly worry Americans. A recent gubernatorial election in Virginia, in which Republicans prevailed by focusing on education and the economy, suggested that fear of Trump was waning as a motivator at the polls. And democracy is often not a tangible commodity: the story of the rise of autocracy abroad suggests that it often goes unnoticed until it is gone. Meanwhile, suggestions that the committee might even fire Trump on criminal charges, based in part on remarks by Republican Vice President Liz Cheney this week, still seem at the bolder end of the government’s possible options. panel.

But as it paints a picture of what happened 11 months ago, the committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans who broke with the cult of the ex-president also bares the character of the world. Trump. In this sense, his investigation of a historic event is becoming perhaps the most important prospective weapon in a growing struggle to preserve democracy from the threat that the ex-president still poses.

“The way we approach Jan. 6 is the moral test of our generation,” said Cheney, one of the few Republicans in the House to speak the truth about Trump’s crimes against the Constitution, ahead of the vote to fire Meadows to the Ministry of Justice for possible criminal action.

“He destroys his heritage”

With the exception of Cheney and fellow GOP committee member Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, the House voted largely on party lines to despise Meadows for refusing to testify before the committee after providing thousands of pages of evidence, including emails and text exchanges.

Some of those messages show he was inundated with calls from some of Trump’s closest allies for the then president to intervene during the insurgency. But Trump refused to do so for 187 minutes.

In an exchange, ex-president’s son Donald Trump Jr. told Meadows as the violence raged that his father had to “condemn this shit as soon as possible,” Cheney said on Monday.

In another post Cheney read, Fox News anchor Laura Ingraham, who subsequently misled viewers about the true nature of the insurgency, wrote: “Mark, the president needs to tell the people on Capitol Hill to go home. It hurts us all. He’s destroying his heritage. “

Contempt of Meadows vote shows growing power of January 6 committee

On the face of it, Meadows is in a much stronger position than Bannon, who was not a White House official at the time of the insurgency, to avoid testifying before the committee citing executive privilege, the tradition that the presidents have an expectation. privacy when consulting with key assistants. And there is no official closer to a president than the chief of staff.

But the committee argued that while it wanted Meadows’ broad testimony, some of his requests were clearly not covered by executive privilege, especially since Meadows had already handed over many documents they wanted him to have. To ask questions. And the panel says the issue of executive privilege does not arise in a uniform fashion as it wants to tell Meadows about episodes that don’t always involve Trump – like all the interactions he’s had, for example, with Republican officials in Georgia who have come under pressure from Trump will reverse Biden’s electoral victory in the key state.

In a new disclosure on Tuesday, California Representative Zoe Lofgren revealed a text sent by an anonymous Peach state election official to Meadows as Trump leaned on Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. “This call must be ended,” the official said, according to Lofgren.

Republicans retorted, however, that Trump’s prerogative to assert executive privilege as a former president has still not been fully tested by the Supreme Court, and so the committee was pushing its limits with its disregard for the Congressional vote.

But that argument from Trump’s allies is undermined by the fact that Meadows apparently refuses to discuss the events he has already described in his new book. A member of the committee, Representative Adam Schiff, argued that if Congress could not enforce his subpoena against Meadows, his future ability to control an overly ambitious executive branch would be neutralized.

Contempt of Meadows vote shows growing power of January 6 committee

“No one is above the law,” said the California Democrat.

Some Trump allies in the House, including some suspected of being in contact with him on January 6, have turned the tide to claim that the abuse of power was in fact committed by those investigating the insurgency – a turnaround strategy situation perfected by the former president.

Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, for example, described the work of the White House chief of staff as “closest to relatives” to the president and said it was in “the public interest.” that Meadows’ relationship with Trump be kept secret. Yet the then chief of staff was not consulting Trump on a vital national security crisis or national disaster. He was by his side when one of the worst attacks on America’s political freedoms in generations was carried out – arguably a far greater threat to the public interest than the violation of customary presidential confidentiality.

“He called his own book fake news”

Another committee member, Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland, accused Meadows of not changing his mind about cooperation with the committee until after he aroused Trump’s fury over his memoir, which has been published more early this month.

“He called his own book fake news, which is a pretty devastating criticism to make on your own book,” Raskin said during a House debate on Tuesday.

Meadows, a former North Carolina congressman who despite his staunch conservatism sometimes worked across the aisle, is Trump’s latest sidekick to uncover the choices and consequences of joining orbit of the former president.

Several members of the Trump circle have been forced to choose between appeasing and encouraging the aberrant behavior of their boss and constitutional vandalism and their own reputation. Some, like Meadows, have been threatened with criminal prosecution. Others, like former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have smeared their own considerable political legacy by embracing Trump’s anti-democratic crusade. Several former campaign leaders convicted in the Mueller inquiry have spent time in jail over their association with a boss who still tests the rule of law.
Contempt of Meadows vote shows growing power of January 6 committee
The hypocrisy of Fox News figures, who begged Meadows to end the insurgency in private but were unwilling to defend a similar line to their viewers, reveals that they were loath to waste their audience power and their importance with the loyal base of the former president. Senior officials like minority parliamentary leader Kevin McCarthy, who once said Trump was responsible for the Capitol riot but then backed down, know their chances of future power hinge on his patronage. McCarthy’s quest to speak out if Republicans win the House in 2022 is already in question as Trump’s allies warn his obedience to the former president is not fervent enough, despite his considerable efforts to secure it. impunity for the coup attempt.

With that in mind, the committee uncovers not only Trump’s transgressions in a historic purge of core US political values, but also proof of his enduring power within the Republican Party and among its conforming conservative and propagandist media facilitators. This underscores the fact that far from ending on January 6, Trump’s threat to democracy grows stronger by the day.

Voters may decide that all of this is insufficient to disqualify the former president from yet another tilt in the White House. But they will not be able to say that they were not warned.

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