House January 6 Committee: Public Hearings – Day 3

This post and comment thread are dedicated to the House January 6 Committee hearings scheduled to begin Thursday June 16, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

Any updates to this post will appear at the bottom.

Please take all comments unrelated to the hearings to a different thread.

The hearings will stream on:

House J6 Committee’s website:

House J6 Committee’s direct stream:

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C-SPAN’s House J6 hearing page:

C-SPAN’s YouTube page:

C-SPAN’s YouTube stream for this hearing:

Check PBS for your local affiliate’s stream: (see upper right corner)

Twitter will carry multiple live streams (NBC, PBS, Washington Post, Reuters, CSPAN, Bloomberg):

ABC, NBC, CBS will carry the hearings live on broadcast; MSNBC and CNN will carry on their cable networks.

Twitter accounts live tweeting the hearing today:

Marcy’s thread: thread broke, second portion at:

Brandi Buchman-DailyKos:

Scott MacFarlane-CBS:

Jennifer Taub:

If you know of any other credible source tweeting the coverage, please share a link in comments.

An agenda for this hearing has not yet been published on the committee’s website and may not be as it didn’t publish one in advance for the last two hearings.

Expected to testify today:

Greg Jacob, former Vice President Mike Pence’s counsel

J. Michael Luttig, retired federal judge, U.S. Court of Appeals-Fourth Circuit, and informal advisor to Pence  (opening statement available online)

~ ~ ~

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~ ~ ~

ADDER — 12:58 P.M. ET —

Worth reading or re-reading: Michael Luttig published an op-ed in CNN on April 27 this year, Opinion: The Republican blueprint to steal the 2024 election which contained this warning:

As it stands today, Trump, or his anointed successor, and the Republicans are poised, in their word, to “steal” from Democrats the presidential election in 2024 that they falsely claim the Democrats stole from them in 2020. But there is a difference between the falsely claimed “stolen” election of 2020 and what would be the stolen election of 2024. Unlike the Democrats’ theft claimed by Republicans, the Republicans’ theft would be in open defiance of the popular vote and thus the will of the American people: poetic, though tragic, irony for America’s democracy.

286 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    I swear to gods if I hear/read one more talking head moan about the House J6 Committee and DOJ investigations doing nothing/going nowhere I’m going to scream.

    All the news which has broken loose over the last 24-48 hours tells you there’s a LOT going on.

    • FLwolverine says:

      Jumping in here quickly to thank you, Rayne and EW, for providing this space to comment and for all the analysis.

        • Rayne says:

          Thank you both. It’s not been too bad today, but this could be a function of assertive handling on Days 1 + 2.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Yes! As I said on here recently, it makes me crazy. I’m wondering how much of it is by propaganda design, how much of it is our childish citizenry who want an ice cream cone NOW, and how much of it is incompetence. At this point, it’s fucking out of touch with reality.

  2. FLwolverine says:

    Jumping in here quickly to thank you, Rayne and EW, for providing this space to comment and for all the analysis.

  3. harpie says:

    1:06 CHENEY: NOT just wrong, illegal, unconstitutional
    1:08 C: What did TRUMP know/ When? [JACOB clip]
    PENCE did his duty. TRUMP, unequivocally, did not.

    • Commentmonger says:

      Pence is part of the tragedy. If Pence had done his Constitutional Duty, it would have been to invoke the 25th Amend back in December 2020 when the illegality of this was apparent.

      • grennan says:

        Not to mention several occasions in the preceding four years. Remember when tfg announced an imaginary tax cut, passed during a period when congress wasn’t in session?

        The lowest common denominator for ‘incapacitated president’ should be when, for any reason, his/her cabinet doesn’t want him to her to have the daily nuke codes: general anesthesia, prickly hives, insurrection, etc.

        A question that hasn’t been asked nearly enough of elected and appointed GOP enablers over the past five years: “do you *really* feel ok giving him first strike?”

  4. Nick Caraway says:

    Of course Luttig did us a great service when he told Pence to stiffen his spine and resist Trump’s pressure to delay/ nullify the election. But Luttig’s crucial WaPo op-ed of January 2021 is credited in the book “This Will Not Pass” for validating McConnell’s strategy to delay Trump’s second impeachment trial and then to engineer an acquittal.

    As a non lawyer I venture no opinion re the correctness of Luttig’s argument but the fact that he weighed in as he did leaves a sour taste in the mouth of this particular reader.

    • Rayne says:

      I wonder if Luttig began that op-ed before January 6. I don’t he had a choice but to write as he did but the limitation he saw in the Constitution may have forced him to feel the 27-APR-2022 op-ed was absolutely necessary.

      Congress could still change the law to allow conviction of a former president if he has been impeached as an incumbent, which in turn would bar future eligibility for office. It’d be an amendment to Constitution, but Trump has proven it should be considered.

      • grennan says:

        This appears to be a gray area, with a lot of legal experts saying before the second impeachment that if the House impeached during a presidential term, the Senate could hold the trial at any time.

        After all, one congress can impeach a president for behavior in the last congress’s term (this would have been the case for much of Nixon’s impeachable offenses).

        To represent his ‘not guilty’ vote as a protest that the trial had become illegitimate solely because of scheduling is slimy logic, especially when you’re the one who scheduled it. McConnell at his worst.

    • Ravenclaw says:

      It’s been a long 18 months for reactionaries who want to think of their movement as law-abiding and just.

      • bmaz says:

        It has been a long time (maybe 2010 or so?), but Luttig did not speak in such a halting manner either. Something appears to be wrong with him.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          The judges delivery is unfortunate. I thought Cheney’s use of the word “solemn” was a smart way to frame it, and likely intentional.

        • bmaz says:

          No, I am not. The examination is basically Committee members making little speeches and then saying “right”? This is still not a real hearing, and is garbage.

        • Rayne says:

          ~eye roll~ I’m fighting the urge to send you video clips of every House hearing during which fucking morons like Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz, Devin Nunes, etc. all made little speeches to witnesses and TV audiences only to insist on their consensus.

        • John K says:

          I think the producers of this show have designed this plodding pablum to be easily digested by the average American, in other words, a non-reader with the attention span of a gnat. To that end, it requires slow, careful wording interspersed with startling video (action shots), coupled with an avoidance of intellectual heft. It’s the same techniques used by Trump to gain popularity.
          As far as the point you make about this hearing not persuading anyone, I would like to believe that there are some MAGA hats out there who, after losing their own health and maybe a few loved ones to Covid, have been traumatized into the acceptance of a reality that might not revolve around Trump. A small percentage could make a huge difference.
          I do admit that this is wishful thinking. bmaz, you and all the regular commenters on this site are far too intelligent and well informed to be included in their target audience.

        • Leading Edge Boomer says:

          Judge Luttig is a charter member of the Slow Talkers of America (remember Bob & Ray?).

        • Lawnboy says:

          The Komodo Dragon routine is today’s ear worm for me. A classic, 2 nd only to the parrot sketch.

        • Epicurus says:

          The Bob & Ray skit where one is interviewing the other as a biographer of Lincoln (“It says here on page … that Lincoln rode to his inauguration in a Lincoln Continental”) is not only priceless but previewed MAGA inanity long before MAGA was a thought. Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?

    • Drew says:

      Yeah. Not that I knew him before, but watching him testify, I thought he was in his late 70s at least, and on the decline. (As one who sometimes masks a slight speech impediment with a slow halting delivery, I don’t hold his slowness against him, esp on a hugely important occasion like this, but this was *REALLY* slow) So I looked up how old he is, and he’s 5 days younger than me! (68) The years have been less kind to him than they have to me-and I’m not that great an example of health and vigor.

      • bmaz says:

        Yeah, I do not know that person either, but do know Cheryl well and doubt she would just throw something up like that. And, that would totally explain it. What Luttig said was not at issue, but man he doesn’t look like the guy I’ve seen.

      • christopher rocco says:

        I heard Judge Luttig not more than a few months ago on WBUR’s “On Point” with Magna Chakrabarty and he sounded fine. This must be fairly recent. In that interview, he discussed his interactions with Pence’s lawyers about the role of the VP in counting the Electoral College votes. He was very clear, and very understandable, and very certain that the VP had no more than a ceremonial role in that procedure. His explanation and advice were neither halting nor stunted..

      • Douglas Erhard says:

        Apparently (after a scouring of the internet), it’s a social media rumor that he suffered a stroke. There are simply no published news stories stating he is in bad health. Only that one tweet. Which is unsubstantiated.

        I watched an interview he did back in December, and he sounds normal.

        Perhaps it was nerves? Or the gravity of the situation? Or the fact that he was disparaging (with the truth) his beloved criminal political party?

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah, everything on twitter, far as I could tell, came off that one tweet. I will not adopt that though without substantiation. What I do know is that I have seen Luttig, both live, and heard him in interviews as you note. The Luttig of yesterday was not at all the Luttig I remember. He has always been a very conservative FedSoc warrior, but he was incredibly sharp and could think and talk well on his feet. Something has changed, and that is unfortunate.

          Also, seems notable that the former Thomas clerk, John Wood, who did much of the examination of Luttig for the Committee, was quite clearly going out of his way to help Luttig along. It was kind of painful to watch in a way. No way that is nerves or because it was hard for him to so testify. Something is different with him.

      • Rayne says:

        Is this necessary or appropriate? Does it add at all to our understanding? Because if this is just ableism you’re dumping here, you’re done.

  5. harpie says:

    1:22 LUTTIG Was that foundation of Rule of Law suprememly violated?

    I believe that had VP PENCE obeyed the orders from his president during the joint session, and declared TRUMP the next President of the US [despite loss of EC and popular vote] that declaration would have plunged America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a constitutional crisis in America… the first Constitutional crisis since the founding of the republic.

    1:28 C: re: CHESEBRO
    1:29 C: EASTMAN MEMO
    C: Were there in fact two sets of electors from 7 states? J: No

    • harpie says:

      L: EASTMAN was incorrect. There was NO historical precedent that would support the possibility of the VP quote counting alternative electoral slates”

    • harpie says:

      I went back to make sure I’d gotten LUTTIG’s “had PENCE obeyed orders” language correct, and yes, that’s what he said.


      [24:12] LUTTIG: Now, for the question specifically that you asked, Madam Vice Chair, I believe that had Vice President Pence obeyed the orders from his President, and the President of the United States of America during the Joint Session of the Congress of the United States on January 6th 2021, and declared Donald Trump the next President of the United States, notwithstanding that then President Trump had lost the Electoral College vote, as well as the popular vote in the 2020 presidential election, um, that declaration of Donald Trump as the next president would have plunged America into what I believe would have been tantamount to a revolution within a Constitutional crisis in America, which in my view, and I am only one man, would have been the first Constitutional crisis since the founding of the Republic. [26:38]

      So, is LUTTIG saying that PENCE disobeyed what he determined was an illegal order? I think this relates to what Marcy meant when she wrote:

      January 5, 2022

      […] the DOJ prosecutor guiding DOJ’s use of 18 USC 1512(c)(2) to charge those who participated in the insurrection, James Pearce, has already noted, one way an unnamed person just like Trump might act corruptly would be by asking someone else to violate their duty: […]

      • harpie says:

        Also, on 6/9, Marcy wrote about 18 USC 372:

        […] Similarly, neither Brookings nor anyone else I’ve seen have noticed DOJ’s recent addition, in the same indictments in which they charged the militias for seditious conspiracy (Oath Keeper [link], Proud Boys [link]), of 18 USC 372 charges, which is a conspiracy to prevent by force or intimidation any person from discharging his duties. […]

        it might be easier to charge people like John Eastman or Peter Navarro with 372 than with 1512. That’s because parts of this conspiracy didn’t rely on obstructing the vote certification, it relied on preventing Pence from doing his job. […]

      • harpie says:

        Marcy, today:

        […] DOJ may never show that Trump and the mob he sicced on his Vice President conspired to kill him, or even that Trump’s 2:24PM tweet aided and abetted the attempts to find and assassinate Pence […]

        But there’s little doubt that Trump, his lawyers, two militias, and the mob entered into a common effort to prevent Pence from doing his duty that day. And with the militias, you can draw a line between Trump, his rat-fucker, Alex Jones, and the men at the Capitol to the threat and intimidation Trump sicced on his Vice President.

  6. harpie says:

    1:35 AQUILAR and staff counsel John WOOD [Luttig law clerk] Questions
    1:40 Luttig “respectfully” disagrees w/ JACOB about the one “inartfully written” sentence in the Constitution. That statement was CLEAR.

  7. Alan Charbonneau says:

    Luttig’s delivery is painfully slow. You must have the patience of Job to transcribe this, Harpie!

  8. harpie says:

    1:54 HERSCHMAN to EASTMAN: “Your gonna cause riots in the streets”
    1:54 HANNITY texts
    1:55 KUSHNER: CIPOLLONE whining
    1:56 GIULIANI called HERSHMANN “out of the blue” morning of 1/6; seemed to admit theory was wrong, but said the opposite at RALLY soon afterwards. Everything is “perfectly legal”.

  9. Rayne says:

    Herschmann’s recorded statement (published approx. 1:50 p.m.) is absofuckinglutely chilling.

    Eastman didn’t give a shit if this country erupted into violent civil war if, as he insisted was permissible, the VP unilaterally chose the president.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      These guys still don’t care how much violence it takes to stay in power. The next mob at the Capitol is likely to be more threatening. And then there are all the MAGA creeps that will hold state offices related to administering, counting, and certifying the vote.

      • Rayne says:

        Eastman’s unhinged. My problem with his disregard is about the damage America would do to itself while he sat on his soft white ass feeling self righteous and vindicated as the country disintegrated. There would have been no country left over which Trump would have POTUS, just a collection of Balkanized regions.

        This is like Putin thinking he’d just take the rest of Ukraine, NBD, burning his own military to the ground in the process in concert with a massive wealth and brain drain. Fucking Dugin-ized idiots are incapable of systemic thinking.

        • Badger Robert says:

          And what has Putin received for his trouble? Germany, France and Italy are figuring how to outlast him. Poland is heavily militarized. The UK is now against him. Finland and Sweden are likely to become NATO members.
          The Trumpists thought, as you note, overthrowing an election is NBD. I think Judge Luttig was important for pointing out they were and are incorrect.

        • Rayne says:

          Putin’s not done, though; you’re forgetting this entire demoralization and destabilization of the US we’ve watched unfold as Trump ran for and obtained presidency, then fought to retain it, all began with Trump obtaining help from Putin’s assets like Manafort (and earlier).

          Nor is NATO solid — Germany’s Scholz is still a weak spot trying to walk the line between Russian energy sources and Ukraine’s needs, France’s Macron asking for stupid bullshit like “Don’t embarrass Putin,” it’s just not yet clinched.

          Luttig’s right to continue to worry. We’re far from done fighting this war.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Eastman, his cohort, and their patrons seem to treat those concerns about violence with a dismissive, “You need to break a few eggs to make an omelette revolution.”

        • Rayne says:

          Woooow that…François Athanase de Charette de la Contrie who said that may be a distant maternal relative. Unlike that pasty hack Eastman, de Charette was a soldier who’d risen to the rank of lieutenant general by the time he was executed by the French Revolutionary army.

      • gmoke says:

        The reaction to the 60s©™allrightsreserved has reached its apogee. What the Republicans of that time were so worried about, the unwashed rioting in DC (or Chicago) to force political change, they have gone and done themselves. They have become their own old enemy, a practical demonstration of the adage “Beware of who you take as an enemy because you become like them.”

        The Republicans then thought the hippies were nihilistic anarchists and the Republican Party of today is almost exclusively nihilistic anarchists (in the most pejorative definition of the term).

        Funny how that works. Tragic that it’s taken nearly 60 years to play out to this point and will take a few more decades, if we have them left, to get back to some form of balance.

  10. harpie says:

    2:00 Aquillar: We have evidence that EASTMAN never believed his own theory.
    Luttig is surprised by that. Let me unpack what was at the root of the blueprint of overthrow.

    2:01 LUTTIG: Eastman said to TRUMP there was legal and histroical precedent for VP to pick electors.
    The historical precedent was the centerpiece of the plan to overturn the election….this is constitutional mischeif.

  11. harpie says:

    2:07 GORE
    Jacob: Eastman acknowledged Gore and Harris should not have [had] that authority.

    2:12 BANNON

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      I would love to hear Eastman’s argument distinguishing the right of a Republican VP (Pence) from that of a Democrat (Gore, Harris), because unless/until he explains otherwise, that is the sole difference visible.

      • Dark Phoenix says:

        He openly stated It’s Okay If You’re A Repblican as justification for doing something illegal…

  12. rattlemullet says:

    DOJ must follow through, post haste with criminal charges. It has been clear for a long time.

    • bmaz says:

      Not. Likely. To. Happen. And, in fact, if I were Garland, I would not charge Trump or his family.

      • Chris E says:

        I dont care if it causes the planet to spontaneously combust, you prosecute the criminals. What comes after should not matter here.

        • bmaz says:

          Like hell it does not matter. It matters a great deal, and, in fact, is exactly what prosecutorial discretion is about. Not to mention I consider Trump defensible, especially as to the mens rea element. Charging decisions are for DOJ Main, not the screaming masses on the internet.

        • rattlemullet says:

          Mens Rea simply stated “the intention or knowledge of wrongdoing that constitutes part of a crime, as opposed to the action or conduct of the accused.” So any good defense attorney would argue, particularly with trumps personality traits, public statements makes him a classic candidate for not having any idea between right and wrong? Respectfully.

        • bmaz says:

          Yes, but it is much more than that. Trump did not go to the Capitol. And, so far, the only evidence that he was actively involved in the potential crimes is circumstantial at best. Maybe more will come forth, but it is not sufficient yet to establish proof beyond a reasonable doubt of that critical element. Evidence as to mens rea can be, and very often is, circumstantial. But this case is not there yet by my eye. It is being investigated, but hard to see it being charged yet.

        • rattlemullet says:

          Thank sir-

          [Please double check your username/email fields for typos or risk your comments being held by auto-mod. I’ve had to correct two of your comments to release them and I don’t want it to be a habit because we don’t have time for this. /~Rayne]

        • cmarlowe says:

          So Trump’s “betrayal” tweet re Pence when he knew the capitol had just been breached could not support an “obstruction” charge? – Circumstantial to be sure, but I don’t know, you tell me.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Help me out on something here. I see the point that it would be very difficult to establish mens rea beyond a reasonable doubt given that there was no direct order given and the man was not present at the orchestrated riot in person. But I *thought* (may be wrong!) that if a person entered into a criminal conspiracy, knowing it was such, then s/he becomes culpable for everything done by any party to the conspiracy – even things they did not know about, even by people they did not know were part of the conspiracy. So if TFG was aware of the attempt to install fake electors and have his VP obstruct the vote certification, wouldn’t he also bear some responsibility for the things his co-conspirators (Stone, Manafort, etc.) were up to – even if he didn’t “know” the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were part of it & intended an insurrection? Again: I know this may be flawed or incorrect. Just asking.

        • Rayne says:

          Trump made no effort to dispatch the National Guard although he was repeatedly asked to take action. Remember that; he didn’t have to be among the rioters to assure they did damage just as the mob boss doesn’t need to pull the trigger. And in Trump’s case he had unique unilateral power to call up the Guard, unlike Pence who had to convene a qualified group to do so.

          I’m sure bmaz will tell me I’m wrong but ~shrug~ it’s another point on which we’ll have to agree to disagree.

        • bmaz says:

          No, will not say you are wrong, because that is right. Is that sufficient, along with other facts, to charge Trump with at least obstruction? Sure. Is it enough to be certain of convicting him? That I am not at all sure of. Yet.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Rayne, I agree wholeheartedly about the genuine culpability of The Rump in all of this. I was inquiring about the question of whether a prosecutor (who is expected only to pursue cases with deemed to have a high probability of success) would be well positioned to do so here even if some of the most criminal (seditious) aspects of the conspiracy can’t be pinned on them. Sounds like bmaz is still on the fence on that question, leaning toward “no” unless more evidence turns up. I do hope bmaz is wrong this time, but never write off what either of you has to say.

        • Franktoo says:

          Bmaz: Perhaps the reason the “case [against Trump] is not there yet” is that Pence has not testified about what Trump said, and Pence’s staff has worked out a deal with the J6SC to not testify about what Pence told them about his conversations with the President. Eastman isn’t testifying about his conversations with Trump.

          On the other hand, it is also worth noting that the J6SC has no one representing the President and poking holes in the testimony.

        • earthworm says:

          “And, so far, the only evidence that he was actively involved in the potential crimes is circumstantial at best.”
          As the GOP candidate, Trump is the one to have benefited from the potential crimes. Doesn’t that add into potent circumstantial evidence?

        • Carol Polos says:

          “Just say that the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” Trump said on the call, according to Donoghue’s notes.

          How does this not demonstrate mens rea?

          [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your second user name; you’ve posted previously as “cpolblue.” Thanks. /~Rayne]

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, it does not “prove” squat by itself. It could be argued as part of a circumstantial case for intent. But doing it live in front of a jury is a LOT harder than people blithely think.

      • bmaz says:

        And now just this morning, DOJ has “again” demanded that the 1/6 Committee turn over copies of all their witness interview transcripts. It is asinine that the Committee has not already done so.

        • Rayne says:

          Are you forgetting that DOJ has also been short staffed while working on their largest investigation ever, and that there may not have been enough personnel accept transcripts?

        • bmaz says:

          No, I have not. They have been asking for them. The only reason they do not have them is this Committee. So they could put on their little dog and pony show.

        • Rayne says:

          You think what you call “their little dog and pony show” is the only reason for not giving up the material? Don’t answer that – they can’t even trust the Capitol Police who are supposed to protect them right now, but sure, they should risk their investigation by creating more dispersion opportunities before they’re ready.

        • bmaz says:

          Bullshit. DOJ can closely hold documents, it is the assholes in Congress that leak like sieves. It is entirely about their sham “hearings”.

        • Rayne says:

          We’ve never, ever seen DOJ leak. And we know all the Trumpy or FedSoc-aligned DOJ have been purged. /sarcasm

        • bmaz says:

          Welp, not really seen it in the 1/6 cases. But the clucks on this so called “Committee” go out every day on TV dropping shit left and right. It is craven that they have refused to share the requested transcripts. And that is exactly what they have done.

        • Jimmy Anderson says:

          Why do you think that might be though BMAZ?
          Genuine question.
          I’m wondering if the J6Committee have become over focused on a strategy to “Get Trump”.
          So perhaps(?) DOJ prosecution/conviction of his foot soldiers has become less important?
          I can’t believe that Liz Cheney is concerned with anyone less than GOP Senators, Lawyers, Representatives, head honchos etc?
          Are you thinking that “this so called committee” is illegitimate in its methods?
          Or could that be the lawyer in you coming out?

        • bmaz says:

          No, do not consider it illegitimate, but its methods are dubious in this regard. I do think it derelict to withohold their transcripts from the DOJ after legitimate and reasonable request. No, the 1/6 cases ar NOT now “less important”. And it is absolutely not up to Thompson and Cheney to unilaterally decide what is important or not to criminal prosecutions. They are just being peevish asses more interested in pumping up their ratings that seeing justice done. What they are doing is a huge problem and jeopardizes entire prosecutions. It is craven.

          The “lawyer in me” would subpoena Thompson, Cheney and their precious transcripts to a grand jury, and if they refused, jail them for civil contempt until they cure the contempt. Obviously, for a myriad of reasons, that will never happen. But the Committee is truly screwing the pooch on this, and it is absolutely correct to point out why and how, which Marcy has done. And it goes far beyond any one case. It is a serious problem, And one the Committee should be scolded for causing.

      • Badger Robert says:

        Trump and family present serious issues. But they need to produce some convictions similar to Ehrlichman and Halderman. Its time to get the enablers.

        • J R in WV says:

          “But they need to produce some convictions similar to Ehrlichman and Halderman. Its time to get the enablers.”

          Yes, along with Martin Bormann, Stephen Miller, and Herman Goering, all of whom should hang in Nurnberg… oops, time slip, sorry. I’ll come back in again…

          I did think it odd that Nixon’s henchmen were such good sounding German names. And Mr Miller’s name is so bland, wonder where he is from? /s

        • Douglas Erhard says:

          Trump and family present serious PRECEDENTS, yes.

          But it is long past time for the DOJ to practice what it preaches: that no man is above the law, in America. There have been governors indicted, convicted and imprisoned. As well as congress-critters, police officers, etc., And even one SITTING Vice President.

          There simply is no good reason not to pursue charges against Donald Trump. Or, as some others have put it: “The only thing worse than indicting Trump is NOT indicting Trump.”

      • gmoke says:

        So bmaz does not believe there is no prima facie case for wire fraud in the $250 million raised for “Stop the Steal” of which, it seems, not one dollar went to that particular project?

        Are you saying that there is no criminal case on the Federal or state level for which there is enough existing evidence to investigate and possibly prosecute Trmp?

        I just want to be sure of what you’re saying here. No offense meant.

        • bmaz says:

          No offense taken! Prima facie case is not the applicable charging standard, it is a clear belief they can prove up a conviction beyond a reasonable doubt in a trial. I do not believe that is present as to the Stop The Steal fund. First off, SCOTUS has pretty much said all “campaign” contributions are likely okay. More that that though, you need victims of the fraud. There are none so identifying yet. And Trump’s supporters likely would not care if he took every cent and bought a mega yacht. I am not sure any will be so coming forward. The only state level person “investigating” is NY AG Leticia James, but she has no criminal jurisdiction whatsoever, only civil (unless specifically designated by Governor Hochul, and that has not even been mentioned, much less done). Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg seems unlikely given all he has already shined on. And, again, where are the complaining victims?

        • evets says:

          what about the Georgia “find me votes” case? I guess just for clarity, are there any cases you think may end up with an indictment against Trump? IRS?

        • bmaz says:

          Doubt IRS, it would take take an insane amount of their resources after Congress/GOP has starved them of funds. Georgia I don’t know. Fani Willis has been game so far, but will there really be a GJ indictment? Would it really result in a conviction? No clue. Trump better hire somebody more sane than Lin Wood as a defense atty if so though.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          Maybe we will get a hint of the investigation in Georgia on Tuesday when Raffensperger is set to testify.

        • bmaz says:

          Maybe. But remember there is reportedly a grand jury running there, and the only thing Raffensperger would be able to relate is, assuming he even wants to, what he personally encountered in front of them. Assuming Fans Willis has already called him.

        • grennan says:

          Mail fraud? Franking* political or insurrectionist materials?

          *The signature on the envelope of president or congress people that gets mail carried free.

        • John Lehman says:

          “ Trump’s supporters likely would not care if he took every cent and bought a mega yacht.”

          Brings to mind a famous Lyndon Johnson quote;

          “ I’ll tell you what’s at the bottom of it. If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

  13. harpie says:

    2:21 1/5/21 TRUMP tweet 11:06 AM
    Jacob about meeting that morning

    Jacob surprised me that when E. came in, he said I’’m here to request that you reject the electors. He had said the opposite on 1/4/21
    JACOB notes: “Requesting VP reject”

  14. harpie says:

    2:26 Jacob: Eastman thought the courts would stay out of it, and they would have 10 more days

  15. harpie says:

    2:36 5pm phone call Short, Jacob, Eastman Trump
    2:37 Trump’s false statement about Pence’s position
    Jacob: we were shocked and disappointed.
    2:38 Short and Miller phone call after false tweet

  16. harpie says:

    3:01 re: early drafts of ellipse speech did not say anything about PENCE

    304 2:13 PM Rioters breached the Capitol [VIDEO]
    What was going on at WH?
    By 2PM MEADOWS informed TRUMP about violence BEFORE 2:24 tweet


  17. Tom says:

    Watching the coverage on PBS and hear one of the commentators describe Eastman and others around Trump as being “deluded” about their ability to overturn the results of the 2020 election. You never hear bank robbers or carjackers described as being “deluded” about their right to steal other people’s money or vehicles, so I don’t see why the efforts of Eastman et al. to steal an election should be attributed to some sort of mental glitch.

    • John Paul Jones says:

      Agreed. It’s more like they were trying to beguile others into thinking it would okay (“cool” in TFG’s words) to rob that bank. They themselves, however, seem to have been quite clear that they were doing it because they wanted to do it, legality be damned (“Masks? check. Guns? check. Getaway car? Hmm. Let me get back to you on that one….”).

  18. harpie says:

    3:07 Ben Williamson, Sarah Matthews [WH aides] re: happenings at WH [I think they said these are MEADOWS aides]

    3:09 A: after tweet crowds surged. Pence evacuated

  19. harpie says:

    3:17 JACOB to PENCE email: We are now under siege
    EASTMAN response

    3:19 Did Eastman call you after reconvened session? Yes.

  20. Rayne says:

    Approx. 3:24 p.m. — Really not liking this exploration of faith-based reactions. Makes my skin crawl.

      • CambridgeKnitter says:

        I share your distaste, but the reason for including this seems obvious to me. They aren’t talking to us; we’re already on board. This is a direct rebuke to the people who think their Christian God anointed Donald Trump as president. No one who subscribes to that way of thinking can deny that Mike Pence is a fellow traveler, nor would any of them expect him to start his day in any other way. To my way of thinking, it appears that Mike Pence’s God, who doubtless strongly resembles Mike Pence in all the ways that make people like me dislike him intensely, told him that there were lines he could not cross.

        • harpie says:

          I agree with this, too.
          Also, LUTTIG said something similar…something like maybe he and PENCE were saying the same prayer to the same God.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Agree about the reservations and also the justification. I don’t know that Rep. Aguilar was the person to solicit that testimony; I was wondering if Thompson might have stepped in. Or Raskin–the latter to underscore the First Amendment issue.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          I think Aguilar was the person who asked. He said something along the lines of, May I ask you about an issue of faith.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          I wasn’t clear enough, SL. What I meant was maybe someone else *should* have fielded the Faith Questions. Aquilar seemed, to me at least, to be striking a tone of “We’re all Christians here, right?” A shade too solicitous for my taste.

  21. harpie says:

    3:37 LUTTIG on TRUMP, allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy

    • harpie says:

      3:42 LUTTIG: Former President and his allies are openly executing that blueprint for 2024
      3:45 Adjourned

      • rawsocal1 says:

        Seems like it’s being tested at a local level in New Mexico with the Cowboys for Trump guy and 2 other republican officials refusing to certify a primary in their county.

  22. TimB says:

    From the terrific (thank you!) emptywheel twitter account:
    “Marc Short describes texting Pence 2 Timothy 4:7. I kept the faith.”
    Earlier in Timothy 4:7 we find the perfect metaphor for trumpism, in general, with regard to elections and most narrowly, Eastman:
    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

    • observiter says:

      He’ll have plenty of time when he’s out on the sidewalk holding a metal cup for penny donations. I hope RICO becomes relevant and he loses all his real estate/assets (my dream). It would probably calm things down all around.

      • Rayne says:

        Please, stop with the RICO. I’m so bloody tired of it when a community member with 102 comments under their belt should know by now all it does is rile up the resident attorney and he’s already been in a week-long lather.

        • Rayne says:

          I am ready to ask for a disclaimer to be added to the site’s coding next to the “Post Comment” button which says, NO, IT IS NEVER THE RICO — EVER — DON’T DO IT, DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, KISS YOUR COMMENT GOODBYE.

        • grennan says:

          Can you explain how the case for treason Glenn Kirschner laid out on Katie Phang’s MSNBC show this weekend is beyond a stretch? (Didn’t see it, no cable in this house, Raw Story summed up the points.)

          Thanks for the educating analyses…

        • bmaz says:

          Because Glenn Kirschner is a ridiculously hyperbolic self promoter who desperately wants his own TV show on MSNBC. His theory about treason is ludicrous. Very arguably what Trump did constituted several potential crimes, irrespective if they are ever charged, but he certainly did NOY levy was against the US. Ludicrous is actually not even a strong enough description, it is insane. Seriously, Kirchner is contending that the US is at war with the US, and that the US are enemies? The “enemy has to be a foreign state actor for which Congress has formally declared war or given an authorization for military force (an AUMF). Clearly, there is no such thing, the discussion of it is preposterous. Here is a detailed explainer from my friend Steve Vladeck, give it a read and you will fully understand why Kirschner is out of his mind. It also explains why I get animated when folks keep wrongfully blurting the term out because it makes them feel good. Doing so makes all of us look stupid.

        • punaise says:

          I was going to post a clip of Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite (“I coulda gone pro”) but came to my senses just in time.

    • Badger Robert says:

      Except Eastman = Goering, while Ginni Thomas was not sharp enough to know that she was in way beyond her mental capacity.

  23. wetzel says:

    So DOJ wrote to the select committee yesterday saying the committee is hampering criminal investigations by their “failure” to provide witness transcripts.

    People act like this is a falling out. Maybe it is good for the rule of law for the Dept. of Justice to say in a strong and forceful way they have NOT been coordinating investigations with the House Committee, which is what this is. They have been not coordinating, because those witness transcripts were generated for legislative purposes, but it turns out, looking at the evidence set, they do have a prosecutorial purpose.

    This was always going to be delicate, the shift from developing the history of what happened to referral for prosecution. The transformation into prosecutor’s evidence is better as a pull from DOJ than as a push from the House.

    • bmaz says:

      Bullshit. DOJ should just issue a GJ subpoena to the cravenly recalcitrant Committee, and charge them if they do not comply.

    • P J Evans says:

      It sounds like DOJ is surprised by what’s coming out in these hearings. Weren’t they looking closely at these people already? Shouldn’t they have found most of this before now?

      • Makeitso says:

        There is, and has been no indication, that DOJ has looked higher up the food chain. It is amazing people seeking pardons are facing no charges. Even THEY knew it was illegal.

        • wetzel says:

          Does the completeness of Dept. of Justice understanding exceed committee revelations and evidence. We know it does in many dimensions such as the counter-intelligence dimension.

          A fascist putsch just threatened the very integrity of the Department of Justice. They will want to create signs we are not fascist. This little spat helps people understand that there are two separate investigations, separation of powers and prosecutorial independence. The Jan 6 Committee is not a Tribunal Criminel. As prosecutions move up the conspiracy, the right will try to make it out that Jamie Raskin is a new Robespierre and this is all one kangaroo court, which they can re-enact the next time they control the House and the Dept. of Justice.

        • wetzel says:

          DOJ wrote to the select committee yesterday saying the committee is hampering criminal investigations by their “failure” to provide witness transcripts. Why didn’t they write this message to the committee six weeks ago? If it were true today, that failure to provide witness transcripts was hindering criminal investigations, certainly it was true six weeks ago. They are making this letter now so that everyone will know the history up to now.

          The Department of Justice has not been coordinating with the House Committee. The complaint letter communicates this history to everyone because that is its premise. When legislatures become prosecutors, you have McCarthyism and show trials. The premise of the Dept. of Justice letter is that this is not our situation. I believe the DOJ is very keen to communicate that to the American people given how the dept. was Jeffrey Clark away from becoming involved in the coup and being used for show trial like activities in coordination with Republican representatives, things like investigating the ‘web’ around Sussman or Hunter Biden’s laptop.

        • bmaz says:

          Um, they have had those discussions for a long time now so, no, that is bunk. Seriously, where do you come up with your “thoughts”?

        • bmaz says:

          You need to read harder and justify less. If you did you would know that DOJ has asked well previously and the Committee said, only kind of politely, “no”.

        • Makeitso says:

          If today’s hearing and evidence presented didn’t make you go wtf- why are these people free, I honestly do not know what to say. It was a true holy God day.

      • bmaz says:

        I highly doubt DOJ is surprised by much out of the hearings. Frankly there is not much that is very new. However, if DOJ is going to keep moving up the food chain, they really do need prior statements of the people they suspect, and the Committee is bogusly denying them that. It really is critically important.

        • wetzel says:

          The House Committee takes it on the chin and gets called ‘bogus’ while DOJ signals, ‘okay, we will take it from here after these live hearings are over’.

        • bmaz says:

          What the heck? DOJ has been working on all this FAR longer that the “1/6 Committee”. And they are separate, and nowhere near equal, entities when it comes to criminal investigations and prosecutions.

        • hollywood says:

          Apparently you are a criminal defense attorney in Arizona. So what are your sources for all your strongly held opinions? Inquiring minds want to know.
          As for prior statements, the Committee has repeatedly said it is making deposition testimony available on its site.

        • bmaz says:

          Hi there “inquiring mind”. My “sources” are over three decades of dealing with the DOJ and other prosecutors and trying jury trial cases in both federal and state courts, coupled with paying attention to every bit of information I can consume, reading pretty much every word, including comments, on our blog and in the news.

          As to the transcripts, that is not right. The Committee has only dribbled a few out “after” they have publicly used them in their “hearings”. They remain inappropriately recalcitrant about sharing the many hundreds of others with the DOJ, which really does need them to do their job. So, no, they are not simply “available on their site” as you blithely claim.

        • hollywood says:

          Riddle me this. Why wouldn’t the Committee want to share transcripts with DoJ? Fear of leaks? Fear of “surprise” revelations being undermined? I don’t see the logic.

        • bmaz says:

          I do not do “riddles”. Ask the Committee in search of logic, I do not have those answers, nor see the logic other than self promotion.

        • bmaz says:

          Eh, that has been obvious for a long time, the 1/6 “hearings” have added only a little at best. But the difference between being able to get an indictment and successfully getting a conviction from a jury is a mile wide, and it remains so.

  24. Outcountry says:

    If Trump’s goal was to reject (or delay) the elector count and Mike Pence refused to do it, am I supposed to believe that no one at the White House had the brilliant idea to have Pence skip the session and let someone more pliable (looking at you, Grassley) do it instead? Pence could claim he just tested positive for covid, for example. What are the odds that the committee did ask about this scenario, knows what happened, but decided not to tell us how it played out?

    • Rayne says:

      Do you have any evidence at all this was a possibility, having Pence skip the session? Share it here.

      • punaise says:

        I found this:

        Rudy Giuliani’s emails reveal scheme to push Mike Pence out on Jan. 6
        Giuliani’s ally concocted a scheme to have Pence recuse himself from the vote count to overturn the election

        …Pence would hand over the baton to Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the Senate president pro tempore, by claiming that he has a “conflict of interest” as a result of being on the 2020 ballot.

        • Rayne says:

          I appreciate the effort, but there was a point to my asking. Username Outcountry has only made 11 comments here and may have other reasons for asking their question. It’s on them to provide enough material to justify House J6 following that line of inquiry versus this one in which Eastman figures larges in a substantive amount of material.

        • Outcountry says:

          I don’t have any ulterior agenda. I remember reading the same stuff as punaise, which prompted my question. The committee seems to be rightly focusing on Trump + Eastman. The Grassley option says there may be more to the story than they presented today.

        • CambridgeKnitter says:

          There’s a Daily Kos diary from last December that pulls together a bunch of the reports that Pence would be absent and be replaced by Senator Grassley as president pro tem of the Senate. Copy and paste are currently not working properly on my computer, so I hope this is typed accurately, other than the broken part: dailykos com/stories/2021/12/11/2068803/-So-why-did-Chuck-Grassley-expect-Pence-s-absence-from-the-Capitol-on-6-January.

      • Douglas Erhard says:

        Well, there’s this:

        “We don’t expect him to be there,” Grassley, 87, initially said of Pence, per Roll Call. As president pro tempore of the Senate, or the second-highest ranking official of the chamber, Grassley suggested he would stand in for Pence.

        [FYI, link replaced with direct link to the source you’re citing. Please avoid using link shorteners as they track users. /~Rayne]

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Pence would have to agree with that – there’s no evidence he was inclined to do so – or Trump would have had to kidnap him, which would tear off the small fig leaf covering the ample rump of his illegal coup.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        But do remember that Pence refused to get in the car driven by a Secret Service agent he didn’t know. The people testifying today from Pence’s office can say that he insisted on staying put so that he could complete the job, but he also had a reasonably good idea that TFG was doing nothing to protect him from the mob. Stepping into that car might have been the last thing he ever did.

      • vvv says:

        Brings to mind his refusal to get in the vehicle while in the underground garage – “I trust *you* Tim, but …”

      • Douglas Erhard says:

        There’s a little bit of evidence…….

        Pence was doing all he could possibly do, to find a way to carry out Trump’s orders. If you were generous, you could call it “doing due diligence.” Up until you learn that he even asked Dan Quayle if there was any way he could legally do it. Dan (to his credit) told him “NO!!”

        Pence went to all his colleagues, former employers and Dan effing Quayle, trying to find someone (other than Eastman), ANYONE to say it’s okay. Then he waited until the morning of January 6th, to write a final letter saying that he couldn’t legally do it. And he only did THAT, because the day before, Trump lied saying he and Pence were in agreement.

        Mike Pence’s dithering is partly what enraged the mob at the last minute, to greater heights of violence.

        Pence is no hero. He just did his job.

        That said, I agree with the Jan6th committee’s strategy of glorifying Pence. They’re smart to glorify any republican who wasn’t involved in attacking congress.

  25. Ddub says:

    I keep reminding myself that the needle doesn’t have to move a lot but good grief they are making it hard.

  26. William Bennett says:

    It did finally get mentioned, but I spent a lot of the hearing yelling that it wasn’t just Trump whom Pence would have been declaring winner, it also would have been Pence himself. If the intent of the amendment was what Eastman et al. claimed, it would have given the VP the authority to declare himself the victor as well, not just POTUS. Which is nuts.

  27. Savage Librarian says:

    In this hearing, I think we may have learned that it is unlikely that Ivanka would participate in any future Trump campaign or administration. If you look at the segment between the 2:02:00 mark and the 2:02:44 mark, there is one particular comment that slips by quickly. It’s a discussion about the call Trump had with Pence in the early morning of 1/6/21.

    Herschmann, Ivanka, and Julie Radford are interviewed about Ivanka’s reaction to this call. And a male voiceover (maybe one of the staff lawyers?) makes a statement about one particular comment of Ivanka’s. He says she said something to the effect of, “I made the wrong decision 4 or 5 years ago.”

    This sounds like she’s saying she should not have encouraged Donald to run for President and she should not have worked in the White House.

    The tone of the voices in this hearing is difficult to listen to. So many of the people (both interviewees and staff doing the interviews) are clearly very depressed. Eastman, however, sounds defiant. And Herschmann is angry.

    • harpie says:

      I’m pretty sure that person is quoting [paraphrasing?] TRUMP:

      On Jan. 6, at about 10 am, Pence spoke by phone with Trump, who was in the Oval Office with two of his advisers, General Keith Kellogg and Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.[125] Pence told Trump that he was heading to the Capitol soon, and that he planned to perform his job without executing Eastman’s plan. Trump persisted in objecting: “Mike, this is not right! Mike, you can do this. I’m counting on you to do it. If you don’t do it, I picked the wrong man four years ago. You’re going to wimp out.”[126] Trump also reportedly said words to the effect of, “You don’t have the courage to make a hard decision.”[127]

  28. Reverse tool order says:

    Just made a small donation to help keep it coming, though “it” is often at least a little over my head (with expertise elsewhere).

    I find the Jan 6th hearings useful, though I’m aware of most of the info. I appreciate much of the constructive & sharp commentary. Thanks specifically to Rayne and emptywheel for making it happen.

    • bmaz says:

      THANK YOU! And, it will count in time as evidence, even if maybe not quite in the way most people hope for.

  29. civil says:

    At the end of the hearing, Thompson highlighted the Committee’s Tip Line: . I’m guessing that it’s intended for people with direct knowledge of relevant events, but I’m wondering if it might also be used to draw attention to lines of public inquiry that we think would be productive (e.g., Roger Stone as a link between the WH and the P.B. / O.K. conspiracies, Alex Jones using his stage/permit to get the mob up the stairs on the east side of the Capitol) or follow-up questions we’d like them to pose to today’s witnesses (e.g., what does Luttig think about Ginni Thomas’s communication with Eastman / what questions would he ask if she agrees to a voluntary interview?).

    • vvv says:

      I thought immediately prior to that he was speaking of/to potential participants, witnesses and even legislators (some known) who are in a position to be, maybe even debating with themselves about, coming forward with info …

  30. Jim O'Neill says:

    (Hope I’m not bein’ redundant here. Read all the comments, but worried I still might just be repeatin’. )

    At the 5hr mark in her Twitter feed today, Marcy remarked:

    “Trump dictating a false statement about Pence’s belief is pretty crimey.

    I mean, even by his standards.”

    I replied to her tweet some time after, and now say the same here, that I think she hit on the key point of today’s hearing. Aguilar had just presented in great detail all of the meetings and conversations held Jan 4 and Jan 5 between trump (with Eastman with him) and Pence (w Jacob and Short). Both of Pence’s guys repeatedly testified that Pence was completely firm with trump that Pence did NOT have the authority to do either of Eastman’s proposals (that on Jan 6, Pence could either suspend the counting session or reject some disputed states’ electors). Pence’s guys had said either was illegal, and at some point got Eastman to agree. They both repeated to the committee (Short via video deposition, Jacob in person today) that Pence was very clear to trump that Pence did not have this authority, and therefore he would not do either. This went on for a while, covering meetings held both days.
    Once Aguilar had drilled all this in, he then posted a short, official presidential communique from trump, issued late on 1/5 or early 1/6, after all these meetings, to the effect that “I (trump) and Vice President Pence are in total agreement that he has the authority to reject / return electoral votes”. (Sorry I don’t have the exact wording, but it was a very short statement and just this precise.) This seems quite crimey to me, too.

  31. xy xy says:

    Throughout today’s hearing we heard that Pence was a hero because he wouldn’t leave the Capital, because he cared about the nation and constitution above all else.
    I think it was Jacobs today who said that Pence asked who was driving and he wasn’t leaving unless Tony was the driver.
    So, was he really the hero, patriot and all the other bs they all say he was?
    Or unless it was Tony, that he feared he and his family were going to be brought to the “protestors” to be hung and it was safer to stay put?
    He only had 4 years to show he was a patriot, cared about the constitution, people and the nation and, sure he does, like a hole in the head.

    • madwand says:

      Mike Pence still has a chance to show that he’s a patriot and testify rather than relying on his staff to set the record straight. Probability most likely zero to none. Would love to be proved wrong.

    • harpie says:

      Via nycsouthpaw:
      11:35 PM · Jun 16, 2022

      BREAKING: In a May 19th court filing, John Eastman’s lawyer claimed constitutional protection against disclosure of THIRTY emails relating to a group he spoke with TWICE about “current events.” His release of an email today shows the group was Frontliners, the Ginni Thomas group. [THREAD]

    • harpie says:

      Via Laura Rozen:
      11:14 AM · Jun 18, 2022

      Ginni Thomas is listed as an administrator of a Facebook group [Frontliners for Liberty] that goes by a similar name and description to a group she asked Eastman to brief.

      The group’s pages were removed from public view after CNBC reached out to Thomas about the organization. [screenshot] [link]

      Links to:
      Ginni Thomas-tied Facebook group ‘FrontLiners for Liberty’ could be a new focus in Jan. 6 investigation FRI, JUN 17 2022

      […] The private group, which listed more than 50 members, was created in August 2020, just two months before the November elections, according to the page’s description.

      The group, which CNBC reviewed before it was removed from public view, described itself as “a new collaborative, liberty-focused, action-oriented group of state leaders representing grassroots armies to CONNECT, INFORM and ACTIVATE each other weekly to preserve constitutional governance.” Although Thomas’ personal Facebook page isn’t verified, it contained numerous photos of Justice Thomas. […]

      • harpie says:

        From the article:

        […] CNBC also tried to get answers through Facebook messenger to Stephanie Coleman, who is also listed administrator of the group and the wife of the late Gregory Coleman who was Texas’ solicitor general. Greg Coleman was once a clerk for Justice Thomas. […]

      • harpie says:

        More from the article:

        […] CNBC also tried to get answers through Facebook messenger to Stephanie Coleman, who is also listed administrator of the group and the wife of the late Gregory Coleman who was Texas’ solicitor general. Greg Coleman was once a clerk for Justice Thomas.

        Coleman and Thomas are repeatedly pictured together on Coleman’s personal Facebook page, including a photo of the two together in December 2016 with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. […]

      • harpie says:

        […] The Frontliners group also worked with a conservative advocacy organization known as FreedomWorks […]
        Since Trump lost the election, FreedomWorks has pushed the idea that there needs to be election reforms. Conservative lawyer Cleta Mitchell, who used to work with Trump’s campaign, now chairs FreedomWorks’ multimillion dollar National Election Protection Initiative, according to Newsmax. […]

  32. hollywood says:

    Enough with the preamble. It’s time for Eastman and Pence to testify against Trump. If not, I guess the P-word does apply.

  33. Ewan says:

    I don’t think these hearings are only about evidence. They are are about restoring the narrative of the united states, the common story most people believed as “profound truth” to take the words of J. Michael Luttig. Namely that there is a nation, and despite everything, Bennie Thompson can praise Mike Pence. And J. Michael Luttig can say he is honored to be asked to participate to this to Bennie Thompson. This is very important, and not insignificant at all, and not a given because nothing is. Even 2+2=4 needs to be said from time to time, and affirming that it is still true matters.

  34. tinao says:

    Okay, I’ll admit here that I have not read the comments yet, so if this has been covered I apologize.
    But, can some one (bmaz I’m looking at you :-) ) what specifically was Judge Luttig referring to when he said ” prosecutorial mischief ” It seems to me to be confusing in that it would give our propaganda channels something to confuse the public over causing people to believe the entire enterprise was just prosecutorial mischief rather than some specific act by eastman. Hopefully someone can answer that for me.
    I call the entire enterprise straight up criminality. I am tired of word useage that soft peddles crime.

    • tinao says:

      And let me just say thank you to Judge Luttig for all that he said. It was only this one thing he said that I found to be curious.

      • xy xy says:

        Saying thank you to all these creeps, Cheyney (voted for every conservative agenda, etc), Luttig (helped get Thomas on high court), Pence (Covid BS actions/and lack of, etc)… is outrageous to me.
        These creeps are what got us to here and most likely the future with rigged elections, stealing votes from opponents (ie everything tfg accused the opposition of doing).
        With her new appeal, I can’t wait to see Cheyney’s insurrection and next move to destroy millions of people and/or people’s lives.

        • tinao says:

          Whoooaaa xy xy, I get it. Yes, they have done awful awful things, and will continue to given the next chance, but we have to be aware of what is going down NOW. Making consensus forces you to deal with everyone and shit won’t happen unless you do.

    • bmaz says:

      I am honestly not sure. Durham is certainly up to prosecutorial mischief, but don’t see how that would really play into the subject of Luttig’s testimony.

    • harpie says:

      LUTTIG called it “Constitutional mischief”. The exchange begins at [58:48] of C-span.


      [58:48] AGUILLAR […]
      LUTTIG: But what this body needs to know, and now America needs to know, is that that was the centerpiece of the plan to overturn the 2020 election. […]

      Taking advantage of, if you will, what many have said is the inartful wording of that sentence in the 12th Amendment. Scholars before 2020 would have used that historical precedent to argue, not that Vice President Pence could overturn the 2020 election by accepting non-certified state electoral votes, but they would have made arguments as to some substantive, not merely procedural, authority possessed by the Vice President of the United States on — on the statutorily prescribed day for counting the Electoral College votes.

      This is — this is constitutional mischief.

      • tinao says:

        Thank you harpie, that clarifies it for me. I just don’t want the propaganda channels to muddy pristine waters. :-) But like I said earlier, it’s the only statement he made that seemed to soft peddle the criminality.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          tinao, I wondered about that phrase too. I think our perception of “soft pedaling” derives from the common use of the word mischief. I’m guessing that Luttig was using the word in a much more historically based (that is, originalist) way. In the 18th century, “mischief” did not denote, much less connote, cute kids’ pranks. Remember that our constitution barely post-dated the New England witch trials by a century, and mischief figured centrally among those accusations. I am not a legal scholar, but in literature and historical texts, mischief refers to schemes with the dimension of corruption–that is, recruiting others to join in ill intent.

  35. Belyn says:

    The whole historical precedent bit left me scratching my head. Is it just the view that the VP has additional powers that might be exercised beyond opening the ballots as specified in the Electoral Count Act of 1887?

  36. bawiggans says:

    My impression of what the J6 committee is trying to do with these hearings is to structure and summarize the findings of their enormous investigation for presentation to the general public via the medium of television. Presumably to keep the audience engaged they have included a limited number of “hot” elements of live witnesses making statements and responding to a few canned questions from the panel to breakup all the “cool” video clips that sample and montage the physical and testimonial evidence they have processed. I think this has been pretty effective so far in building up a coherent image of a concrete plan to overturn the result of the election in the interest of and with the participation of Donald Trump.

    bmaz has called the hearing “truncated garbage” among other disdainful things that indicate that he believes we would be better served by some other form for the hearings. Though we are now stuck with the hearings we have, I still would like to know what bmaz thinks would be a better proceeding and what purpose that proceeding should be serving.

    • bmaz says:

      I have stated that many times already. All evidence, testimonial and documentary, admitted through live witnesses and done over however long it takes without the artificial constraint of seven truncated, mostly heavily edited, video shows. But you are right, this is the format and we are stuck with it. So be it, I hope it works to some decent effect.

      • bawiggans says:

        Thanks for the patient reply. I find it difficult to imagine how an investigation with this many witnesses and this volume of evidence could find the support from almost any quarter for the kind of hearings you specify. I don’t disagree that such would be better.

        • bmaz says:

          Not sure it would be more effective overall, just think it would be more appropriate. And would leave a LOT better record than a stunted video presentation.

  37. tinao says:

    Now I got a lot of planting to still do, so I will leave you with what my lawyer brother quoted yesterday as we were texting through the hearing, ” We have only one story. All novels, all poetry, are built on the neverending contest in ourselves of good and evil. And it occurs to me that evil must constantly respawn, while good, while virtue is immortal. Vice has always, a new fresh young face, while virtue is venerable as nothing else in the world is.” John Steinbeck.

  38. The Old Redneck says:

    Eastman knew he was peddling bullshit. It was never about finding a legitimate constitutional argument. Rather, it was about manufacturing “legal cover” for what they wanted to do anyway. And we can trace that ploy back to John Yoo and his torture memos.
    Yoo ended up with a faculty position as a law professor at Berkeley (God knows how, but it happened). Eastman, on the other hand, is trying to figure out how to stay out of jail.
    That’s some kind of progress, I guess.

    • tinao says:

      I realize the eastman stuff, my comment is about what the propaganda channel might try to do with Judge Luttig’s quote. And I agree, The Old Redneck, sure is some kind of backward progress.

  39. Ravenclaw says:

    People (here and elsewhere) keep tossing around the hypothesis that Judge Luttig had suffered a stroke. So far anyway, all of the reporters who’ve looked into it say no. There is no evidence of his having had a stroke or other serious condition.

    While I am not that much of an expert, I do have a background in clinical neuropsychology. And having watched his testimony, I did not see anything that looked like the aftermath of a stroke. If a stroke affects speech it is generally going to be in one of two ways. You may see disruption of language itself (aphasia). If expressive language is damaged, the person will have difficulty (at a minimum) with word-finding – especially low-frequency nouns – and will tend to speak in a kind of “telegraphic” style, with brief/unelaborated statements. That is not at all what we were treated to. His statements were richly developed, with complex periods unfolding in multiple clauses. Nothing like Broca’s aphasia. Alternatively, a stroke may damage motor control of the speech system while sparing language. In such cases speech has a quality known as dysarthria: the words are there, but the delivery is tortured – pronunciation is poor, there is a visible struggle to make the lips, tongue, throat do as one desires, etc. Again, that it nothing like what we saw. He enunciated with perfect clarity.

    What we saw was primarily a slow delivery: prolonged latencies before speaking, words being spoken deliberately, and pauses between clauses. You could get this in certain clinical conditions, such as severe depression or possibly Parkinsonism. But it doesn’t seem likely to reflect the aftermath of an emergency situation like a stroke or TBI. Quite possibly he was simply feeling the historic gravity/pressure of the moment (compounded by the fact that he was attacking people he formerly supported and whose political positions he often espouses, which has to be psychologically difficult) and was taking great care in choosing his words, knowing that they would be parsed and critiqued widely – possibly for months or years to come.

    The observation by bmaz that he seemed much older and sicker than a few years ago would add to the likelihood that he would be careful, methodical, unlikely to plunge in with half-baked assertions. Some cognitive slowing is likely. But the man’s higher cognitive processes were pretty obviously intact.

    Ready to be corrected by any board-certified neuropsychologist or neurologist out there.

    • bmaz says:

      I have no idea what is going on with him, but it is absolutely not that he was just being careful and timid about speaking. That is simply not Luttig in the least, not even close.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        Then I would lean toward depression or Parkinson’s (or possibly some rarer form of subcortical dementia) – something associated with slowed cognition but not a language disorder or loss of reasoning ability.

        • bmaz says:

          No clue, but he is not that old at all. Wrong side of what most all of us think as to las, but a whip smart and amiable guy. His writing, if not edited, would indicate his faculties are intact. Nut, man, I felt for him yesterday, and applaud that he was willing to stand in, in person, despite whatever is going on. Credit where truly due.

    • harpie says:

      Thank you! This sounds right to me [NOT any kind of expert!]

      Quite possibly he was simply feeling the historic gravity/pressure of the moment (compounded by the fact that he was attacking people he formerly supported and whose political positions he often espouses, which has to be psychologically difficult) and was taking great care in choosing his words, knowing that they would be parsed and critiqued widely – possibly for months or years to come.

      And I noticed this as I was transcribing some of the dialog
      [until THANKFULLY the NPR transcript came out!]:

      His statements were richly developed, with complex periods unfolding in multiple clauses.

        • bmaz says:

          No clue what it is, but there was something very different, and there is no way it is just Luttig being careful with his words. He was been in huge court cases and on the bench , for a long time and constant speaking arrangements. Sharp as a tack, and excellent at speaking on his feet. It ain’t that. Never exhibited anything remotely close to what everybody saw yesterday. Something, whatever it is, has changed.

    • tinao says:

      I said to my brother it was like he was being tortured to say what he was saying. Being a nurse who takes care of stroke victims, I’d have to see his baseline before this is determined. He seemed to me to be choosing his words carefully. But that’s just me with no baseline. : – )

      • tinao says:

        Despite his present physical condition possibly, his words were correct and bless him for it!

      • bmaz says:

        Mike Luttig has never, at any point over decades, sounded like he did at the “hearing” and if you think he did, you have never seen him before.

        • civil says:

          I didn’t suggest that he’d ever sounded like that before. I simply noted that he didn’t sound like that in his interview tonight. You can listen to the interview and judge for yourself whether it sounds like what you’re used to from him, or if his speech still seems off.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          Luttig says his pausing was deliberate
          https://twitter.(dot) com/judgeluttig/status/1538266496371245057?s=20&t=utHhgLhqcmfLUVoOfZj3cw

          Here is part of that thread:

          What you could not know, and did not know, but I will tell you now, is that I believed I had an obligation to the Select Committee and to the country, first to formulate . . . then to measure . . . and then . . . to meter out . . .every . . . single . . . word . . . that I spoke . . . , carefully . . . exactingly . . . and . . . deliberately, so that the words I spoke were pristine clear and would be heard, and therefore understood, as such

        • bmaz says:

          Have no idea what is up, but anybody who thinks Luttig was just measuring his words is nuts. I wish the best for him. His words were still important, and the transcript, and his op-ed pieces will stand, and that is a good thing.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          I agree that it was surreal and he looked ill, but he gave an interview to NPR two days later (yesterday)and he speaks without the pauses and heaving chest..

          In his twitter feed he writes
          “All of this said, I am not recovering from a stroke or any other malady, I promise. Thankfully, I have never been as sick or as so debilitated as that ever in my life,”

          https://www.npr.(dot) org/2022/06/18/1106089263/former-federal-judge-warns-of-danger-to-american-democracy

        • Savage Librarian says:

          When I took the stand in my case against the city, I did not sound anything like I normally did. I was deeply impacted by the situation and felt seriously constrained by the very weird circumstances. But I’m not sure others could tell that I came across differently than I usually did, because they did not know me. I froze.

        • bmaz says:

          Like I said, maybe that’s it as to Luttig. But he is not even close to being a rookie at it. He is one of the very most prolific conservative givers of opinion and public speakers over the last few decades, not to mention all his work on the bench in federal court. I still remain skeptical, but it doesn’t really matter at this point, he said what he said and how he said it, and it is what it is.

        • Ravenclaw says:

          Yes, he sounded so much different I almost thought I’d gotten the introduction wrong! After hearing that I’m back to thinking it was the psychological stress of speaking to history, for the rule of law and against his usual allies – wanting to get everything exactly right. I know that conflicts with bmaz’s experience of the man, but can’t come up with any better explanation.

  40. may says:

    alright, this time i’ll be good.

    from the time of the libby trial i have watched with mounting dismay the rise of the parasites,
    (marjorie-malice comes to mind) and a kind of mist of “divine-right” bulldust .

    really, there is a difference between a Friend (“some one who is there when you need a friend”)
    and the personable, unreliable social aquaintance.

    keep it up people.

  41. Susan D. Einbinder says:

    Hello – new to posting as well as posting here, where I appreciate greatly the discussion. Has anyone thought or taken any steps to plan to address what may happen after the next election in November? Florida’s governor has created his own ‘police’ to ‘protect’ the integrity of the process, but I have neither read nor seen anything about what people can or should do if, say, there are white supremacists at the polls with guns, or if the crazies refuse to accept valid results, or, well, worse than that.

  42. xy xy says:

    As Sam Seder and Heather Parton said on
    starting at about 22:00, Pence was no hero.
    He consulted with:
    *Quayle (a fellow con). How many more cons do you need to consult if one tells you no?
    *Luttig (left Boeing just after 737max crashes after he was “managing legal matters associated with the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents”).
    *who knows who else.
    *with Eastman he spent lots of time on the 5th (eve of the insurrection) trying to figure out how he could do what tfg wanted him to and when others said no; if he cared, why would Pence have seen Eastman or not thrown him out?

    Hopefully some Dem has the guts to call it out and quit making these creeps “heroes”.
    Luttig was no doubt watching his words, because he as well, was probably hunting high and lo to figure out with Pence how they could do it, and he’s no different than Ginni but smarter and thinking every word twice so as not to slip up and show to what extent he wanted to find a way.
    They’re all cons and need to be so designated.

    • bmaz says:

      With due respect to you and/or Digby, it is absolute BS that Luttig was just “watching his words”. That was never a concern for him. Yes, of course Luttig is horrible, but that has been the case for decades.

    • Rayne says:

      I can’t reconcile your closing with Luttig’s repeated exhortations across multiple op-eds and statements that Trump and his allies are a “clear and present danger to democracy” and that he, Luttig, “would have laid my body across the road before I would have let the vice president overturn the 2020 election.”

      It’s more telling that we know Pence was told repeatedly the VP was not empowered by the Constitution to be the sole arbiter of the election’s outcome.

      • bmaz says:

        And, yet, Pence kept looking for confirmation from non-batshitters. He just didn’t find it. Credit to Luttig and Pence for not burning the country down, but they both played a large part in how it finally got to that point. They really are not heroes.

        • Rayne says:

          Did I call either of them heroes? Pence did his fucking job; the problem is that he had to be told by others what his fucking job was — open the envelopes — when he could have read the Constitution himself, grown a damned spine, and opened the envelopes.

          I’m debating about a post related to the other problem not being discussed: Pence’s drama may be used to help get him elected and he’s not competent to lead this country.

        • bmaz says:

          Pence won’t get elected to much ever again. Maybe back to being a radio talk show host. Things like DeSantis are a far bigger problem.

        • Savage Librarian says:

          After Pence, who do you think DeVos would most likely support: Cheney or DeSantis?

        • Rayne says:

          Oof. Tough call because DeSantis has done more to fuck over public education which is exactly what the DeVos family wants.

          But DeVos family has supported Dick Cheney and I wouldn’t be surprised if Dick made a call to them to lobby for her.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          They’re frontrunners. They will see a potential winner in DeSantis and put their money down on him, or some Hawleyesque equivalent should DeSantis disqualify himself prior to 2024.

          Backing Cheney would require principle. Their support for Trump showed they have none.

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