House January 6 Committee: Public Hearings – Day 7

This post and comment thread are dedicated to the House January 6 Committee hearings scheduled to begin Tuesday July 12, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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 YouTube page:

C-SPAN’s House J6 hearing page:

C-SPAN’s YouTube page:

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

PBS Newshour stream:

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

Broadcast and cable network coverage TBD, check your local broadcast affiliate or cable provider’s lineup.

Twitter accounts live tweeting the hearing:

Marcy’s Twitter thread:

Brandi Buchman-DailyKos:

Scott MacFarlane-CBS:

Laura Rozen:

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

The witnesses scheduled for today’s hearing are:

Jason Van Tatenhove, former media director for the Oath Keepers

Stephen Ayres, defendant charged and convicted for disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds

There may be other witnesses; some may be present only as video clips. Today’s hearing is expected to focus on relationship between messaging by Donald Trump and the reaction of white nationalist groups Oath Keepers and Proud Boys who were key to breaching the Capitol Building on January 6.

~ ~ ~

Any updates will appear at the bottom of this post; please bear with any content burps as this page may be edited as the day progresses.

Again, this post is dedicated to the House January 6 Committee  and topics addressed in testimony and evidence produced during the hearing.

All other discussion should be in threads under the appropriate post with open discussion under the most recent Trash Talk.

To new readers and commenters: welcome to emptywheel. New commenters, please use a unique name to differentiate yourself; use the same username each time you comment.

Comment policy

Community guidelines

If you are leaving a comment, please be concise; 100 words is the optimum length.

If you are sharing active links your comment may be delayed by auto-moderation.

If contributors and moderators seem slow, it’s because they’re dealing with higher than usual volume of comments including trolling.

Caution: moderators will have much lower tolerance for trolling.

~ ~ ~

Long-time community member harpie isn’t available to participate in the thread here today, but she left two Twitter threads to read in preparation for today’s hearing.

First, from Capitol Hunters:

Second, from J.J. McNab:

202 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    This post is still in progress and may change a bit more before the hearing starts.

    Again, hearing-only related content in this thread, thank you.

  2. Ravenclaw says:

    The committee is closing off the option of arguing that “the president didn’t know” about his loss with statements like “willfully blind” and “no sane or rational person in his position” could believe otherwise. Which is fine & true & all that. But I wonder how many of the still open-minded (and previously underinformed) folks viewing this understand the specific implications of statements like those. Because that’s their mission: to persuade the (what? 5%? 10%) of Americans who haven’t fully committed to a position on TFG’s culpability. After all, DOJ prosecutors would need to build their own case in court in the face of what Mueller’s team, I think, called “a spirited defense.”

    • nord dakota says:

      I cannot wrap my head around the notion of a guy claiming that since he’s always been a delusional dingbat con nobody should take anything he has said seriously. Was it Sidney Powell who tried the “too crazy to believe” excuse?

      Shouldn’t there be a legal presumption that someone who hold the office of President of the United States is at LEAST as capable to acting with intent as an ordinary person? Actually seriously mentally ill often have planning and intent imputed to them in criminal courts (“he ran away from the cops, so he knew he was doing something wrong”, “she wiped up the blood”, etc)

  3. Rayne says:

    I should have created a drinking game for these hearings.

    Ex. take a shot every time you hear the company name Overstock.

    • rosalind says:

      required drink: Diet Dr. Pepper

      (OMG, still laughing at Sidney’s chugging that can…and her smug smile)

      • TooLoose LeTruck says:

        The Diet Dr. Pepper is the chaser…

        Straight (your choice, fill in the blank) has gotta come first…

      • grennan says:

        She’s a pepper, they are peppers…..

        Sorry — earworm Dr pepper commercial from ’70s

      • Drew says:

        After heHaring her talk & reflecting a bit, I’m beginning to wonder about the contents of that can. Her Texas drawl is more slurry than many a southern drawl that I hear.

        [There do exist people who are never seen drinking alcohol who get by for years with no one noticing that they are always drunk because their behavior is uniform. Also have known alcoholics who had normal amounts to drink when in social situations and then consumed mass quantities secretly.]

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:


      They’re both excellent titles…

      Someone, somewhere, will someday write a truly concise, authoritative book, or series of books, about this entire episode… and it will be a jaw-dropping read…

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        Concise? I imagine it would take a series of volumes that would outdo The Story of Civilization.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          The more I learn, the more astonished I feel…

          Again, J6 makes Watergate look more and more like a den meeting of demented cub scouts…

          • Ginevra diBenci says:

            Raskin must have heard you, TooLoose. Or else you’re both on the same figurative wavelength.

          • grennan says:

            Watergate involved just one branch of our government, but J6 involves at least two, probably all three.

            Also, nobody disputed that the actual burglary was against the law.

            • Stephen Calhoun says:

              Iran/Contra never gets enough love.

              Lawrence Walsh, passed away at 102 in 2020, wrote an almost 600 page book which will set you back today around $4 in the used market. It provides a shocking read.

  4. Ravenclaw says:

    It took an hour, but they’re finally bringing in the militia-type groups and extremist media types. Still waiting for the promised direct links between TFG’s inner circle of “crazies” and the groups organizing for violence; so far, it’s “call and response” over the media rather than conspiracy. (Yes, I’m sure the conspiracy existed! Just waiting with bated breath for solid evidence/testimony.)

  5. Rayne says:

    2:09 PM ET — 10 minute break declared.

    That “red wedding” quote…yeesh.

    ADDER: Don’t sockpuppet here. You know who you are, you’ve been warned about this.

      • Rayne says:

        I might let through either of those but no, sadly, the kind of sockpuppet which needs a kick in the pants out the door.

        • LeeNLP says:

          I’m sorry for being OT, and maybe it’s my sleep deprivation at work, but these sockpuppet comments remind me of Lambchop’s congressional testimony on behalf of public broadcasting in the early 90s. Shari Lewis is one person I will never cease to miss.

  6. Jenny says:

    “President Trump is a 76-year-old man, he is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices. As our investigation has shown, Donald Trump had access to more detailed and specific information showing that the election was not actually stolen than almost any other American. And he was told this over and over again. No rational or sane man in his position could disregard that information and reach the opposite conclusion. And Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind.”
    Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.)

    • jhinx says:

      And I think I read here at EW that “willfully blind” is a legal term that can implicate culpability for certain statutes.

  7. mamake says:

    Does anyone know the name of the lawyer behind Raskin’s left shoulder?

    He has been in many of the interview clips. I believe he was on the same team for interviews with Barr and historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat (according her frequent comments on LUCID).

  8. Fran of the North says:

    March to the Capitol was premeditated. IANAL, but does this strengthen the case for 1512 (c)?

  9. Rugger9 says:

    I see an impressive array of witnesses seated in front of the Committee, so why have none of them spoken yet? They’ve been sitting there for a very long time as Raskin and Murphy talked, showed video exhibits, etc. which to me seems counterproductive to keeping them happy. Even allowing for the value of what Raskin and Murphy have presented (and it is useful), that’s a long time for fidgeting on camera. Aren’t these hearings supposed to be kept to two hours each time?

    The witnesses are running out of time to testify if that is true, which is a pretty steep price for risking being doxxed and threatened like Hutchinson was.

    • Judy says:

      My understanding is there is only one, in person witness, who will describe how he believed Trump and how joining in on Jan 6th changed his life.

      I’m behind on watching so maybe there are more.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Two today, both former militia members so I think no extra harm has resulted. I hope.

        I do wonder about the ability of the ‘surprise’ group led by Madam Kraken, esq. herself to get all the way to the Oval Office without any apparent intervention or interdiction by the Secret Service. Whether they were led there by some junior staffer or not, these folks were not on the calendar anywhere (nor had any official capacity) and should have been challenged by the USSS to make sure they were who they said they were. Did Individual-1 tell the USSS to stand down? That attitude would align with the statement about the insurrectionists being ‘my people’ by Individual-1.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          You’re in luck – Byrne himself tells you how they got in!
          This is from his book “ How DJT Lost the White House, Chapter 3: Crashing the White House (December 18-22”

          https://www.deepcapture. (dot) com/2021/02/how-djt-lost-the-white-house-chapter-3-crashing-the-white-house-december-18/

          There’s also this piece in Salon
 (dot) com/2021/02/03/5-hilarious-details-from-the-craziest-meeting-of-the-trump-presidency_partner/

          Here’s a snippet:
          “You’re a quitter,” Byrne told Herschmann.

          “Do you even know who the f*ck I am, you idiot?” Herschmann asked him.

          “Yeah, you’re Patrick Cipollone,” Byrne said.

          “Wrong!” Herschmann shouted. “Wrong, you idiot!”

          • Ewan says:

            « Sidney and I had a 20 foot line of site into the empty Oval Office » that book was not proofread. I had never heard of this Byrne character before today at the hearing. Was he mentioned previously on this blog? He mention a lawyer « Alyssa » that wasn’t mentioned today in their retelling of this meeting.

            The salon link 404ed.

            • Rugger9 says:

              Byrne was/is CEO of who like Lindell has no official capacity whatsoever. So, someone ought to be asking the USSS about how security was so compromised. That time, the RWNJs, next time, an assassin.

            • Alan Charbonneau says:

              In the Salon link, I put “(dot)” in place of the “.” before “com”. I just copied it, removed the “(dot)” and it worked for me.

              In any event, the date is Feb 3, 2021. Note that’s Feb of last yea, or 17 months ago, not Feb 3 of this year.

              The title is “5 hilarious details from “the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency”, making for an easy Google search.


              • Ewan says:

                Thank you. if Byrne’s rendition is to be trusted (a very big if), they got in by a combination of complicit / slightly duped low ranking staffers, and deference to Flynn from the security. Yes, Mark Meadows & Anthony Ornato weren’t running a tight ship in the White House : who would have guessed : )

  10. Rwood says:

    There’s the naming of Congress critters I’ve been waiting for.

    Cipollone giving Pence more credit than he deserves, but that means nothing.

    • BruceF says:

      I remain curious about what communication led drooling dotard Chuck Grassley to pronounce he was taking over the electoral vote counting session in Prince’s place! Chuckles went out of his way to make clear he was open to considering alternate slates of electors!

      Grassley’s January 5th text only remained up for a short period of time but it is my belief this was a significant event. I hope committee believes it is worth getting to the bottom of who contacted Grassley!

      • Belyn says:

        Agree …. they have a lot to cover still, including the tours of Congress and follow the money. Seth Abramson did a lengthy bit about Grassley from earlier this earlier this year. It’s worth the read.

        • P J Evans says:

          Even if Abramson is making things up that he can’t possibly know?
          (The local cholla is not fond of that guy.)

          • Belyn says:

            Why not read yourself rather than assuming he is making things up?
            Yes, I recall that someone here called Seth a dope. Why not read and make up your own mind?

    • Rugger9 says:

      Stuart Rhodes’ chances of getting out clean from under this mess seem to be mighty slim. One wonders what Rhodes could actually accomplish by running to the J6SC now. I will also observe that the chatter about Bannon’s potential testimony is that Bannon will probably perjure himself into jail. Or, he could pull a Flynn.

      • Ravenclaw says:

        I’d think Rhodes was too far up the vicious food chain to be someone who gets offered a deal by prosecutors. Even if he had something so explosive as to be worth it (which would mean directly implicating TFG & I doubt a conversation like that happened) his testimony would be torn apart in cross-examination, wouldn’t it? You know, the “weasel” trying to squirm out of trouble by lying approach? But I’m often wrong about things, so who knows?

      • Drew says:

        Rhodes is, at best, a grandstander. His “offer to testify” is clearly conditioned in ways the Committee won’t accept, so I surmise that it’s mostly a PR stunt to enable him and his like-minded confreres to claim that the Committee shut down the truth or similar kinds of guff. This is also Mo Brooks and Steve Bannon’s play. (Bannon can get himself played pretty badly on this, since he owes documents as well as testimony and has motivation to get credit for appearing before his sentencing on the contempt charges–so the Committee council says: Ok send the documents over and then we’ll talk about depositions -and either he does that and they are tough about the interview protocols etc, or even run out the clock OR he refuses to turn over the documents & is publicly called out on that)

  11. TooLoose LeTruck says:

    Watching Jason Van Tatenhoven speak…

    I’ve felt for quite some time that we’ve been really lucky we haven’t seen even more violence nationwide, and listening to him talk, I see now I wasn’t just being an alarmist…

    • Tom Marney says:

      As a middle-aged white construction guy in Georgia, I can’t believe that this type of thing is regarded as novel to so many people. It’s pervasive in my part of the world, to the point that I was actually surprised that the committee even bothered with public testimony about it. A lot of these people will claim that “nobody cares” about January 6th, and they’re unimpressed by it because the number and importance of people who were injured and killed is trivial compared to the fantasies they play out in their heads or among themselves. One of my coworkers once told me in a bout of drunken camaraderie that, if things got really bad, to come to his house and he’d protect me. It’s not new, either. Early in the Obama administration, I took an OSHA class, the instructor of which claimed to have four hundred twenty guns, the star of which was a British machine gun set up ready to fire in his living room. Everyone else in the class made it clear that they were also right-wing extremists, with adequate supplies of firearms.

      • Krisy Gosney says:

        I’ve thought that for some buying guns is like getting tattoos; it becomes addictive. And I’ve thought recently too that having 400 guns (or 100 or 50 or 5) is a thing but a person is likely just firing one of those guns when they are taken out. (Gruesome thought but true.)

  12. Jenny says:

    “The west wing is UNHINGED.’” Hutchinson texts regarding WH clash over election.
    Yep, unhinged certainly is a description of the 4 years Trump was in office.

  13. Fran of the North says:

    Boom. Seems that Trump has decided to take matters into his own hands and do witness intimidation on his own. The plot thickens…

    • Peterr says:

      And that he apparently did this after Liz Cheney and the committee warned folks at the end of an earlier hearing about attempting to tamper witnesses makes this even more . . . interesting.

      Something tells me that Trump is getting very very nervous.

      • Peterr says:

        The boom isn’t that it would be charged. The boom is that Trump is apparently trying to do this.

        He is scared.
        He is feeling surrounded.
        He is seeing former WH folks testifying against him.
        He is seeing his allies shown to be weak and powerless.
        He is seeing all his theories of election stealing being mocked and torn apart.
        He is seeing the words of his own family members – his beloved Ivanka! – being used against him.

        He is scared, he’s cornered, and he’s doing stupid stuff.
        And it is clear that there is more stupid to come.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Yeah, I agree. Even Mark Meadows doesn’t make his own witness intimidation calls.

        • Doctor My Eyes says:

          Personally, I believe Trump doesn’t swing wildly with emotion in response to the external world as is so often imagined. I believe Trump is hardly aware of the external world, and to the extent that he is, it is not real to him. Trump is on a permanent campaign to satisfy base longings and acts on his immediate impulses to try to get what he wants through bullying. I believe this is how Trump exists in the world and this way of being doesn’t rise and fall on the basis of events. Of course, Trump tried to call a witness: it seemed like a way to get something he wanted. Just like Jan. 6 seemed like a way to get something he wanted. He will always be this way regardless of circumstances. Should he go to prison, he will be this way in prison.

          • Tassy says:

            Doctor My Eyes you’re exactly right. People thought he’d change when he got in the White House… not one iota. Will be the same in prison, won’t change a bit. Wonder how that will go for him?

          • Charles Wolf says:

            “I believe Trump doesn’t swing wildly with emotion …”

            I have 1 word to say about that:

            • Doctor My Eyes says:

              I’m just guessing, but I think the ketchup is a strategy rather than an emotional outburst. It’s part of bullying. If that doesn’t work, he gropes around for another weapon.
              Sorry, Psychological guesswork on insufficient information. I was married to a narcissist for 28 years. I know it pretty well. Still, who can know?

    • pdaly says:

      I’m thinking this is bad news for Trump, no matter the underlying facts. If the DoJ has to do an investigation of the attempted contact, and, as part of that investigation, has to interview Trump, what are the odds Trump lies to federal agent(s) when he opens his mouth in front of a captive audience?

      • bmaz says:

        And what would support the predicate for DOJ opening a formal investigation? I have yet to see enough to even support opening a preliminary.

    • RobertS says:

      Thats a pretty thin reed. I’m sure the pros here can comment on what it takes to get all the way to witness tampering. I suspect we need more than an attempted phone call.

  14. Ddub says:

    Nice teaser at the end. Liz gets it. Good witness section. Felt genuine.
    Generally though it felt undersold. They did ok with presentation but the graphics were really clunky again. The rando posts part was weak.
    And for an episode devoted to the militias, fellow travelers here at Emptywheel know they didn’t hardly get their toes wet. And more mugshots please!

  15. Rugger9 says:

    Wow, Liz revealed an attempt at witness tampering that was referred to DoJ. Individual-1 should be wary that the J6SC is not going to tolerate mob boss stuff.

      • Belyn says:

        It might also be the other young female aide …. her name is not surfacing for me right now.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Alyssah Farrah Griffin? She is my guess, because of what you pointed out: she is young and female, and Trump just assumes creatures like that will roll over for him.

          • Eureka says:

            I had a different guess but I think yours is better: come to find out Griffin has become a regular on CNN, which is a pretty yuge domino in Trump’s box of MO. Besides young and female she IS ON TV! CNN AT THAT! / explains it all

            • Ginevra diBenci says:

              Griffin has said publicly that she would, in particular re: Tony Ornato trying to take back that story about Trump in the SUV.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Parscale would be as helpful a witness as Bannon or Stone IMHO, with plenty to hide and no compunctions about lying his arse off. The only saving grace such as it is would be that Parscale might (might) be sore about how Individual-1 treated him and would be willing to stick in the shiv on those grounds alone.

        Perhaps I missed it but I haven’t seen anything to link Parscale to J6.

        • Silly but True says:

          Par scale was sacked around July 2020, and had his mental health intervention televised in Sept. 2020. He was dealing with enough at the time.

          • Fran of the North says:

            Parscale was sacked after it was revealed that he’d spent millions on property, cars and boats (IIR) and scuttle was that all of the money came from the ad budgets that the RNC was spending with his company. His depression quite probably resulted from the derailment of the gravy train.

          • grennan says:

            According to the Wash Post yesterday/today, several weeks after that tearful text, the Trump PAC gave him $150k and then he had a meeting with tfg about the 2024 campaign, of which he expects to be a part.

    • Leading Edge Boomer says:

      Would have been better if the potential threaten-ee had prepped and then returned the call to tape it. Now TFG can just deny any such intent.

    • Savage Librarian says:

      I’m still waiting to hear from Patrick Philbin, who worked closely with Cipollone (remember impeachment #1.) And recall that Cassidy Hutchinson mentioned him as someone Marjorie Taylor Greene asked for a pardon. IIRC, Philbin once clerked for Clarence Thomas. He seems like he might be someone Trump might call.

  16. rosalind says:

    welp, i didn’t much buy Van Tantenhove’s transformation. sure hope he is sincere. but, i mean, he walked into a store to find a group of his fellow Oath Keepers saying the Holocaust wasn’t real and that was it, he was done! Except, via Dan Friedman of Mother Jones:

    “Jason Van Tatenhove may as Chairman Thompson just said, have broken with the Oath Keepers, after working as their spokesman. But it wasn’t a clean break. After that break he let Stewart Rhodes stay in his basement for months.”

    then, testifying publically does take courage to deal with the fallout from his former cohort.

  17. Makeitso says:

    This was effective but boy, the fact they ALL knew how crazy this was and how crazy he was is disturbing. I am beginning to think he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and get away with it…

  18. Bay State Librul says:

    For a title, I was thinking “The Last Days of Pompeii”

    Regrets to all volcanoes

  19. WilliamOckham says:

    The witness tampering stuff is not about getting DOJ to charge Trump with that crime. I’m sure bmaz can explain why it’s highly improbably to charge attempted witness tampering when the witness didn’t even take the call.

    This is Liz Cheney showing Trump that she can turn his people. She turned Hutchinson. She turned this witness who won’t even take Trump’s calls. She’s showing him that she’s scarier to his own people than he is. That’s what Trump fears the most, a woman who’s more ruthless than he is. I think this show is about to get interesting.

    • Makeitso says:

      The defendant attempted to make another person testify falsely, or withhold testimony or evidence;
      The defendant had reason to believe that the other person was a witness or may have relevant information; and
      The information was relevant to a crime or civil action.
      An actual obstruction isn’t necessary as an element of proof. It’s enough that the defendant performed the action to tamper with a witness.

      • bmaz says:

        You come up with the dumbest legal takes. The call did not go through, neither you nor the high holy Cheney know was was being attempted. Once again, don’t make people here stupid with your nonsense.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The call did not go through, so the witness has only speculation about what Trump wanted. That Trump might have wanted to intimidate the witness seems probable. But he’s spent decades mastering the art of implying without saying what he wants. On those facts, you don’t need the James Webb telescope to see the vast expanse of reasonable doubt.

          • bmaz says:

            It sounds that way, but guess there could have been a voicemail. Who knows, time will tell. Just can’t believe DOJ would trifle with this garbage.

            • Riktol says:

              I remember people being shocked when the recording emerged of someone (I forget who) appearing to dangle a pardon to Michael Cohen, but that wasn’t enough to bring a prosecution.

              • Silly but True says:

                Remember, Cohen’s more recent attorney Lanny Davis spilled the beans and set record straight that it was Cohen who was soliciting the receipt of a pardon through his previous counsel Stephen Ryan.

                You’re pretty much rock bottom SOL if you have to rely on the veracity of some statement said by Cohen, Davis, or Trump.

            • Lawrunner says:

              I viewed that part more as a taunt/warning to Trump, and communicating to other potential witnesses who may be under pressure that there are support mechanisms available. The DOJ referral aspect was performative to the public. I don’t believe anyone considers this an issue that would lead to a successful prosecution….

              • bmaz says:

                I view it as useless performative bullshit. Which Cheney has turned into an artform. She pulled the same thing as to Hutchinson at the end of of a prior hearing. Gots to get that teaser out to keep the media cackling, and boy has it done that…every media outlet is, last night and today screaming about “OOOH WITNESS TAMPERING!” What a crock. But Hutchinson herself was who originally contacted the Trump and Meadows machine to work with them, so the fact they contacted her later unsurprising. I remain unimpressed by this performative pablum. But, hey, at least each member of the Committee is getting their little star turn in the spotlight, so they will always have that.

                I’ll give them this much, the Committee’s little scripted videos are getting far better than their first efforts, so there is that I guess. Yesterday’s was actually pretty effective. But I thought their vaunted witnesses yesterday added absolutely nothing and were a complete waste of time.

    • Richieboy says:

      I agree it was meant to diminish Trump’s perceived power and demonstrate that he’s lost a lot of control over the foot soldiers, to the point where the committee is made aware of his ongoing obstruction efforts (desperate much?!) in near real time. As much as a way to further unsettle Trump, it also sends a message to the foot soldiers teetering on the fence: Why should you be the last one standing behind the naked emperor?

    • Peterr says:


      But this is more than Trump v Cheney. It’s Trump v The World, and he’s beginning to see that The World is winning.

      It kills Trump that a nobody (in his eyes) like Bennie Thompson presides (presides!) over this committee, while Trump can’t even send out a tweet.
      It kills Trump that Elon isn’t going to get him back on Twitter.
      It kills Trump that these hearings and the post-hearing analysis is being covered from coast to coast.
      It kills Trump that all the folks who used to fawn on him are now illustrating for all to see that the Emperor of Mar-A-Lago has no clothes.
      And most of all, it kills Trump — absolutely positively *kills* Trump — that all these cameras are pointed at the committee and not at him.

      Someone has been advising him to keep quiet and don’t give the committee any ammunition, and he’s been pretty good at following that advice. But that’s not going to last much longer. My prediction is that he will find a venue — a conference of some kind, perhaps — where he can give a big speech. His ego demands it.

      And the committee members and staffers can’t wait. This is Liz and the committee getting inside Trump’s head.

      • bmaz says:

        Lol, what hilarious hyperbole. Too many people in comments think this shit is a trial. It is not even close.

        • Peterr says:

          There is more to this mess than a trial. But I suppose to a lawyer, everything has to be a trial.

            • Peterr says:

              Trials are one kind of accountability, and I’m all for that, but that’s not the only kind of accountability.

              Social accountability is already hitting Jared and Ivanka, who are being shunned from NY society.

              Political accountability for those who enabled Trump is in the offing. They may not have committed criminal acts that can be proven in court, but they encouraged Trump & Co. to run amok, and this committee is working hard to bring political accountability to them.

            • WilliamOckham says:

              Absolutely true that accountability requires trials. Also true, the DOJ doesn’t have the capacity to prosecute a conspiracy of that includes hundreds of white-collar criminals from one political party; dozens of local, state, and federal elected office holders; and dozens of non-profits and dark money groups.

              We can either accept that the coup was too big to fail and democracy is dead in our country or we can wave the bloody shirt at the chickenshit Republicans who went along with it. These hearings are a crass political stunt to do exactly that. And I think that’s what the country needs right now.

            • grennan says:

              The other form of accountability, as minimal as its chances might seem, is congressional action against their own and other officeholders — the disqualification clause of the 14th amendment.

              That just involves a vote, so procedure, if any, would be free-form, and would allow the wholesale treatment of several senators and congresspeople.

              Seems like the dark side of the moon now, but at some point it may come up.

          • bmaz says:

            Sure are a lot that think it is the greatest thing since sliced bread and has proved everything up. It has not proved squat.

            • Lawrunner says:

              Can we admit that the information being disclosed *is* of value and that if not for the committee it might not be disclosed (broadly) to the public?

              I know you keep getting hung up on how this committee is interfering with the actual investigative and prosecutorial process of the DOJ, which I completely agree with you. However, there is a real risk of DOJ not prosecuting. Absent this committee, most of this information would never be known to even a million Americans. There is inherent societal value to just putting information out to the public.

              This isn’t a trial. No one on the commission is stating it is a trial. This is an informational gathering exercise leading to (hopefully) legislative/policy suggestions. There is value in this activity. I find it aggravating that you keep suggesting it doesn’t have value. Not everyone is an attorney spending a lot of time following every change in the narrative.

              There is value to providing a narrative. If this wasn’t true, FoxNews wouldn’t exist.

              • Belyn says:

                Well said, Lawrunner. I know so much more after each hearing than I did before. I think the hearings are quite valuable and am pleased that they will be preserved in the public record.

            • Jim Cri says:

              After witnessing so many felonies being publicly committed or admitted to by Trump,, these hearing helpfully fill in the blank spaces for me as I work to understand it all. Yet I still wonder how the indictments are being delayed in the face of so much evidence no court in the land could possibly rule against one on technicalities alone.

              [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. This is your 4th user name; you’ve commented as “Jim Crittenden,” “Jim C,” “jcrit” and now “Jim Cri.” Pick one and stick with it, thanks. /~Rayne]

              • bmaz says:

                For the 3,923 time, this Committee stuff is NOT “evidence” of diddly squat. Most of it either would not be admissible in a real court, or would be very difficult to get in, and then only with live witnesses. In a real court, a prosecutor cannot play a slickly doctored up video and say “Look, it’s proof!”

                And, no, there have been no such “admissions” by Trump or the higher targets around him. Saying that is simply nonsense. Yes, any court in the country might exclude such, and any jury could easily say it is insufficient. Even one juror can hang the jury. People who think it is all crystal clear need to wake up and get a grip. As of right now, Trump is eminently defensible and others may be too.

                And I have further news for you and all who think like you, evidentiary deficiencies are NOT “technicalities”. And to my mind, the direct connection as to intent and effect as to Trump and the actual actors is nowhere close to being sufficient. But people are all jacked up over these stupid “hearings” and think they have established things that they are not even close on.

                So, when you bay that “indictments are being delayed” maybe consider that that is because DOJ knows they don’t have it solid enough for their charging standards. Grand juries and trial courts are not little TV shows. And these performative “hearings” are part of the problem. Technicalities? Please spare me.

                • bokeh9 says:

                  But aren’t these “hearings” valuable as… performance art? Maybe evidence is irrelevant. Trump skated through two impeachments. Scalise is my Congressman, and Trump would be elected by my district tomorrow. If these performances turn states like PA, MI, and maybe GA and OH, isn’t that performative even if they’re not evidentiary?

                  • bmaz says:

                    Trump skated through the impeachments because they were so poorly set up and rammed through by Pelosi as to be a total joke. He would have been acquitted by the Senate anyway, but if the Dems were going to do them, getting extended testimony and actual evidence on the record with the much increased impeachment power was mandatory. Same incompetent people running that, starting with Pelosi, are running this show.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Earlier today I saw a claim that Trump has been putting out a lot today on his sad social media platform. There was apparently a considerable amount about Nancy Pelosi. Trump is the guy who says, “Go beat up that 82-year-old woman, not me.”

      • Rayne says:

        I should go back through hearing videos and see how many minutes (seconds?) of Trump we’ve seen so far. Not references to or discussion about him, but video and photos of Trump.

        The lack of narcissistic supply must be bugging the hell out of him.

      • BobCon says:

        I took someone to the ER today (fortunately nothing too serious) and while sitting there for quite a while the TV switched from local news, to a soap opera, to the hearing.

        And what struck me is that while most people stayed glued to their phones, out of those three TV offerings, the hearing got the most engagement.

        When Sidney Powell chugged her Doctor Pepper, the security guard and I both cracked up, and he jokingly wondered if she had a beer.

        This was a crowd of people with smashed feet and family members with ODs and all of the reasons in the world to tune out.

        But in a way that I haven’t seen before, it’s leaking through.

        I won’t guarantee that any of this will be a game changer. I don’t know if this will tip any balances. But I think a lot of self appointed savvy thinkers are running a serious risk of completely underestimating the effect this stuff has.

        I know this is only a tiny, unrepresentative sample. But I think it’s a mistake for anyone to think this is the end and nothing from this point on won’t make a difference.

        I think it’s at least possible we see a serious crack that makes a lot of of the old assumptions seem pretty silly.

        • Eureka says:

          That bit shared with the wizened security guard tells a whole social story of these hearings. I was trapped in a more docile waiting room with HGTV on so missed a chance for this type of slice-of-life gloss. But via smaller-scale glimpses from previous days, I agree with your take. It’s very definitely not nothing.

        • Valerie Klyman-Clark says:

          Old-Timer stopped to jaw with a family member on the road home recently. Mr. Garrett is a far, far right church-going farmer gentleman. He had been watching the hearings (this was after hearing 2), he said-regarding TFG-and I quote,

          “THAT Motherfucker LIED to us!”

          Rural North Carolinian.

          • rip says:

            I hope they realize that the whole republican establishment lied to them. They tied their stars to the backside of djt and hoped for miracles.

    • Badger Robert says:

      You people are better at lyrics than I am, but Trump may now realize that Rep Cheney has nothing left to lose, with the implication, she has nothing to fear from him.

    • josap says:

      We don’t know if the witness returned Trump’s call and recorded the call. What happened during or after giving everyone a heads up isn’t yet known.

      But Trump knows.
      And now he knows the Committee knows.

    • Doctor My Eyes says:

      Perhaps in part it’s a way of saying, “Nobody better wind up floating down the Potomac. That’s murder and you will be arrested and serve time.”

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      Twitter just sued Musk for $44B, to try to force thru the sale. I think he is going to be too busy to be much help for TFG for a while.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Elon has staff for that. I’d bet Elon’s more pissed that his rocket blew up during a key engine test.

        • Molly Pitcher says:

          Tsk, tsk, tsk Tough Day for Mr Musk. Though I do think the $44 B has a way of focusing the mind.

    • Eureka says:

      Yep, and how the guy thought he might be able to proverbially sleep the night of 1/5 but probably did not. Prompted recall of twitter’s then-stark statement of the dangers that Friday night when they finally deplatformed Trump.

      • Jenny says:

        “I hate writing about personal stuff. I don’t have a Facebook page. I don’t use my Twitter account. I am familiar with both, but I don’t use them.”
        Elon Musk

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      The part narrated by the Twitter employee–the only witness whose identity has been obscured, IIRC–was the *most* interesting. And to me, the scariest. What exactly was going on there, and how if at all has it changed? Frances Haugen can’t blow the whistle on a place where she didn’t work.

      Taken along with Mr. Ayres from Ohio’s description of his social-media radicalization, the Twitter piece points right at where (I would hope) future investigations might head. (If the DHS director knew about all this planning pre-J6, why did the riot surprise so many?)

  20. rattlemullet says:

    Really, it is a ” can’t see the forest for trees” moment. Trump and his clear intent to over throw the duly elected President of the United States is and has been on the public record since that day, 1/6. In coordination with members of congress, conservative media, right wing Militia and the retreads operating Facebook and Twitter algorithms conspired to block congressional certification and prevent the peaceful transfer of power. This effort was, in part, allowed by a judicial systems inability to control fraudulent litigation being filed about the election over and over again by the same groups in different states using the RW medias megaphone. I think the fact that the attempted usurpation of power was via fraudulent legalize as opposed to violent coup has hampered the DOJ in understanding a coup took place, on TV. These were attorneys and politician exercising political speech, that is a joke. Holding elected officials accountable for failing to uphold the Constitution and their oath of office to that document is almost non existent. Do criminal statutes exist for failing to execute the oath of office? I may be wrong in all I say, if so please educate me. Emptywheel commentariat are the best at doing so. Remember trump speaks the language of mob bosses. Call fo a hit without directly say so.

  21. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Gee, should Mike Pence be given a Medal of Freedom for not participating in a scheme to overthrow democracy?

    I wonder if the committee or the DOJ has any information about who Trump talked to in the early morning hours after the “Crazies” (such a relative term) left the WH and before his tweet setting off J6. It looks as though that meeting convinced him that the other “avenues”, such as seizing voting machines, were not going to fly, so he settled on the J6 attack. What I imagine is that he called someone like Roger Stone, someone not in WH logs as a visitor, someone not having to play the game of following the law if there’s a chance of being caught, someone connected to violent people such as he has called on his entire life to get his way by threatening or committing violence.

    • Tassy says:

      Why is Pence getting a medal? He only did his job, and that’s AFTER going to people like Dan Quayle to see if he could do something OTHER than just read the count.

      • Doctor My Eyes says:

        Yeah, it was just his job, but it was a difficult job requiring a lot of leadership and decision-making. Plus he had to know the order to do and say things when announcing what everyone already had known. This IS snark.

        It’s a serious question, though. Will the deal with the GOP be that they have heroes, get to separate from Trump and be the ones who save the country? Make Mike Pence a hero. Yikes!

        In support of that thesis, the hearing today it seemed was focused on bringing some of the Trump base over to the great Republicans who saved them. Who knows? It’s politics.

        • missinggeorgecarlin says:

          Pence is like an arsonist who pulls somebody from the burning building and folks start giving him high fives for his “bravery”.

      • Belyn says:

        I don’t believe he is getting one. Cipollone indicated that he thought Pence worthy of one. I don’t agree with that assessment, but he is likely as worthy as Jim Jordan.

  22. mospeck says:

    booster 7 just goes and blows the fuck up and then J6 committee no. 7 says we’re on this lost ship like in the Poseidon Adventure or something. These kerfuffles are really hurting our chances on becoming space-faring civilization anytime soon. Meanwhile the Webb tells us there are far better places to go. Also, good things do happen, like we were supposed to have 1.5 inch hail today, but it didn’t happen

  23. TimB says:

    The metaphor that these hearings are a trial is only partially useful. To be sure, the cmte is careful to assemble “evidence” and to speak with precision in ways that echo prosecutors ticking off the elements of an offense. Their purposes, however, clearly include inflicting political damage, being seen (as individual legislators) to be good guys, and laying the foundation for some kind of genuine free-the-vote bill and other pro-democracy moves. The last topic is the easiest one to see. They paint the GOP as needing to lie, cheat, and steal to win, they force their colleagues across the aisle to vote on commonsense bills widely supported (after these hearings) by the populace. Letting Ms. Cheney play it as an anti-Trump effort was a canny move — the GOP will be a confused mess post Trump, at least for a while, for his purge of the party got rid of a lot of their brainpower. Or even better if the GOP can’t find a way to ditch him by Nov 22 (the end of time for anyone in the House.)

      • bmaz says:

        Not if you want real accountability. These jackasses on the Committee should be helping DOJ instead of frustrating prosecutors and then bad mouthing them. And pretty much every member has done that, with Schiff being the worst. What shitheads.

  24. Doctor My Eyes says:

    I’m not being ironic when I say, spare a thought for the chumps, the ones whose jobs got sent overseas, who suffer from the tax code and every imaginable financial scam, are squeezed even for a modicum of health insurance. The Republican heroes trying to save them from the error of their ways will never work to stop the continued obscene concentration of wealth from the many to the few. They’ll likely drift into the next exploitation scheme. This is what our country has been for some time now–decades.

    • Tassy says:

      Stuart Stevens wrote a book titled It Was All A Lie. He was a GOP operative, very successful one for decades, and he says GOP has been heading this way for 50 years. This has been a conscious decision and when trump came along he fit in perfectly. I think the party really is finished. Any kind of “moderates” or simply sensible conservatives are going to have to come up with a new name.

    • P J Evans says:

      There’s some bitter amusement in legislators who helped make it profitable to send jobs overseas now want those same jobs to come back.

    • Kyle S says:

      This is why I’m simply incredulous at the people entertaining the idea of Liz Cheney running for pres. Sure I don’t doubt her loyalty to the constitutional order but her policies would just be a continuation of the same “F*ck you, got mine” Republican economics which brought us to Trump in the first place.

  25. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Roger Stone!! Little currents jump in my head every time I hear his name. If I made a bingo card for the hearings of Roger Stone associations, the center square would be “Roger Stone” in the same sentence with “Donald Trump”.

    I hope to get commentary from EW about the Roger Stone references.

    • Rugger9 says:

      This whole episode reeks of Stone (the mastermind of the Brooks Brothers riot), who made sure he was ostentatiously seen in a hotel well away from the Capitol on J6. However, there appears to be some electronic communications that tie him in much more directly and that can be done anywhere. There is no question Stone was intimately involved in the planning along with Mike Lee prior to J6.. One thing the J6SC does seem to have is a pretty solid set of hitherto unreleased communications. Liz Cheney refers to them every once in a while.

      • timbo says:

        Clearly he’s part of this conspiracy. His behavior furthered it on at least a half-dozen occassions that I can think of off hand. And that doesn’t include any of the comms that are not public as yet so it’s got to be pretty clear he’s a conspirator here.

  26. Rwood says:

    No comment on Debbie Lesko?

    I thought the clip of her telling other GOP members that she was concerned about security to be pretty damning.

    “We have, quite honestly, Trump supporters who actually believe that we are going to overturn the election, and when that doesn’t happen, most likely will not happen, they are going to go nuts.”

    The next day, Lesko voted along with 140 other House Republicans to object to Biden’s electors. That’s her admitting to the big lie, and then promoting the big lie the very next day.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      Debbie Lesko’s moment in the hearing, combined with her vote not to certify, supply the ultimate emblem of the GOP’s role in all of this.

  27. Bay State Librul says:

    “s’ all good, man?
    Our democracy is in peril.
    I thought Chris Hayes pulled a “nutty” last night. He cannot get over how the likes of intelligent people are so beholden to a fuckhead. The answer is easy. He is a dictator — and as we speak, he is plotting some nasty stuff —
    I think Marcy said that in six months the DOJ will do something.
    That puts the date as January 2023.
    The days of wine and roses will be over by then
    As Ivanka Trump said in July 20, 2020 “Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno”
    Beware of those black beans.

  28. earlofhuntingdon says:

    A quick observation about Dobbs. The majority opinion argues that for constitutional rights to exist, they must be “deeply rooted” in American history. That means they must have been prevalent by the mid-19th century or earlier. Conveniently, that would cement in place white male privilege, and make peripheral or non-existent many rights for women and people of color.

    But the argument appears to put in jeopardy other rights, such as a host of common law/judge-made rules. Two that come to mind are qualified immunity for police officers and the state secrets privilege, which are 20th century creations. Perhaps the police should be more careful when it comes to serving routine warrants via SWAT teams, especially when there’s no warrant.

  29. earlofhuntingdon says:

    News commentators keep saying things like, “Trump launched the mob with a tweet.” LOL.

    That would be true only if there were no Oval Office meetings, hinged or unhinged, no hallway meetings, no demands that security let Trump’s mobs gather without passing through metal detectors (knowing that many of them were armed), no telephone calls to staff and off-the-books supporters, who apparently worked for months to put the mob – and specific components of it – in that place, at that time, so that a tweet or other command could set them off.

    • Rayne says:

      Commentators completely ignore the Women for America First and the role the Kremers played whipping up interest in attendance at the multi-day rallies as they drove across the US ahead of the event from December 27-January 4, arriving in DC for January 5-6.

      It’s like those burner phones have been completely forgotten.

  30. Eureka says:

    I’ve been thinking the Trump-tampering target is Eliza Thurston, because from what I had observed in March, she (or someone) had scrubbed any reference to her Trump admin and transition office roles from her job history at a popular employment history site — leaving only conservative bonafides (from before and after) behind.

    Her name appears in the call logs re a 903am 1/6 Trump-Meadows call.

    Her title during the admin — at least as of July 2020, per an outside org addressing her — was Special Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of the Chief of Staff. At the Palm Beach transition offices (kind of like they whisked her off there to that — our — payroll), she was titled more plainly as scheduling director.

    Thread here, up for harpie’s Q, down for info:

    • Eureka says:

      I’d thought of her again on the eve of Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony; didn’t hear of her name having come up (at all, really, besides in that phone log entry). But she was associated with the Meadows side of things from what I had seen online.

      Rolling Stone had an apropos headline about the matter today: “Newsmax Host Blames Trump’s Ass For Alleged Witness Tampering Call”. Would make sense given RS’ other big story (Trumpworld rolling Meadows under the bus) that they would no longer have been able to rely on Meadows to make the tampering calls.

      Of course it could be someone else we’ve never heard of at all…

      • Eureka says:

        Or maybe Meadows refusing to make any more such calls/contacts is part of why they are giving him the coffee espresso boy treatment. We all know what happens to Trump’s lackeys when a scintilla of self-preservation kicks in a la Cohen.

    • Eureka says:

      Amend, amend! Just caught a blurb that Hutchinson’s friend Alyssah Farrah Griffin is lately a regular on CNN which would go far in explaining why Trump would pick up the phone (she is ON TV, on his “hatewatch” channel to boot). Silly me, thinking of a young woman staffer in documents.

      I bet Ginevra upthread is more likely on target with her guess of Griffin.

    • Eureka says:

      CNN and NBC reported tonight that the witness was a member of the “White House support staff”, with CNN further adding that the witness could corroborate part of Hutchinson’s testimony and that the witness “was not someone who routinely communicated with the former President”, and so reported the call to their lawyer.

      CNN’s use of the past tense suggests that communication with Trump wasn’t routine in their WH role.

      • grennan says:

        One of the waiters who saw the plates/ketchup toss; one of the cleaners; the meatball server; or one of the Marines who stand, solo, outside the Oval Office when a president is within.

        The guy who takes care of the WH fireplaces or the plant waterer. Whoever found Giulani wandering through the cabinet room unaccompanied.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I heard that too. The phrase “support staff” would not appear to describe Griffin, except insofar as it describes everyone in the White House except POTUS. I had not thought of Eliza Thurston, mainly because I’d forgotten her role–too busy looking up my usual tangential minutiae!

        The speculation up-thread that Meadows might have refused to do Trump’s witness tampering for him intrigues me. I keep waiting for him to grow a forebrain.

        • bmaz says:

          Let’s not speculatively trot out potential names without support for it. That is not a good thing.

  31. Alberto The Magnificent says:

    I marvel at the jaw-dropping incompetence over there on the Right. Those guys couldn’t orchestrate a two-car funeral.

  32. may says:


    this site is impossible to keep up with
    and intercultural incomprehension is a fact.

    but i’m glad you are doing what you do anyway.

Comments are closed.