How Adam Schiff Proves that Adam Schiff Is Lying that It Is “Unprecedented” for Congress to Be Ahead of DOJ

I had imagined I would write a post today introducing Andrew Weissmann — who like a lot of other TV lawyers has decided to weigh in on the January 6 investigation without first doing the least little bit of homework — to the multiple prongs of the DOJ investigation that he complains is not investigating multiple spokes at once.

Department of Justice January 6 investigations interview with Andrew Weissmann and Rep. Adam Schiff from R G on Vimeo.

But as I was prepping for that, I watched another of the Ari Melber pieces where he replicates this false claim.

Let me correct that. Melber actually doesn’t present Weissmann’s argument that the multiple pronged DOJ investigation should have multiple prongs, perhaps because since Weissmann first made it, it became clear he missed the Sidney Powell investigation entirely, the status of the investigations into Roger Stone and Rudy Giuliani, the influencers that DOJ has already prosecuted as part of the investigation into the crime scene, and that DOJ actually started the fake electors investigation months before it was previously known.

Rather, Melber presents Adam Schiff’s claim that it is “unprecedented” for a congressional committee to be “so far out ahead” of DOJ.

Melber: We haven’t seen this kind of — he called it a breakdown, you might put it differently, but whatever it is, between the Justice Department and the Committee, but it also reflects that you’ve gotten some witnesses first. Do you share Mr. Weissmann’s concern? Could the DOJ be doing more quickly?

Schiff: I very much share his concern and have been expressing a very similar concern really for months no. It is so unprecedented — and I’ve been a part of many Congressional investigations that have been contemporaneous with Justice Department investigations — but it is unprecedented for Congress to be so far out ahead of the Justice Department in a complex investigation because as he was saying, as Andrew was saying, they’ve got potent tools to get information. They can enforce their own subpoenas in a way we can’t.

Let me introduce Adam Schiff to the House Intelligence Committee investigation into the 2016 Russian attack, on which a guy named Adam Schiff was first Ranking Member, then Chair, and the Mueller investigation into the same, on which Andrew Weissmann was a senior prosecutor.

Donald Trump Jr.

Interviewed by HPSCI on December 6, 2017

Never interviewed by Mueller’s team

Roger Stone

Interviewed by HPSCI on September 26, 2017

Never interviewed by Mueller’s team

Jared Kushner

First interviewed by HPSCI on July 25, 2017

First interviewed by DOJ on November 1, 2017

Steve Bannon

First interviewed by HPSCI on January 16, 2018

First interviewed by Mueller on February 12, 2018

John Podesta

Interviewed by HPSCI in June and December, 2017

Interviewed by Mueller in May 2018

Jeff Sessions

Interviewed by HPSCI on November 30, 2017

Interviewed by Mueller on January 17, 2018

JD Gordon

Interviewed by HPSCI on July 26, 2017

First interviewed by Mueller on August 29, 2017

Michael Caputo

Interviewed by HPSCI on July 14, 2017

Interviewed by Mueller on May 2, 2018

Michael Cohen

Interviewed by HPSCI on October 24, 2017

First interviewed by Mueller on August 7, 2018

Now, Schiff, who claimed it was unprecedented for a congressional investigation to precede a DOJ one, might say that the HPSCI investigation into Russia doesn’t count as a clear precedent because it wasn’t all that rigorous because it was led by Devin Nunes (that’s partly right, but there were plenty of Democratic staffers doing real work on that investigation too). But even on the January 6 Committee, there are already multiple instances where the Committee has interviewed witnesses before DOJ has (or interviewed witnesses that DOJ never will, before charging them), but gotten less valuable testimony than if they had waited.

One example, Ali Alexander, is instructive. He at least claimed he was going to tell the January 6 Committee a story that had already been debunked by DOJ. But before DOJ interviewed Alexander, at least two people with related information had gotten cooperation recognition in plea agreements, and several direct associates — most notably Owen Shroyer — had had their phones fully exploited.

Weissmann would likely point to good reasons why Mueller took more time, too: because later interviews with people like Michael Caputo or Jared Kushner required a lot more work on content acquired with covert warrants first, or because with people like Michael Cohen there was an entire financial investigation that preceded the first interview, or because DOJ was just a lot more careful to lay the groundwork with subjects of the investigation.

But the same is true here. DOJ will likely never interview Rudy on this investigation. But Lisa Monaco took steps on her first day in office that ensured that at whatever time DOJ obtained probable cause against Rudy, they had the content already privilege-reviewed. And DOJ did a lot of investigation into Sidney Powell before they started subpoenaing witnesses.

Many of the other witnesses that HPSCI interviewed long (or even just shortly) before DOJ did on Russia lied to HPSCI.

As both these men know, and know well, it is simply false that Congress never gets ahead of DOJ. But there are good reasons for that, and one of those reasons is precisely the one that Weissmann claims should lead DOJ to go more quickly: that it has far more tools to use to ensure that interviews that happen will more robustly support prosecutions.

190 replies
  1. bmaz says:

    I’d also add that Schiff and Weissmann have no idea what exactly is DOJ’s battle plan and what their Rule 6 info base is. In short, they just really don’t know, so yapping about it so vehemently is ridiculous. And apparently they discount the 850 or so people already charged, many of which have already been disposed of. I am disappointed with Ari for buying into this garbage so easily.

    • BurtBerman says:

      The on air personalities succumb to a kind of toxic peer pressure—talented or otherwise. A position becomes more than … “a position”; it becomes part of the “Brand”—catering to a cable channel’s base + ratings criterion which in turn feeds the beast of ladder climbing and constant reshuffling of the lineup. There are exceptions, of course. But not a lot of them.

    • KM Williams says:

      “they just really don’t know, so yapping about it so vehemently is ridiculous”

      Well, we do know from experience that the DOJ has not prosecuted some truly terrible crimes by republicans, such as the President & his men authorizing torture “that stops short of organ failure”. And plenty of other crimes, such as outing a CIA agent Valerie Plame, have gone un-investigated*, let alone charged to the perps. And no doubt a lot of crimes Americans never knew or ever will know about.

      So it makes sense for people with power and authority, such as Schiff, to point out how the DOJ has failed the country in the past, in the hopes the DOJ will move their asses this time around.

      Yes I know Plame’s case was investigated, rather poorly.

  2. Former fed prosecutor says:

    The same was true in Watergate as well. The Senate watergate committee got witnesses who were later interviewed and used by the Govt. in the criminal prosecutions.

    [Welcome to emptywheel. Please use a more differentiated username when you comment next; there have been previous comments published here by username “Former fed prosecutor” and community members have no way to know if this is the same or new former prosecutor. Use the same username each time your comment. Thanks. /~Rayne]

  3. Eureka says:

    I don’t understand the point of why they are saying these things. Maybe they’re wanting ‘heftier’ charges (of Trump admin folks or other pols) before the election? Something still seems off. Not getting the accusatory games.

    And then there’s the fact that J6C “just started” to turn over fake electors-related info to DOJ (reported yesterdayish quoting Thompson), a delay entirely at cross-purpose to claims like these.

  4. TimB says:

    Thank you for keeping us current (I mean faster than other sources by days to the story and by months to the truth).

    Weissman’s pretty awful NYT essay is from a classical genre of DC nonsense “back when I was in government, in that golden age of truth and righteousness, we … ” Of all the dumb things, his dumbest claim is that his “approach would avoid the thorny debate that has emerged as to whether Mr. Trump could be criminally culpable for inciting the riot during his Ellipse speech or if, on the contrary, his speech is protected under the First Amendment and the evidence too ambiguous to justify the extraordinary step of indicting a former president.” There is no chance on God’s green earth of avoiding “thorny debate” if the charges reach Mr. Trump.

    Schiff is just bragging and exaggerating, which is a thing congresspersons do. It is a childlike brag, “no one has ever been as wonderful as me.” It is a cousin of the Weissman brag of past wonderfulness.

    I point out the DC-normalcy of what both these fools are doing not to minimize it, but to emphasize the awful frustration and need for political cunning of being a sitting prosecutor in a matter everyone cares about. Working away, getting junior people to work hard for peanuts, not able to speak in public when criticized by many people. But here’s an evil but true thing about that. Should they ever bring a case against a senior figure, the DOJ will be better served to have been criticized for being too non-aggressive than for being too aggressive. Those “thorny debates.”

        • Adam Selene says:

          Although to be fair to Mr. Schiff, what we may call ‘bloviating’ is merely nuance compared to the screaming MAGA crowd.

        • Frank Anon says:

          This all feels like an endgame. Trump is the wounded white whale, and every politician with a rhetorical harpoon wants to take some credit for the kill shot.

        • timbo says:

          Not even close to the end game here. My guess is that the J6 Committee is just now getting onto investigating the US Secret Service, given the revelations of the past 10 days or so. And, thank heavens that the Committee even exists given the lackadaisical efforts at DOJ these past 18 months, considering what else the Congress is learning at this late date, eh?

        • bmaz says:

          What a load of garbage. It is almost like you have not read, nor understood, squat here over that time period.

  5. Allan Garten says:

    As a former federal prosecutor with 2 decades of experience, I often relied in parallel civil and criminal investigations on the work and expertise of civil agencies like the SEC, FDA and CFTC to conduct civil investigations first. Their work proved invaluable and markedly streamlined and expedited the criminal investigation, since I had the docs and dep transcripts produced in civil discovery. DOJ will have the great workproduct of the 1/6 committee to help focus their gj work and eliminate much gj work.

  6. Doctor My Eyes says:

    Endlessly frustrating. With my well-polished paranoia, I’m usually excellent at ascribing ulterior motives to those who manipulate reality on the teevee and in print. But this nonsense is so persistent and coming from all sides that I think there is really no organizing principle behind it. TimB upthread likely comes as close to the motives as any–just showing off. What a disaster for trust in our institutions that these people carry on. And if it weren’t for EW, I would be taking this stuff as gospel and feeling pretty darn well-informed. And angry at the usual hapless Dems. It’s very hard to watch and worse to try to fight the tide.

  7. Now is the winter of our discontent says:

    Seems like a plan from the DOJ and the January 6th Committee to encircle the criminality that has occurred. They seem to be serving different purposes. In other words, the DOJ’s approach is a systematic, broad based and encompassing investigation. The January 6th committee is telling a story through Republican testimony that is easily understood by a public who don’t have the time nor the expertise to track this criminality. The January 6th Committee continues to clearly delineate Trump’s desire to hold onto power.

    [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. It’s been a while; perhaps you’ve forgotten you last commented here as “the game’s afoot.” Pick a name and stick with it. Thanks. /~Rayne]

    • bmaz says:

      That’s the “plan”? For the “Committee” to frustrate the DOJ and then mock them for not moving fast enough? That is one hell of a “plan” from a Committee that claimed to want accountability.

      • Sue 'em Queequeg says:

        “Why do you make me hit you for not having the materials I won’t give you?”

      • timbo says:

        I strongly suspect that folks like Schiff do not trust DOJ to do the right thing with any information the Committee might give them at this point. He’s not going to say that openly but it’s definitely the current undercurrent to a lot of his comments over the past year.

        • bmaz says:

          If so, that is just fucking asinine. He doesn’t “trust” DOJ at this moment when it is only that spitball Committee that is leaking and yammering on TV 24 hours a day? Seriously??? No, the “current undercurrent” is that the Committee is preening for exposure. DOJ has been extremely buttoned down, so if Schiff says or thinks that, he is just a dishonest asshole.

        • Ewan says:

          On the other hand, you do need both: when there isn’t a public opinion branch, and only a buttoned down DOJ, then it’s an open field for the MAGA crowd to say : see there is nothing happening, nothing to say, nothing there. Thanks to the J6 committee, the GOP wished they had not voted it is “persecution of ordinary citizens who engaged in legitimate political discourse”. And because Schiff is complaining that the DOJ is slow, it actually gives, again, in the public sphere, a complete normalcy to whatever will come out of the DOJ investigation in due time. Otherwise, it would be pushed back, as it already is for the J6 committee, as re-litigating ancient history. This way the public knows something will come, later, from the DOJ.

        • Scott Johnson says:

          Regarding reports that Schiff, or the Committee, doesn’t “trust the DOJ”: Doesn’t trust whom, exactly? (And who has made this claim, specifically, or is this one of those anonymous-sourced bits of gossip that becomes conventional wisdom in the DC press corps?)

          Doesn’t trust the Attorney General, his deputies, and/or the US Attorneys and prosecutors who are leading the effort, and who were appointed by Biden? (I’m assuming there’s no Trump holdovers leading any of this).

          Or don’t trust some of the (civil service, non-political-appointee) staff at DOJ, some of whom might be burrowed-in Trumpers who might leak the Committee’s work to the wrong people?

          The former would be a big problem. The latter might be a legit concern. Such “burrowing” (conversion of political appointees into non-political staff who can’t be fired at pleasure) has long been part of the political give-and-take, but given the nature of the Trump administration, I would be especially leery of any holdovers who were bought in by them.

          Recent revelations concerning the Secret Service add to that concern.

        • timbo says:

          Is it? Seems like there’s some egg on DOJ’s face right now, given the conflicting testimony of various USSS agents and former agents, a Capitol Police officer from Twitler’s J6 motorcade, the DHS IG letter, etc. If I were on that Committee, I’d want to know right now, on behalf of the entire Congress basically, what the DOJ has >not been doing< these past 18 months. Or is it up to some other agency of the Federal government to make sure that USSS agents aren't compromised seditionists, etc?

      • Now is the winter of our discontent says:

        Yeah, I take your point. It’s not coordinated. I just think each is serving an important purpose.

        • Norskieflamethrower says:

          “I just think that each is serving an important purpose”

          Exactly!! I wish more commenters who are so interested in blasting the committee for not wanting to share information with a DoJ that has been effectively compromised for at least 22 years would please stuff their fragile egos back into their wallets

        • bmaz says:

          I am sure that is aimed at me, and is absolute fucking bullshit. “Compromised for at least 22 years”? Exactly what dealings with the DOJ have you had, or do count reading shit on the internet as “experience”?

        • Norskeflamthrower says:

          Actually Bmaz, the FBI has been and entity unto itself since it’s inception and since Bush One the justice department has been packed with William Barr juniors

        • bmaz says:

          Actually, I have a good enough grip on them having watched and dealt with them for decades. They are never your friends, but the stuff you alleged is bogus.

        • Norskeflamthrower says:

          Aren’t you the one that lambasted me for saying that most large city and county police operations are corrupt with right wing rank and files? Pardon me if I don’t agree with your confidence in the DoJ and particularly in it’s insulation from real oversight.

        • bmaz says:

          Again, your actual experience other than reading the internet is…what? Because all agencies are more, and more varied, than such all encompassing conclusions. And I am no friend of any of them, in fact have kind of a career in challenging them. But the broad brush you paint with is ridiculous.

        • bmaz says:

          What in the world is wrong with you? The answer to that dumb question has been explained forever here. Nothing is about your, nor anybody else’s, hyperbolic bullshit. The process matters.

  8. gmoke says:

    Is there any “TV lawyer” who passes muster, is someone we should actually be paying attention to?

    I suspect Dr Wheeler (not a lawyer) is persona non grata still because of her “potty mouth” and I suspect bmaz would rather be caught dead than on TV (besides, I’d have to clean the rancor and vitriol from my set after his appearance).

    • bmaz says:

      I’ve been invited before TV and print. There is not a chance in hell I am doing that. But I have done a few national TV things, but only on my own cases, and probably would not do even that now. Marcy can answer for herself, but at some point, an invited 4 minute hit is of diminishing returns.

      As to who maybe pay attention to among TV lawyers, I still find Chuck Rosenberg generally good, sometimes Harry Littman, but he is inconsistent. Carrie Cordero is not horrible, but not always as up on the facts as would hope be. Am sure there are others not remembering at the moment. Too many of them though are just there to make a hit to further whatever narrative they were asked speak about.

      • Marinela says:

        IMO, maybe you should try to appear on TV. We need a new framework, and messaging. A lot could be said in 4 minutes if they give you that much.
        But it is up to the host to let the guest express their own views instead of narrating the question and the answers.

        Btw, got enrolled to the class on July 27 to be election judge for August and November elections in Minnesota.
        Small steps…

        • bmaz says:

          Nope, there will never again be me on TV, much less something national. Congrats on the election judge thing though, that is not only awesome on its face, but I very much predict you will, despite the temporary hard work, find it one of the more wonderful things you will do and remember.

        • gmoke says:

          “Only a fool and his capers
          get a name in the papers”
          as Steve Miller once quoted when he got into public trouble.

          That goes double for TV.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeah. When even your own in-laws report back “hey that was great, but you have a real balding spot”, maybe you are not really the TV type. That was over two early Court TV coverages. I did two more after that on longform TV news magazines, both on the same big case. They accomplished what I wanted, but don’t think will ever do that again.

    • Eureka says:

      I don’t think it’s the pottymouth. She’s too fucking smart and not up for the requisite WWE-like working-the-audience games.

      • Eureka says:

        Where’s that clip with the Morning Joe panel stunned to slack-faced silence when she was last on explaining Durham.

      • skua says:

        Dr Wheeler would be fecking awesome on Irish TV.

        And that would be a sly way into some American Celtic minds.

        How does this happen?

        • grennan says:

          Without getting into the enormous rethinking among academics in the past 20 years about Celts, who they were/are and where they came from, remember that tfg is more “Celt” than all but a few USans including JFK and Biden. His mother was a MacLeod born on Lewis, one of the more isolated Scottish islands.

    • emptywheel says:

      I love Barb McQuade. I think Joyce White Vance is good. I think Elizabeth De La Vega is fantastic.

      Chuck Rosenberg is great too.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        I am very partial to McQuade and Vance, as well as Matt Miller. I love Liz Dye, who gave EW another shout-out on Wonkette just this afternoon. She’s not a TV lawyer, but like Dr. Wheeler she should be.

        • bmaz says:

          Who should be TV lawyers? People we agree with, or people that are actually reasonable and cogent?

  9. Silly but True says:

    Weissman is only a social media influencer / entertainment today because people forgot just how bad he was as head of the Enron task force.

    Lest no one forget, he essentially put 2,000-person Arthur Anderson out of business on a bogus theory of obstruction of justice charge.

    Even more egregious was Weissman’s conduct in Enron Broadband where his team elicited false testimony from Ken Rice, and then threatened Beth Steir and Lawrence Ciscon to do same, and then flagrantly violated U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore‘s orders on prosecutor’s conduct.

    That was the final straw which forced Weissman to resign as head of the Enron prosecution task force.

    But Arthur Anderson’s still looking for who to talk to to unwind Weissman’s damage.

    Weissman is the last person to listen to about how to conduct a federal investigation and prosecution.

    • bmaz says:

      I have been holding my tongue as to Weissmann and the Enron task force because, well, it is a complicated backstory. But, yes, it really was a failure. In some regards, Mueller maybe as well.

      • Silly but True says:

        Honestly, I’m still searching for a reasonable take on Mueller’s intended purpose & audience of Vol. 2, and whether Mueller believes Vol. 2 served his intended purpose and audience. Three years on, and I still run the entire spectrum of possibilities to those answers.

        Most unfortunate is that the one chance for clarity and Congressional oversight to answer those questions was a train wreck.

        • PieIsDamnGood says:

          Mueller is a naive old man who thought his legalese would immediately lead to the impeachment of Trump.

      • Greg Hunter says:

        I had hopes for Mueller but in 2018, I found a 2005 diatribe I had written where I opined that the only witness that made Senator, now OH Governor, Mike DeWine look smart was Robert Mueller.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      Arthur Anderson was a colossal firm. Per Wikipedia, it had 28,000 employees, not 2,000.

    • Eureka says:

      Saw a statement by the family that ended (in actuality, or ? as clipped) that “she was a survivor … ” — the ellipses in my mind standing for what she survived as initially alleged in her divorce proceedings.

      Also she was young, only 73.

      • Savage Librarian says:

        Here in what DeSantis calls God’s Waiting Room, 20 people I knew died in the past 6 years. More than half were in their 60’s, a few in their 70’s, and a couple each in their 80’s and 50’s.

        Both my grandmothers were in their 70’s when they passed. But when my mother was in her 80’s I noticed she was struggling with a very pint-sized staircase. So I moved her to a place with no stairs. In her 90’s she took a tumble anyways and broke her hip, but still lived for a few more years.

        I fell in the driveway a year ago and initially thought I broke my knee and toe. There was a big hematoma and lots of blood. I still have a large scar. But I’m still able to cut my lawn myself.

        Balance, muscle tone, control, and endurance just aren’t the same anymore. And the side effects of prescribed medication also plays a part. As my dear neighbor used to say, “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

  10. Bay State Librul says:

    I’m sipping on an Allagash Curieux 10.2 ABV libation.
    I’m waiting for the Sox-Yanks game.
    Ergo, BMAZ can you please give the 1/6 Committee at least a Arizonian hug for their work🤗
    Save the date, Bruce arrives in Boston on March 20, 2023 for his final concert with the E Street Boys
    Fuck the dictator may he pay for his sins

  11. Cosmo Le Cat says:

    I generally walk in lockstep with MW and the majority of commenters, but I’m going to express a contrarian position. But first, let me state that I reject the false mainstream media narrative that the DOJ is neither doing nor moving fast enough. The data we do have is that they are moving firmly and have been doing so longer than has been generally acknowledged. The DOJ has rightfully refrained from providing details and doing a pre-indictment public relations campaign.

    Bmaz is correct that people want accountability. However, I reject the notion that the J6SC has any direct role in holding people accountable. That is the job of the DOJ. Accountability means prosecuting lawbreakers for their crimes.

    I also reject the inference that it’s a bad thing for the J6SC to produce a “scripted, staged and slickly edited” presentation. That is exactly what people want and need — clarity in presenting a summation of a thousand witnesses and countless videos and documents. Ordinarily, committee hearings are a series of 5 minute (campaign) speeches followed by a posse of Gym Jordans mucking it up in incoherent rebuttals. The J6SC has presented the best and most coherent congressional hearings ever.

    Also, the J6SC may be attempting to horse-trade with the DOJ or have other legitimate reasons for moving slowly on sharing info.

    One final point is that we have been let down before by the DOJ/legal system. Iran Contra, Watergate, Mueller, et al. Settling for Scooter Libby was a travesty. We would be fools if we were not holding healthy skepticism that the DOJ will go higher than Meadows and 850 suckers.

    • bmaz says:

      Alright, a couple of things here:

      Bmaz is correct that people want accountability. However, I reject the notion that the J6SC has any direct role in holding people accountable. That is the job of the DOJ. Accountability means prosecuting lawbreakers for their crimes.

      That is exactly what I have said.

      I also reject the inference that it’s a bad thing for the J6SC to produce a “scripted, staged and slickly edited” presentation.

      I NEVER said that, simply that it is ridiculous for them to be preening around and cravenly lambasting DOJ over delays that the “Committee” is at least partially at fault for.

      The J6SC has presented the best and most coherent congressional hearings ever.

      Patently laughable. They do not hold a candle to Watergate or Iran Contra. The J6 are not even really “hearings” at all, they are staged little shows that have produced extremely little new information for anybody that has been paying attention. If the dolts out there need a pseudo Netflix mini-series to get a clue, fine. But don’t make this shit out to be some heroic adventure.

      Also, the J6SC may be attempting to horse-trade with the DOJ or have other legitimate reasons for moving slowly on sharing info.

      If they are doing that, they all ought be run out of office for being preening idiots and assholes.

      One final point is that we have been let down before by the DOJ/legal system. Iran Contra, Watergate, Mueller, et al.

      What a load of crap. You are familiar with Watergate and Iran Contra results, or not so much?

      • Peterr says:

        little shows that have produced extremely little new information for anybody that has been paying attention

        Two words: Cassidy Hutchinson

        New info via her, off the top of my head: testimony that Trump was told by USSS that people at the Ellipse were armed . . . USSS had confiscated multiple weapons, and when word of that got around, others were staying on the Mall outside the security perimeter . . . testimony about Cipplione telling her that they needed to keep Trump from going to the Capitol because (in his view) it would result in multiple laws being broken . . . testimony that the Proud Boys and Oathkeepers were part of the conversations in the Oval Office pre-insurrection . . .

        • bmaz says:

          No. Most all of that had been reported going back to not long after the moment. Hutchinson was an awesome witness, and compelling. But please don’t tell me most all of that was never known. Seriously, people are WAY over amped as to the “new evidence” related by the noisy self promoting Committee.

        • timbo says:

          It’s pretty clear that this Congressional Committee is at least six months behind the curve. What is astounding is that the DOJ appears to also be 6 months behind the curve too. Or was there some evidence that the USSS had deleted texts that the DHS IG had requested for Jan 5/6 2021 time period until the DHS IG’s letter directly to Congress about that removal of relevant potential evidence in the J6 investigations? Did the DHS inform the DOJ about this problem? If so, when? What was DOJ reaction to this information if/when they were informed prior to this letter being sent to the Congress? So, yeah, plenty of questions about wtaf DOJ has been doing with potential information about all sorts of potential criminal behavior related to the insurrection on Jan 6.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Speaking of the USSS, it appears that they were chock-full of burrowed GQP types from Ornato on down. Their arrogant impunity has had symptoms (remember the hookers?) and along with their like-minded brethren in the FBI were going to help out Individual-1. It was bad enough that even Mike Pence knew he could not trust the USSS detail on J6.

          Today we have the report that the USSS deleted all of their communications demanded by the IG’s office due to a ‘prescheduled’ maintenance evolution. The spox also claimed that the IG demand came after the deletions were done. I do have a couple of things to observe beside the obvious one about digging in on this.

          First, these are officers who are supposed to exhibit judgement ability in addition to following orders. These aren’t boot E-1s. That anything at all related to the events in and around J6 would be needed for investigations is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer and all the USSS ‘leadership’ managed to do is cast further doubt upon their motives, actions and their agency in general. The ‘we didn’t know’ defense is classic CYA behavior (see Murphy, Emily at GSA) and the ‘just following orders’ defense didn’t work at Nuremburg either.

          I would also suspect that there are records at FBI or NSA because of who was there (the dipshits) and who was alleged to be showing up there (‘ANTIFA’ and ‘BLM’) so surveillance would have been done especially about the latter. The question is whether the investigators can extract the information from bros unlikely to be sympathetic.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Let’s remember two more things as well. The GOP has been advertising themselves as the ‘law-n-order’ party for a very long time in contrast to those DFH Democrats. That alone tends to incline LEOs to lean rightward in their views as we have seen in how protests are handled.

          The other thing to remember is that Individual-1 had been putting his made men into the positions of control (i.e. Patel, Ornato, Kerik, …) precisely to act as commissars on his behalf. One of the reports I read noted that the IG (which is supposed to have unfettered access to staff by law) could not be allowed to discuss anything with staff unless the USSS lawyer approved the discussion. That policy totally defeats the purpose of the IG but also makes the staff toe the preferred line. If one was a truly dedicated USSS public servant, that person would have been purged away from DC (especially during 2020 as the J6 plot was taking shape) into some currency hunts in AK for example. That is only one reason why Pence felt he could not trust his detail, because he knew they were all picked men (but for the wrong purpose).

          These were people that allowed ‘Team Crazy’ into the Oval Office without any detectable logging / recording / background checks, and FWIW that would seem to tip their hands about their sympathies regarding Individual-1’s continued access to power. I wonder if Pence knew of that visit or all of its details.

        • Norskieflamethrower says:

          Thank you for the refresher, when The good guys are beating each other up like is happening here, right there is a need to stop and figure out who the bad guys are!

        • bmaz says:

          Nobody needs to stop, except for the stupid. If you want to hagiograph this marginally effective, at best, and lame as to the rest, Committee, fine. To each their own, but performative TV bullshit does not a case make, especially in this case. Some of the “good guys” are rightfully wondering what exactly the self promoting “Committee” are doing. So, spare me that fighting shit, it is the Committee clucks going out of their way and shitting on DOJ.

        • Scott Johnson says:

          It’s a political case. Nothing more.

          Hillary Clinton ran rings around the Benghazi committee, which was conducted more in the manner in which you might like, even if you might not like who was doing the investigating.

          But the point of the committee wasn’t to prove Clinton did something wrong; pretty much everyone in DC knew the whole affair was bullshit from start to finish. It was to drag her name through the mud, and to support a “Clinton is corrupt” narrative. How much it affected the 2016 election, I don’t know, but she ended up losing, so mission accomplished. And likewise with the recently-completed Durham nonsense; the primary purpose of which was not to try and ruin the career of a particular lawyer, but to give heft to various right-wing conspiracy theories.

          At least the House, being a political body, isn’t really abusing its power when it conducts a political tribunal.

        • bmaz says:

          No, it is very much not just a political case. To say that is to remove all meaning of the actual law. And it is ludicrous to say I preferred the bonkers Benghazi hearings. Further, Durham is, sadly, not done yet. Nobody, and certainly not DOJ, is “abusing power”. Where do you come up with this stuff?

        • fm says:

          I agree Scott and I think the Jan6 committee is doing a very good job of bringing the complicity of Trump, many in his administration and many Republicans of trying to keep Trump in power with any means possible despite voters casting him out. They have and still are telling lie upon lie to the Public. The Public is getting this in the easy to understand Jan6 hearings. The DOJ does prosecutions. We all wait for that as well, but it doesn’t take away from what “evidence” testimony from Republicans about how Trump lied and lied and lied to the electorate in an attempt to force his way back in power that is being showcased in the Jan6 committee hearings.. Luckily Trump failed…this time.

        • timbo says:

          Yes, at least the J6 Committee finally got put together and got underway. And has motivated some persons at the DOJ to maybe do a better, more thorough job than it appears they were willing to do up until this point.

        • bmaz says:

          You are so full of shit, your eyes must be brown.

          Your spew is so stupid, it is approaching trolling. If that is how you want to be treated, keep at it.

      • Badger Robert says:

        Getting away from the TV appearances of Weissman and Schiff, the scary part is something else.
        The scary scenario is the one in which Merrick Garland is doing the best he can to reconstitute the Department, and prosecute the cases. The scary part is there is mismatch between the damaged DofJ and the vast scope of the conspiracy.

        • bmaz says:

          This is a constant refrain that is mostly bogus. The current heads of DOJ are running things, it is not the “burrowed in”.

        • Badger Robert says:

          That may be true. But that doesn’t mean the competency is restored in the Department and the Bureau. A lot of experienced people were purged.

    • Badger Robert says:

      I disagree with Ms. Wheeler, mainly for the reasons listed above. I think the investigations are fine. But until people are charged the run out the clock strategy looks viable.
      Defendants who faced delayed indictment, a late trial, and who can bond a stay on appeal if the are convicted, can anticipate a Republican pardon.
      The DofJ may have to arrest people, especially the sleazy lawyers who propounded the fantasies that allowed Trump to evade reality. And they may have to indict people who worked on pardons for coup organizers.
      Some of the perpetrators may be found not guilty, and some may get mistrials.
      But right now, the perpetrators with money are not intimidated. They have a viable legal strategy to make to the next Republican President.
      Ms. Wheeler thinks Rep Schiff’s remarks were inappropriate. But Schiff was very direct in his remarks. They were political remarks about how the DofJ is making the Democrats look weak.
      The issue isn’t Trump however. In my view, its the others,. that propped him up, ran the White House, fed his fantasies and abandoned their duty to the Constitution.
      Doing the bare minimum, with warning the public, might not be criminal in all cases, as Ari stated, but the prosecution has to make an example of some of these enablers.

      • emptywheel says:

        I’m well aware of the likelihood delay could lead to pardons for the worst offenders. I’m not sure what the answer to that tho, bc indicting w/o a rock solid case would lead to acquittals. Look at how much shit Bannon has thrown at two simple misdemeanors.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Judge Nichols seemed to signal that in his view the Bannon strategy will lose at trial. And Judge Nichols has rendered such trial imminent.

        • bmaz says:

          No, he did not do that at all. Bannon’s own atty said that, and Nichols merely indicated it was a decent question.

        • bmaz says:

          That a judge tells one side or another in a criminal case that they ought look for options happens in nearly every case every day. That comment by Nichols is absolutely meaningless.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          When Nichols said “Agreed” to Bannon’s lawyer’s statement, I perceived the judge as signaling to the defense team that they need to come up with better arguments. Because they have scrambled to assemble even the most far-fetched defense arguments to date, I inferred that given the time limits this will be difficult. Not that Judge Nichols was dooming their case, but that by ruling it must proceed as scheduled he knows the defense finds themselves in a (largely self-created) spot of trouble.

          I can’t see how Nichols’ “Agreed” could possibly be meaningless. But lacking the context that those in the courtroom possessed, the rest of us can only speculate how it was received–and its reception by Bannon’s defense team will ultimately determine its meaning.

        • Scott Johnson says:

          If Trump, or some other GOP president, were to pardon the coup-plotters, it probably wouldn’t matter how far along they were in their investigations and trials. It would probably be a blanket pardon, thanking them all for their “patriotism”.

  12. Ddub says:

    Is it possible that differences between Justice and J6C are in part a ruse? In a vain effort to insulate the DoJ from political headwinds?
    It’s so troubling when all one hears about is faith in institutions and they trust each other not at all.

    OT Are there any commensurate white hat elites to counter the Mercers, DeVos’s and Kochs of the Country? I wonder if any of them really gives a rat’s ass about democracy as long as they can make bank.

    • Greg Hunter says:

      In Ohio it was the Chamber of Commerce providing no show jobs to future leaders. Jon Husted graduated from the University of Dayton in 1989 and by 1993 the future Ohio Governor, had an empty office at the Dayton Chamber of Commerce when I was a member. He was paid to run. Raj Soin first generation Indian American that abused the Minority Set-Aside program at WPAFB bought Rep. Mike Turner in 2000 and he is still in power.

      In Wyoming it is big money republicans funding all these little christian nationalists to run for the State House and Senate seats. While there is some big money on the Dems side residing in Jackson WY, that money does not fund down ballot candidates in Wyoming. They hold fund raisers for Presidential candidates and not for those that could impact races statewide.

      I see no White Hats, but I would attribute that to the general good nature of those on the left. For instance Roe was the compromise and for 40 years the left ignored the war emanating from right with corporations backing the christian right. Limbaugh, Fox made bank while 911 pushed the US Government and its employees further to the right.

      We will see if the strike down of Roe and the J6 revelations awaken a sleeping giant, but I have my doubts.

    • timbo says:

      If it is a ruse, it’s the stupidest, silliest ruse that one could imagine. Uh, unless one was on the side of the seditionists, of course…in which case, it would be an awesome ruse.

  13. RMD says:

    Ken Klippenstein at The Intercept has posted a deeply disturbing revelation about the Secret Service’s actions in deleting text messages from Jan 5 and 6…

    A letter given to the January 6 committee says the erasure took place shortly after oversight officials requested the agency’s electronic communications.

    According to the Office of Inspector General Department of Homeland Security (OIG), the U.S. Secret Service (USSS) erased “text messages, from January 5 and 6, 2021.” The letter originally sent to the House and Senate Homeland Security Committees by the Department of Homeland Security Inspector General states that the messages were erased during what the USSS called “a device-replacement program.”

    Whether or not this is above board becomes even more questionable, according to OIG’s letter, when you consider that those erased text messages were “after OIG requested records of electronic communications from the USSS, as part of our evaluation of events at the Capitol on January 6.” On top of this, the letter reports that OIG inspectors have been stonewalled in their requests for “records of electronic communications” by the USSS.”

    Important questions remain about Tony Ornato, the SS, and their behavior around Jan 6.

    • pdaly says:

      Hoping to learn more in the days ahead.

      The Washington Post article by Maria Sacchetti and Carol Leonnig posted tonight around 9pm EDT (and updated 7/14/22 at 10:30pm EDT) adds to the CNN and The Intercept reporting.

      No sure what it means that Joseph Cuffari (head of the DHS OIG and the letter writer claiming the texts were erased)’s office is under investigation by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency ‘for undisclosed allegations of misconduct’ or that POGO has called for Biden to replace Cuffari.

      This passage is curious (and topical):

      “The Secret Service has had a history of important records disappearing under cover of night and agency staff refusing to cooperate when investigators came calling seeking information.

      When a congressional committee was investigating assassinations and assassination attempts, it sought boxes of records that reportedly showed the Secret Service received ample advance warnings and threats before President John F. Kennedy’s death that white supremacists and other organizations were plotting to kill Kennedy using high-powered rifles from tall buildings. The Secret Service told investigators the records had been destroyed as part of a normal culling of old archives — days after investigators had requested them.”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Not to beat a dead horse, but what armed federal agency, whose job includes protecting the president, “routinely” destroy communications records when supposedly migrating to a new phone system?

        Has the USSS suddenly discovered Alexander Graham Bell’s invention, but hasn’t heard of computers or backing up their digital records? About the president? During a transition between presidencies? After an attempted armed coup? Or is this garden variety obstruction?

        It’s two decades past time to commit oversight of DHS – something it has avoided since its inception – and to restructure the USSS and its ungainly and overripe hodgepodge of a host agency.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          So, no improvements in twenty years, then. I notice that the kerfluffle about “when” the USSS comms traffic was deleted ignores that it should probably not have been deleted at all, let alone “routinely,” when replacing devices.

        • RMD says:

          Rayne….that is stunning…. thank you for providing.
          I recall fmr Gov. Romney (in MA) removed all harddrives from the computers before leaving the State House offices….and as an official fu…to comply with requirements to keep copies of communications….had them printed out….and scrubbed from drives.

          Try doing a word search with hardcopies.

          …but that was a few years back…. I’m sure it’s all been straightened out by now…

        • Rayne says:

          LOL See the EW Timeline Collection at the top of the page. As you can see, Marcy is the grand mistress of the timeline for investigative reporting.

        • RMD says:

          Charlie Pierce has a post out today via his newsletter reviewing SS non compliance with records requests….while raising deeply troubling questions about some of its officers.

          “They Don’t Call It The Secret Service for Nothing”
          [https(colon)//link(dot) ]

        • timbo says:

          Yep. There’s some legal office liability at USSS if this information was not disseminated through out the USSS IT-verse. Or was this FOI request requirement notification to all agents and department heads also on the devices the USSS erased/destroyed?

  14. skua says:

    Thought I’d speculate on Schiff’s motives. And first checked to see if he is retiring.
    Bing (microsoft search engine) got the job and the top text return was Breibart telling me that Schiff is a “a conspiracy theorist and chairman of the” SCI.
    Acknowledging that microsoft is poisoning America.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Ladder climbing indeed. Someone needs to replace Pelosi soon; I’m sure that’s one ladder rung he’s looking at. A California Senate seat is another, as is the presidency.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          I keep thinking that any day now, someone will spin Diane Feinstein ‘s or Nancy Pelosi’s chair around only to discover Norman Bates’ mother staring back at them.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          We have to spruce up the Democratic Party before it starts looking like the Bates Motel.

        • timbo says:

          I daresay that Schiff is unlikely to ever be Speaker. It’s more likely he’ll end up a US Senator from California or something if he can wing it…at least that’s my reading of the tea-leaves.

      • skua says:

        Microsoft’s profit-focussed algorithm highlights Breitbart putting a more negative spin on Schiff having ambitions:
        “Report: Adam Schiff Covets House Speakership for Himself”

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          There’s nothing wrong with that. He should be ambitious. The question I have is what does he want to do with that ambition.

          I have a good idea what Katie Porter or AOC might do. Schiff is more of a cipher. That might help him be all things to all congresscritters, but it won’t get a whole lot done.

        • bmaz says:

          Exactly. But Schiff desires to be Speaker and maybe President. Katie Porter would make a fantastic Speaker. AOC might would, but she is not as ready as Porter. But no thank you to Schiff.

        • Rugger9 says:

          Porter’s main problem is the demographics of her district which actually leans GOP IIRC. It’s an indication about how good she is at her job that she got re-elected but to be Speaker I think a safer seat would be better. I think Senator is a better option for Porter and she wouldn’t be touchable by the RWNJs for six years.

        • bmaz says:

          She is fine and solid in that district now. And, if that is the case, why not her as Speaker?

        • Rugger9 says:

          Skill-set wise, she’d be excellent in that role. I still think she should run eventually to replace DiFi.

        • Rayne says:

          You might want to revisit your understanding of Porter’s district because redistricting did a bunch of shuffling. She’s currently representing CA-45 but is running for CA-47. Ratings on CA-47:

          Cook Political Report: Lean Democratic

          Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Lean Democratic

          Inside Elections: Lean Democratic

          CA-45 ratings for this mid-term:

          Cook Political Report: Lean Republican

          Sabato’s Crystal Ball: Lean Republican

          Inside Elections: Toss-up

          Jay Chen (D) is running against incumbent Michelle Steel (R) in the mid-term; he already won in the nonpartisan primary over Steel. Shouldn’t overlook the district’s demographics which are 23.5% Asian.

          ADDER: Flip Jay Chen some campaign $ because this seat shouldn’t be on the bubble. It’s readily retainable by Dems.

        • gmoke says:

          I would like to offer for your consideration Rep Lucy McBath as a candidate for a leadership position, IF she can retain her seat.

          I first noticed her on CSPAN Book TV before she ran, talking about the killing of her son supposedly because the music in his car was too loud. What got my attention was that she made it exceedingly clear that she would listen and answer ANY question from the audience.

          Later, as a Rep, I saw her question Jeff Bezos and do something I’ve never seen any other politician do. She turned over her time to a constituent who had a specific problem with Amazon through which she ran her second-hand textbook business. Amazon just cut her off and she couldn’t get any reason why or redress. Rep McBath let her constituent talk by video directly to Bezos.

          That is the kind of person I want in a leadership position, someone who listens and responds. I think she’ll have a hard campaign so help if you can.

          I like Katie Porter but she sometimes seems more for show than enlightenment. I don’t believe Lucy McBath has that problem.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          Katie Porter mentored under Elizabeth Warren. Her showmanship is very much about enlightenment and effectiveness.

  15. Stacy (Male!) says:

    After 43 years in practice, and six years in the bleachers watching the rule of law come ever closer to disappearing over the horizon, I am still shocked that so many casually suggest that Garland wants the worst criminal in American history to walk, in order to restore the DOJ’s reputation! Or because he’s afraid that fascist mobs might act up! I refuse to believe that. I think, like me, Garland watched Trump and his little friends commit crimes on national TV and is doing his best to assemble whatever proof he needs to make his charges stick.

    • bmaz says:

      Yes. And that point may not have been reached yet. To my eye, it really has not, despite the howling of so many. Just do it right and we shall see. But, if and/or when, DOJ does so they need to be rock solid to go forth. The constant braying of people to INDICT NOW! id painful and regrettable.

      • gmoke says:

        What more do you think is necessary to prove the case?

        Not to put you on the spot but to help me figure out what may be missing.

        • bmaz says:

          Fair question. But the answer is the same as always…I don’t think the causative intent link is yet established as to most of the possible charges. Obstruction is still the most solid, but the others, far less so. It is easy to watch the 1/6 TV shows and think it is, but that is false. Things are far different when there is a spirited defense in a court of law. “Could” DOJ charge now? Yes, but they would be insane to.

        • gmoke says:

          Do you think the GA “find me the votes” phone call along with the J6 litany of all the lawyers saying there’s no fraud is a causative link that will allow Ms Willis to indict? If not, what more do you think is necessary in that case?

          And I know you can tell me to buzz off, if you want to.

        • timbo says:

          The question though is is DOJ even bothering to look for evidence that is possibly being destroyed/distorted/strong-armed away before they even get around to looking for it? Maybe we’ll know more about that by the end of this week…after the next J6 Committee hearing on Thursday…

          And, if there ever was an argument for a free press, it’s got to be articles like what we’ve been seeing the past couple of weeks relative to the inability of Congress and the DOJ to even elicit testimony from those who should be coming forward immediately with what they know about the lead up to the Jan 6 2021 attempt to stop Congress from following through with a peaceful transfer of power.

    • grennan says:

      One of the Washington Post commenters had a wonderful response to several of the moon-bayers calling for Pres. Biden to lean on DOJ and or replace Garland: since it was founded in 1868, only two presidents, Nixon and Trump, have weaponized it. That Biden would become the third if he attempted to influence or hasten such prosecution.

      Also, just as the post-Watergate Church committee was able to effect some CIA reforms, when this is over DHS, cobbled together in the early Bush response to 9/11, needs some scrutiny and rearrangement. That’s been clear almost since it was founded, with very strange ICE stuff re the Canadian border; Hurricane Katrina; and a variety of other stuff that lawfare and justsecurity have been noting since long before tfg’s administration.

      • jdmckay says:

        AFAIC, when GWB announced create of DHS he was on the verge of being exposed for multiple crimes wrt IRAQ… the wheels had come off, his admin’s manifold lies and unfolding disaster was becoming clear to all.

        Creating DHS was Junior’s hail mary to divert attention from all this. It was a diversionary tactic, nothing else. And, for GWB’s purposes, it worked.

        • grennan says:

          Nope. Less than two weeks after 9/11, Bush created a White House Office of Homeland Security, headed by Tom Ridge. Remember the phrase “connect the dots between agencies…”?

          Then in Nov. 2022, Congress approved making it a cabinet department, which opened in March 2003. (Interesting date overlay with the runup to Iraq.)


          A great chart showing reponsibilties of the 22 groups/offices/ agencies pre-911 and how they were folded into DHS at


          At best, before Trump, a management challenge with some real weaknesses operationally (Katrina, TSA, port security). At worst…we probably haven’t found out the worst. Unfortunately, the scary unmarked “special forces” deployed in some of the summer 2020 protests gave us a hint.

      • earthworm says:

        reply to grennan re DHS:
        yes, since its inception this has been a troubling agency, with even its official name redolent of National Socialist ideology.

        • grennan says:

          A solution in search of a problem, and then the problem turned out to be Trump.

          Add an unknown number of its 250,000 employees to an unknown percentage of the members of 28,000 over-militized state and local policing units and it’s a potential SA/SS just waiting for armbands.

  16. Rugger9 says:

    OT, but needs some attention. In the post-Roe world we are seeing the effects of the ruling cascade down in very significant ways. For example, we have the case of the OH girl who missed the OH law cutoff by three days (she was in her seventh week) and had to go to IN to get her procedure done. As disgusting as that scenario is, what followed was even worse and I have yet to see any pushback from anyone in the courtier press for the following:

    1. Several GQP types including Gym Jordan and Jesse Watters and OH pols saying this was a hoax all the way until the perp confessed. None have retracted or apologized for their statements questioning the victim’s integrity.
    2. The woman who testified that the girl’s abortion wasn’t a ‘real’ abortion, because it would ‘impact her life’ after unsuccessfully dodging the question. No retraction or apology even though she was called out by Swalwell in the hearing.
    3. The IN Attorney General who not only claimed the story was a hoax but then pivoted to threatening criminal charges against the physician for allegedly not filing and reporting on time because ‘he hadn’t seen it’. A public records check exposed that lie within 24 hours, but the AG has yet to retract or apologize. FWIW, since our physician isn’t a public figure and she was accused of criminal activity with reckless malice (he doxxed her too) I think she should sue him personally for defamation unless lying in IN is part of the AG’s state government duties.

    In all of these cases (and many, many, many others before) we have GQP types deliberately lying with complete impunity, with no consequences of any kind. That has to change and it has to start with the press calling the GQP out and people taking them to court. Even if they don’t prevail, discovery can force out more inconvenient truths which might (might) rein in the GQP as shameless as they are. I’d start with Watters.

    • Rugger9 says:

      As for a key press enabler, I offer Mr. Kessler who I am sure is paid quite well to mail in his ‘fact checking’ about the Indianapolis Star, post his analysis and then issue a bog-standard nopology when busted for it. He and the rest of the courtier press need accountability too.

      As long as the GQP has a free mouthpiece we will see more of this crap.

    • Rayne says:

      I have yet to see any pushback from anyone in the courtier press

      Stop watching the courtier press for pushback because they won’t even acknowledge failures within their own organizations (ex. Wemple not spanking Kessler, both of WaPo). Follow more women in social media. This issue consumed one of my other social media accounts for days.

      I want to know why *NOBODY* has held Gannett as a parent company of both the Columbus Dispatch and the IndyStar to account for not only publishing the name of the abortion provider but their photo. This is exactly how Dr. George Tiller was targeted for two assassination attempts, the latter successful.

      And throw money at Democratic opponent Jeff Crossman running for Ohio’s state AG job to replace that wretched evil GOP hack David Yost.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Regarding Jeff Crossman, yes, please. State AGs are a very big deal, especially where they control the conduct of state elections. It’s what gave the odorous Ken Blackwell such outsized importance.

  17. Jim H says:

    I’m wondering if Schiff is engaging in some performative commenting here. I can see several reasons to do so: 1) He doesn’t want to taint any DOJ investigation with partisan politics, doesn’t want to make it look like DOJ and J6 are coordinating/conspiring against the Former Guy. 2) He may or may not have confidential info about what DOJ is doing, but in public he must scrupulously appear not to have such knowledge—again for reasons of staving off charges of coordinating/conspiring. 3) Congress and DOJ are two separate branches, and he may indeed want to appear to be forcing DOJ’s hand, perhaps knowing DOJ’s process is rolling forward at a measured pace. 4) He wants to demonstrate that Congress is indeed doing its job on behalf of the people, outrunning DOJ—esp. in the face of all the pre-hearing criticism J6 has received (i.e., fundraise).

    Sorry if this seems cynical, but sometimes I look at public political statement for their appearance value as opposed to their substance. In fact, he may believe a deeper truth to wit, J6 is indeed ahead of DOJ—and it very well may be (despite Marcie’s great reporting and analysis): we do not know what and how much info J6 has in toto (nor why they are only meting out snippets in the hearings). Nor in the end do we know the full extent of DOJ’s inquiries.

    We are all of us operating in an environment of limited or partial knowledge. Both J6 and DOJ know lots more than we do. DOJ’s relative silence creates a vacuum that a good political communicator knows how to fill.

    Jim H.

    • bmaz says:

      First off, her name is Marcy, not Marcie. Secondly, you suggest Schiff is all in on the full scope of DOJ Rule 6 protected information? How so, because that alone would be criminal.

      “DOJ’s relative silence” is PER THE LAW. Is that so hard to understand? The “vacuum” is the law and their guidelines. Don’t falsely whatabout these things.

      • Jim H says:

        Apologies for the misspelling, Dr. Wheeler.
        Suggested no such thing re Rule 6—”may or may not” is a conditional expression. Sorry, next time I will use “if” for literalness’s and comprehension’s sake. That being said, one suspects the Congressman may have way more intel—via rumor, watercooler chat, connections, etc.—on what’s happening at DOJ than either you or I have. Also that he may know more than he’s letting on in public. If you’re suggesting you know more than Rep. Schiff and are in on all that’s going on behind the scenes and who knows what, then I stand in awe—as I often do on this website.
        Of course, DOJ silence is PER THE LAW. Duh. I never suggested otherwise. Not sure how you drew that inference.
        Lastly, I have no idea what ‘false whataboutism’ is nor what ‘things’ are being falsely whatabouted—if that’s a word. But thanks for your reply.

        • bmaz says:

          Am just saying Schiff sure as hell does not. And he is not around many DOJ watercolors. Pretending he all in is ridiculous.

  18. Bay State Librul says:

    Did the DOJ just take six months to say that it is now up to the courts to decide if Meadows has to appear before the J6 Committee
    What the fuck?
    DOJ really can drag their feet?

    • bmaz says:

      Seriously? What kind of garbage is it you relentlessly bring? Do you even read this blog, or just randomly blow internet outrage crap?

  19. pizza says:

    He’s covering for DOJ. They are on it just uber-carefully so as not to get ahead of Jan 6 Committee. Schiff knows if and I can see it in his face when he talks about this. I would crush him in poker. But that’s no problem. That’s a good thing, though it’s taking a fucking GD long time. Garland, of all people in the universe, is going to go as carefully and methodically as possible in such a massively impactful investigation. The big prize is: he’s working to get it right. To get Trump convicted of seditious conspiracy so that he is disqualified from running for federal office ever again. I don’t know why I’m so sure of this. I’m not half as smart as 1/20th of you good people on this site that teach me so much. But I can guarantee you that if, indeed, Garland has the DOJ on this case, he’s not going to fuck it up over something stupid. The first stupid thing would be to get out ahead of the US Congress’ investigation. You can’t get much bigger than that. So why would he overstep. Congress’ investigation gives him and DOJ all the cover they need to go wherever the evidence leads them. And, as we all see, and as EW has been documenting for many months now, the evidence is massive and overwhelming. Garland is just trying to get it right.

    P.S. I fucking love you GD fine Americans. You all are the real “Patriots!” My kind of people. And I would love to have every one of you over for dinner and cook some amazing food for you. But that’s not really realistic. So I will just say “I love you!”

    • bmaz says:

      WHAT? How exactly has DOJ “overstepped Congress”? And why, pray tell, would it be “something stupid” for the DOJ to go about their jobs because some “Committee is also doing a parallel investigation”? Please point out how that is the case as opposed to the opposite. I’ll be waiting.

      You have to be kidding me. So the actual justice system should supplicate itself to a preening self promoting Congressional Committee? Really? That is your posit? Because, if so, it is asinine.

      • pizza says:

        bmaz, as much as I respect you, I think you might want tot take a breather and think about the big picture

        • bmaz says:

          I think you may be in the wrong place Pizza. And, for starters, learn how to use paragraph breaks please. I don’t need a breather, we shall see if you do.

  20. Bay State Librul says:

    What I am saying is this: No one should be taking “pot shots”at the members of the J6 Committee. Their work is superlative

    • pizza says:

      I have to agree wholeheartedly. We may not all agree on the timeline or the effects on one D.J. Trump. But given the historic magnitude, this committee is proceeding with amazing care and precision.

    • timbo says:

      I have to say that it is better than the nothing-burger we got from the Congress on this in 2021, that much is for sure.

  21. pizza says:

    If I may, let’s all assume, for a minute, that we are in year 2032. A future in which our present DOJ has taken the right, and careful steps to prosecute DJT and his minions for the millions of crimes for which they are most certainly guilty.
    Let us look back from that vantage point to analyze just how a current DOJ was able to make such an historic case possible. I, personally, seriously doubt that this would be possible if this present DOJ started announcing investigative advancements ahead of the historic Jan 6 House of Representatives Committee, without any blow-back from the media and/or the US public.
    In other words: calm your horses and let things play out. If I’m wrong then I’m wrong. Which is a very distinct possibility.
    But go back and look at how Merrick Garland directed the investigation of the OK City bombing. An event I will never, ever forget. I did not see it happen in real-time, but I will never forget arriving back at my new apartment in Fairfax, VA (I moved to SW Oklahoma just a few months later) barely an hour after it went down. The news was saying it was probably a gas explosion but it was crystal-clear that this was not the case. Barely 2 minutes later, I remember NBC news reporting that the child-care center in the front of that building was completely gone. I fell to my knees and sobbed. I still sob today just thinking about it.
    My point is, that Garland got that one right, even if it took all the patience in the world to properly prosecute McVay et al. And he made damn sure of it. I seriously doubt he has abandoned this patience in the greatest potential prosecution in American history!
    I know I’m putting my derrier out on a serious limb by staking this claim. But it’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. If it’s not the case, then this whole country is completely fucking damned! And I refuse to believe that right now.


    • bmaz says:

      Oh, you are back! Still no paragraph breaks. And you think the OKC case is controlling, do you Pizza? You are starting to get tiring.

      • pizza says:

        Hey, let’s meet up in person half-way. I’ll even pay your travel costs. No problem. You wanna talk to me in person like this?
        Why not? You’re the superior one, right? I’m offering.

        • bmaz says:

          Lol, no. I don’t think I am “superior” and it is asinine of you to say that. And if you are going to use our own forum to whine at and scold us in long form comments that may provide a bumpy ride for you.

    • russell penner says:

      McVeigh was a broke loser with no life or prospects, low hanging fruit to a prosecutor. TFG, on the other hand, has many, many wealthy and influential acquaintances, the kind of people Garland rubs shoulders with socially. Lady Justice may be blindfolded, top legal professionals definitely aren’t.

  22. BMJ says:

    Is it at all possible the J6C and DoJ are actually working together behind the scenes? Perhaps they are playing the public in order to protect the investigation.

    • TooLoose LeTruck says:

      I’m guessing the answer to that is pretty much a ‘no’…

      Perhaps even a ‘oh, hell no’…

      But I’ll leave the definitive answer to that question up to one of our resident legal experts, of which I am not.

    • Scott Johnson says:

      I suspect they know they are on the same “team”, but like in any organization or joint venture, there are egos and motives and such that get in the way. Certain members of Congress may find it politically useful to use the DoJ as a punching bag, and the DoJ has much institutional memory of prior Congressional investigations into presidential scandals screwing up parallel DoJ activities.

      And the press plays it up, trying to make normal intra-squad sniping into an existential crisis.

  23. Atomic Shadow says:

    Donald Trump is a guy who has gone through his entire life thinking that his opinion, about everything, is the only valid one. He never seems to question his assumptions or consider the possibility that someone else might have a point. Always right about everything, all of the time.

    I wish I could be more like that sometimes. So certain of my faultless logic. So convinced that I am always right. Always oblivious to the line between being prickly, and just being a prick.

      • What Constitution? says:

        But it may also be learned, or developed, consciously. Enter Roy Cohn for Trump.

        Don’t offer excuses or justifications for Trump’s conduct, he knows exactly what he’s been doing and the fact that he started with a proclivity for being narcissistic doesn’t explain, excuse or diminish his illegal conduct nor does it suggest anyone should not prosecute him for it “because he ‘believes’ he’s right”. What he “believes” is only that he can get away with it if he ignores and attacks anyone who disagrees with him. And by the way, Trump’s present “public statements” only emphasize that he possesses no shame, no remorse, even no explanation when faced with the exposition of the fraudulence of his election scheming and instead insists only on reiteration of thoroughly dishonest and debunked reiteration of disproven assertions even now. That’s Roy Cohn’s teaching right there.

        The J6 Committee’s exhaustive and excellent distillation and presentation of this truth goes right to the essence of why Trump must be excluded from ever holding public office in the U.S. again. And the J6 Committee has been brilliant to do so by use of a steady stream of Trump confidants, enablers and prior die-hard sycophants (essentially either high ranking Republicans all or previously loyal Hutchison-level grunts as well as impressionable fools who like guns and slogans such as OathKeepers and their ilk) who are stepping up to testify that they can’t believe Trump was able to deceive so many for so long and that yeah, he really is as despicable as he appears to be. That’s not the role of the DOJ, but it is certainly a legitimate role for a select committee of the U.S. Congress and fulfilling such a role should and might have an impact upon the — what do people call it? — the “Electorate” and the Electorate’s representatives inside the government?

        One of the many irons in the fire right now is, and has to be, can anything actually come of all of this in a meaningful timeframe that might actually keep this from all happening again. Running out the clock is the Republicans’ primary strategy and that strategy is perceived as best effectuated by simply reiterating Big Lie mantras and persisting in denying reality notwithstanding the mountain of facts being arrayed against them. The J6 hearings are making the patent falsity and dishonesty and anti-democratic intent of the Big Lie and all the other Trump machinations surrounding that false narrative apparent in ways that the Fourth Estate somehow hasn’t figured out how to do very well. The reality of an actual effort to refuse a peaceful transition of power under our Constitution and supplant the will of the electorate with the fraudulent substitution of the will of a miniscule minority that is willing to cheat is before us and on the ballot in November no less than any other topic of immediate and lasting concern under our Constitution.

        Yesterday, a passel of very high ranking, indeed legendary, conservatives published a 60+ page analysis titled “LOST, NOT STOLEN: The Conservative Case that Trump Lost and Biden Won the 2020 Presidential Election”. I have very little doubt that this document would not likely have appeared at this time and in this form and by these authors if the J6 Committee had not been so effectively marshalling facts, reality and the definitive confirmation that Trump’s own team is and has long been well aware of the knowing and malignant falsity and irresponsibly unconstitutional and seditious intentions of Donald Trump over the past months. Send a copy to your MAGA uncle, everybody.

        • Rayne says:

          P1-2: If you thought I was excusing Trump’s lifelong criminality, get a fucking grip on yourself. And Cohn’s been dead more than half of Trump’s life.

          P3: Blah-blah-blah. Obvious to this community. Cut.

          P4: Yeah, we get it, we’re under the gun for time, also obvious to home team. So win back Congress with a bigger majority this mid-term.

          P5: It’d be nice if you found a link and shared it instead of insisting folks chase this.

          597 words? Really? Come the fuck on, we don’t need DDoSing of comments. Don’t do this again.

          ADDER: Thanks for the link

          But no thanks for your carping about moderation. Your additional +100 words of whining have been binned.

        • What Constitution? says:

          Sorry not to have included a link. I consciously didn’t do that because of your penchant for correcting people for long links, or link elements that are inconvenient, or other totally legitimate concerns at your gatekeeper level. Instead I chose to type the exact title of the report itself, thinking that anybody could easily copy the title and search it in Google — which in a millisecond will dutifully produce more than a few pages of 24 hour old references, most of which include links. Sorry to have inconvenienced you, here’s a copy of the link I used to download a copy, hope it works for you:

          For the rest, maybe get a grip, Rayne. I have great respect for you and did not direct anything at you personally, though I did reply to a reply of yours. Nothing personal. A lot of people make comments here and elsewhere that suggest loosely that Trump is congenitally incapable of possessing mens rea because he’s a narcissist, I disagree with any such implication. I also understand that there’s a lot of sniping going on around here and I don’t mean to partake in it at any level.

          Have a nice day. Bye.

        • bmaz says:

          Yeargh, let’s not do this. I know both of you personally and know both are on the same side of things. Let’s keep it that way.

    • Tom says:

      What you perceive as Trump’s lifelong habit of chutzpah and arrogant self-confidence is, in reality, a film of bronze skin toner barely concealing a black hole of willful ignorance.

  24. earlofhuntingdon says:

    PA candidate for governor, Doug Mastriano – a retired army colonel – seems to be holding his rallies in churches now. But it’s more than “disgusting and appalling.” It threatens that church’s charitable tax status.

    Given the GOP’s headlong descent into fascism – which conflates religion, the military, and state and corporate power into a single massive black tower – the IRS needs a permanent task force to promptly investigate this abuse and sanction it, by promptly withdrawing an offending church’s charitable tax status.

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