The January 6th
By: Victor Davis Hanson
January 12, 2023
Here is what we do not understand about the January 6th Committee—if it truly was intended to appear as a disinterested investigatory body.
1. Why for the first time in memory did Speaker Pelosi forbid the House Minority Leader’s pro forma nominees to a special House committee? Fairly or not, the result was that the only two Republicans who did serve shared two embarrassing requisites: they would likely be out of office, and not by their own volition, in January 2023; and two, they despised Donald Trump and voted for the second Trump impeachment.
So, what were the Democrats afraid of to make them break all precedents with past hearings? Pelosi, in other words, ensured that there would be no cross-examinations of any witnesses, no disagreements about witness lists, no contrasting interviews to the media about the work of the committee, and no diversity in staff interrogatories.
2. Why did the Committee not investigate whether the FBI had numerous agents and informants present on January 6th? Michael Rosenberg, the New York Times assigned a reporter to the demonstration, claimed they were ubiquitous. Were they?
3. Why did the Committee not review the circumstances in detail of the deaths of Officer Brian Sicknick and the fatal shooting of Ashli Babbitt? These were the two most high-profile and controversial deaths on January 6th, and Babbitt’s perhaps was the only violent death at the direct hand of a known other.
4. Why did the Committee not investigate and release all the communications between the House leadership and the Capitol police to learn why the Capitol was virtually open and unsecured on a day that everyone knew would be the scene of mass protests there?
5. Why did the Committee not investigate all incendiary speech by major elected officials at iconic Washington buildings, deemed inflammatory and allegedly resulting in violence at a subsequent time? For example, in 2020 then Senator Minority Leader Chuck Schumer screamed to a large demonstration massed at the doors of the Supreme Court:
“I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
“You have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price”? “Hit you”? Did Trump say to supporting demonstrators on January 6th anything like, “Pelosi and Biden, you released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions.”
Had Trump said that, would he now be in jail?
Note that not too long after Schumer’s threats, protestors appeared to swarm the homes of conservative Supreme Court justices, including a would-be assassin.
6. Why did the Committee not investigate all organized rioting by activist groups that also damaged federal properties, such as in 2020 a federal courthouse that was torched and attempts to storm the White House grounds to endanger a president?
7. Why did the Committee not release all the full transcripts of all those it interrogated, and why not all the arrangements and conditions with witnesses it finalized to make them appear?