The special congressional committee investigating the Trump-inspired Jan. 6, 2021, riots (and attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s election) wrapped up Monday with few big surprises but having compiled a lot of damning evidence against the former president. The committee’s final and expected act was to refer criminal charges against Donald Trump to be prosecuted by others.
They left behind a solid, if-no-longer-very-surprising list of Trump’s possible crimes. But — with Republicans scheduled to take over control of the House in January — those charges will not get the kind of follow-up that was formerly anticipated, at least not in Congress.
On a contrary note, among the dozens of judges who ruled against Trump in relation to his 1/6 skullduggery and his efforts to cover it up were 11 who Trump appointed (one-sixth of the total federal judges he appointed).
Trump, it should be noted, has not stopped asserting his Big Lie and the various smaller lies that underlie it, and polls suggesting that a large portion of Republicans believe him, or at least say they do.
Committee member Adam Schiff, D-California, summarized aspects of the committee’s investigative findings. This included the tale of Trump’s now-famous phone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger asking him to “just find 11,780 more” Trump votes, which, Trump noted, was one more than he needed to steal the state that Joe Biden had carried. (Of course, Trump never, until today, has acknowledged that Biden carried Georgia).
U.S. Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-California, led the committee through the episode in which Trump pressed former Vice President Mike Pence to go along with crackpot schemes to help overturn Biden’s victory during the ceremonial counting of the electoral votes.
Trump, as you recall, later denounced Pence, inspiring his violent followers to chant “Hang Mike Pence” as they assaulted the Capitol and put Pence in physical danger for his unwillingness to along with Trump’s scheme.
Pence actually showed substantial courage in the episode, as well as commitment to U.S. democracy. But, in a clip played during Monday’s testimony, former Trump assistant Nicholas Luna recalled hearing Trump describing Pence as a “wimp” for refusing to help Trump steal a second term. (Trump also expressed regret for having chosen Pence as a running mate in the first place.)
There was zero support for such views during Monday’s televised sign-off. It would be fun to know whether Mr. T was watching.
Perhaps a fitting ending to this chapter of the tale of Trump’s ego — and, perhaps, his ability at self-delusion, maybe his inability to ever level with his admirers — is to quote the tweet in which he finally called off the mob, which whined:
“These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”