by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
To listen to House Democrats’ — and Liz Cheney’s and Adam Kinzinger’s, but I repeat myself — shrieks of hysteria from the opening nights of the Jan. 6 House Select Committee dais is to hearken back to the Soviet-era show trials of yesteryear. Vladimir Lenin, as the veteran conservative commentator Roger Kimball reminds us, referred to them as “model trials,” wherein the “aim isn’t to discover the truth — which was supposedly already known — but to stage a propagandist exhibition.”
For Democrats, the aim of the Jan. 6 Select Committee’s “propagandist exhibition” is twofold: First, to attempt (in vain) to distract a besieged citizenry from the myriad problems now tearing asunder the country, under their leadership, in this midterm election year; and second, to lay the foundation for a Justice Department indictment against the 45th president that could hamstring his efforts to seek a second term come 2024.
To anyone paying even a modicum of attention — and I’d recommend no more than that — to the committee’s theatrics, it is obvious that the game is rigged. Consider as but one data point how Cheney, who will be looking for a new job come January, deliberately edited Donald Trump’s “Stop the Steal” exhortation from that fateful rally so as to omit the fact that he urged his supporters to make their way to the Capitol “peacefully and patriotically.”
Or how about the fact that the committee has thus far made no effort to subpoena the families of the roughly 800 people who have been arrested — and sometimes placed in solitary confinement, per columnist Julie Kelly’s exceptional reporting — for wandering in and traipsing around the Capitol, often shepherded right in by Capitol Police? Curious, that. A legitimate committee interested in investigation and arriving at the truth would surely want to call some of those families as witnesses.