America was reminded on Monday, June 13 of the vicissitudes of family husbandry. Though as a nation we lack desperately needed funding for “family leave,” we will delay today’s proceedings of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack for 45 minutes because one of today’s witnesses, former Trump Campaign Director, Bill Stepien, is attending his wife’s labor.
‘Earth to Congress:’ the country is “in labor.”
Committee member Zoe Lofgren, Democrat Rep. (California 16th) led the ‘questioning,’ as it were. The hearing is following a scripted “template” of opening remarks by one of the Committee members, introduction of witnesses, video replays of recorded testimony, comments by witnesses present about the video testimony, followed by additional video replays. The video recordings' serve as a form of corroboration of the witnesses’ testimony.
“There is no cross-examination,” complain the hearing defectors. Nor was there intended to be. These proceedings are investigative in nature: the mission of the Select Committee is to provide a public record of the events leading up to, including and following the January 6 Attack on the Capitol.
Are these proceedings redundant in the sense that recordings of the event already exist in the public space and therefore are public knowledge? Yes.
Are these proceedings as one defector characterized, a “partisan witch hunt?” No. The proceedings can’t be both a “witch hunt” and a redundancy. As insignificant as this claim sounds, “redundancy” was to play a key role in the hearings of Day 2.
Day 2 hearing witnesses fell into three groups: the “adults in the room,” aka “Team Normal;” the “crazies,” and the voting results data defenders, the “service providers.”
Former Campaign Manager Bill Stepien, the “wife-in-labor hubby,” other campaign deputies and former AG Bill Barr, who did not agree to questioning in person, comprised the first group, the “adults in the room.”
Former White House lawyer Rudolph Giuliani, Sidney Powell and John Eastman who were not present, but whose statements were recorded, and attested to by the first group, comprised the “crazies.”
Two election official investigators and government employees, one from Georgia, and one from Arizona, two states whose election results were first smeared then contested by the President, subsequently “investigated” by the ‘crazies,’ comprised the third group, the “data defenders.”
Of the first and second groups, a compelling discussion arose during Monday’s presentation: “who knew?”
Consider that these were not “advisors to the President” but co-conspirators in a plot to overturn the results of the election of Joseph Biden as the 46th President of the United States. Regardless of their narrow cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, these groups attended to and abetted Trump’s coup: the first group did cleanup for the second, lending by their last-minute denials of the coup, a patina of legitimacy to their deviant claims.
A consensus of the two groups formed around the reflexive revelation,
‘Trump is detached from reality, and you’re not?’
“Thank you for your service,” spoke Rep. Lofgren to the witnesses. If Rep. Lofgren was referring to heeding the Committee’s subpoenas, this is a low bar accolade. Even courtesy in heeding the Committee’s questions is a tad “low bar.”
To the third group, whose job was standing up for doing their job, defending their job, a ‘thank you’ is in order and deservedly so. The role of whistleblower is a lonely role.
Consider that we heard from the elite few, the ‘adults in the room,’ with legal off-ramps and negotiated protections. For the “crazies” and their ilk, the diehard enablers with a Presidential Pardon as a presumed “off ramp,” in the words of witness, chief legal officer, and former AG Bill Barr, (this is) ‘bullshit.’
Consider that in tone Barr and the Trump 2020 Election campaign boys’ testimony sounded like a country club male golfers’ locker room banter.
So casual…so unassuming…so calm…so disdainful.
That’s not we heard. No. We didn’t hear from Barr and Sepian; no ghost of Alexander Cox standing stoically by. We heard Giuliani’s rants, Powell in scarf spouting lies, Eastman under a cowboy hat ready to rustle. We visited a parking lot in Philly, a motel conference room we forget where, a ‘Stop the Steal Rally’ in front of the East Wing, an assault on the Capitol.
So casual…so unassuming…so calm…so disdainful.
What was missing at today’s hearing and to be fair, we might hear from in subsequent testimony, are the ruminations of “voter fraud” by constrained voters.
Consider a visit into their cognitive strictures: ‘well, ok, maybe this election Trump was wrong…there was no evidence of ‘voter fraud,’ but that’s not to say there couldn’t be. Yeah, maybe this election, this precinct, this state but next election? Trump is telling us, ‘I don’t think so…we’ll never know… it’s democrats fixing the election results.
A compelling redundancy of nonsense between enablers…between co-conspirators.