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Democrats Push All In on Capitol Riot Probe


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, get ready for the main event. Step right up, get your tickets for the greatest show on earth. Democrats have decided to bet their entire political future on a few hours of a primetime televised hearing for the January 6 Select Committee to present its findings, and Thursday night, starting at 8:00 p.m. ET the party makes its move toward that endgame for the first of several hearings.

It is notable first and foremost that Democrats have picked primetime television for the first hearing after a yearlong investigation, and expectations are extremely high for them to actually produce new or compelling evidence to push their case. Secondly, it also worth noting this committee is unprecedentedly partisan. Even though two members who claim to be Republicans–Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL)–are members of the committee, they got their appointments from Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. That came after Pelosi engaged in the never-before-seen step of removing two of the five Republicans that House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy had named to the panel–the other three stepped aside in protest at the action–so no matter what anyone in the establishment media or the political class says, this is nothing more than a partisan smear job.

The panel is chaired by Democrat Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS)–who just won his primary in Mississippi earlier this week–and features several top Democrat superstars like Reps. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Pete Aguilar (D-CA), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Elaine Luria (D-VA), and Stephanie Murphy (D-FL).


The use of taxpayer dollars–more than $8 million of them per estimates from House Administration Committee Republicans, as Breitbart News reported earlier on Thursday–for this committee will surely be questioned in the months and years to come depending on what the committee puts forward in this primetime event.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, this seems to be the last best hope Democrats in Congress have ahead of a brewing red tsunami in the upcoming November midterm elections. Even the New York Times admitted in a headline earlier this week that this hearing and future ones from the Committee offer Democrats a chance to “recast” their midterm message, which is currently mired in failure on literally every single issue. If they don’t deliver–and big time–on Thursday night, expect their last hopes of retaining a majority in either or both chambers of Congress after November’s midterm elections to fade significantly and quickly. That’s in large part why the actual House Republicans (not Cheney and Kinzinger, who really don’t count anymore) have planned a massive counter-offensive in the messaging wars. These actual House Republicans have been successful at this in the past–as evidenced by both of former President Donald Trump’s impeachments–and any shortcoming from the Democrat panel on Thursday night is surely going to backfire significantly on the party promoting this expensive taxpayer-funded production.

None of that is to excuse what actually happened on Jan. 6, 2021–the proper channels, like the Justice Department and law enforcement agencies and the courts, have been for over a year taking action on this front. The establishment media never will let us forget it, either, with a nonstop drip, drip, drip of every little detail of coverage on this. But the Democrats told us that those formal channels were not enough and that Americans needed to blow millions of their tax dollars on this production in addition to all that, so here we are on Thursday night where the rubber meets the road before the American public. Will they deliver, or not? That, friends, is the question.

Failed 2016 Democrat presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton earlier on Thursday implored Americans to watch this hearing in full, because she argued that some unnamed mysterious “MAGA” people do not want them to. Most of the major networks are carrying it–basically everyone except the Fox News Channel–and there are plenty of options to stream it online. Whatever you decide to do–watch or not watch–we got you covered on the most important developments. Follow along here in this livewire and on the site more broadly for the latest developments.

UPDATE 10:18 p.m. ET:

The hearing, now over, is being widely panned as entirely unsuccessful:

UPDATE 10:05 p.m. ET:

If you liked tonight’s primetime snooze-fest, you’ll love the daytime hearings next week from the January 6th Committee. Apparently, these people planned hearings almost every day next week. We look forward to those and hope they actually have something to produce with all the taxpayer money they spent on this production. But we doubt it after this disaster tonight.

UPDATE 9:59 p.m. ET:

Hillary Rodham Clinton had this to say:

UPDATE 9:58 p.m. ET:

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Wallace says that this hearing was a Rorschach test in that for people horrified by Jan. 6 events were horrified again watching this, but people who were unmoved in their support for Trump by those events were unmoved by this hearing.

Gloria Borger then goes on a diatribe claiming the hearing was “historic” and “somber” and “met the moment” even though it was none of those things.

UPDATE 9:56 p.m. ET:

Now, the committee has adjourned after Thompson made a brief closing statement. What a disaster for the Democrats. Even Chris Wallace on CNN is saying there is nothing new here even though the contents of the videos are enough to “shock and disgust you.”

UPDATE 9:54 p.m. ET:

Thompson is now playing yet another video, this time of January 6 protesters saying that the reason they went to Washington was because Trump urged people to come to DC for the protest in speeches.

UPDATE 9:49 p.m. ET:

Jason Miller, who was one of Trump’s top aides who testified in a video deposition a part of which was played by Cheney and the Committee tonight, has come out publicly stating that Cheney and the Committee deceptively edited his testimony for the narrative it is portraying:

UPDATE 9:37 p.m. ET:

David Axelrod, the former adviser to former President Barack Obama, states the obvious admitting that Cheney knows she is going to likely lose her primary over her behavior on this front:

UPDATE 9:35 p.m. ET:

NBC News anchor Lester Holt noticed the same thing we did–there is nothing new in the video:

UPDATE 9:31 p.m. ET:

By the way, it’s worth noting–as House Republicans have repeatedly–that the idea that Trump is in league with the Proud Boys is inherently false:

Trump has condemned the organization multiple times, including before the election back in October 2020. Efforts to link the two are disingenuous. So that gets to the heart of the committee’s fallacy, and inaccurate narrative. Sure, the Proud Boys did bad things on Jan. 6, 2021, and sure many of Trump’s closest allies disagreed with his strategy of challenging the election outcome in the joint session of Congress. But the idea that those two narratives are linked somehow is simply inaccurate and the committee has not provided any evidence of it whatsoever despite the heavy insinuations as part of the narrative being presented.

UPDATE 9:25 p.m. ET:

Now the committee is playing clips from Trump’s debate with now President Joe Biden talking about the Proud Boys. That’s more proof of the partisan political nature of this proceeding–but it’s also a sign of something else. The entire narrative objective of the Committee all night so far seems multi-fold: isolate Trump from his staff and allies and even his family, and target the Proud Boys as an extremist organization they argue he is in league with. On those fronts, the committee seems effective–even though the committee has produced no new evidence or information for the American public.

UPDATE 9:22 p.m. ET:

MSNBC’s Chuck Todd said this is the “third impeachment” of Trump:

Several others have made the same point. It’s totally true, except the difference this time is that thanks to Nancy Pelosi’s unprecedented actions Trump is offered zero opportunity to defend himself in this one.

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UPDATE 9:20 p.m. ET:

NewsMax anchor Greg Kelly questions the editing by the committee of the video, in which staff for the committee appear to have overlaid Trump’s voice over those breaching the Capitol:

UPDATE 9:18 p.m. ET:

Thompson is introducing U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards and filmmaker Nick Quested–the main witnesses for the committee. They begin their opening statements.

UPDATE 9:15 p.m. ET:

Breitbart News’ Ashley Oliver is on Capitol Hill at one of the outdoor viewing parties, where there was weak applause for Cheney when she was introduced — watch here:

UPDATE 9:12 p.m. ET:

The committee is back from recess. Thompson begins by thanking the witnesses for being there.

UPDATE 9:02 p.m. ET:

The video finally ended and Thompson came back and declared a 10-minute recess. Nothing new was in it, but of course CNN’s Jake Tapper called it “absolutely devastating.”

UPDATE 8:59 p.m. ET:

The video is still playing more than 5 minutes later and there still is nothing new in it. There is nothing surprising or revelatory that Americans did not already know about over a year ago.

UPDATE 8:53 p.m. ET:

After Cheney wrapped up her very, very, very, very lengthy address, Thompson came back on and introduced a video package that he says contains footage mostly never seen before. The video is playing now.

UPDATE 8:51 p.m. ET:

Here’s that Wyoming poll showing that the state of Wyoming is done with Cheney:

UPDATE 8:50 p.m. ET:

Liz Cheney is now attacking Republicans, saying that one day Trump will be “gone”–apparently even she does not believe he is “gone” now–and that when that day comes in the future their “dishonor will remain.”

It’s worth noting polling came out earlier on Thursday showing her losing her upcoming primary to Harriet Hageman by well more than double digits.

UPDATE 8:48 p.m. ET:

Public observers are roasting these politicians for this utter and complete failure of a hearing:

UPDATE 8:42 p.m. ET:

Cheney says that the Committee has obtained evidence that the White House had prior information of planned violence. She did not provide any evidence of that other than to show a clip of Steve Bannon–the former Breitbart executive and former White House official–saying on his podcast that “all hell is going to break loose” at the Capitol the day before Jan. 6. That is not evidence of prior knowledge of violence, so if Cheney is telling the truth and has the goods that could be a big revelations. Watch this closely–and it is important that the evidence actually show this, rather than simply relying on what someone like Cheney or another committee member says it shows–as the entire credibility of this committee may come down to this point.

UPDATE 8:38 p.m. ET:

Another thing Cheney is doing–again, we are nearly 40 minutes into this primetime hearing and there still has been no new revelations period–is previewing future hearings and what the committee says it will do down the road. She also says that the committee’s investigation is “ongoing” and that the Justice Department has only publicly revealed some of its work on this, and more may come out later.

UPDATE 8:36 p.m. ET:

Cheney keeps on playing more videos–the latest was one of Marc Short, former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff. Again, the tactic appears to be to create divisions on the right. Whether that will work or not remains to be seen.

UPDATE 8:32 p.m. ET:

Lacking any new evidence or explosive revelations–but heavy on depositions on video of former Trump aides and Trump-world figures–the tactic that the January 6 Committee members seem to be engaging in is playing those videos to try to create discord on the right. Given the weakness of the case, and the lack of new information, it remains to be seen if this will tactic will be successful. But they seem to be targeting the audience of Trump himself and these rightwing figures to create divisions.

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UPDATE 8:27 p.m. ET:

They really got him now–Cheney just played a video of Ivanka Trump saying she respected Barr. Whoa.

UPDATE 8:24 p.m. ET:

Liz Cheney is presenting videos of former Trump campaign aides testifying before the January 6 committee–aides include Jason Miller and Alex Cannon–trying to argue there was no voter fraud in 2020. Again, there has not been any major new revelation yet. She also showed another video of Barr which added nothing new. Nearly 30 minutes into this hearing and it is a giant dud of a nothing-burger with nothing new yet.

UPDATE 8:18 p.m. ET:

Thompson introduces Cheney with enthusiastic praise, and Cheney takes the microphone to claim inaccurately that this is a “bipartisan” proceeding. Then Cheney launches into a diatribe about the timeline of Trump’s actions on that day. She also previews–surprise, surprise–testimony that she says viewers of the hearings will see criticizing Trump. She also hypes “never-before-seen footage” of the January 6 riot.

UPDATE 8:15 p.m. ET:

The only new thing that has been show so far is video of a deposition of former Attorney General Bill Barr basically saying what he has said publicly, so no bombshells yet:

UPDATE 8:11 p.m. ET:

In his opening statement, it took chairman Rep. Benni Thompson (D-MS) only seconds before he played the race card and compared Republicans to the KKK:

He also has called it an “attempted coup” and Trump’s “last stand.” Thompson, though, also sought to claim this is not another political attack on Trump by “people who don’t like him.” In over 10 minutes, however, Thompson has so far brought zero new revelations forward with his opening statement.

UPDATE 8:08 p.m. ET:

Several vulnerable House Democrats who face tough reelection battles admitted in comments reported by Axios that this is all about trying to save themselves in the. midterm elections. The report is extraordinary in its admission that these Democrats all view this as their last great hope to save this narrative for Democrats going into November.

“I think they’re incredibly important,” Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA), one such Democrat, said.

Another Democrat member, who was not named, said that January 6 never comes up on the campaign trail but hopes the hearings might change that if “a lot of powerful information” or a “holy sh*t” type moment emerges during the hearings.

Axios added that Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) said “issues like immigration and oil and gas have dominated the discourse in his South Texas border district, but that the hearings might help to ‘refresh people’s minds’ about what happened on Jan. 6.”

“I hope that the hearings and the report get to new people who maybe aren’t thinking about Jan. 6,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) added.

UPDATE 8:02 p.m. ET:

It’s after 8 p.m., and as usual the members of Congress are late in starting. But committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and other members like Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) just walked in and gaveled the opening of the hearing.

UPDATE 7:53 p.m. ET:

Good evening folks. Buckle. Up. As a good example of just how high the expectations are for the committee, CNN–the flagship cable network for the establishment–is currently having Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of Watergate fame on to explain how January 6 was “seditious” and compare the forthcoming hearing to the Watergate scandal. “We have a coup attempt by a sitting president,” Bernstein implored viewers.

The old stomping grounds of the media class saints Woodward and Bernstein, The Washington Post, meanwhile is now quoting committee aides saying that never mind they are not actually going to blow the roof off anything tonight:

This very important CNN pontificating from Woodward and Bernstein also came right after moments earlier former Fox News anchor Chris Wallace–who left the successful network to launch the short-lived CNN+, the failed streaming service for CNN–was appearing on CNN to warn that he was concerned people were overhyping the upcoming hearing and that what might be presented might not live up to expectations.

Story cited here.

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