Witch Hunt

Some commentators refer to the work of the January 6 Committee as a witch hunt, other cheer the committee on.

I do agree that the events of January 6, 2020, needed to be investigated.  After all, the attack on the Capitol was a serious assault on constitutional government and the rule of law.  Yet there are perhaps as many problems with the investigation as with the assault itself.

The first problem was the way in which the House of Representatives investigating committee was established.  Normally, such a sensitive committee would have proportionate representation from the majority and minority parties, and the minority leader would be able to name his committee members.  Pelosi excluded the Republican house leader from the selection process and appointed two anti-Trump Republicans to serve on the committee along with seven Democrats.  Who would believe that any report from such a committee was not biased?

Almost eight hundred arrests were made in connection with the January 6 riot, and some of those arrested are just now coming to trial. Although there have been repeated claims that the event was an armed insurrection by white supremacists, thus far only one rioter has been charged with carrying a handgun inside the Capitol (in a holster); and the only person who actually used a firearm inside the Capitol building was the officer who shot and killed an unarmed female protester Ashley Babbitt.  At this point, neither the FBI nor the Congressional investigating committee has produced convincing evidence that the assault was the result of an organized plot to overturn the election. As an insurrection, the affair was a total fiasco.

Nevertheless, the January 6 Committee charges ahead.  It appears that their chief hope is to find enough evidence against Donald Trump to either bring him to trial or to damn him forever as a potential Presidential candidate. 

The committee attacks Trump for refusing to accept the results of a legitimate election and seeking to overturn it.  There is some truth to this.  Trump wished to delay the count of electoral votes until he could complete his challenge of election results in several key states.  He honestly believed that he had been cheated out of victory, and many of his fellow Americans agreed with him.  Trump urged his followers to demonstrate, and he tried and failed to get his delay, but at no point did he call for an insurrection.   Nevertheless, certain committee members appear convinced that Trump’s actions were criminal, and they wish to indict him.

If Donald Trump was actually put on trial, it would only serve to drive the country further apart.  It is highly unlikely that his enemies could ever get a conviction.

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