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Will There Be Accountability For The 1/6 Insurrection?

A few days ago, writing for Vanity Fair, Bess Levin reported that Giuliani Is "Close To Broke," Prepared To Go To Prison. And that Trump won't take his calls or contribute to his legal defense fund. Levin suggests Trump may regret those decisions "when his ex-lawyer is faced with the prospect of cutting a plea deal. So far, Giuliani's license to practice law has been "suspended in both New York and D.C. over the many election lies he’d told, and in one of the many new books out about Trump, it was reported that when it became clear that Trump was probably going to lose, an allegedly inebriated Giuliani 'started to cause a commotion... telling other guests that he had come up with a strategy for Trump,' insisting the campaign should 'Just say we won,' which it did... [S]adly, things continue to look very bleak for the guy who went from 'America’s mayor' to 'Two weeks away from being thrown out of the Port Authority for disorderly conduct.'"

"[I]n an interview on Friday about the 20th anniversary of 9/11, Giuliani veered off topic to insist the criminal investigation into him is 'lawless' and that he’d done nothing wrong, but is nevertheless fine with going to prison, something innocent people don’t usually say... 'I committed no crime. And if you think I did commit a crime, you’re probably really stupid because you don’t know who I am.… As the guy who put the mafia in jail, terrorists in jail, put [former mayor] Ed Koch’s commissioners in jail and the worst people on Wall Street... [I]f they do [put him in jail], they’re going to suffer the consequences in heaven. I’m not. I didn’t do anything wrong."

I wonder if we're going to hear a lot of this kind of entitlement when various congressional Trumpists are subpoenaed by the select committee investigating the insurrection and failed 1/6 coup. Aaron Blake did a bit of a preview this morning for the Washington Post, concentrating on Gym Jordan's connivance with Trump on the day of the rioting and his stumbling, fumbling attempt to justify himself. "[T]he disclosure of the Jordan call," wrote Blake, "adds to a growing number of potential Republican lawmaker witnesses who could be called by the House’s Jan. 6 committee-- something both of the panel’s Republicans, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), have suggested they could support. The Washington Post’s Karoun Demirjian, Marianna Sotomayor and Jacqueline Alemany this weekend detailed the unprecedented dilemma involved in potentially calling fellow lawmakers to testify. But it’s also worth running through what each of those witnesses might contribute, if indeed called."

Blake and his Post colleagues suggest that what we need to find out about the context of Jordan's role in the coup-- not just on the day of, but on the days leading up to it-- could be key to breaking the case wide open.

More in the realm of comedy is Kevin McCarthy's role. He boasted to Fox News i4 months later that "he was the first lawmaker Trump spoke to during the insurrection. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) also disclosed during Trump’s impeachment that Trump told McCarthy during the insurrection, 'Well, Kevin, I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are.' McCarthy later declined to detail the call, except to say Trump ended the call by 'telling me, he’ll put something out to make sure to stop this. And that’s what he did; he put a video out later.' The key thing here is how much Trump appreciated-- in both senses of the word-- what was transpiring early that day. We know McCarthy initially blamed Trump for a tardy response to the riot, because McCarthy said so himself. He even promoted the idea of a historic censure of Trump for it. McCarthy later insisted that Trump made good on a promise to 'put something out,' but that wasn’t at all McCarthy’s big takeaway initially, and the known timeline places Trump’s efforts well after his call with McCarthy. Both McCarthy’s initial response and the quote Beutler attributes to Trump point to a minority leader who genuinely tried to get Trump to respond to the gravity of the situation, but didn’t really succeed-- either because Trump liked what he saw or for some other reason. If McCarthy is indeed the first lawmaker Trump spoke to, his perspective on Trump’s frame of mind would seem invaluable, given it might be the most unvarnished version of whether Trump approved of the scenes-- or possibly even deliberately incited them."

Blake didn't delve into the congressional tour guys who showed the insurrections around Congress like these thugs:

Nor did he get into the many Trumpist cheerleaders who spent 1/6 inciting the mob-- like Andy Biggs and Mad Cawthorn-- many of whom may be called to testify. But he listed some others we're going to have to keep an eye on:

Tommy Tuberville (and maybe Mike Lee)

What we know: The freshman Alabama senator, who like Jordan was a leader of the effort to challenge the electors, spoke with Trump after the president mistakenly called Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) at 2:26 p.m. Lee said Trump and Tuberville spoke for “five or 10 minutes.” Tuberville said he ended the call by saying, “Mr. President, they’ve taken the vice president [Mike Pence] out. They want me to get off the phone, I gotta go.
What we could find out: The big initial question here was whether Trump was aware of the personal threat Pence faced when he tweeted, at 2:24 p.m., attacking his vice president for not unilaterally rejecting electors. The rioters had chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” and Pence was evacuated from the Senate chamber about 10 minutes earlier.
We later found out the call to Lee/Tuberville actually came shortly after Trump’s tweet. But McCarthy’s timeline suggests Trump’s tweet would still have come after he asked Trump to do something. In other words, it seems clear, by McCarthy’s own timeline, that Trump attacked Pence even after McCarthy urged Trump to do something to stop the violence.
But the length of the phone call stands out. Five or 10 minutes in the midst of the insurrection suggests Trump and Tuberville had a relatively substantial conversation, during which Trump would have been aware of the situation based upon his conversation with McCarthy. Was Trump more concerned about the unrest or the challenge to the election? What did he confide in a leading lawmaker involved in the latter effort, even as things were spiraling out of control?

Greg Pence

What we know: The Indiana congressman was with his brother that day. And he has said that Trump’s request of Pence was beyond the pale. “That was a very tough day for my brother,” Greg Pence said. “My brother was being asked to do what we don’t do in this country… So he really had no authority to do what he [was asked to do].”
But the New York Times reported this weekend that, similar to Jordan and McCarthy, Greg Pence clammed up when asked about the situation:
Asked how he would describe the riot, in which a hostile crowd demanded the hanging of Vice President Mike Pence, his brother, Representative Greg Pence of Indiana, responded curtly, “I don’t describe it.”
What we could find out: Mike Pence has evolved somewhat in his commentary on this issue, initially feeding claims about lax election security but later saying in no uncertain terms that what Trump asked him to do was not okay. Like Tuberville, Greg Pence would seem to have some important perspective on the situation the vice president faced that day. The fact that he’s declining to say much, just like Jordan and McCarthy, doesn’t exactly diminish interest in what he might say under oath.

Mo Brooks

What we know: The congressman from Alabama joined Tuberville among the earliest proponents in their chambers of challenging the electors. But more than that, he was a leader among congressional Republicans of the “Stop the Steal” movement, and he spoke at the same rally preceding the Capitol riot at which Trump appeared-- at the express request of the White House, he said.
What we could find out: Another black box here. We don’t know whether Brooks actually interacted with Trump that day. We don’t know about his conversations with Trump about the effort. What we do know is that he last week disclosed wearing body armor during his speech and avoiding his condominium, according to Slate, because there “might be risks associated with the next few days.”
The fact that the White House invited him to the rally, which Brooks’s team disclosed while denying a “Stop the Steal” organizer’s claims of contact with Brooks, would seem to suggest he has insights into its posture toward the events of that day.


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