by Jonathan Turley:
Two events consumed Washington on Thursday. The hapless Commanders won a game against the Chicago Bears — and the House Select Committee on Jan. 6 issued a subpoena to former President Trump.
The attempted touchdown pass and the subpoena share one obvious feature: No matter how exciting the play, they came too late. The Bears threw what appeared to be a touchdown pass in the final seconds … only to lose due to a fall out of the endzone. The House Committee issued a subpoena after its last scheduled hearing and shortly before its likely cessation as a committee.
Yet, even for the long-suffering Bears fans, we knew when the game was over. The House committee and its supporters seemed unaware or unconcerned that its play came too late. Instead, they insisted that issuing a subpoena more than a year too late was all logical and strategic.
It is unclear if Trump will contest the subpoena, but he has contested virtually every previous subpoena in civil and criminal cases. The committee has, in my view, a solid case to compel him to testify. However, it had that case back at its creation on July 1, 2021; it simply waited until a subpoena may be impossible to enforce.
In football, they would be flagged for an “intentional grounding” for throwing a ball where there was no viable receiver or “a realistic chance of completion.”
Two points were immediately emphasized by the committee and its supporters in the media.
First, some of the coverage highlighted that this was “unanimous” without recognizing the irony of that distinction. House Democrats barred two Republican members originally selected by GOP leaders, who then boycotted the panel in response. There is no indication the committee, hand-picked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), has ever had anything but unanimous votes. The only thing its members can cite for not being yes-men is that when there were demands for greater balance in witnesses or questioning, they all said “no.”
The second point is even more telling: The committee has precedent for former presidents being subpoenaed, such as Harry Truman — but that example is hardly helpful. Truman was subpoenaed by one of the most notorious panels in the history of Congress, the House Un-American Activities Committee, which was ridiculed for its lack of balance and due process.
While called “historic,” former presidents have been subpoenaed before, though it remains exceptionally rare. It is even more rare for them to testify. Truman never did; when Congress subpoenaed former presidents John Tyler and John Quincy Adams over the alleged misuse of funds, Tyler appeared but Adams submitted a deposition. Others, such as Bill Clinton, were subpoenaed to appear in civil cases or subpoenaed for documents, such as Richard Nixon.
The Jan. 6 committee had a noble mandate but failed to use it to offer a credible investigation for citizens across the political spectrum. From the first to the final hearing, it presented a one-sided narrative in a tightly scripted, packaged production. No defense or alternative explanations for key events or statements were allowed; witnesses were largely asked specific questions to get them to repeat what they said in previously recorded interviews, as members read from a teleprompter.
The committee could have been so much more. It could have followed the type of balanced inquiry that pursued allegations tied to the Pearl Harbor attack or Watergate. Even without Republican-appointed members, it could have insisted on balanced hearings with witnesses and dissenting views.
Nevertheless, the committee revealed important, often disturbing details. It was important for Americans to hear from figures like former attorney general Bill Barr and White House lawyers who struggled to counter unfounded advice given to Trump by outside lawyers on challenging the 2020 election. There were painful scenes of Capitol police overwhelmed at barricades and members of Congress hunkered down in offices.
Yet, the focus on a single approved narrative gave the hearings the feel of an infomercial selling a product that most of us bought two years earlier.
Subpoenaing Trump on the final scheduled hearing only reaffirmed how the committee was driven by political rather than investigative priorities. Indeed, the timing was embarrassingly transparent. While Trump could appear without a challenge or the Democrats could retain the House, few experts are predicting either outcome.
For more than a year, the committee said its investigation was focused on Trump’s intent and actions. Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) explained that the subpoena was essential because “he must be accountable. He is required to answer for his actions on Jan. 6. So we want to hear from him.” Why, then, wait until the last hearing, especially if the House may flip to GOP control in a matter of weeks?
It seemed another case of planned obsolescence by the House leadership. In the first Trump impeachment, Speaker Pelosi imposed an arbitrary deadline for impeachment by Christmas. That deadline was then used as an excuse to hold only one hearing on the legal standard with only one Republican witness. (I was that sole witness.) This was reportedly ordered over the objections of House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) who raised the abandonment of both due process and precedent. Pelosi then delayed transmitting the impeachment articles to the Senate — destroying her own rationalization for the lack of hearings.
In the second Trump impeachment, Pelosi went one better: She ordered a “snap impeachment” that dispensed entirely with hearings and witnesses.
If Trump declines to appear before the committee on constitutional grounds, the House would likely run out of time for any challenge. Thus, the only way to enforce this subpoena in time would be a “snap contempt” vote that does not wait for negotiation or judicial review.
Attorney General Merrick Garland also would have to move at a record pace to prosecute Trump before Republicans can retake the House and rescind a contempt sanction. Garland could argue that he should be allowed to prosecute Trump based on the original vote, but the House is the putative victim in the case — and we could have the victim claiming not to be a victim as the Justice Department prosecutes its victimization.
That brings us back to what the House can learn from the Chicago Bears. This was only the latest game lost in the final seconds due to bungled plays. However, we do recognize when the game ends.
Not so with the House team.
Meh. The point of all this totalitarian behavior has been to jail or destroy Trump….the same way Putin and Xi do to their legal and democratic opponents. But it’s not working: Trump continues to be the favored winning in the 2024 contest.
Nothing will come of it.
What Democrats forget that is, if people don’t think they are really in power, they’re not. It’s a privilege given by the People, not a status conferred absolutely.
What do they think will happen if they actually try to arrest Trump or something?
American voters have had enough.
They will remember this in November.
“What do they think will happen if they actually try to arrest Trump or something?”
I still don’t understand why you think he should be above the law.
The Biden laptop so far has shown over 400 crimes of the Biden Crime syndicate yet nothing why are they above the law?
What charges should President Trump be charged with?
First of all, indict Hunter Biden. I don’t care.
Second, Nathan is making his veiled threats before he sees whether any charges are incoming, so my original question stands.
What most don’t seem to understand or admit is this: after we KNOW that a losing HRC and the deep state FBI paid to manufacture dirt on Trump that didn’t exist, why would any sane American respect any “subpoena” or arrest of Trump?
They wouldn’t. This is a corrupt government doing what Putin does.
NO ONE is above the Law.
And no one is BELOW the Law. Trump included.
In a totalitarian state, Trump would have already been imprisoned or put up against a wall and shot. He’s fortunate that this is a free country, where the law respects him even if he doesn’t respect the law. He is, however, subject to it.
What were highly sensitive classified documents having to do with Iran’s missile program and China doing at Mar-a-Lago? He, of course, is now suggesting that the FBI planted them.
This frickin’ lunatic must never again be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office.
Where did you get that he had these documents? Can you say none of the more than 3 million documents held by Barry in some shabby warehouse are not sensitive? It is purely political, they are angry he showed how easy it was to solve problems without massive expensive expansion of the already bloated government.
Yes. That HAS BEEN said, on numerous occasions.
The NARA has officially stated that they have sole control of all of Obama’s presidential records. The claim that Obama “took 30 million records, many of the classified,” is total bullshit. The National Archives and Record Administration took both legal and physical custody of all official presidential records of Barack Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan when each left office.
Trump is the only former president to have taken personal possession of such documents and then refused to relinquish them. He’s under investigation because he broke the law, and because the documents he took could endanger national security.
Why did he take them? Aren’t you even curious about that?
Tuesday, October 11, 2022 – NARA Press Statements in Response to Media Queries About Presidential Records
That he refused is a blatent lie as his lawyers were in contact with the NARA. Where did you get the what documents he had or the contents?
“In contact with the NARA” doesn’t mean that he was complying with the law. He only handed over a portion of the documents he was supposed to.
Also: whatever government documents he had, they belonged to the government, not to him, regardless of classification status.
Unnamed FBI sources. I’d be more skeptical of the leak if Trump had denied what the documents were, rather than immediately claiming they were planted.
Reliable sources, you should be more skeptical as they had previously taken documents and told him to put an extra lock on the ones they left behind, a lock they busted. Why was Trumps attorney not allowed to observe? Why take the mementos? A dinner napkin, photos and personal letters from world leaders?
There would be an endless sea of false accusations, like we have with you fools.
Much ado about nothing. The entire unconstitutional commission has been a complete waste of time. It was put in place to drag out time providing cover for those who planned and participated in the false flag operations of j6.
The new MAGA Republican Congress will properly investigate the hidden truths of j6.
Investigate, Litigate and Incarcerate
Today Biden had some facts for you to consider about what the Republicans intend to do. As he points out, it’s what THEY THEMSELVES SAY they intend to do.
He also got lost again when leaving the stage in PA.
The green weenie plan needs to be repealed it does nothing to reduce inflation.
Do you know the any small business can incorporate? 15% minimum will be immediately cause more inflation, and/or put these smaller businesses out of business in favor of the large democrat donor corporations who can well afford the tax that will also be passed on.
Biden Falsely Claims He Was a “Full Professor” at UPenn, Then Tells Bizarre Story of How Jill Biden Threatened to Leave Him
Scary. Joe Biden Completely Loses Train of Thought, Stops Talking During Interview – Jesse Watters Left Gobsmacked (VIDEO)
FUN FACT…….The Census officially has 2020 turnout at 66.8% with 168 million registered voters. That means only 112 million votes should have been cast. But over 150 million votes were counted.
We know President Trump received 74 million votes. We are told idiot biden received 81 million, LOL.
That turnout only happens in despotic regimes, Saddam Hussein and the like.
But the reality is more than likely, President Trump won 74 million of the 112 million votes cast leaving idiot biden with a paltry 38 million votes. idiot biden did not receive 81 million legal votes, that is impossible on its face.
Yes, there are those who vote against the mean tweets but, there are not 81 million. That conjures up the infamous quote from hillary clintion, ” the willing suspension of disbelief”.
Biden is an illegal installed puppet dictator.
Who the hell cares what he reads from a teleprompter, in an Adderall-induced haze?
Everything Biden said today is true, including the GOP intentions that he cited. If you don’t believe it, look it up for yourselves.
If republican’s regain control they’ll extend and increase corporate and high-end tax reductions while cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, environmental regulation, and education funding. They’ll scuttle the Inflation Reduction Act. They’ll eliminate Biden’s cap on insulin costs and his roll back measures to reduce prescription drug costs. They also recently signaled their intentions to cease assisting Ukraine’s defense against Vladimir Putin. God only knows what the ultimate cost would be of clearing Putin’s way to dominate Europe—besides leaving us to confront Chinese expansion alone.
No. Biden doesn’t know ANYTHING he’s saying.
No one thinks he’s lucid, or even the president.
His remarks are ignored.
The “GOP Intentions” are part of the new J6th style false-flag for the elections. Dems rig elections, and have a plan to rig some random race or bit for Republicans, then say it’s REPUBLICANS who are rigging elections.
Kind of like the Leftist antifa insurrections they flipped into “Right wing” insurrection for the scripted J6th.
No one is buying it. Biden is done.
What Joe Biden said was truthful and made perfect sense.
Trump is crazy.
Everything? The Bullshit about the deficit? seriously maybe you should look it up.
The jobs were not created, businesses that were deemed non essential reopened and people went back to work, raise the taxes those jobs will be offshored.
He shuts down oil production and wants to open strip mines for battery production not very green weenie.
The “committee” violates House rules for formation of a committee. There is no ranking member and they do not have counsel. Therefore, they by default, do not have subpoena power under House rules and as such any subpoena is untenable.
President Trump is under no compulsion to honor their subpoena, period.
Crazy Liz Cheney Says January 6 Committee Will NOT Allow Trump Testimony to Be Televised – Says He Will Testify Before Her Under Oath
President Trump should tell the group of clowns to go pound sand. After November 8 it will not matter and in January the angry 9 democrats moscow clown show will cease to exist.
He can go and just smile and plead the 5th. These clowns already caught falsifying evidence deserve nothing more.