What Did We Learn from the January 6 Committee?

The J6 Committee wrapped up hearings in late July. If you want to know what actually happened January 6, 2021, I suggest not relying solely on this committee. We learned this committee is not intent on uncovering the truth. Many others have dug deep into the problems of January 6 (from varying perspectives); below, I only scratch the surface because frankly only a cursory look is needed to determine the slough of problems with this investigation.

Crowd at the Trump rally on January 6, 2021

Who is on the Committee and Who is Not?

Note there were just two Republicans but seven Democrats on the committee. A book from a few years back was: All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten. Kindergartners know at first glance this is not a fair process.

In 1973, the Senate voted 77-0 to establish the committee to impeach former Republican President Richard Nixon; it had seven members, four Democrats and three Republicans. Typically, the majority party gets a one-vote advantage, but FIVE more?

The J6 committee was originally slated to have five Republicans and eight Democrats, a one vote advantage not being enough to ensure the “right” outcomes. All five Republicans nominated by Minority Leader McCarthy were rejected by Speaker Pelosi. Tell me again about how much she believes in fair elections, fair processes, justice, and all the rest. Pelosi added two Republicans, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, but only because they were two of the ten Republicans who voted to impeach Trump in January 2021. I suppose she couldn’t cajole the other eight into joining the committee.

This is how we initiate a process to get to the bottom of all this? Should we have confidence the views of the minority party and the case for the man under the microscope will be adequately represented? Maybe that doesn’t matter to you because you are already sure of what happened, but for the rest of us, we’d like to believe there is at least a hint of fairness here.

Is This a Trial?

Congress does not actually have the power to prosecute. Call this event a campaign ad instead. After stacking the committee, they brought in a TV producer to stage the event. Why do that? Does the term “show trial” apply here? The following was published days before the first hearing:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10889205/January-6-committee-hires-former-ABC-News-executive-produce-Thursdays-8pm-hearing-Report.html

  • The Capitol riot committee reportedly recruited ex-ABC News president James Goldston to make their presentation into a ‘blockbuster investigative special’
  • The panel’s first hearing is set to begin on Thursday at 8pm Eastern Time
  • It’s the first of six hearings where lawmakers will seek to contextualize the riot in Donald Trump and his allies’ wider efforts to overturn the 2020 election results
  • Evidence includes never-before-seen White House photos from January 6
  • The bipartisan panel is also reportedly having trouble agreeing on what the recommendations should be in its final report  

Notice the misnomer “bipartisan panel”. Maybe some were fooled with that characterization. Does the Hollywood-type nature of the spectacle make it seem they are establishing facts in a deliberate and methodical fashion or does it sound like an attempt to influence the next election (and the one after)?

In a trial, cross examinations are allowed. In this case, the other side of the story was not told during the Congressional hearings themselves. Maybe you think Team Trump has nothing to offer, but I appeal to that former Kindergartner in you: shouldn’t they be allowed an opportunity to put on a defense and present conflicting evidence? Let them fall on their faces if you believe they have nothing to offer, but don’t suppress their voices and hide evidence. On the other hand, if there is exculpatory evidence, then (from a Democrat perspective, at least) you better not allow Team Trump an opportunity to tarnish the carefully produced results.

There were eight hearings in all, stretched over six weeks (two prime time and six daytime hearings), ending July 21. This much should be clear: from the outset they were telling the story they had crafted already. Many news media folks joked this was just Season One and that the series would continue. What will the writers think of next?

https://www.msnbc.com/the-reidout/reidout-blog/jan-6-hearings-recap-season-1-rcna39544

The House Jan. 6 committee wrapped up its first batch of public hearings during a prime-time presentation on Thursday. They’re scheduled to resume in September.

High profile lawyer and Harvard professor (and self-proclaimed liberal) Alan Dershowitz said it was like watching “a one-sided basketball game. ” Perhaps he didn’t take it seriously?

Johnathon Turley, like Dershowitz, another self-proclaimed liberal jurist, said similar things.

https://redstate.com/bobhoge/2022/06/12/liberal-professors-dershowitz-turley-prove-the-jan-6-committee-hearings-are-a-sham-n577695

[Turley said:] Pelosi’s decision to shred the long tradition on balanced committees was a signature muscle play. The Jan. 6 Committee was stripped of any pretense. It was as subtle as her ripping up President Trump’s State of the Union speech on the House floor…

Was it a Protest or an Insurrection?

But what actually happened? Congress is no doubt partisan and inept at solving most problems, but what was the actual intent of all this?

I will not excuse the people who did serious wrong: those who gained entrance illegally, assaulted police officers, threatened violence, etc.. These actions should be condemned; they should not have progressed to the level they did. Many people were indeed arrested for serious offenses, 845 in all. Further, ten percent of those arrested were incarcerated for serious offenses. https://time.com/6133336/jan-6-capitol-riot-arrests-sentences/

The number who attended the rally at the Washington mall appears to be a national secret, but it was clear to my wife and I as we watched, a massive crowd heard the president speak; it was far more than the number who actually stormed the Capitol (and many entering were actually peaceful and orderly). In other words, a small fraction listening to the president actually stormed the Capitol. If this was an actual insurrection, why wouldn’t more participate and why wouldn’t they be given a script to follow?

Skeptics will say the few who invaded the Capitol were a dedicated cadre with a plan. Then how come no firearms were used by protestors? Why was nobody killed by protestors (one protestor was, in fact, shot by police, and there was one police death, not attributable to the violence)? Some protestors breached the Capitol, but others were ushered in by police, not aware they were doing anything wrong. Why was that? There was no military or police support for the protestors, no institutional support from any government department. One protestor, a lone wolf apparently, was arrested with a cache of weapons, but those remained in his vehicle and were never accessed by anyone else; this was not good, but also not something which contributed to the events of that day.

An insurrection with no firearms, no institutional support, and nobody killed by the insurrectionists was a piss poor insurrection.   It was a protest which got out of control.  Those who lost control should be held accountable, but why was Trump held responsible for something he never advocated, and by extension all of his supporters, most of whom condemned the violence?

There have been many charges it was inside job to frame Trump.  I don’t yet ascribe to any such theories. These may be compelling to those untrusting of their opponents motives; however, there is considerable video evidence of police waving protestors into the Capitol. There were clearly confrontations with police in other instances, but why were so many passed through without challenge? None of this was investigated or explained by the J6 Committee. They are not interested. It contradicts the narrative, but many of us would like to know more.

https://www.worldtribune.com/more-video-shows-police-waving-protesters-into-capitol-on-jan-6/
https://wethepeopleconvention.org/articles/Video-Proves-Police-Let-Protestors-into-Capitol
https://thefederalist.com/2021/01/08/watch-the-capitol-police-open-the-doors-and-invite-protesters-in/

Another relevant story comes from President Biden who claimed he engaged in the very same act years earlier. Like his bizarre stories of days past regarding Corn Pop or the kids at the pool rubbing his leg, this one too is probably apocryphal. He wants to seem like a regular guy during this interview. Yet, today, he says entering the Capitol on January 6 was “the gravest of threats”. How does that square with his own illegal entry into the Capitol? Was he protesting the Viet Nam war in the mid-60’s? I doubt his story is true, but he he claims it happened. Why should he be held to another standard?

What was Trump doing?

I want to ask two questions of President Trump’s critics. First, was he responsible for the violence at the Capitol on January 6? I engaged a local pastor who said a day or two afterwards that his behavior was disgraceful. I reminded him Trump in his January 6 speech said to march to the Capitol to “peacefully and patriotically protest”. That was a clear signal of his intentions. A pastor should know we judge each other by our words and our actions, not by motivations we cannot discern; he never offered me any more to justify his feelings on the matter. The J6 committee also ignored Trump’s actual words and instead read more into the rest of the speech, looking for supposed dog whistles and hidden messages. Amazingly, the words “patriotically and peacefully protest” were edited from the speech when it was played before the committee, another blow to their legitimacy. The fact remains there is no clear smoking gun in Trump’s speech; instead, there is much parsing and convenient interpretation of his intent.

You can say he egged on supporters; he knew what would happen. If you already believed in his guilt, such accusations are convincing. I would join in condemnation as well if there was clear evidence of bad intent, but, from my vantage, it seems the committee wants a separate standard for the former president: anything done by a few of your supporters is your fault.

I have often been told the reverse: once I vote for someone (especially some you don’t like), I am responsible for their bad actions in the future. I generally have two choices in an election and usually I pick the one I dislike the least. Everything that person does thereafter should not boomerang back to me. The person responsible is the person who actually does the wrong thing. Trump did not publicly encourage anyone to take up arms or join in violence. Such action would indeed make him responsible for violence on January 6. It is only through creative interpretation of private conversations does the J6 committee get anywhere with this line of thinking.

There was an event a few years back where a Bernie Sanders supporter shot at dozens of Republican Congressman on a baseball field. This was a potentially far more serious threat to democracy, but I heard no condemnation of Senator Sanders. Again, why does the standard apply in only one direction? https://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/homepage2/james-hodgkinson-profile/index.html

My second question: is contesting an election the same as an insurrection? In the two months prior to January 6 was Trump trying to illegally alter the election or was he trying to legally alter it? Whether you believe his claims or not, do you believe that he believed the election to be stolen? If he truly believed it was stolen (and I am certain he does believe it), why wouldn’t he vociferously stake his claim? Wouldn’t you if you felt cheated? Isn’t that what Al Gore did in 2000? How about you: have you ever complained about the officials in a sporting contest? Isn’t a national election a far more important event that should be be debated civilly?

I won’t get into the details of the problems with the election, although I have written of them previously Was The Election Rigged?. It doesn’t matter what you think of his claims. He has a right to make them and to use legal measures to advance them. He may have ineffectively advanced his claims, but he did so legally up until January 6. January 6 itself was a protest, another legal measure.

For eight years, we heard that President Bush stole the election from Al Gore. Four years after 2016, we heard that Donald Trump stole the election (and worse). Since 2018, we have heard that Stacey Abrams was cheated out of her election for governor of Georgia. You likely believe some of these claims and dispute others, but the claims, no matter how far-fetched you might say they are, should always be allowed.

Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowTheFacts.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 16, 2017

“And they tell us we tried to overturn the election. Guess who the second objector was in 2017? The individual managing the impeachment for the Democrats,” Jordan said, referring to Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). – Rep. Jim Jordan, January 13, 2021.

Mock such claims if you will, but we do not legally prosecute anyone for making them. I don’t accuse Bernie Sanders for inciting an insurrection from his follower in 2017. He didn’t tell that crazy person to shoot at dozens of Congressman. I don’t accuse Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Stacey Abrams, Jamie Raskin, or countless others of insurrection for disputing prior election results. They failed in their efforts as well, but they had the right to fuss and complain. I certainly would never accuse anyone voting for these politicians (whom I would never support myself) for taking part in an insurrection. Again, I appeal to the former kindergartner in you: why should these folks be held to a different standard than President Trump?

National Guard

Much was made of the fact that President Trump waited 3 hours and 7 minutes to tell his supporters to disband. Is that a long time? Perhaps it is or perhaps not. However, I have been waiting for more than a year for President Biden to finish the border wall, to resume the Middle East Peace talks, to get the remaining Americans out of Afghanistan, to admit the current inflation and recession are real, to lower gas prices, and so on. I would have been thrilled if President Biden had waited only 3 hours and 7 minutes to address any of these issues.

Why wasn’t the claim that Trump asked for National Guard prior to January 6 examined by the committee? The problem with this debate is that no matter what you believe (or would like to believe), you can find support for it in the media. Many claim the request for National Guard never happened.

 AP fact check rates GOP claim Pelosi blocked National Guard on Jan. 6 ‘false’ | The Hill,

GOP Doubles Down on Claim Pelosi Rejected National Guard Before Jan. 6 Riot (newsweek.com),

PolitiFact | No evidence Pelosi ‘rejected’ Trump’s authorization for ‘20,000 National Guard’ before Jan. 6 attack

On the other hand, there are many who say it did happen:

https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/capitol-national-guard-security/2022/07/26/id/1080453/?ns_mail_uid=dc3164f2-f4f5-4cd2-8925-32c0791dc63d

If former President Donald Trump’s word is not enough, an official Capitol Police timeline and Pentagon memo also back up his assertion that he authorized the use of the National Guard in the days before the Jan. 6 Capitol breach.

Trump and several of his aides have steadfastly maintained he offered to send at least 10,000 National Guard troops to Washington to aid in crowd control, but his overture was rejected by Congress and D.C. officials.

An official timeline of the events leading up to Jan. 6 that was constructed by the Capitol Police and the Pentagon provides key evidence Trump and his administration took steps to provide National Guard troops and sought to have a peaceful event, contrary to the House committee’s claims.

On Jan. 4, Sund started seeking permission for security assistance from Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving. His request was denied. He notified Gen. William Walker, commander of the D.C. National Guard, about the need for support. But the timeline stated that Sund “does not have the authority to request at this time.”

Under the law, a president can authorize the use of the National Guard; however, local officials must request the National Guard for domestic deployment.

On Jan. 5, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser wrote a letter to Miller and other officials at the Justice and Defense departments asking that National Guard troops not be deployed unless the local Metropolitan Police Department signed off.

Here is another such claim:

https://www.newsmax.com/politics/trump-jan-6-capitol/2022/08/04/id/1081824/?ns_mail_uid

Keith Kellogg, a onetime national security adviser to former President Donald Trump and ex-Vice President Mike Pence, recently backed up Trump’s long-standing claim that the National Guard had been offered to U.S. Capitol Police days before the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.

Believe whichever version you like, but recognize that the J6 committee never discussed this point. To concede this point would destroy their case, so it is better not to look.

Hutchinson Bombshell

Days prior, we heard the testimony of Cassidy Hutchison, former aide of White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, was going to change everything, the same thing we heard a hundred times before regarding some new detail in the Robert Mueller investigation. She told us somebody told her the president forcibly grabbed the limo steering wheel and assaulted Secret Service agents.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/key-takeaways-cassidy-hutchinsons-bombshell-testimony-jan-committee/story?id=85880256

People hate Trump so much they will believe anything of this nature. Still, within moments of her testimony, the Secret Service was disputing it. The J6 committee never heard from any of them.  Do they want the narrative or do they want the truth?

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2022/jun/28/secret-service-denies-cassidy-hutchinson-jan-6-tal/

Still, liberal media lapped up the story:

In one of the hearing’s most shocking moments, Hutchinson recalled being told how Trump turned “irate” as he was driven away from the Ellipse after being told by his security that he could not go to the Capitol with his supporters.

 “The president reached up toward the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel. Mr. Engel grabbed his arm and said, ‘Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol.’

“Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge toward Bobby Engel and when Mr. Ornato recounted this story to me, he motioned toward his clavicles,” she said.

Her story was never corroborated by anyone actually present. Doesn’t that make a difference? Cassidy went on to tell us Trump also threw his lunch at the wall. There is powerful evidence to prove he was leading an insurrection. That’s what all insurrectionists do, right? Is this the best they can come up with to prove their case?

One Last Question

By all accounts the 2016 election between Trump and Clinton was very close; 80,000 votes in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin separated the two candidates.  The 2020 election was closer: it was 40,000 votes in three states (Wisconsin, Arizona, and Georgia).  Claiming 40,000 suspect votes in an election where more than 150 million was cast is not a big stretch.  

  • In Georgia that means a problem with 1 in every 454 votes.
  • In Wisconsin it’s 1 in every 165 votes
  • In Arizona it’s in every 300 votes.

You can claim Trump didn’t win the election and that it wasn’t stolen, but it’s a whole another story to claim he was leading an insurrection instead of just disputing election results.  How well planned was this supposed insurrection? How successful was it? It took only a few hours to clear the crowd, and there was never any follow-up or coordinated attacks elsewhere. How close did they come to stopping the vote? Congress was not delayed from their task; the vote proceeded the same day. How much was Trump involved? He told them protest peacefully; he told them to stand down.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said after the hearings he wouldn’t prosecute Trump based on the evidence provided.

https://news.yahoo.com/g-merrick-garland-memo-suggests-231158582.html

 A Justice Department memo suggests Donald Trump won’t face any federal indictment over the insurrection Jan. 6, 2021, before the election in November, legal analysts said.

Maybe there just isn’t enough evidence, but Garland changed his tune a week later.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/ag-garland-refuses-rule-out-prosecuting-trump-jan-6

Perhaps the pressure from his party was too much to bear? But if he is going to indict Trump, then maybe he should not stop there.

garlands-kid-gloves-vs-hunter-biden

“None of this adds up,” former US Attorney for Utah Brett Tolman told Fox News. “None of it makes sense. Indictments should have been brought when you first started calling witnesses and close thereto, that’s standard.”

If you believe in justice and fairness does any of this make sense? It is only when you see things through a political lens that the actions make sense.

24 thoughts on “What Did We Learn from the January 6 Committee?

  1. Maybe it was a “piss poor” insurrection. I am curious though, why was it not an armed insurrection? At least my dictionary makes a difference between the two types. I mean, there could have been a lot of people there, who believed both that the election was stolen and that their right to bear arms and own a gun is precisely to be able to intervene with violence, if the constitution and democracy stand threatened? People who voted for him though they knew him to have referred to his supporters as stupid enough to protect him even if they knew he had done murder.

    To me Trump has ever stood out as an opportunist, that is precisely the type of person who would instigate even violence to achieve a goal, but stand clear to have perfect deniability and only step in to pick the fruits, if everything went as he wished, but I do not pretend to know his motives, nor do I think there is a legal way to pin this on him.

    A lawyer representing some of the people, who did broke into the Capitol building excused them, by appealing to the heavy propaganda they have been subject to and suggested that they actually shared a bit of a limited mental capacity. The propaganda part surely is true. Trump started to claim the election was rigged long before any voting had been done and his “belief” it was, is worth nothing in the face of reports of the international election observers. It seems to me, that like Putin, Trump has started to believe in his own narrative and propaganda, irrespective of reality.

    We had a piss poor armed insurrection in Finland once in the thirties. It was planned (kind of) by professional soldiers and put to action by extreme right militias. It lasted for only a day or so and failed to achieve anything. Piss poor insurrections do happen. The incompetence of the participants, does not mean they are not real. Who knows what the plan was, or if there was any, but what happened fits the description of an insurrection in the dictionary.

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    1. My friend, it is good to hear from you again. Hope you are doing well.

      I said it was a poor insurrection because I meant to imply it was no insurrection at all. An “armed insurrection” would mean that those who were at the Capitol used firearms during the insurrection. There were no firearms used by protestors during the three hours. Only one person was killed during that day, a woman was shot through a door by a Capitol police officer.

      Recently I was told in an email that President Trump used Soviet style tactics. I asked for specific Soviet style like actions. I received little of substance. the charge is much more intimidating than the actual events. Are you doing the same in this comment?

      I have heard the word “Nazi” from our media more times in the last six years than I’ve heard in my lifetime. If he instigated the violence, how exactly did he do it? I am willing to call him out if it can be shown clearly what he did. The January 6 committee tried and failed. President Trump used the words “peacefully and patriotically protest”, words ignored by the J6 committee. Instead, they focused on the rest of the speech, words they could interpret words to fit the pre-determined claim. Please tell me what actions he took to instigate this insurrection. Please give me proof that it was HIS plan all along.

      A Bernie Sanders supporter went to DC in 2017 and shot at dozens of Republican congressmen on a baseball field. He was stopped by a few Capitol police officers who normally wouldn’t be at such an event. If he had been successful that would have been quite impactful, something we might label an insurrection. Yet, Senator Sanders was not blamed for instigating this shooting, nor do I think he should be. He didn’t tell this nut job to take this action. Several police officers were killed in Dallas after President Obama criticized the police, yet he was not blamed. My point is I have some consistency. Unless a politician calls for direct violence, he should not be held to account for the actions of people like these. There is no proof whatsoever that President Trump told people to commit violence on January 6. There is no proof he worked behind the scenes to make it happen. There is nothing to link him to any violence. In fact, his words in his January 6 speech, point to the opposite. Give me some proof and I will be on your side. Otherwise, I call it a witch hunt.

      Stacy Abrams ran for governor of Georgia as a Democrat. She lost by 50,000 votes. Every Democrat of note has declared her the true governor of Georgia for four years. She sat on a panel of Democrat Governors during the 2020 Democrat convention. Why is this not called out, yet Trump’s claim is condemned? Trump lost Georgia by 11,000 votes, far fewer than Abrams. Hillary Clinton has offered every excuse under the sun for losing the 2016 election to Trump. Two years of the Mueller investigation were about the phony evidence her campaign planted in the media and with the FBI. More states were contested by Democrats on January 6, 2017 than were contested by Republicans on January 6, 2021. You can criticize Trump if you like, but why ignore all the others?

      Our election was hijacked. There is no question. Congress has a duty to #ProtectOurDemocracy & #FollowTheFacts.— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 16, 2017

      Trump believes his own narrative, yes. However, many of us think his narrative has some legitimacy. You probably haven’t taken his claims seriously, but maybe you should. Maybe there is something to them? He is not the only one who believes them. He also has every right to fuss and complain as his political opposition did when they lost. He has done so legally to this point. https://seek-the-truth.com/2022/02/24/was-the-election-rigged/

      This is a 30-second clip. Question: was this an “insurrection” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCRzU9iIA38?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Dave, I am fine, thank you. How are you?
        We agree, that it was not an armed insurrection, but it still fits the dictionary definition of an insurrection. What would you prefer it was called? A revolt, political riot, or what?
        What I am curious about though, is why was it not armed? There were plenty of people who have previously demonstrated with their guns in the open and possibly even more who believe both, that the election was somehow rigged and that their constitutional “right” to bear arms is justified by the ability a gun gives them to intervene in politics through violence. Why, even you yourself have expressed to have this sort of view on the issue. Have you not? So, why no guns?

        A nother thing I find myself curious about is, that if it indeed was the purpose and goal of president Trump to keep the demonstration peacefull, howcome so many of his followers failed to take heed of his message? Was it simply weak leadership on his behalf, or does it tell something about the mental capacity of a large portion of the crowd that came to see him? To me it it appears most likely just as a form of typical populism. The populist speaks in strike phrases, but vaguely enough, that the listener may project their own preferred interpretation to fill in the gaps. That is why populism appeals to the ignorant and why in turn the populist rouses mobs against the “elites” and the outsider, such as the immigrants, or some minoritie. This may result in the mob no longer even listening the populist, because they already think they know what the populist is saying, or driving for between the lines.

        I have no idea what some other person may have referred to as “soviet style tactics”. Some people seem to throw soviet and nazi simply as degratory terms. I have also observed an increase in the use of the term “nazi” here too and I share your worry about the light use of the term. When applied correctly, however, it does not need to mean a member of that party or swasticas tattooed to the neck, rather a shared value base is enough. An issue not discussed enough. Nazies were racist populists, who harnessed the fear of the outsiders to the maximum. They held traditional family values, they opposed abortion (of white women), they saw competition, rather than co-operation as a natural state of humanity and they were fierce anti-communists. Not only have references to them become more frequent, but also people fervently declaring the same fascistic values the nazies upheld and even nazism being excused.

        By the way, you do not have to repeat your blog text here in the comment section. I read it the first time. If I disagree, it is not because I did not bother to read, or because I did not understand.

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      2. Doing well, thanks. I think you are so close to my view of things. Why were there no guns? Because it wasn’t an insurrection. If it were, the people with the guns would have brought the guns and would have done much more than they did. In America, we have a tradition of protest. Many years I have stood on the street corner with others and held signs protesting abortion. I don’t bring a gun because I am not trying to forcibly change anyone’s point of view. I am expressing my opinion. I hope to engage others and change others minds. We are proud of our right to protest and we use it as much as possible. That’s the way the debate is won.

        How many people came to the rally held by the president? It is very hard to tell. No exact estimates were given. The pictures show that the crowd was quite extensive. One estimate said 80,000. Millions more, like my wife and me, watched on TV. We wanted to hear what was said. We were upset about the actions taken prior to and after the election. We believed there were many problems with the election. This doesn’t make us insurrections. Our political opponents have been making claims about elections for more than 20 years. Stacy Abrams has been saying for 4 years she is the true governor of Georgia despite losing by 50K votes. People like my wife and I are not the problem, yet media, and now our president, lumps us in with the worst of the people on January 6. We are all evil MAGA Republicans.

        How many went to the Capitol and how many actually entered? Again, the number is hard to tell. The numbers are all over the lot, so it depends on who you ask. One estimate I found from ABC news (not a pro-Trump organization) said 2,000 entered. Many more went to the Capitol but never entered. 2,000 is 2.5% of the people who attended Trump’s speech.

        How many were arrested? From ABC News: According to the DOJ, approximately 640 defendants have been charged with entering or remaining in a restricted federal building or grounds, which is a misdemeanor. More than 225 accused rioters have been charged with the more serious crime of assaulting, resisting, or impeding officers or employees, according to the DOJ, with 75 of them facing charges of using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing serious bodily injury to an officer.

        Those on the Right, everyone I know and everyone I listen to publicly were also upset about the violence, even the day of and the day after, and still today.

        Still, some people were charged with loitering basically. Fewer than 1% of the people who attended Trump’s speech were arrested, and most with misdemeanors. Is this the stuff insurrections are made of? Furthermore, there are NUMEROUS videos of the public being allowed to pass into the building by police officers. This has always been puzzling. Did they want them to enter so they could claim something later? Or did they just see them as non-threatening and so didn’t challenge them?

        Some people were charged with more serious crimes: 225 out of 80,000. This is one-quarter of one percent of those attending. There are some who claim these were plants put in by the political opposition. This is possible because you don’t need many. I have heard of a few unlikely folks, folks who were politically active on the Democrat side and were arrested. But let’s not go there at this point. Let’s assume these are Trump supporters who got an idea in their heads. So, there is the answer to your question: 99.75% WERE following his direction to be peaceful. He was not leading them on and they were not taking in on themselves to lead an insurrection. The president and all his supporters have to accept the blame for the 00.25% that were not? Why does media make it seem as if the majority were not peaceful?

        Our media says all Trump supporters would blindly follow him off a cliff. That’s a load of crap. Our media is just awful and has become a propaganda wing of the Democrat party, a virtual Pravda. You may not see that, but we are closer to it than you are.

        https://abc7news.com/jan-6-insurrection-us-capitol-riot/11428976/

        https://www.aol.com/news/jan-6-numbers-120024330.html

        https://heavy.com/news/maga-march-trump-dc-rally-crowd-photos/

        I wrote a post about what was said to me about Trump’s Soviet style tactics. I just asked for examples. I didn’t get anything that fit the bill. I never do when I challenge people’s claims. I am not always right, but such exchanges convince me that I am right in this instance. Trump is a very flawed character, but he is not treasonous and never has been. I don’t support another presidential run, but I still think he did a decent job in four years, far better than the current doddering geriatric. I find that many of the claims about Trump stem from the tactics of his opponents. They do things they accuse him and then try to pin the actions on him.

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      3. We have a similar culture of demonstration here in Finland. I have taken part in a number of marches for and against issies. In our demonstrations one never sees weapons, exept on the police, who are there to secure the safety of the protesters. It would be totally illegal and for a good reason. The last time our demonstrators carried guns in political rallies it led to an insurgency, wich caused a revolt, wich was followed by a bloody civil war.
        The Wikipedia refers to the incident on Capitol after Trump had lost the lections both as riot and as attack. To me it could just as well be labelled an insurrection. A piss-poor insurrection as you ambly put it. It fits the dictionary description of the word. Wether someone had planned it, or not and despite the lack of firearms use, it was a violent attempt to influence politics and hinder the work of democratically appointed representatives of the nation.

        The attack against the Republican Congress representatives at the baseball field was a piss-poor attack, since near hundred shots were fired, but only one person died. (A very American style of shooting, I am told.) Yet despite poor results -luckily-it was no less severe attack on democracy, the government, and the society as a whole. When senator Sanders heard about what had happened he rushed to condemn the attack. Not so with Trump. He eventually condemned the not so peacefull demonstration inside Capitol building, but he did not stop it before hundreds of people had rushed the police line, several officers had been hurt, few people had died and the Congress evacuated and who knows what else might have happened. He had every chance to prevent what was happening, but either he felt petty revenge was more important, or he was expecting the events transpire to a further stage of an insurrection and into a full scale revolt to provide him a chance to hold on to power. He could have stopped it all early on, knew what was going on, but instead of rising to the occasion he chose not to for a fairly long time. Only after the chance of rioters could get at the representatives had passed he acted and not by even apearing at the scene (like he had promised to the crowd). There is of course the off chance he was sitting bewildered, not knowing what to do all that time, but I guess neither of us thinks that likely. I agree with you, that there hardly is any chance of him having to face any legal responsibility for what happened, though it must be investigated – if for nothing else – to clear his name in in that respect. However, his name will for ever be tarnished for what he did not do. It was immoral, wich ever way one looks at it. In my view, his precidency was not the worst in the history of the USA, but like the insurgency, it was bit of a piss-poor precidency.

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      4. Wikipedia is a credible for source for numbers and facts, but for political analysis, I don’t trust it in the least.

        I wasn’t blaming Senator Sanders for the baseball shooting, but the time it took him to condemn the shooter and the time it took Trump to address his supporters is about the same. I believe Trump was not expecting a riot, so he may have not reacted in minutes. Like I said in the earlier comment, it was 3 hours and 7 minutes. Is that a long time?

        If the riot was “successful” as you imply Trump wanted, he would not have been supported by the American people, and not by his supporters. It was not his plan to overthrow the government in this fashion. All this rhetoric around January 6 is a total lie. I don’t believe a word of the Left’s spin. I don’t believe most of what they say in any case.

        I have no problem with investigating January 6, but let’s have a complete investigation and look at the malfeasance (or potential malfeasance) of those on both sides. That is not happening and it makes us dubious of the J6 committee. Put it all together and realize this is all politics and the committee is a total fraud, not interested in uncovering the truth.

        The riot on January 6 was wrong, immoral if you like. Not everyone present acted badly, but many did. The riots throughout the summer of 2020 were immoral as well and were a bigger problem. Kamala Harris was implicated in bailing out criminals, criminals who then committed worse crimes. Many other Democrats spurred on the riots. Let’s be balanced and look at all problems, not just some. Only then will I take such investigations seriously.

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      5. Oh, I never tried to even imply you thought Sanders was to be blamed for the actions of a single gunman. I am truly sorry, if I gave that impression. You have been quite clear on your views.
        Sanders was said to have reacted immediately after hearing, that the lone gunman had been a member of his campaign. Where did you get, that it took him hours, because the relevant Wikipedia article did not go to such detail. Anyway the incident was over by the time Sanders reacted, so it was unlikely he would have had to rush his absolute renaunciation from political violence to stop it. Much more likely he simply wanted to cut any rumours of him condoning violence by his political opponents, rivals and right wing pundits. Perhaps it is also fair to assume according to his previous cconduct, that he indeed is a man of integrity in this regard and opposes any kind of political violence?

        Trump on the other hand could have stopped political violence by appealing to his supporters, but did nothing while the police were attacked and the Congress evacuated.

        How long would you procrastinate, if you wittnessed an ongoing violent crime being committed, before calling the police? 3 hours? 2 hours? An hour? With power comes responsibility. With greater power the responsibility is greater, right? Do you honestly not see Trump as responsible for not having used his power right away to stop the mob at the moment it was clear his supporters were trying to get into the Capitol building with force?

        If others are guilty of similar and perhaps even worse immoralities, and possible crimes, but are not under charges, or even investigation, does that make Trump any less guilty, or worth investigating. Adults do not excuse themselves by appealing to how others did it as well, do they?

        If this investigation is mere political persecution and Trump is right, that the election was fraud, how is it possible other than by both your legal and political systems being utterly corrupt and miserable fails? Should we declare, that the human lab test we knew as USA has failed and ended before more harm is done to the test subjects?

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      6. January 6, 3:13 PM: Please support our Capitol Police and Law Enforcement. They are truly on the side of our Country. Stay peaceful!

        I am asking for everyone at the U.S. Capitol to remain peaceful. No violence! Remember, WE are the Party of Law & Order – respect the Law and our great men and women in Blue. Thank you!

        The January committee said the following: “For 187 minutes on January 6, this man [Trump] of unbridled destructive energy could not be moved. Not by his aides, not by his allies, not by the violent chants of rioters, or the desperate pleas of those facing down the mob. He could not be moved.”

        You said: Trump on the other hand could have stopped political violence by appealing to his supporters, but did nothing.

        Did he do nothing? That’s your interpretation. I go back to what actually happened. During his speech he directed people to protest “patriotically and peacefully”, words ignored by his critics. He did ask people to remain peaceful after the violence started. He also asked people to support the police. Some say it wasn’t strong enough, but it was not NOTHING. After 3 hours 7 minutes he made a definitive statement, one that satisfied even the January 6 committee. Is 187 minutes a long time? Maybe.

        All I am saying are two things: 1) what he did and didn’t do is subject to interpretation. The interpretation by critics, that it was an attempt to overthrow the government, is over-the-top. No. That just did not happen. 2) He might have done better, been more precise and been more timely. Ok. I don’t defend his every word and action, but this a far cry from what is alleged.

        You ask a good question: If this investigation is mere political persecution and Trump is right, that the election was fraud, how is it possible other than by both your legal and political systems being utterly corrupt and miserable fails? Should we declare, that the human lab test we knew as USA has failed and ended before more harm is done to the test subjects?

        I see what is happening now as utterly corrupt and likely beyond redemption. Hemmingway said change comes gradually and then all of a sudden. We’ve had gradually for 60 years. Now we are in the all of a sudden part and it feels like an absolute disaster. You may blame Trump for all disasters. Like I have said before I have many issues with Trump and don’t want to see him return, but for our current deplorable state, I blame the Left. The Left has become an absolute cult with no interest in anything but retaining its power. It must be defeated.

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      7. When I said he did nothing, I meant, that he did nothing before the Capitol was breached and only after it was succesfully evaquated and the National Guard had given an order to move in, by other authorities, did he ask his supporters to pull back. They promptly followed his instructions, altough they had previously totally ignored his comment about the protest being conducted “peacefully and patriotically”. Either some 2000 at very least, of his supporters did not hear him, cared what he said, or they thought it was some sort of “dogwhistle” so popular among the right wing conspiracy theorists today. Perhaps it somehow kind of is the fault of the left in general, that so many on the right have become entangled in the most fanciful conspiracy theories based on all sorts of “alternative facts”, as they seem to be the thing, that floats the right wing agenda, through Lakonian populistic catch phrases and “dogwhistle” double talk meant to hide racistic, or otherwise abusive behaviour. For it has been the left trying to limit such abuse in the public arena. Has it not? It may appear as an attack on the constitutional right for free speech, if one does not understand WHY, for example, racism is wrong and what level of societal damage mere words may cause. What should the left have done differently, that the right could not have become enthralled by a bunch of conspiracy theories about the Q-anon, pizza gate, scientific facts such as evolution, age of earth, or the climate change, nor that a populist bully who is locked in a never ending popularity contest, so much so, that despite the opinion of all the courts his case has been introduced, he does not accept his defeat?

        I still do not pretend to know his motives, but what was he waiting for all those hours? It is indeed my interpretation, that he hoped something would happen, that his precidency and government could continue and that he was not interrested if people got hurt in the process. It was not just a mistake. It was despicable and should have revealed his character to even his die hard fans, but it did not.

        I do not share your bleak view. I do not think it is as likely, that both your entire electorial system and your judical systems are so thoroughly corrupt, as how likely it is, that the gameshow host become president bullying the elected representatives of his own party is wrong about who lost the elections.

        On my part, I find the term “left” just a little bit funny in this respect, since your left is right, from most of our right. I do not have a horse in this race as such – and that affects my interpretation too, but while I remain fairly unimpressed by Biden, I must admit I am happy it was him to face the Russian onslaught, instead of Trump. I guess it means at least we both recognice our biases.

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      8. I believe you when you say you would not blindly follow Trump off a cliff, but what would be the limit, or even an alarm, that not everything is right with him and make you question his wisdom, or integrity?

        You kind of pulled those persentages out of your hat and they are irrelevant even, if you had good sources for them. A great number of people were committed in the push for Capitol, unless the US police is even more incompetent, than I thought, because otherwise they could not have entered the building. Even if there were sympathisers among the police to let them through some barricades. Trump did nothing to stop them. Did you not expect him to intervene sooner?

        The question of threat to democracy is not about how big a percentage of Trump followers entered the Capitol, altough it matters, that they were many instead of just a handfull. It is about wether people choose to believe the populist politician who lost the elections, or the judical system and the courts, that have ruled the elections were legitimate and any complaints to the contrary are wrong.

        As revolts in history go, they are typicly mobs of few hundred to few thousand angry people fired by an injustice and oratory. Led by just a few opportunistic and sometimes preplanned individuals. Shooting typically starts only after military, or police have panicked and fired first and it is the weapons of the troops, that are turned against the troops sent to quell the riot, rather than some guns the mob brought with them. Look at the attack on Winter Palace.

        It seems to me, the great majority in the rally had come to peacefully demonstrate. Some got caught in the moment and some were there to stop the change of power. A few perhaps at any cost.

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      9. Sorry for the delay in responding my friend. I disagree with much of what you said.

        1. I was skeptical of Trump since early on. His ego is a problem. He demands loyalty from folks and praises those who praise him even when they are not worthy of it. I expected little of him when he became president, and I give him as much credit as I do because he far exceeded expectations. He kept most promises (a rarity for politicians). He put the media in its place, something almost no Republicans had ever been willing to do. He governed as a conservative, the first to do so since Reagan. I never expected that. I expected him to compromise with the liberals, but he did not (they wouldn’t let him). Big gold star for that one. He didn’t pick the best people to work for him and he didn’t always support the best candidates. Not firing Dr. Fauci and not being more skeptical of vaccines were his biggest failure. We are still living with that failure today. I judge him by his actions. His rhetoric is often imprecise, but his actions are what I give him credit for. He had many significant accomplishments. I have a clear-eyed view of who he is, what he accomplished, what he did not, and what to expect from him. Most of his political adversaries do not have a clear-eyed view of him.

        2. People talk about the cult of Trump. It is true many people want a strong leader to follow. They want to be told what to do. This is human nature. Obama clearly had a cult of personality as well. Many followed him because they saw him as a great leader, but didn’t look critically at his lack of accomplishments and how he destroyed the Democrat majorities throughout 8 years. Many others look to religious leaders to lead them. This is a problem too. However, these problems are not unique to one side or the other. Trump is not a new phenomenon. Some people follow him blindly, but just as many as followed Obama blindly. Most I know have a clearer vision of Trump and are not mindless followers. This Trump “mindless follower” talking point has been played up by the Left and while there is some (limited) truth to it, it is nothing new or unusual, nor is it a problem of any more significance than in the past (with other politicians), nor does it play any factor in January 6.

        3. I didn’t pull percentages out of my hat. There were 80,000 or so who attended the rally. The overwhelming majority left after the speech. There was no organized coup attempt. Period. “Insurrection” is a lie of Trump’s political opponents. A few people were indeed arrested, but 99.75% were not arrested for anything serious. I looked at the numbers because people have “feelings” about the rabidity of the crowd. A very small fraction were a problem. Also, these people have been charged but not tried or allowed to speak freely. There appears to be something very odd in how those arrested have been treated.

        4. There were only a handful of problem people. That’s the point of the numerical analysis. I agree a few people can cause great havoc, but what happened here? The Capitol was cleared the same day, after a few hours. The debate and the vote in Congress took place as scheduled. Only one protestor, shot by a police officer, died. No government officials died. Few were injured. Yet, this was characterized as the greatest threat to our nation since our Civil War? Please. It doesn’t add up. In 2020, there were protests all around our country. 25 people died in protests. There was $2 billion in damage. The media characterized it as “mostly peaceful”, like maybe I beat my wife only once a month so what’s the problem? A group in Seattle took over several blocks of the city for a couple weeks and it was characterized as a “summer of love”. It was a disaster and problems abounded.

        There are blatantly obvious difference in the comparisons of the two protests, one being a protest the media supported and one they saw as an opportunity to pin on political opponents. The bias is so apparent to me, but not to those who aren’t paying attention.

        5. Trump did respond the same day. It took him 3 hours and 7 minutes to send a forceful message for everyone to disperse. He sent a few less clear but not problematic messages before then. I’ve been waiting for two years for Joe Biden to take action on any number of issues facing the American people. 187 minutes doesn’t seem so long when compared to Biden’s inaction the last two years.

        6. What oratory fired up these people? Trump said to “peacefully and patriotically protest” at the Capitol. This is the stuff insurrections are made of? Please.

        Have to run now. I will look at the other comments and fill in any gaps I missed.

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      10. I am in no hurry and tend to take my time in responding as well. These are rather casual conversations. Remember how long such a discussion could take before the internet?

        1. What exactly did Trump prlomise? That he would build a wall and that Mexico would pay for it? His relationship with media is curious. There is a very real problem with the media, that is commercial interrest sometimes takes over from journalism, but Trump never addressed it. On the contrary, he literally became the “dog being swagged by the tail” in relation to the most commercialist media you have. The commercial logic being to focus on confirming the prejudices and biases of the most prejudiced part of the grand population. Reagan? The demented actor, who won elections by refusing political debate rather appealing to simpletons by Lakonian one liners and blatantly lied about the Iran – Contra deal? That guy? I wonder why is it, that conspiracy theories about the government are so popular among the right wing voters, when such conspiracies are most often organized by right wing governments in the real world? Is it because they have become dissappointed to politics, but are unable to question their values, that led them to vote a self serving egotist (ready to arrange, or join conspiracies), because the values are such an integral part of their fragile identities?

        2 I must admit I was a bit disappointed in Obama, for not getting the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay a proper trial, or even a military tribunal and not being able to pull through a proper public healthcare system, like we have in every other Western countries. Those two issues are such stains of shame on your national flag. Trump does seem to be the kind of leader who relies and is not shamed by the support of groups, that are openly authoritarian. I for one would have to consider again, if I ever found myself backing the same political candidate, that the Neo-Nazies support. That said, I do not think the reference to him as a cult leader is either fair, or accurate, but neither is it pointed at everyone who voted for him. However, the fact that his complaints about the election fraud did not fall through in any of the courts, should tell his voters, that he lost and is petty enough to not own the fact. If that is not recognized, then the cult reference gets much more justified.

        3 & 6 My main point was, that the numbers you presented are somewhat arbitrary and irrelevant, because there were plenty of people who wanted to influence the political process through violence. 2000 entered Capitol building, many police officers were assaulted, Quite enough in number and on intent to correspond with the dictionary definition of an insurrection, if we agree on the Wikipedia figures. Wikipedia does not give an estimate on the total number at the rally, but estimates some 8000 moved towards the Capitol, so I would suppose there were not ten times the number present. At least, I would find it odd, had they dispersed right after his speech, in wich he urged people to march to the Capitol. Maybe they were not paying attention, like the 2000 who did not heed to his call about demonstrating “peacefully”. Altough, the way he said it, combined with the dogwhistle double talk prominent among his extremist supporters, the 2000 may have taken him as being sarcastic.

        4 A handfull of problem people could not have penetrated several police lines and entered the building. It takes a mass of people. Say 2000 – 8000.

        5 He sat on his hands for 3 hours and watched it live and did nothing. It is as if he was expecting something, that never happened. A piss-poor insurrection happened. I agree with you, if something more serious had happened, that would have made it possible for him to technically hold on to power, he would not have had the support of the US populace. Yet, even after all this many support his totally unfounded claim of a “stolen” election. Perhaps he was counting on the support of many. Enough to keep power, because he believes in positive thinking and is overtly competetive.

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      11. The media is a massive problem. They are the propaganda wing of the Democrat party. They are supposed to be a check on power, but they provide those in power with a pass. In fact, they allow corrupt politicians no accountability. The state of American politics today is absolutely deplorable. Trump confronted the media in the most effective way that any US president since Reagan has. It was one of the things that I really, really liked about Trump. He exposed them and so many others to that we could see who they really are.

        Reagan was one of the best American presidents ever. We’ll have to disagree on that. I was old enough to remember and I voted for him twice. He defeated the Soviet Union (along with Thatcher and John Paul). He had the most robust economy ever. He was extremely popular, an honest man, and an effective president.

        I will try to address more of your points later.

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      12. If you have trouble finding impartial news, try BBC, Deutche Welle, or some other foreign news source, not politically tied to one or the other party in your country. BBC in particular is world renowned of journalistic standards.

        You seek the truth, but truth is not impartial. Sometimes one side of an argument may hold the facts and thus have the objective view. Agreed? How to go about to find who has the most objective view? What values are actually worth holding on to? Right or wrong are not matters of opinion, they are determined by the results of our actions and inaction. Facts are determined by scientific method, or journalistic integrity and with better facts one can make better judgement. Values should be determined by this judgement, not simply assumed from our parents, or as social tradition, nor from our group identity, like as members of this or that nationality, religion, political party, or ideology. Can we agree on this?

        Reagan was popular, I’ll give you that. He was also a liar. He claimed, that no weapons were sold to Iran in echange for some hostages and that the USA would not negotiate with terrorists, when infact he had authorized the sale of hundreds of missiles to the Khomeini regime. He lied to his voters, his nation, your allies and the world. We may have a very different take on who should be called an “honest man”, or perhaps you did not know this? The world economy was on the rise during his precidency, due to a huge bubble in the stockmarket slowly brewing. He rode the waves, giving enormous tax cuts to the rich, while increasing government spending. Exactly how did he (Thatcher and the pope) defeat the Soviet Union? What ever gave you that impression? I was there and I can remember how it went down. It fell because authoritarian conservative leaders like Breznev did not let the society to renew. When Gorbatshov finally tried to make a difference, it was too late. People were tired of the lack of consumer goods, lack of democracy and opportunistic populist Yeltsin grabbed the power by pulling Russia out of the Union. As I remember it Reagan (Thatcher, or the pope) had very little to do with any of it. Reagan was an actor who played the part of president and even his own administration played him like a puppet, when they made big descisions about how to fund a bloody war in Central America by selling drugs to the USA and arms to Iran. Either that, or he was just a nother dirty politician braking dozens of laws and letting his underlings take the blame, or is there a third option?

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