You wouldn’t know it from today’s corrupt corporate media headlines, but the man who was falsely accused of assaulting the late U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick on January 6 was only charged and pled guilty to two misdemeanor crimes on Wednesday afternoon.
The Department of Justice originally charged George Tanios, a sandwich shop owner in West Virginia, with “Assault on Federal Officer with Dangerous Weapon; Conspiracy to Injure an Officer; Civil Disorder and Obstructing or Impeding Any Official Proceeding; Physical violence on restricted grounds, while carrying dangerous weapon, and resulting in significant bodily injury; Violent entry and disorderly conduct, act of physical violence on Capitol Grounds,” after he was caught on camera at the Capitol riot in 2021.
After Tanios spent months in jail for reportedly hurting a police officer and a delayed trial, the DOJ drastically reduced those charges on Wednesday morning from 10 indictments, including some felonies, to just two misdemeanors: trespassing and disorderly conduct on restricted Capitol grounds. Both charges have nothing to do with injuring Capitol police.
Corporate media coverage of the dropped charges and Tanios’ subsequent plea, however, seemed to suggest that the man was still connected to the death of Sicknick by way of assault.
Other outlets such as the Washington Post, Reuters, and NBC News published headlines that deceptively omitted the fact that Tanios’s final charges were unrelated to Sicknick and his death.
“W.Va. man pleads guilty after being charged in Jan. 6 assault on Capitol police officer who died a day later of natural causes,” the Washington Post reported on Wednesday afternoon.
Tanios and his co-defendant Julian Khater were both arrested in March of 2021 after the FBI claimed to have identified them carrying and using the chemical spray against Capitol law enforcement including Sicknick in footage from the Capitol chaos.
“The officers were temporary blinded by the substance, were temporary disabled from performing their duties and needed medical attention and assistance from fellow officers,” the criminal complaint read. “They were initially treated with water in an effort to wash out the unknown substance from their eyes and on their face. All three officers were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray.”
As Julie Kelly, a senior writer at American Greatness reported, Khater and Tanios were wrongly accused of being cop killers and smeared by the press, the Biden administration, and others.
Recall that the Washington D.C. chief medical examiner found in April of 2021 that Sicknick died on Jan. 7 of natural causes after suffering two strokes. Yet, that didn’t stop the press and others including Capitol police from claiming that Sicknick’s death was Trump’s followers’ fault.
That dangerous and false narrative even kept Tanios from obtaining release from D.C. District Judge Thomas Hogan who still claimed that Tanios “attacked uniformed police officers.”
Ever since the Capitol riot, the corrupt press has intentionally muddied the waters around Jan. 6 and Sicknick’s death to deliver a certain political narrative.
The most egregious coverage of Sicknick’s death came from the New York Times, which claimed Sicknick was beaten to death with a fire extinguisher during the riot. This outrageous and unverifiable claim was later used by House Democrats in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. It also heavily informed coverage about Tanios, his arrest, and his subsequent trial.
As evidenced by coverage today, the corporate media still have a vengeance for Tanios and other J6 defendants, even those who were falsely accused of crimes they never committed.
Jordan Boyd is a staff writer at The Federalist and co-producer of The Federalist Radio Hour. Her work has also been featured in The Daily Wire and Fox News. Jordan graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @jordanboydtx.
Claim Trump “Lunged” For Steering Wheel on January 6 Discredited by Secret Service
“Bullsh*t” – Committee’s credibility suffers another massive blow.
Paul Joseph Watson
The January 6 Committee’s credibility has plummeted after claims by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson that President Trump “lunged” for the steering wheel of his vehicle and demanded to be taken to the site of the riots were contradicted by the lead Secret Service agent.
Hutchinson testified that Tony Ornato, the then-White House deputy chief of staff, told her that Trump said something like, “I’m the f-ing president, take me up to the Capitol now,” and had “reached up towards the front of the vehicle to grab at the steering wheel” before then using “his free hand to lunge towards Bobby Engel,” the the presidential driver.
“I’m the f’n president. Take me up to the Capitol now” — Hutchinson testifies that Trump GRABBED AT THE STEERING WHEEL of a car to try to force the secret service to take him to the Capitol pic.twitter.com/k84BMa4cnN
Despite the legacy media breathlessly reporting Hutchinson’s claims without much skepticism, the term ‘Amber Heard 2.0’ subsequently trended on Twitter as Hutchinson’s assertions were demolished.
Within hours, Peter Alexander of NBC News revealed that Engel was prepared to testify “under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.”
🚨 A source close to the Secret Service tells me both Bobby Engel, the lead agent, and the presidential limousine/SUV driver are prepared to testify under oath that neither man was assaulted and that Mr. Trump never lunged for the steering wheel.
Trump himself also asserted that the incident never happened.
Secret Service sources also reporter Julio Rosas that the story is “bullshit.”
A Secret Service source told me earlier: “FYI, I’m calling bullshit on the Secret Service story. You think none of us would have never heard of this as an internal rumor? No fucking way.” https://t.co/NqEoljvBeD
Hutchinson appears to be pursuing a personal vendetta against Trump because he “personally turned her request down” when she tried to get a job at Mar-a-Lago.
The corrupt J6 committee’s new SURPRISE WITNESS was so appalled by Trump and J6 that she…was planning to go work for Trump at his FL residence eight days *after* January 6 (article was published on January 14, 2021).
Hutchinson also apparently told another outright lie during her testimony when she claimed she had written a note of a statement for Trump to release on January 6.
The note was actually penned by Former Trump White House lawyer Eric Herschmann.
BREAKING: Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann says that it is not true that Cassidy Hutchinson wrote the handwritten note that she testified on Tuesday that she wrote. He says it’s not true because he was the one who wrote the note. https://t.co/jBBtnOwzTn
“The handwritten note that Cassidy Hutchinson testified was written by her was in fact written by Eric Herschmann on January 6, 2021,” a spokesperson for Herschmann told ABC News Tuesday evening.
It remains to be seen whether Hutchinson will face any consequences for apparently lying under oath, although the already dubious credibility of the January 6 Committee has taken a further massive blow.
“The January 6 committee clowned itself,” summarized Tim Young.
The Secret Service ultimately has to follow all of the President’s orders… So aside from the fact that it was physically/logistically impossible for Trump to try to wrestle the limo steering wheel away… he would’ve never needed to.
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If Americans believe the U.S. Department of Justice is creating a two-tier justice system in the United States, “the proper remedy is to vote people out of office, including the president,” said former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr to The Federalist Saturday.
Asked what he did as U.S. attorney general to remedy the politicized use of the U.S. Department of Justice, Barr responded he had pressure from both the left and right to weaponize that department for political ends, and “the response to that isn’t tit-for-tat, the way out of this is to ensure one standard is used for everybody.” Barr said Donald Trump supporters expressed unhappiness that he didn’t move faster to bring Democrats to trial such as in the Russia collusion hoax, but “I wasn’t willing to do that without substantial proof that the law had been breached.”
“That’s what I tried to do — use one standard equally for both sides,” Barr said.
If Americans believe, for example, the White House pressured the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate parents unhappy with their school boards and unequally applied justice to rioters on the right as compared to rioters on the left, the “American Framers believed the check on that is political,” Barr told The Federalist. That means electing a president whose attorney general will not preside over a corrupt and unequal administration of justice, he said, as well as more impartial local district attorneys and prosecutors.
When reminded that means at least another two years of watching the U.S. Justice Department under Biden use its powers to prosecute Americans based on their political beliefs instead of the law, Barr nodded and replied, “That’s how the system works.”
Another check on the unequal administration of justice is the courts, Barr said, whose responsibility is to reject cases that are brought on political rather than legal grounds.
Barr spoke to The Federalist in Chicago, Ill. after giving a speech to a packed Christian conference hosted by the Issues, Etc. radio program. His talk reprised and extended his remarks at Notre Dame University in 2019, in which he argued that U.S. public schools’ systematic indoctrination of children against their families’ religious beliefs amounts to an unconstitutional establishment of religion and requires the remedy of full school choice.
During his speech, Barr noted he rarely read or watched corporate media while serving as U.S. attorney general because allowing himself to be influenced by their pressure “would prevent me from making the decisions that I felt to be right.”
Barr also spoke to The Federalist about the U.S. Supreme Court’s revocation of Roe v. Wade in its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization issued Friday. He said the decision returns abortion to the voters of the states and that the states should therefore now assume the responsibility to legislate on the issue rather than leaving it to Congress.
Barr also condemned Congress taking onto itself prosecutorial powers in instances such as the Jan. 6 Commission as a violation of the American founders’ design for separation of powers between branches of government. He said the prosecutorial function is not a job for Congress, but of the executive branch, and that “oversight that’s too intrusive becomes Congress enacting a prosecutorial function.”
After his morning talk and a lunch, Barr, a practicing Roman Catholic, joined the sold-out audience largely stocked with confessional Lutherans in a vibrant hymn-sing inside the chapel of Concordia University-Chicago.
The Feds have stepped up their January 6 law enforcement activity as the Democrats’ partisan hearings continue, serving a search warrant on Nevada Republican chairman Michael McDonald and state party secretary James DeGraffenreid, as well as raiding Trump-era Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark’s home this week.
According to reports, agents obtained McDonald’s cell phone “reportedly as part of an investigation into the fake elector scheme initiated at the end of the 2020 presidential election,” according to 8 News Now. In 2020, six Nevada electors cast symbolic votes for Trump in the wake of the controversy over Biden’s victory, as the Democrat, according to official figures, won the state by less than three percent:
“A second search warrant was issued for state party secretary James DeGraffenreid, who also signed the document, but FBI agents could not locate him Wednesday, sources told Knapp,” according to the outlet.
The list does not end there, either. On Wednesday, agents also searched the home of Trump-era Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, who reportedly pushed letters to states to consider overturning their election results, urging them to investigate claims of voter fraud.
Clark’s place of employment, Center for Renewing America, affirmed the search, as Center for Renewing America President Russ Vought revealed that “more than a dozen DOJ law enforcement officials searched Jeff Clark’s house in a pre-dawn raid, put him in the streets in his pajamas, and took his electronic devices.”
“The new era of criminalizing politics is worsening in the US,” he said, later adding that the Clark is being targeted because he “saw fit to investigate voter fraud.”
“This is not America, folks,” Vought, who also served as the Office of Management and Budget director under former President Trump, said.
“The weaponization of government must end. Let me be very clear. We stand by Jeff and so must all patriots in this country,” he added:
BREAKING – Federal agents searched the Virginia home of former Trump-era Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark on Wednesday morning, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the activity. Story coming from me @alex_mallin@LukeLBarr@MLevineReports
Jeffrey Clark’s home in Virginia searched – former DOJ Environmental who aspired to be Trump’s Acting Attorney General to aid Trump in weaponizing DOJ to overturn 2020 election. Unclear whether a search warrant executed but reporting by NYT says it was federal authorities.
The Feds’ law enforcement activity comes as the Democrats’ partisan January 6 hearings continue. Famed conservative talker and author Mark Levin warned that it would “go down in history as a dark mark on the American political system.”
However, polls indicate that the committee’s investigation is not very popular among the American people, as less than ten percent say they are following the hearings “very closely,” according to an ABC News poll released this week. What is more, survey data shows that Americans trust Republicans more than Democrats to protect democracy.
The recent wave of law enforcement activity comes three weeks after Feds arrested former White House economic adviser Peter Navarro for contempt of Congress, refusing to cooperate with the January 6 committee. According to Navarro, authorities failed to read him his Miranda rights and also failed to provide him access to his attorney.
“The committee came at me with their full force,” Navarro toldBreitbart News Daily during an interview this month. “I’m in an untenable situation. I don’t have the power to waive the [executive] privilege. So, what did they do? This is the tragedy here in this country.”
“They colluded passively or explicitly with Joe Biden and the White House, who writes me a letter saying, ‘You don’t have immunity, and you’re not covered by privilege,’ meaning that Biden was effectively attempting to strip me of testimonial immunity and President Trump of his right to executive privilege,” he continued, referring to the committee as a “kangaroo court.”
On Monday’s broadcast of CBS’ “The Late Show,” host Stephen Colbert addressed the arrest of some of his staff by Capitol Police and said that “the Capitol Police were just doing their job. My staff was just doing their job.” And that his staff’s conduct “was first-degree puppetry. This was hijinks with intent to goof, misappropriation of an old Conan bit” and “just a puppet doing puppet stuff.” But “so much has changed in Washington that the Capitol Police do have to stay at high alert at all times because of the attack on January 6. And as the hearings prove more clearly every day, the blame for that actual insurrection all lies with Putin’s puppet.”
Colbert said, “Last week, I heard from my old colleague Triumph the Insult Comic Dog. Triumph offered to go down to D.C. and interview some congresspeople to highlight the January 6 hearings. I said, sure, if you can get anyone to agree to talk to you. … Well, he did. Democratic and Republican congresspeople agreed to talk to Triumph. … Now, Triumph and my folks shot for two days in congressional offices across the street from the Capitol Building. They went through security clearance, shot all day Wednesday, all day Thursday, invited into the offices of the congresspeople they were interviewing. … Now, end of day two, Thursday evening, after they’d finished their interviews, they were doing some last-minute puppetry and jokey make-em-ups in a hallway, when Triumph and my folks were approached and detained by the Capitol Police. Which actually isn’t that surprising, the Capitol Police are much more cautious than they were, say, 18 months ago, and for a very good reason. If you don’t know what that reason is, I know what news network you watch. So, the Capitol Police were just doing their job. My staff was just doing their job. Everyone was very professional. Everyone was very calm. My staffers were detained, processed, and released. A very unpleasant experience for my staff, a lot of paperwork for the Capitol Police, but a fairly simple story.”
He continued, “Until the next night, when a couple of the TV people started claiming that my puppet squad had, ‘committed insurrection‘ at the U.S. Capitol Building. First of all, what? Second of all, huh? Third of all, they weren’t in the Capitol Building. Fourth of all — and I am shocked I have to explain the difference — but an insurrection involves disrupting the lawful actions of Congress and howling for the blood of elected leaders, all to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. This was first-degree puppetry. This was hijinks with intent to goof, misappropriation of an old Conan bit. … Now, it’s predictable why these TV talkers are talking like this on the TV. They want to talk about something other than the January 6 hearings on the actual seditionist insurrection that led to the deaths of multiple people and the injury of over 140 police officers. But drawing any equivalence between rioters storming our Capitol to prevent the counting of electoral ballots and a cigar-chomping toy dog, is a shameful and grotesque insult to the memory of everyone who died and it obscenely trivializes the service and the courage the Capitol Police showed on that terrible day.”
Colbert concluded, “[I]n this case, our puppet was just a puppet doing puppet stuff. And, sad to say, so much has changed in Washington that the Capitol Police do have to stay at high alert at all times because of the attack on January 6. And as the hearings prove more clearly every day, the blame for that actual insurrection all lies with Putin’s puppet.”
JOHN DICKERSON (voice-over): President Eisenhower warned that, in managing national affairs, you can’t let urgent matters eclipse important ones.
The nation’s leaders faced a test of that theory this week. In the urgent category is inflation, up 8.6 percent compared to May a year ago, a 40-year high. In the important category, the House hearing about the attempted overthrow of the 2020 election.
Eisenhower’s advice was aimed at a truth. If you only attend to the urgent, important problems will become urgent soon enough, and you won’t be prepared.
Dickerson is a thoughtful broadcaster. His words are certainly more reasonable than what some of his peers were pushing. Matthew Dowd, who until recently was ABC News’ chief political analyst, repeatedlycompared people concerned about inflation to Nazis. But on this day, Dickerson’s analysis suffered from myriad problems.
Here’s one. While it is true that 8.6 percent inflation — a 40-year high — is not considered an existential threat to prominent broadcasters and others who make millions of dollars each year, the same can not be said of the average American voter. Their cost of living and what they’re able to afford with their disposable dollars is not just urgent but extremely important — far more important than a one-sided television production.
Gas is averaging more than $5 a gallon, the stock market has lost $11 trillion this year, and very few people think the economy is headed in the right direction. Elites have spent the last year telling Americans that the inflation will be transitory.
Again, people who have been making comfortable salaries for years on end, and who anticipate continuing to make that kind of money and have tons of cash on hand, understandably do not think inflation is “important,” just “urgent.” But for most Americans, being able to feed, clothe, shelter, and transport their family members is of vital importance. It is condescending and extreme to say otherwise.
Second, the January 6 riot was not unimportant, but its importance has been blown wildly out of proportion by Democrats and their compliant media mostly because it’s a vehicle to get rid of the politician they detest.
If Democrats in Congress actually worried about political violence, they would have opposed rather than vocally supported the violent Black Lives Matter riots that rocked the country for the entire summer of 2020. Those riots included serious and sustained attacks on the White House, federal courthouses, police precincts, small businesses, and private homes.
If Democrats in Congress actually worried about political violence being used to disrupt constitutional proceedings, they would have opposed, rather than coordinated, the disruptions of Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings. At that time, Democrats in the Senate invited and worked with left-wing groups to import activists to disrupt the confirmation interviews and even the hearings by getting arrested. These activists had their travel paid for and bail paid.
In this context, the incessant moralizing from the media and government aristocracy is offensive.
Third, the sudden opposition to election challenges appears to be ignorant of history or, worse, being done in bad faith. The last presidential election loss that Democrats fully accepted was President George H.W. Bush’s defeat of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis in 1988.
Following President George W. Bush’s victory in 2000, litigated all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, Democrats spent years saying he was “selected, not elected.” In 2004, many Democrats in Congress, including California Sen. Barbara Boxer, objected to certifying votes on January 7 on the grounds that Karl Rove controlled voting machines in Ohio to deliver Bush’s re-election victory.
Democrats have never held that such objections were tantamount to an insurrection. Neither should they.
Congress is one of the places Americans are allowed to express objections to the administration of elections. It isn’t even wrong to do so, much less criminal. And no counting of electoral college votes was as disputed as the 1876 election. Maladministration of that election led to chaos, disputed certifications, and violence. According to our Constitution, which provides rules and mechanisms for disputes, Congress was a proper venue to air such disputes in 1877 and it’s a proper venue today, contrary to what Rep. Liz Cheney and other Donald Trump-addled politicians are claiming.
But nothing compares to the widespread refusal of the establishment to fully accept Trump’s victory in 2016. Democrats ran a massive and coordinated operation to disseminate the lie that Trump colluded with Russia to steal that election.
They tried to get the Electoral College voters to become “faithless” to keep from voting for Trump. They disseminated a fake “dossier” of invented salacious information with the goal of possibly keeping Trump from being inaugurated.
On January 6, 2017, FBI Director James Comey ran an operation against Trump by briefing him on the fake allegations, the fact of that briefing soon being leaked to propaganda network CNN to fan the flames of a well-funded and extremely coordinated “resistance” to undermine the administration. One out of every three Democrat members of Congress refused to attend Trump’s inauguration on the grounds that his election was illegitimate.
On the day Trump was installed, the Washington Post published a call for his impeachment. The hoax campaign alleging Trump stole the election by colluding with Russia was allowed to operate without any scrutiny for years. And to this day, nearly no one has been held accountable for the damage wrought by that known lie.
The Russia collusion hoax was just one of many ways the aristocratic class in government and the media attempted to subvert the will of the people, and was just one of many reasons many Americans were skeptical of the 2020 election. They also knew that the media had invented other stories defaming Trump, while hiding true stories about the corruption of the Biden family business of selling access.
They knew that tech oligarchs had meddled in the election through censorship, deplatforming, and algorithmic game-playing. They knew that hundreds of laws and processes had been changed suddenly in the months prior to the November election to enable tens of millions of mail-in ballots to flood the system. More than anything, they were skeptical that Joe Biden, a twice-failed presidential contender who was too feeble to campaign and unable to articulate his thoughts, had truly won 81 million votes.
The establishment’s position is that the 2020 election, easily the strangest election in recent history, can not be questioned in any way, shape, or form. They claim that the infusion of $450 million in private funding by Mark Zuckerberg to take over election offices in the blue areas of swing states is of no concern. They say that it can’t be objected to even though the funding happened to pay overwhelmingly partisan dividends.
They are incurious about the fact that the same man who ran the Russia collusion hoax — Hillary Clinton’s general counsel Marc Elias — ran the coordinated effort to weaken election security in 2020. They don’t care that the tech and media environment is so corrupt that international election observers would sound the alarm if the election were in any other country.
The establishment said the election was pure, just as they promised that Biden was the most competent, moderate, and uniting presidential candidate. They look down upon the people who find it all fishy.
To summarize, the establishment’s position is that nothing can or should be done to hold anyone accountable for their republic-threatening Russia collusion hoax, but that the entire country must stop operating until every grandmother within a mile of the Capitol on January 6 is imprisoned. It’s obscene.
Last year, a Republican official in a state far from D.C. told me that voters there don’t care about the January 6 riot, and those who did probably had a very different view on it than the elites in D.C. did. That was true even before Biden and his Democrat Senate and Democrat House put the country in such a precarious position.
The only reason the establishment is pretending to view the Democrat-appointed January 6 committee as legitimate, much less important, is to cover up what a mess the 2020 election was and to get their nemesis out of politics. That’s why Americans outside the narrow confines of the media aristocracy find the Stalinist show trial neither urgent nor important. And they wish that leaders of the country would truly get working on things that are both.
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) appears to have used the January 6 committee as a political weapon against her primary opponent.
It is no secret that Liz Cheney’s political career as an establishment Republican took a nosedive into oblivion when she sided with the Democrats in their January 6 witch hunt. Since then, her primary opponent, Harriet Hageman, has been trouncing Cheney in the polls and now leads by a whopping 30 points. After a dismal first hearing for the January 6 committee that pulled in just 19 million viewers across the United States, Liz Cheney has now subpoenaed former Donald Trump campaign manager William Stepien, who also just so happens to be Hageman’s campaign adviser.
The day after a poll was released showing @Liz_Cheney getting destroyed by Trump-endorsed @HagemanforWY, the committee just happened to subpoena Stepien, who is running Harriet’s campaign. This circus is beyond an embarrassment and will forever stain the integrity of congress. https://t.co/w8NCe4Jvdp
According to the Hill, Stepien appeared before the committee last November and was a primary mover in former President Trump’s “Stop the Steal” campaign:
Stepien reportedly “supervised the conversion” within Trump’s campaign around “Stop the Steal” messaging and associated fundraising, the committee said at the time of his subpoena.
That messaging “included the promotion of certain false claims related to voting machines despite an internal campaign memo in which campaign staff determined such claims were false,” the committee added.
Former President Trump held a rally for Hageman in late May where he referred to Cheney as a “backstabbing” RINO.
“Worse than the terrible Democrats are the backstabbing RINO Republicans that are helping them do their act,” Trump said. “And there is no RINO in America who has thrown in her lot with the radical left more than Liz Cheney.”
Trump further described Cheney as a “lapdog for Pelosi and a human soundbite machine for CNN and MSDNC.”
“She has gone crazy,” the former president said. “Now I get it. I’ve been hearing these stories for years. Now I get it. She’s gone totally crazy.”
Unless Liz Cheney and the committee unveil a bombshell surprise during the next hearing, it is unlikely the Stepien subpoena will have any effect on her primary campaign against Hageman, given that few Americans are tuning in for the broadcast. Some Democrats in vulnerable districts have expressed skepticism behind closed doors, according to a recent report from Axios.
“I think they’re incredibly important, but I wouldn’t call them pivotal to the election,” Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) said of the hearings.
One anonymous Democrat in a swing district simply said, “No,” when asked if January 6 should be an election issue, although the Democrat hoped the hearings would provide “a lot of powerful information” or a “holy shit” moment.
Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) noted Americans’ broad disinterest in Democrats’ hyping of the events on January 6, 2021, on Friday’s edition of the Breitbart News Daily podcast with host Alex Marlow.
Stafnik observed the political and media classes’ focus on Thursday’s primetime production of the House’s select committee hearing ostensibly investigating what it describes as “the January 6th attack on the United States Capitol.” She said Americans, meanswhile, are concerned with increasingly dire economic circumstances wrought by left-wing and partisan Democrat government pursuits.
“While there may be a lot of coverage in the Beltway [and] in Washington, D.C., among media elites, the American people don’t really care when they can’t afford their grocery bills, when they can’t afford to fill up their cars with gas, because the price of gas has doubled, [and] when we potentially are facing food shortages.”
Democrat and left-wing media hype of nonsense amounts to a “distraction” from harms they inflict on Americans, Stefanik held.
She remarked, “As much as Democrats and the mainstream media may desperately try, I still think that the American people want focus [and] … a primetime hearing on inflation. They want a primetime hearing on, ‘Why are gas prices so high, and how do we lower them?’”
“Democrats are never going to give them that,” she added. “So this is a distraction.”
Democrats’ concentration on irrelevant matters such as the events of January 6, 2021 and the “Russia hoax” provide an opportunity to Republicans to address substantive matters, Stefanik determined.
“Our laser focus [as Republicans] has to be on the issues and the crises that are impacting people day-to-day,” she stated, “reining in the spending that has caused inflation under this administration, [and] making sure that we secure the border. Inflation just hit another 40-year high with consumer prices surging 8.6 percent [in May]. … That list is long, and we intend to bring as much focus as possible.”
Stefanik warned Republicans against using news media narratives as proxies for public opinion. She highlighted growing American distrust of journalism as reflective of the industry’s disconnection from a society it purports to explain and understand. Republicans seeking to understand the Americans they intend represent must avoid the distorting filter of news media, she advised.
She said, “Democrats are very obsessed with the media coverage in Washington, D.C., and the media elites,” urging Republicans to remember that America “is a big country, and voters across the country aren’t tuning into the media elites, because there’s such a historically low distrust in media. We need to get out and around America — mainstream America — and highlight these issues.”
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:
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:
It’s pretty simple: We have a right to choose our own leaders. We can’t let anyone take that right away from us.
The people involved in the criminal conspiracy to overturn the will of America’s voters—which culminated in the attempted coup of January 6—must be held accountable.
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:
1/ Here’s what came next in my testimony, which Liz Cheney failed to play:
Q: Okay. And what was the President’s reaction then when Matt said to him, “Hey, we’ve looked at the numbers, you’re going to lose”? A: I think it’s safe to say he disagreed with Matt’s analysis.
2/ Q: On what basis? Did he give a basis? A: He believed that Matt was not looking at the prospect of legal challenges going our way and that Matt was looking at purely from what those numbers were showing as opposed to broader things to include legality and election integrity…
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:
Chuck Todd really, really just said: “In some ways this is the third impeachment hearing.”
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.
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:
Now they’re just running POLITICAL COMMERCIALS. I mean, putting Trump’s voice over this video —it’s FAKE. It’s HOLLYWOOD. LUDICROUS pic.twitter.com/Qaj4dhGJ7y
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:
Poll: Harriet Hageman ‘Overwhelming Favorite’ to Oust Liz Cheney, Up 28 Points: @Fabrizio_Lee
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:
I watched the first twenty minutes of this January 6th hearing. It might be the most boring TV show opening in American history. And nothing is new here, they’ve leaked all this for months. Gas is $5 a gallon & inflation is at a forty year high. This is woefully out of touch.
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.
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:
WATCH: Attorney General Barr declares that Donald Trump lost the Presidential election in 2020.
There is no doubt that the American people voted Trump out of office and the Select Committee has found no evidence of election fraud. pic.twitter.com/qa5qNyMXqS
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:
Wait a minute. What about blowing the roof off? From WP: ‘Committee aides sought to temper expectations of any shocking revelations during Thursday’s hearing and instead framed the session as an opening argument.’ https://t.co/xrNwdsnUKWpic.twitter.com/v0YVFlCrrr
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.