With the 24-hour news cycle bombarding us with a constant stream of breaking news, posts and tweets, it’s becoming more and more common to miss an important story because of all the noise. A glowing example of this occurred recently when the Justice Department returned an indictment of 11 individuals for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S Capitol.
As the illegitimate Jan. 6 committee in U.S. House — in coordination with the biased mainstream media – searches for its latest phony narrative about what the Trump White House might have known about the events of Jan. 6 ahead of time, some inconvenient facts have come out. It appears as if the parallel criminal investigation at DOJ threw a bucket of cold water on Congress’ latest political witch hunt of former President Donald Trump.
Buried on page 22 of the indictment, critically important information was disclosed to the public that should have garnered “above the fold” placement in the news as well as ample network coverage on television. In fact, I would wager to say that if it were establishment Democrats being investigated, evidence such as this would have exploded into a media-feeding frenzy in real time.
As the allegations are laid out against Stewart Rhodes, a leader of the Oath Keepers and others, the indictment states: “Just before 1:30 p.m. on the Leadership Intel Chat, in response to a claim by an Oath Keepers affiliate that Antifa had breached the Capitol, RHODES replied, ‘Nope. I’m right here. These are Patriots.’ RHODES then messaged the Leadership Signal Chat, ‘Pence is doing nothing. As I predicted.’ RHODES added, ‘All I see Trump doing is complaining. I see no intent by him to do anything. So the patriots are taking it into their own hands. They’ve had enough.’”
This is a previously undisclosed contemporaneous electronic message sent from someone the government is alleging to have had a leadership role in the planning leading up to Jan. 6 stating matter of fact as the day unfolded that Mr. Trump was not involved. You seldom see a perfectly worded piece of exculpatory evidence in an episode of “Law and Order” much less in real life, but here we are.
So, it’s worth finding out if the Jan. 6 committee is in possession of this piece of evidence and if so, when it was received. The American people have a right to know if this sham committee is sitting on evidence that goes against the political ax they’re trying to grind. This goes directly to the reason why legitimate congressional fact-finding committees must have valid minority representation and minority rights. Usually, when a legal committee with an actual majority and minority receives a document production, a copy of the entire production is forwarded to the minority staff immediately.
Historically, if a committee’s minority received a record such as this in a trove of documents, it would find its way into the public domain because it helps defeat the political narrative the majority is attempting to cobble together. Just as the all-powerful Democrat majority on the Jan. 6 committee is selectively leaking — and editing — text messages they think will further their story, the minority should be able to make its case as well.
But this isn’t possible with the one-sided, un-American Thompson-Cheney “star chamber” because it’s not a legitimate exercise reinforced by the will of the people, the rules of the House and congressional precedent.
This is just one of the reasons why the process that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has concocted with Committee Chair Bennie Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney for their inquisition is broken beyond repair. First of all, the Jan. 6 committee is operating more like a secret wannabe grand jury than a transparent legislative proceeding.
This ultra-partisan committee should report to the House Administration Committee about how it’s spending the American people’s hard-earned money without delay. Secondly, depositions are being held without minority staff or minority counsel present. Witness after witness is being hauled in to answer questions without being afforded a full spectrum of constitutional rights.
Lastly, if this committee truly had an operating minority, when will that minority have the opportunity to issue its own subpoenas? With the abusive majority refusing to issue a records request to Mrs. Pelosi’s office for documents relating to the lack of security at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, this is a question that must not be allowed to go unanswered.
A mainstream media interested in the unvarnished truth about what happened on Jan. 6 would be putting pressure on the Democrats to make this abundantly reasonable request move forward.
The Jan. 6 committee has been abusing its deposition power, its subpoena power and its contempt power for six months — with nothing to show for it. Instead of wasting more taxpayer dollars, resources and time on yet another Trump-deranged witch hunt, Democrats in Congress — along with RINO Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger — should be doing their jobs and working to address the COVID-19 crisis, border crisis, inflation crisis, crime crisis and supply chain crisis before it’s too late.
• David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United, and he served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President.