According to the Politico story, in addition to documents from agencies, the National Archives and Records Administration has identified “two separate tranches of Trump White House documents “ that have been forwarded to President Biden for review. It’s unclear if these are the same documents discussed in The Washington Post piece. However, there is clearly a high degree of concern around the documents, and Biden is said to be planning to “err on the side of disclosure” considering the importance of the information.
Trump is, of course, threatening to cite “executive privilege” to stop this information from reaching the Select Committee. However, as committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin makes apparent, executive privilege is “... not really relevant because there’s no president involved—there’s no such thing as a former president’s executive privilege,”
But the goal of any obstructions thrown up by Trump, subjects of the document requests, or outside agencies doesn’t have to be any sort of win in court. The real goal is simply to delay.
During his time in office, Trump was the master of keeping a gag on the mouths of his staff. Democrats attempting to get at the truth of any situation—whether Trump’s involvement with Jan. 6 or his attempt to strongarm Ukraine into delivering up false claims about Biden—found that Trump officials routinely refused to appear, and even when these officials were taken to court, the process was slow and subject to apparently endless appeals.
With the 2022 midterm elections coming up in just over a year, every member of the House Select Committee is well aware of one thing: If Republicans gain even a one-vote majority in the House, there will be no further investigation of events around Jan. 6. It’s just as certain that Republicans would launch a revisionist scheme in which everyone who questioned the idea of Jan. 6 as a “peaceful” visit from “ordinary tourists” was subject to investigation.
If there is going to be any truth and justice delivered around the events of Jan. 6, that truth has to come out fast. Thompson has indicated a goal of completing the investigation by the spring of 2022, but this goal represents moving with extraordinary alacrity, especially when considering the number of potential witnesses and the scope of the information to be reviewed. Getting a complete picture of Jan. 6 can’t begin and end on that day. It has to include Trump’s plan, going back to months before the election, to weaken America’s faith in election integrity. It has to include the mobilization of white supremacists militias, both on Jan. 6 and during a whole series of earlier assaults on state capitols. It has to include the attempts to use the DOJ to overturn the election results even before the Jan. 6 role call. It has to include what actions were taken at the Pentagon, where Michael Flynn’s brother appears to have been hands-on in limiting the effectiveness of the National Guard.
And, of course, it has to include Republicans like Rep. Mo Brooks and Rep. Lauren Boebert, who are suspected of being involved in the planning of Jan. 6. It also has to cover the conversations of those like Rep. Matt Gaetz and Republican leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy who spoke with Trump during the violent insurgency.
Getting everything done in time won’t require moving fast—it’ll need hyperspeed. Hopefully, those engines are about to engage.
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