Amid all the news about who is testifying before the January 6 committee and what documents it has obtained, I got distracted by the news that someone had to tape together official documents Donald Trump ripped up, before they handed them over to the National Archives. Patriotism! Also: funny. And: What an asshole!
But as the committee’s work continues, we keep learning maybe wonky details—including, yesterday, when The New York Times reported that the committee has papers from the Trump White House that include a “document containing presidential findings concerning the security of the 2020 election after it occurred and ordering various actions.”
That’s mind-numbing. It’s the Times version of fairness. Even though I’ve gotten used to it, I still wish the paper used a New York Post–style headline and font size.
Because what the paper is reporting is: This coup attempt was serious. We all heard the January 6 rioters yelling “hang Mike Pence” and “get Nancy [Pelosi],” but the details of Trump’s plans to seize voting machines in states, and specifically counties, where he lost are just as chilling.
I light up every time I hear the committee has subpoenaed various evildoers. It took me a while for me to get to this story.
As Representative Jamie Raskin, who sits on the committee, told the Times: “It’s hard to imagine a more outrageous federal assault on voting rights than a presidential seizure of voting machines without any action by Congress at all and no basis in law. That is the stuff of dictators and banana republics.”
Yes, it is.
It’s also the stuff of a crusade against China, which Trump forces were trying to insist weighed in against The Former Guy (TFG) and for President Joe Biden, though there’s absolutely no evidence to prove that, even remotely. And the voting machine company, Dominion, which they insisted was part of the plot, has sued many corrupt right-wing parrots, including Fox News.
Trump won’t be chastened by any of this news. On Saturday night, he boasted that if elected again, he will likely pardon anyone indicted for their behavior on January 6. Members of the committee called it “witness-tampering.”
“I think the question is more for my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, you know where—where are they?” Representative Pete Aguilar, a committee member, asked CNN. “Do they support this? When is enough enough?”
That wasn’t the most eloquent statement I’ve ever heard from a member of Congress. But Aguilar sounded appropriately horrified. “Horrified” is eloquent when we’ve lost our capacity to feel how bad things are at this point. Just speaking for myself: I’m not sure if it’s pandemic fatigue or Trump-era cruelty. But we have to stay as tuned in as possible, because Trump is still with us.