Leave it to Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume; he’s one of the last journalists left on cable news who doesn’t have a political ax to grind, and who genuinely retains a healthy skepticism of all politicians. Hume was a guest on Tucker Carlson Tonight after the first session of public testimony for the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack this past week. When asked what he thought of the proceedings, he reflected, “If this [the Capitol riots] were covered, Tucker, the way the riots of last summer were covered it would be described as ‘mostly peaceful.’”
Make no mistake: this so-called investigation will be a completely partisan experience.
He added that some of the rioters were certainly not peaceful, which was a “nightmare experience” for Capitol Police officers, “But there’s certainly a disparity between the way that this event’s been covered and the way it’s been responded to politically and the way the more serious rioting of last summer with more deaths to show for it have been treated.” The riots Him is referring to here, of course, were the Black Lives Matter/Antifa riots, which began during the summer of 2020 and continued into 2021, and were far from peaceful: police officers were injured, federal buildings were torched, and stores looted. But the Democratic “Resistance,” awash in the glow of their war on “Domestic Terrorism,” only have eyes for Trump supporters.
The January 6th special committee was established by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to investigate why the Capitol Riot occurred and to establish whether the mob that allegedly staged an “insurrection” represents a clear and present threat to American democracy. In theory, this committee is supposed to be based on the one established in November 2002 to investigate the 9/11 terrorist attack—the assumption being that there is some shared similarity between the two events, which is a hard concession to make by anyone not strangled by Democratic talking points.
Pelosi appointed nine members, seven Democrats, and two Republicans, to carry out the investigation, with Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) to serve as committee chair. There are some familiar faces present as well, including Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who presided over the first impeachment of former President Donald Trump, and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MA), who led the second impeachment proceedings in the House. Also making an appearance is notorious the NeverTrumper and establishment Republican Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), who, along with Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, was one of two Republicans to vote in favor of establishing a select committee to investigate the so-called “insurrection.” (Cheney, if you recall, is famous for turning on former President Trump following the riot, claiming, “There is no question that the President formed the mob. The President incited the mob, the President addressed the mob. This is what America is not.”)
In mid-July, Pelosi rejected two of the five Republican representatives nominated to the committee by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), alleging that the “statements and actions” made by Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio would compromise the “integrity of the investigation.” This prompted McCarthy to essentially boycott the committee and left Pelosi with the option of appointing Republicans-friendly to the cause to the committee. (She appointed Kinzinger—also a vocal critic of Trump and one of 10 House Republicans to vote for his second impeachment.)
“Speaker Pelosi has taken the unprecedented step of denying the minority party’s picks for the select committee on January 6th. This represents something that has not happened in the House before for a select committee, by the historian,” McCarthy told a news conference. “It’s an egregious abuse of power. Pelosi has broken this institution. Denying the voice of members who have served in the military.”
Make no mistake: this so-called investigation will be a completely partisan experience. This committee, like the two impeachment proceedings before it, is designed to play out the latest Democratic election strategy. There are two objectives in mind: further discrediting former President Donald Trump and anyone who voted for him, and, more importantly, cleansing the Democratic Party’s weak on crime image given its alignment all last year with radical demands to defund the police.
FROM DEFUND THE POLICE TO ENTHUSIASTICALLY FUNDING THE CAPITOL POLICE
The January 6th special committee represents a curious and unequal application of law: it is entirely unclear why this highly unsuccessful riot was any more dangerous to American society than those that had filled the streets for all of 2020. But for some reason, the Democrats in Congress never clamored for an investigation into those riots and all the crime that accompanied it. Similarly, Rep. Schiff did see fit to make a camera appearance and cry about the destruction and loss that devastated American storefronts and ravaged American cities thanks to the activism of Black Lives Matter and Antifa—something he did last week as a member of the January 6th committee.
Nobody on Pelosi’s special committee saw fit to ask why Pelosi’s police force wasn’t ready for the riot or why they didn’t seem to be as well-armed as their opponents that day…
Last year, in the height of all the chaos, Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) went as far as to claim that Antifa was “a myth,” and couldn’t be held responsible for any urban violence. But the mob behind the January 6th Capitol riot was all-too real for the Democrats, who seized upon the event immediately to suggest that an “insurrection” had taken place, one that Donald Trump and his supporters engineered. Overnight, popular conservatives went from being their political opposition to domestic terrorists. The events of January 6th became an opportunity to not only demonize Republicans, but to impeach Trump all over again, this time for allegedly goading on his followers to seize the Capitol and the government itself. Pelosi’s special committee continues that mission.
All of last year, through the violence, the progressive wing of the Democratic Party has been touting its “defund the police” policy. In some places, like Minneapolis, where so much of the rioting began, these radical demands were met: in December 2020, the city council voted to move $1.1 million in funding for the police department toward other safety and health services. As expected, there’s been a massive spike in crime in all major American cities—what law enforcement experts are calling the “Minneapolis effect.” If there was ever any significant public support for the idea of “defunding the police,” reality has eroded it.
Although it is true that President “Super-Predators” Joe Biden himself has not been an enthusiastic advocate of the defunding movement, he hasn’t condemned those within his party who continue to support it. The President has also stood by the party platform about “reimagining” the police (what’s clearly code for cutting police budgets). Regardless of “Crime Bill” Joe’s personal convictions, however, the results are the same: the Democrats have been left holding a very undesirable criminal justice bag that could spell disaster for them in the 2022 midterm elections.
But there are two police forces that the Democrats—almost to a man or woman—can support: the Capitol Police and Metropolitan Police Department. In other words, those who responded to the January 6th riot, and have now become symbols of the New Democratic Order—the 9/11 Firemen of our Age, an Age that excludes Trump supporters and conservatives from mainstream America. And just like that, Democrats have begun rehabilitating their funding-crime-through-defunding-police image.
There is no doubt that the police officers who faced off with the Capitol rioters endured unacceptable abuse and suffered injury. However, it has to be asked why those officers were so outnumbered and unprepared for the mob. The Capitol Police just received another $88 million, giving them an annual budget of $604 million. Even without the additional funding, the force was funded with more money than the police budget of Baltimore, and the Capitol Police are only responsible for the lawmakers and staffers. But nobody on Pelosi’s special committee saw fit to ask why Pelosi’s police force wasn’t ready for the riot or why they didn’t seem to be as well-armed as their opponents that day. That’s probably because Pelosi has ensured this committee only talks about the issues she wants to have discussed.
“TERRORISTS” NOT “TOURISTS”
The special committee met for the first time on Tuesday, July 27th, 2021. It heard public testimony from four witnesses: Private First Class Harry Dunn and Sergeant Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police, and Officers Michael Fanone and Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police Department. The committee has not issued an agenda of planned meetings, and is now considering whether it wants to subpoena lawmakers.
There would seem to be more than a hint of presumption in Dunn’s attitude.
Private First Class Harry Dunn of the Capitol Police probably said more than he realized or intended to when he addressed the politics of the committee. His testimony revealed the partisan bias of the proceedings wasn’t limited to lawmakers alone: “There’s been a sentiment that’s going around that says everybody’s trying to make January 6th political. Well, it’s not a secret that it was political. They literally were there to Stop The Steal. So when people say it shouldn’t be political, it is. It was, and it is. There’s no getting around that. Telling the truth shouldn’t be hard,” he said.
As if to quell any doubt, Dunn recalled an incident in which he first confronted the Trump supporters by telling them—and all of America that was now listening to his testimony—that he had voted for Joe Biden.
More and more insurrectionists were pouring into the area by the Speaker’s Lobby near the Rotunda, and some wearing MAGA hats and shirts that said, ‘Trump 2020.’ I told them to just leave the Capitol, and in response they yelled, ‘No, man, this is our house. President Trump invited us here. We’re here to stop the steal. Joe Biden is not the president. Nobody voted for Joe Biden.’ I’m a law enforcement officer, and I do my best to keep politics out of my job, but in this circumstance I responded, ‘Well, I voted for Joe Biden. Does my vote not count? Am I nobody?’
Still, he conceded, she was encouraged by the composition of the committee, in particular the fact that it included Republicans. (He made no mention that the two Republicans on the committee, Cheney and Kinzinger, were dubbed “Pelosi Republicans” by Minority Leader MCarthy or that three Republican Pelosi critics had been dumped from the committee.)
Whether we disagree with how they vote on a bill about infrastructure, everybody wants the right thing, people to do okay. So that’s why I’m glad to see this committee composed of Republican members also. So that’s encouraging. It’s encouraging. So that’s the side of America that I say, yes, this is America. This is the side that I like, and the side that I acknowledge.
What was even more alarming about Dunn’s testimony, however, was how willing he was to go from being a mere officer enforcing the law to one qualified enough to suggest that a political crime had been committed—potentially by the former President.
[I]n the academy, we learn about time, place and circumstance in investigating potential crimes, and those who may have committed them. And so the time, the place and the circumstances of that rally, that rhetoric and those events to me leads in the direction of our President and other members, not only of Congress and the Senate, but that is what I’m looking for, is an investigation into those actions and activities, which may have resulted in the events of January 6th. And also whether or not there was collaboration between those members, their staff, and these terrorists.
There would seem to be more than a hint of presumption in Dunn’s attitude. It was an attitude shared by Officer Daniel Hodges of the Metropolitan Police Force, who explained why he referred to the rioters as “terrorists” and not “tourists,” since many in the mob came to Washington from out of town. He seemed to be extremely ready to answer that question, almost as if he knew it was coming.
Well, if that’s what American tourists are like, I can see why foreign countries don’t like American tourists. But I can see why someone would take issue with the title of terrorist. It’s gained a lot of notoriety in our vocabulary in the past few decades. And we like to believe that, no, that couldn’t happen here, no domestic terrorism, no homegrown threats, but I came prepared. U.S. code, title 18, part one, chapter 113B as in brown, section 2331. The term domestic terrorism means activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State and B, appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population or to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States. [emphasis mine]
Hodges did not miss an opportunity to define the January 6th episode as a terrorist attack:
The terrorists alternated between attempting to break our defenses, and shouting at or attempting to convert us. Men alleging to be veterans told us how they had fought for this country and were fighting for it again. One man tried to start a chant of, ‘Four more years.’ Another shouted, ‘Do not attack us. We’re not Black Lives Matter,’ as if political affiliation is how we determine when to use force. [emphasis mine]
The officer even attempted to suggest that evangelical Christianity, not just MAGA conservatism, was instrumental to the riot—“terrorist attack,” rather. “The sea of people was punctuated throughout by flags, mostly variations of American flags and Trump flags,” he said, “It was clear the terrorists perceived themselves to be Christians. I saw the Christian flag directly to my front. Another read, ‘Jesus is my savior. Trump is my president.’ Another, ‘Jesus is king.’”
But were the people in this mob representative of Trump supporters, and should the actions of a disorganized and clearly incompetent mob be used to define the populist movement of Donald Trump? Clearly, this was a mob, not a movement. As badly as the police were prepared for this incident, it clearly had no chance of succeeding—if, in fact, the mob even dreamed of staging a coup d’etat.
These questions seemed outside the purview of the officers who gave testimony last week, however. They were only there to ensure that the Democratic Party, after so many of its members have advocated defunding the police, can appear to the defenders of law and order.
POLITICAL THEATER AT ITS FINEST
Remember when New York City was in the midst of a crime wave, and the municipal government cut funding for the NYPD by $1 billion—an amount that still wasn’t satisfactory for Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who said, in her inimitable way, “defunding police means defunding police.”
How do Republican leaders respond to the committee’s testimony and findings without appearing to be anti-police or somehow vaguely approving of insurrection?
And recall how incredibly oblivious Democratic politicians have been to the violence going on in their own jurisdictions. It is one thing to naively believe that defunding the police is somehow going to facilitate greater justice; it is another to insist that what was happening in Portland and elsewhere was peaceful protesting. But that is exactly what these pitiful excuses for leaders were saying. Listen to the words of Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), representing the crater that used to be Portland, who said on July 21st, 2020, that “Portland, Oregon is not out of control” during a speech on the House floor—even as the smoke still rose from fires set by rioters in that supposedly in control city.
Last year, while all this so-called peaceful protesting was going on, President Trump made his position clear, Tweeting “LAW & ORDER!!!” Leftist commentators jumped on this, telling themselves “a grim story about race and justice in American politics. Beth Schwartzapfel, writing for The Marshall Project, called it a “dog whistle,” one used by anti-Civil Rights racists in the past:
[O]pponents of the Civil Rights Act, stymied by the act’s passage, looked for another way to oppose Black civil rights without saying so … It was no longer socially permissible for polite White people to say they opposed equal rights for Black Americans. Instead, they began ‘talking about the urban uprisings—Blacks’ response to political and economic exploitation—they start attaching it to street crime, to ordinary lawlessness,’ says Vesla Weaver, a political scientist at Johns Hopkins University.
Now, Democrats, once clad in kente cloth, are clamoring for “Law and Order!!!”
How do Republicans respond to this committee, now that they have no real representation on it? A committee that will no doubt find that Donald Trump incited an insurrectionist mob and that Trump supporters are therefore a domestic terrorist threat. How do Republican leaders respond to the committee’s testimony and findings without appearing to be anti-police or somehow vaguely approving of insurrection?
Frame it how you will, but the Democrats have succeeded yet again in staging a massive distraction to the disaster the Biden administration continues to build, brick by brick. While trillions of dollars of government spending are both fueling inflation and building a welfare mentality among Americans, Americans remain focused on a riot from January that should require no investigation to begin with. It was simply disorganized hooliganism that never posed a serious threat to American democracy or the peaceful transfer of power. Conversely, the riots that began in 2020 and have resulted in escalating crime in America’s cities have been linked to Black Lives Matter and Antifa. These are real organizations with a history of violence and mayhem. The mob that attacked the Capitol was a one-day affair without organization or leadership—unless you want to make the ludicrous claim (which the Democrats very much do) that Donald Trump leads these people.
The waters will continue to rise as the Biden administration threatens electoral integrity and continues to exacerbate the border crisis, but Democrats can at least hope that voters forget the “defund the police” rhetoric, or at least dismiss it as the call of an isolated few among the party’s progressive extremists who dominate social media. And maybe those voters will return enough Democrats to Congress in order for them to retain control of both houses.
But perhaps, just perhaps, enough people will see through the political mechanics here, and see this January 6 study group for what it is: an agent of the Democratic National Committee.