The liberty principle for this Freedom Friday concerns the importance of a free and non-political media to maintaining freedom and liberty. Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, aided by two anti-Trump Republicans, have presented nine primetime investigative hearings about the January 6 breach of the U.S. Capitol Building. They are uninterested in getting to the truth because they are not asking the essential questions that would uncover the truth.
John Solomon at Just the News suggested that one of those essential questions should be: “If Donald Trump wanted to incite violence that fateful day, as his critics suggest, then why did he order the Pentagon to have a large military force ready to quell a disturbance?” Another essential question is: “Why did a Democrat-led Congress turn down the assistance of pop National Guard troops in the face of intelligence warnings about violence?” I suggest that a third essential question is: “What did Nancy Pelosi know and when did she know it?”
In his article, Solomon outlined several ways that the Democrats try to evade such scrutiny. They put questions about what Pelosi knew and when she knew it off limits. They never called Secret Service agents to publicly testify about Cassidy Hutchinson’s story about Trump assaulting an agent in an attempt to get to the Capitol. Democrats use hearsay testimony from Hutchinson and snippets of testimony, but they do not allow any cross-examination of witnesses or challenges.
Legal experts, such as Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, question the procedures. Democrat Dershowitz voted for Joe Biden in 2020 but declared the process of using hearsay testimony to be unethical, unfair, and bad lawyering. According to Dershowitz, the committee shows that they are being “partisan zealots” rather than truth-seekers.
Dershowitz was joined in his condemnation by former career federal prosecutor David Sullivan. According to John Sullivan, David Sullivan believes that the entire accountability process for January 6 – at both the Justice Department and the congressional hearings – raised questions about fairness. He called the interrogations “very scripted” and gave viewers reasons to tune out. Contrary evidence and true cross-examination would have given Democrats “more credibility and traction.” “Legal scholars are very troubled by the way these hearings are being conducted…. There is no due process. For people who don’t have an agenda to promote, these [hearings] are Stalinist. And I hate using that term.”
John Solomon continued his article by explaining that the hearings were undercut by facts. He wrote, “Trump’s actions before the riot began included urging supporters to ‘peacefully and patriotically’ express their opinions and ordering his top aides to ensure there was a large contingent of National Guard troops at the ready to ensure no trouble ensued.”
Solomon reported that a timeline from Capitol Police shows that “the Trump Pentagon first offered National Guard troops to the Capitol Police on Jan. 2, 2021, four full days before the event. First turning down the offer, the police had second thoughts and went to “their political minders – the House sergeant at arms chief among them – for permission to accept the troops on Jan. 4.” They were turned down with the excuse that military personnel would create bad “optics.”
Even more compelling evidence comes from a lengthy memo written by the Pentagon inspector general. According to Solomon, his memo “chronicled the assistance the Defense Department offered Congress both ahead of and during the riot.”
In it, the IG recounts a fateful meeting on Jan. 3, 2021, in the White House when then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met with Trump on national security matters.
The complete passage – hardly mentioned by Democrats at the hearings or the news media covering them – is worth absorbing in its entirety.
“Mr. Miller and GEN Milley met with the President at the White House at 5:30 p.m.,” the IG reported. “The primary topic they discussed was unrelated to the scheduled rally. GEN Milley told us that at the end of the meeting, the President told Mr. Miller that there would be a large number of protestors on January 6, 2021, and Mr. Miller should ensure sufficient National Guard or Soldiers would be there to make sure it was a safe event. Gen Milley told us that Mr. Miller responded, ‘We’ve got a plan and we’ve got it covered.’”
Report No. DODIG-2022-039: Review of the DOD's Role, Responsibilities, and Actions to Prepare for and Respond to the Protest and Its Aftermath at the U.S. Capitol Campus on January 6, 2021 (justthenews.com)
In advance of the Jan. 6 rally, the president told the most senior civilian and uniformed leaders of the military he knew the event was going to draw a “large number of protestors,” and he instructed the secretary of defense to ensure it was “safe” by having troops available. Democrats have not offered any evidence to counter that story.
Sullivan continued by stating that the Pentagon memo yielded other information: “insight into the mindset of the Democrat-led Congress, top military officials and the local police before Jan. 6. It revealed that those key players “repeatedly raised concerns about accepting the offer of National Guard help, fearing it would create the perception of a military coup or martial law as the election results were certified.”
As an example, Sullivan quoted Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy as telling the IG that “he did not want to create the perception that the military was involved in the electoral process…. He said that Mr. Miller made it clear that the military would not be involved in certifying the election results and that 10 different news agencies asked him about military use and martial law.”
According to Sullivan, the memo states that District of Columbia Police Chief Robert Contee also opposed having the military present, but he had a different reason. “Chief Contee explained to us that he did not want other Federal law enforcement involved on January 6, 2021, because of the risk associated with having unidentified Federal officers carrying weapons within D.C.”
Even as key security officials were against deploying the National Guard troops for fear of bad “optics,” the FBI, the Marshal’s Service, and the Homeland Security Department were sending to the police “raw intelligence warning of possible violence,” according to a recent report by Just the News.
The intelligence reports began more than two weeks before the riot. They “flagged online chatter about waging a ‘bloody war,’ using nerve gas, concealing guns, and burning down the Supreme Court and specifically flagged two groups for possible trouble, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.”
Capitol Police intelligence expert John T. Nugent Jr. wrote in an email Dec. 21, 2020, sent to a distribution list of the department’s Intelligence and Interagency Coordination Division: “Right-wing extremists are talking about tunnels below the Capitol Complex and the allegiances of USCP officers.”
The Pentagon memo shows that Trump wanted National Guard troops in place. It also shows that intelligence reports warned of violence. Even though Trump offered troops and warnings were given, the Capitol Police were not prepared to protect the Capitol Building. Even worse, the Democrats on the congressional committee have not explained why.