by Julie Kelly
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol conducted its final televised performance on Thursday afternoon, an event dutifully carried live by every cable and broadcast news station. Representatives Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) now plan to exit stage left as their congressional careers come to an end—the former at the hands of disgruntled Wyoming Republican voters and the latter at the hands of gerrymandering Illinois Democrats. It’s only a matter of time before both find a new home at some NeverTrump outlet funded by leftist billionaires to play the role of the “conservative” useful idiot to the Democratic Party.
Since its inception, the select committee has wielded its unchecked authority not to fulfill the stated mission of finding out exactly what happened on January 6—a four-hour disturbance the enabling legislation refers to as a “domestic terror attack”—but as a vehicle to harass, intimidate, prosecute, and destroy the careers of Donald Trump, his aides, and his supporters. Former federal prosecutors for months have interrogated Trump White House officials behind closed doors to produce cherry-picked clips to bolster the regime’s narrative that Trump incited the “insurrection” by refusing to accept the 2020 presidential election as legitimate—a view still shared by the overwhelming majority of Republican voters.
Among specific promises regarding the committee’s outcome, House Democrats initially pledged to examine the “activities of intelligence agencies, law enforcement agencies, and the Armed Forces, including with respect to intelligence collection, analysis, and dissemination and information sharing among the branches and other instrumentalities of government.” Further, committee members claimed to be interested in the “policies, protocols, processes, procedures, and systems for interoperability between the United States Capitol Police and the National Guard, the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia, and other Federal, State, and local law enforcement agencies in the National Capital Region on or before January 6, 2021.”
Unsurprisingly, the committee to date has addressed almost none of those matters. So-called “evidence” instead revolved around plans by Trump and his inner circle to prepare for and fight an election that didn’t go their way—something of an American tradition before it became the basis of an alleged criminal conspiracy after November 2020. There was almost no discussion of security failures related to the breach of the building. Promises of bombshell revelations that would “blow the roof off the House,” as Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) warned in April never materialized.
Committee hearings have featured one dramatic scene after another; tearful and sanctimonious committee members, aggrieved cops-turned-media-celebrities, remorseful Capitol protesters, and disloyal administration officials participated in a public therapy session of sorts—all emoting under the direction of a skilled television producer hired to attract an audience.
For the most part, however, the performances fizzled. The only star born was Cassidy Hutchinson, a telegenic White House aide who detailed a physical encounter between Trump and a Secret Service agent that afternoon. (Her account has not been backed by anyone involved; the officials she named have not been invited back by the committee to confirm her description.) The American people quickly lost interest, to the extent it ever existed outside of the nation’s capital: one CNN columnist fretted that Americans are more concerned about the cost of fast food than the committee’s “compelling” trove of evidence.
During Thursday’s matinee, which Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) noted at the start had been changed to an official business meeting in order to allow for a vote, Thompson promised the committee’s swan song would provide “a clear picture of what took place” on January 6 by making “documentary evidence available to the American people.” But aside from airing a few newly-obtained emails exchanged among Secret Service officials, much of the committee’s presentation rehashed old clips, accusations, and condemnations about the “Big Lie.”
Huge gaps of “documentary evidence” remain missing, completely ignored by committee members and their professional investigators. Lawmakers did not mention the status of an FBI probe into the suspect who allegedly planted pipe bombs outside the headquarters of both the Republican National Commitee and Democratic National Committee the night before the Capitol protest; incoming Vice President Kamala Harris reportedly was working at DNC headquarters when the explosive device was located. The incident that prompted the first wave of panic and evacuations has been memory-holed by the “fact-finding” committee.
Not a single document from congressional and local leaders responsible for protecting Capitol Hill on January 6—namely, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser—has been made publicly available to shed light on why the building did not have better security that day. No correspondence between those officials, not to mention sworn testimony, is part of the committee’s official record; to the contrary, Thompson made clear at the onset that Pelosi’s office would be off-limits. (Pelosi made her first cameo appearance on Thursday when the committee played never-before-seen clips recorded by her filmmaker daughter on January 6.)
Questions as to the involvement of the FBI or other federal agencies remain unanswered and unasked. It’s unknown whether FBI Director Christopher Wray even testified. Remember when the committee came to the defense of Ray Epps and promised to disclose his testimony? That didn’t happen, either.
What about videos that showed police officers allowing hundreds of individuals into the building? Where are the disciplinary reports on officers who permitted the breach to occur? Or internal investigations into use of excessive force that contributed to the deaths of four Trump supporters?
Why not release the 14,000 hours of surveillance video captured by security cameras inside and outside the building on January 6? The footage would tell the complete story, not just snippets to support the regime’s narrative.
And on and on.
The meeting on Thursday ended with a unanimous vote to subpoena Donald Trump and threats that criminal referrals against several Trump allies could be forthcoming. Meanwhile, the September release of the committee’s full report has been delayed once again; it won’t be available until November 29, 2022.
And a month later, according to the legislative guidelines, the committee will automatically dissolve. All evidence will be handed over to Pelosi’s office or a Democratic-controlled committee and presumably buried before Republicans can resume control of Congress.
In an overwrought monologue before the committee voted on her resolution to subpoena Trump, Cheney preached that she was obligated to the “country and the Constitution” to get all the “answers” about what happened that day. But her list of those culpable intentionally omits the powerful and the unknown—despite promises otherwise.
And therein lies the real truth about January 6, 2021.
– – –
Julie Kelly is a political commentator and senior contributor to American Greatness. She is the author of January 6: How Democrats Used the Capitol Protest to Launch a War on Terror Against the Political Right and Disloyal Opposition: How the NeverTrump Right Tried―And Failed―To Take Down the President. Her past work can be found at The Federalist and National Review. She also has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, and Genetic Literacy Project. She is the co-host of the “Happy Hour Podcast with Julie and Liz.” She is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and lives in suburban Chicago with her husband and two daughters.