Trump’s Testimony Could Cripple the January 6 Committee: Following what could be the conclusion of “investigations” ahead of the midterms, the January 6 Committee voted on Thursday to subpoena former President Donald Trump. It is the culmination of 15 months of work by House Democrats to paint a picture of Republican-backed political violence and an attempted “coup” orchestrated by the former president.
While some may have been shocked by the revelation that Trump is now expected to be quizzed by the committee over their wild accusations, the truth is that this was always going to happen. Not only that, but this decision is part of a broader campaign not just to demonize Trump and his millions of supporters but to imprison the former president and send a message that standing up to the D.C. “Blob” will not be tolerated.
Subpoenaing the president, however, might also prove the downfall of the January 6 committee as it launches a last-ditched effort for the Democrats to fundraise ahead of a difficult election for the governing party.
A Flawed Committee
I’ve written before about how the January 6 committee was fundamentally flawed. This committee was founded on the supposed basis that Trump incited a riot and insurrection – a contested claim not backed by the evidence. It’s a committee that also claims to investigate the “origins” of the riot.
In truth, the committee did not seat a single member who disagrees with this contested notion and has not taken any steps to explore evidence that suggests the contested claim is not valid to begin with. A proper investigation would have allowed the Republicans’ picks to sit on the panel and spent time exploring the possibility that the claims made against the former president may not be true.
But that’s not what happened. Instead of an investigation, we have a politically motivated, partisan committee that has made no attempt to hide the fact that this is an effort to “save” the United States from another Trump presidency.
Democrats Fear Trump 2.0
In an unhinged essay for Slate, Dahlia Lithwick described her fear of a future Trump administration and argued against the decision to subpoena the former president. For Lithwick, allowing Trump to speak after the “investigation” concludes takes away from what she claimed was “devastating evidence” that Trump incited a “coup.” Lithwick’s “devastating evidence” was a hyperlink to another Slate article in which no evidence was provided that Trump endorsed, facilitated, or encouraged a riot or insurrection.
“Am I also scared out of my mind about Trump evading accountability for his myriad crimes, running for office in 2024, and vaulting us all into what will doubtless be the end of the free world as we know it immediately thereafter? Why yes, yes I am,” Lithwick wrote.
Lithwick is not alone. For Democrats, the investigation was just another way to fill the airwaves with obsessive anti-Trump smear campaigns and propaganda. With a faltering economy, rising costs of living, and the prospect of World War Three on the horizon, the Democrats need the January 6 investigation to scare away as many prospective Trump voters as possible simply because they don’t have anything positive to run on.
And in this sense, Lithwick is right. The January 6 Committee was foolish to subpoena Trump, and should he decide to comply with the subpoena, it could unravel all the work they’ve done to confuse the American people and distract from Biden’s myriad of failures and disasters.
But the committee is unwavering. It doesn’t even matter that subpoenaing the former president probably isn’t a good idea – the committee wanted to do it from the beginning, has never changed that position, and is now moving ahead with what they believe will be the ultimate slam dunk for the Democrats ahead of the mid-terms.
Trump Testimony Could Backfire Against Democrats
In the collective minds of the committee, making Trump testify is enough to crush his support nationally. The Democrats’ rose-tinted tunnel vision has seen them conduct a thoroughly biased and frankly unproductive investigation – which yielded nothing new or exciting – on the assumption that the rest of the country believes everything they say. And while it may work to some extent, the fact is that the evidence shows the former president does not condone violence, did not condone violence on January 6, and went out of his way to tell protesters to make their voices heard “peacefully and patriotically.”
Trump’s testimony will allow him to repeat those truths and to smack down the accusations made against him in a way that only Trump can do. The former president rose to power off the back of a wave of anti-establishment sentiment, and forcing Trump to answer questions from extremist ideologues, hell-bent on establishing a one-party rule for generations, will likely reignite that same passion that got him elected in 2016.
Not to mention, he’ll have the truth on his side.
In peddling disinformation, the Democrats got ahead of themselves. Confident in their ability to control much of the media’s narrative, the January 6 Committee thinks their web of lies was woven impenetrable. But Trump is about to walk straight through it.
Jack Buckby is a British author, counter-extremism researcher, and journalist based in New York. Reporting on the U.K., Europe, and the U.S., he works to analyze and understand left-wing and right-wing radicalization, and reports on Western governments’ approaches to the pressing issues of today. His books and research papers explore these themes and propose pragmatic solutions to our increasingly polarized society.