Jan 6 committee flouts the rules of Congress, delivers propaganda
The Jan. 6 House Select Committee has been marred by officials acting in an arbitrary and capricious manner. The journalistic result is propaganda not fairly and honestly informing the American people on the conduct of this committee and its threat to democratic government.
it is well established that, when a congressional committee seeks to use the implied authority to compel testimony, it must respect the Separation of Powers; it must do so only in pursuit of a valid legislative purpose (and not for the purpose of generating publicity or pursuing law enforcement) and it must follow the rules associated with the delegation on which its claimed subpoena authority relies.
This quote appears at page 4 of the Introduction to the reply brief (Case 1:21-cv-03217-CJN Document 38 Filed 06/06/22) filed by former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in his lawsuit against Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Jan. 6 committee.
The Meadows reply brief opened the Introduction with this statement:
No authoritative appellate court has ever held that a senior aide to a President, or a President himself, can be compelled by Congress to appear and give testimony, let alone when there is a claim of Executive Privilege.
This statement makes clear how breathtaking Speaker Pelosi's actions have proven to be, willing to dash to pieces the Separation of Powers tradition of our tripartite federal government. As it happened, three days before the Meadows reply brief was filed, June 6, at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the Department of Justice chose not to bring contempt of Congress charges against Mr. Meadows and another former Trump aide, Dan Scavino, although it did bring charges against former Trump aide Peter Navarro.
On June 9, the Jan. 6 committee opened a series of hearings, the first held in prime TV time with scant, if any, media attention to the litigation challenging the very existence of this ironically titled "select committee" for not following the rules that called the panel into existence.
The lead editorial in the June 11/12 edition of The Wall Street Journal, "The Evidence of the Jan. 6 Committee," opened by acknowledging that the committee treated the Republican Party unfairly, but then proceeded to excoriate Donald J. Trump without taking notice of the litigation in federal court challenging the existence of this "select committee" for not abiding by the rules set forth in H. Res 503 (117th Congress) establishing this committee, which The New York Times acknowledged was more prosecutorial than law-making.
Imagine going to a baseball game. The rules provide that each side gets three outs per inning. Now imagine further that one side is given six outs per inning. Should baseball reporters accept this blatant disregard of the rules in covering the game?
H. Res. 503 provided that the Jan. 6 committee would consist of 13 representatives, with five members chosen by the speaker in consultation with the minority leader. This did not happen. Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy named Representatives Jim Jordan and Jim Banks to the select committee — and Speaker Pelosi vetoed the minority leader's first two choices.
Accordingly, it would be more accurate to call this the Nancy Pelosi–Selected Jan. 6 House Committee. The Pelosi veto of Jordan and Banks was made even more egregious when the speaker installed turncoat Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger on the panel. (Cheney cannot be considered a ranking member of the panel; ranking members of House committees are selected by the minority leader.) Whatever happened to the notion that no person is above the law? In operating the Jan. 6 House Select Committee, Nancy Pelosi has placed herself above House rules. If her operation of this inquisitorial panel becomes precedent, can there be any doubt that rules in the House become irrelevant? Just name a committee and give the chair the latitude to run the panel arbitrarily and capriciously, and to heck with the norms of democratic government.
Yet, even if leading media outlets come to revise their scrutiny of this rogue committee, its damaging purpose could be attained should Attorney General Garland follow his Navarro indictment by filing charges against former president Trump in federal court in the District of Columbia. Is it beyond possibility that the action of a partisan, that is to say, Democrat, jury in Washington would be a mirror image of the trial in the capital of Michael Sussmann, acquitted of lying to the FBI? That is to say, where Sussmann was acquitted, Mr. Trump would be convicted in contradiction to the evidence. After all, doesn't the country's experience with the treatment of Donald J. Trump — and all propaganda concocted in his name — demonstrate that for Democrats, justice is not equal — and that, rather, it all depends on whose ox is being gored?
It is vital, to get the country back on the constitutional track, that Mark Meadows win his day in court against Speaker Pelosi and her rogue select committee.
Photo credit: YouTube screen grab.