The January 6 Hearing yesterday were… interesting. If you want to relive it (or view it for the first time), be aware that it is 3 hours + long and because it focuses on Pence there’s a lot of gratuitous Bible Talk, even from the Committee itself.
Here’s my take-aways:
- A Villain Emerges in John Eastman. Most of the action yesterday was about how many times and different ways and from multiple people John Eastman was told what he was scheming was illegal and unprecedented (which is important for lawyers), and he and Trump did it anyway. Knowingly. Pence counsel Greg Jacob testified that Eastman agreed with him that the Supreme Court would rule 9-0 against Eastman’s ploy. Jacob added that Eastman even admitted his scheme was illegal in front of Trump himself.Also, though the media is not saying this clearly, there were at least two plans to overturn the election.
- John Eastman requested Rudy put him on Hair Füror’s Pardon List, thus proving he knew damn well what he was proposing was illegal; it also confirms that there was a pardon list while they were plotting this coup:
“I’ve decided that I should be on the pardon list, if that is still in the works.”
- Pence himself was within 40 feet of the mob, in a clear line of sight, and if they had had weapons, we would be in a different place right now. (A confidential informant from the Proud Boys has told the FBI that the rioters would have killed Pence if given the chance.) There’s a lot of valor to what Pence did, but make no mistake: he was trying to find a legal way to do what Trump wanted. It took Dan Quayle and a legal team to convince him that there was nothing he could do.
- The final summation speech from Ret. Judge Luttig was a profound warning:
“This false and reckless insistence that the former president won the 2020 presidential election has laid waste to Americans’ confidence in their national elections. More alarming still is that the former president pledges that his reelection will not be ‘stolen’ from him next time around, and his Republican Party allies and supporters obeisantly pledge the same.”
I should also probably warn you that if you watch the 3-hour video above, it could be 45 minutes if you edit out Luttig’s testimony. His delivery was like some sort of ersatz William Shatner delivery with a pop culture satire of a Law Professor. While Luttig makes some great points, Dude is completely incapable of a straight-forward, linear reply to any question, with vast asides and diversions and innumerable dependent and independent clauses. At some point the Committee clearly realized that they were losing the audience and they focused more on the testimony of Mr. Jacob, which was a wise decision.
I’m not slamming Luttig, btw, only noting that he is not a teevee personality.