The longer this sits out there, the worse it gets for the GOP, especially the House GOP. The publication today of the Proud Boys blueprint to insurrection, 1776 Returns, has landed like an atomic bomb. I have already covered the main points I found regarding Trump, but there’s more. Lots more.
Because the biggest problem for the GOP House isn’t just the 1776 Returns screed, it’s the way it dovetails into other, more personally pressing issues. Like the issue of allegations of GOP House members giving personal tours of the Capitol on January 5th, even though the Capitol was still closed to visitors due to Covid concerns.
The poster child for this is rapidly becoming GOP Representative Barry Laudermilk of Georgia. Laudermilk has been all over the map on the issue of tours, and like all 3rd rate criminals, each excuse stinks worse than the last.
First Laudermilk denied giving any tours. When the J6 committee advised him that they had proof that he had given a tour, and asked to talk to him, he changed his story. OK, he had given a tour, but it was just a local family from his district that had never been to Washington, so he showed them around and showed them places to eat at the Capitol. When that fell apart when video surfaced of one of the tour participants having taken selfie video of him at the Capitol grounds, threatening Pelosi, Schumer, Nadler, and AOC, Laudermilk switched gears again. As far as he knew, no locations he had shown on 1/5 had been breached on 1/6, and nobody on the tour had been arrested in connection with January 6th. I’m reminded of Jim Jordans panicked response to Chris Wallace’s questions as to when he talked to Trump on January 6th.
But for Laudermilk, it only gets worse. It turns out that the pictures the tour group were taking were of tunnels, staircases, Democratic Representative offices, and security checkpoints. Not the usual tourist attention grabbers.
CA Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren went on MSNBC at least twice today to impart the fact that the tunnel that was photographed by the tour group on January 5th was the same tunnel that the Capitol police rushed members of congress through 24 hours later to shelter in place. Had the rioters been a little quicker, the police and representatives could have found themselves caught in a bear trap.
If I’m Barry Laudermilk, I’m looking for a really good criminal lawyer right about now. His constant changes of story alone, with all of the inherent contradictions, is proof of guilty knowledge. But it gets even more basic than that.
House members consider themselves Lords of their personal fiefdoms. Since when, other than contributing fat cats, does a congressman get his fat ass out of his chair and take a family from Middle-of-nowhere, Georgia, on a multi hour tour of the entire House office complex? That’s what staffers are for. After all, you have campaign contribution phone calls to make. His whole house-of-cards excuse falls apart in the first puff of wind.
But it’s not just Laudermilk at risk here. The J6 committee has the House GOP by the old-short-and-curlies, and we know it from the committee itself. I have already shown that the GOP is digging a hole in denying J6 committee allegations. The J6 committee doesn’t need to bullshit, they have receipts.
In her committee statement, Vice Chair Liz Cheney put it bluntly, Congressman Scott Perry has refused to appear in front of the committee. The facts will show that in the days following the January 6th insurrection, Perry contacted the White House asking for a pardon. And then she went for the kill shot. The evidence will also show that in the days following the January 6th insurrection, several other GOP congressmen contacted the White House seeking pardons. The J6 committee has said that the other names will be revealed in good time during the hearings, and in proper context.
Which fits like a glove. Because NJ Democratic congresswoman Mikie Sherrill, the first member to blow the whistle on the unauthorized tours has repeatedly publicly stated that she was multiple tours conducted on January 5th by GOP House members. Dovetailing perfectly with Cheney’s statement that in the days following January 6th, Multiple GOP House members contacted the White House seeking a pardon.
Look, the J6 committee already has the names. And at the proper time, with the maximal impact, they’re going to release them. And when they do, you’re going to see a bunch of GOP House members scurrying around like roaches when the kitchen light comes on, trying to explain their innocent intentions. And what all of those soft non Trump Republican voters, and independents will see out there, is a bunch of GOP traitors who were willing to sell their country in order to maintain power, even by violence. Don’t touch that dial.