If you’re watching the J6 hearings, and I hope you are, because they’re compelling viewing if you’re interested, please keep in mind when you watch that the are actually three separate purposes to these hearings. The first purpose is to serve as a historical record, not just of the January 6th riot, but all the planning and scheming that went into it. These hearings are for public consumption, like a documentary. Think of it as network C-Span for a failed coup attempt. When the hearings are over, the committee will publish a final printed report. Which will go down in history.
The other two purposes fall under the same umbrella, enlightenment and information. These televised hearings are meant for two very specific, but very different audiences. So when you watch, if things drag a wee, try looking at the testimony from the other side.
The first audience is what pollsters and political operatives call The mushy middle. Standard procedure is that the country is split into 3 parts. 33% are pure Trump supporters, nothing you can say will move them. Another 33% are die hard Trump opponents, they’ll gobble this stuff up, since it reinforces their already existing position. And then there’s the 33% Mushy Middle. They are neither Trump nor Biden supporters, but neither are they unplugged from politics. They care about democracy, and want to know what happened. That’s the audience the J6 committee is trying to reach.
And if you’re a member of that group, then today’s hearing isn’t going to win any Emmy’s from you for riveting television. But that’s what happens when lawyers get down into the weeds to make a point. Take my word for it. As a 2 time foreman of civil trials, today is what 95% of courtroom testimony looks like. There are no Perry Mason’s in real life court, especially civil court.
So the Mushy Middle was probably disappointed in today’s hearing, simply because it was so boring. But it had to be done, because it is laying the foundation for what will follow. Then it will all make sense. Hang in there, guys and girls.
But today’s hearing was not a waste. Because of the third audience the committee is trying to reach. If you are a lawyer or investigator for the Department of Justice, then today was a tutorial in criminal intent. Witness after witness testified that not only Trump, but John Eastman as well, knew that what they were trying to do was both illegal as well as unconstitutional. And yet they persisted, even though Pence repeatedly told them all that he wouldn’t do it. Eastman was so arrogant that he actually told Trump’s White House lawyer that while Gore couldn’t do it in 2000, and Harris couldn’t do it in 2024, he was still telling Pence to do it now. WTF! Look, either everybody can do it, or nobody can do it. It’s kind of funny how the law works.
But here’s the good news. It appears that both audiences are watching. Viewership for Thursday night was a healthy 20 million, about the audience for a competitive Sunday night football game, and the daytime Monday crowd was a healthy 10 million. I’m guessing that today’s numbers will be similar to Monday’s numbers. People are definitely interested in finding out what really happened. And the committee is showing them.
And we already know that the DOJ is watching, because Merrick Garland told us so himself. In responding to a question, he said that he was unable to watch the whole hearing, but had DVR’d it to catch it later. And he admitted that FOJ lawyers have their office televisions turned to the hearings when they’re on.There’s another reason we know they’re paying attention. It was revealed today that the DOJ had sent a 2nd request to the J6 committee, again asking for access to all depositions taken by the committee. They made a special mention of not only current cases under investigation, but also criminal prosecutions currently in progress.
And that started my whiskers twitching. Because, other than the Loud Toys and the Oath Kreepers, the only two J6 committee related active DOJ cases are Peter Navarro, and Steve Bannon. And neither of them were deposed by the J6 committee! Either we’re missing something here, or the DOJ is a lot farther along with some of their grand jury proceedings than we know.
Don’t stop watching the hearings just because one of them didn’t float your boat. And if you’re not watching them, then start watching them. If I’m reading the schedule correctly, there will be 3 more daytime hearings, capped off with a prime time final hearing. Think of that hearing as the congressional version of the Who shot JR episode of Dallas. As any comedian can tell you, you open your show with your 2nd best joke, to hook the audience, and end your routine with your knockout punch. That’s how I see this playing out.
But once the hearings are over, don’t take your eye off of the DOJ. Once the hearings are over, there is no longer any reason for the J6 committee to play hide-the-salami with the DOJ for their findings. And the DOJ seems to be much farther aged in some of their investigations than most pundit critics gave them credit for. I can see the lid just starting to blow off around Labor Day, just in time for the midterms. And don;t forget those multiple GOP incumbents who requested pardons from the White House. Don’t touch that dial.