Why Hasn’t The House Held Hearings To Establish “Incitement Of Insurrection”?

We recently discussed how the Senate will have to decide whether to call witnesses in the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump. The use of a snap impeachment raises a basis for some senators to oppose such witnesses on institutional or prudential grounds. Democrats opposed any witnesses in the Clinton impeachment and there were no witnesses in the first Trump impeachment trial. Not surprisingly, the House is demanding witnesses. The initial vote in the trial shows that it is substantially short of the number of senators needed to convict and Trump could be acquitted on a virtual 50-50 vote. So here is my question: why has the House not used the last few weeks to call these witnesses and build the needed case to show intent to incite an insurrection? Weeks have gone by with key witnesses speaking to the press but not to the House.  Why?

I raised this possibility weeks ago since such House hearings could influence the Senate trial. Even if the transcripts were barred by the Senate, senators would be aware of the evidence and testimony. There has been limited testimony on the response to the riot but most key witnesses have not been called to public hearings on evidence related to Trump’s conduct or intent. Many are clearly willing to testify since they are speaking openly with the media.

I have no idea if such evidence exists but I, like most Americans, would like to know if it does. I was critical of Trump’s speech while he was giving it. I also opposed the challenge to the electoral votes and criticized the President’s false statements about the authority of Vice President Mike Pence to “send back” these votes. However, I have also said that, without evidence of intent, this case of incitement would fail in the Senate. Indeed, while many legal experts have claimed that this is a strong case for criminal incitement, I believe it would ultimately collapse in the federal courts on free speech grounds.

The House can show intent directly and circumstantial from evidence of the President’s conduct and statements before and after the speech.  The National Guard deployment is clearly a place to start.  Did Trump delay or obstruct deployment?  We still do not know despite this being one of the easier questions to answer.  Those questions will not be answered by calling the “Shaman” on whether he felt that Trump wanted him to riot or engage in insurrection. Such testimony will show how Trump’s words were received (which is relevant) but not what he intended.

There is a tendency in Congress to follow the litigation rule not to ask witnesses questions that you do not know the answer to in advance.  However, the absence of hearings on Trump’s role is glaring as the House managers claim that many in the Senate do not want to hear the truth.  There are two houses of Congress and the Democrats are in total control of the House.

There has clearly been inquiries and limited testimony but very little information has been made publicly, including information that is clearly in the possession or available to the House. Instead reports indicate that the House is building what was described as an “emotionally charged” case before the Senate with cellphone calls and witness testimony rather than evidence focusing on the intent element. I admit that I have the bias of a criminal defense attorney but that is not a case for conviction. It is a case of public appeal.

This question is even more striking given the public statements of key witnesses like former Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller and his two closest aides, Kashyap “Kash” Patel and Ezra Cohen. Miller says that Trump told him the day before the riot that “You’re going to need 10,000 people.” Miller added  “No, I’m not talking bullshit. He said that. And we’re like, ‘Maybe. But you know, someone’s going to have to ask for it.’” He said Trump responded “You do what you need to do. You do what you need to do. You’re going to need 10,000.’”

That account shows Trump knew that there might be problems with the rally the next day. Many voiced the same concern. However, it also shows Trump warning that troops would be needed.  The question is whether he did anything to prepare for such a deployment or interfere or delay with deployment. Witnesses like Miller would know. Yet, they are giving interviews but not public testimony under oath.

The House has held hearings on the riot but those hearings seem weirdly tailored to avoid core issues related to the trial. For example, U.S. Capitol Police chief Yogananda D. Pittman testified but did so in a closed session.  She reportedly apologized to Congress “and the American people” for the obvious securing failures on Jan. 6th. She also said that they were aware of the danger of a riot in advance but failed to take adequate steps” “Let me be clear: the Department should have been more prepared for this attack.”

Maj. Gen. William Walker, the commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, has also given interviews and said that deployment of his troops were delayed by over an hour because he needed approval from the Pentagon. He said that he usually has authority to deploy without approval. If that is true, why was he not called for testimony in the House to explain the timeline and whether the authority was removed specifically for that day?

There is a great deal of information in the hands of Congress on the requests for deployment and interaction with the Trump Administration. There are records and other non-witness sources of evidence that could also be used to create a record. Yet, the House has been comparatively passive in calling those witnesses that it wants to hear from in the Senate. Again, why?

This is the same pattern with the first Trump impeachment when the House waited weeks demanding witnesses that it could have called or subpoenaed before the House Judiciary Committee.  It did nothing and then denounced the lack of testimony on key issues. Both trials turned on intent and the House could not expect to prevail without such evidence. It was like a case of planned obsolescence in building a case to collapse.

There are by my count at least ten key witnesses who have already spoken publicly or would be easily attainable including Miller, Walker, Pittman, Patel, Cohen and others.  Yet, there is nothing but crickets from the House.

124 thoughts on “Why Hasn’t The House Held Hearings To Establish “Incitement Of Insurrection”?”

    1. You’re more than happy to point the finger. You might want to spend some time looking in the mirror.

    2. Trump should ignore this proceeding. Default., Then a collateral attack after the fact, if they come up with anything that matters.

      That’s the simplest and cheapest defense strategy and people do it all the time

      He could listen to me and save himself millions. Or, get one smart lawyer like Dersh to go in there and argue against one thing and one thing only:

      NO JURISDICTION OVER HIM NOW AS A PRIVATE CITIZEN PER THE OBVIOUS LANGUAGE OF CONSTITUTION

      Saloth Sar

      1. It’s not the obvious language of the Constitution.

        The Constitution says that the Senate can disqualify people from future office. That always occurs after the person is out of office, either because the person was removed or the person was already out.

  1. The nation is under major social and economic strain, and Congress is ignoring urgent legislative priorities in favor of a Cadaver Synod. Damn them for their arrogance.

    Saloth Sar

    1. The Senate Republicans have ignored urgent issues for the last year. You’re a little late to the party.

      1. “The richest three Americans collectively have more wealth than the poorest 160 million Americans.”

        — Foreign Affairs, recently

        a publication owned by 1 of those 3, jeff bezos

        This is system is fraudulent and by the end of 2021 we are going to see some awfully painful changes

        The question is do you suck up to our enemy, the billionaires, and their hirelings who “Won the election”

        or do you run with the people?

        Saloth Sar

  2. The Democrats didn’t want witnesses because the Republicans would call Maxine Waters to the stand to ask her about her “get up in their faces” comment. The would call Kamala Harris to the stand to ask her about her bail out Antifa rioters program. They would call Nancy Pelosi to the stand to ask her about her “I’m surprised they didn’t riot sooner” statement. Give them this, it takes a lot of creativity to base their arguments on “Peacefully and patriotically protest” in light of their on the record previous comments. My use of the word creativity is used in a diplomatic fashion. I could have said Bovine Scatology, but I didn’t.

    1. If you listen to the entire exchange, it’s clear that she was only talking about concession on election night.

      1. Anon, Hillary plainly says the Republican will have a narrow lead on Election Day and because of their narrow lead the election will drag out and she tells Joe not to concede under “any circumstances” Do you really think that she was only talking about Election Day. The last time I looked “any circumstances” means under any condition. The MSM tried to spin her words in the same way. Words only mean what they tell you they mean. Don’t believe your lying ears.

        1. Thinkit writes:

          “Hillary plainly says the Republican will have a narrow lead on Election Day and because of their narrow lead the election will drag out and she tells Joe not to concede under “any circumstances”

          Thanks for explaining that Thinkit. Since the election was not declared by networks until at least the following weekend, that was wise council which Biden undoubtedly knew himself already, though “conceding” does not officially confer winner status on the opponoent.

          1. Hey Joe, which is it . Anonymous says Hillary is only talking about election night and you say that she’s talking about days after the election due to mail in ballots. Any excuse is as good as the other I suppose. Here’s a recommendation. When the depth of the hole your digging gets over your head stop digging and put up the outhouse.

        2. “Do you really think that she was only talking about Election Day.”

          Yes. It’s entirely clear that she’s saying not to concede that night because there are still mail-in votes to be counted.

          Did you listen to the entire exchange?

          1. Anon, here’s the point. Trump doesn’t concede and your hair is on fire. Hillary says don’t concede and here words are manna directly from heaven. Through selective amnesia you somehow believe that Democrats have never contested an election. Better yet, when Democrats contest elections their proclamations must be directed by the Saints themselves. When Republicans question an election I must be directed from the gates of hell. Stacy Abrams is still saying the election in Georgia was stolen after she lost by 50,000 votes. A modis operandi makes itself apparent. Sorry Saint Joefriday and Saint Anonymous we’re just not buying your twist on things.

            1. When you invoke ridiculous straw man arguments, pretending that I’m arguing and believe things that I haven’t argued and don’t believe, you show yourself to be either inept (because you’re unable to recognize your poor reasoning) or dishonest (because you recognize it and do it anyway).

      2. Anon, just like they meant only on election night in Bush vs Gore. History destroys your premise

  3. The Democrats do what they do best lie, cheat, steal ,riot, and the Republicans do what they do best apologize, cower and fiddle while the city’s burn! Trump went against the grain neither party could handle it ,Oh there were a few Republican’s that supported him, but most are as dirty as the other side of coarse now they are turning on Trump trying to save their worthless hides!

    1. Yes, they are professional political Pimps & Prostitutes, a Protection Racket, crime syndicate! A POX on both houses! They are two sides of the same dollar.

  4. I relish this open and factualdetailing and statements of fact proving the blood thirsty hypocrisy of the demented left social fascist party…once known as demoratz.

  5. Here is one reason the House did not want full hearings.

    http://www.spectator.co.uk/article/the-case-for-liberal-pessimism

    America lacks leadership and above all it lacks moral leadership. The storming of the Capitol brought this home in the moral surrender of the GOP and the moral vacuity of its condemners in the Democrat Party, the mainstream media and civil society. A mob, encouraged by the President of the United States, breached the Senate in an attempt to obstruct the confirmation of an election. This un-American carnage called for clear, thunderous declamation, yet while the words that came brought volume there was a weightlessness to them because of who they came from.

    They rebuked ‘an unspeakable assault on our nation’ who, asked whether mobs had the right to tear down Christopher Columbus statues, had shrugged: ‘People will do what they do’. They denounced ‘that Trump mob that attacked the citadel of our democracy’ who, mere months ago, had demanded ‘show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful’. They deplored a ‘domestic terrorist attack’ on Capitol Hill who, last summer, had proclaimed ‘there needs to be unrest in the streets’. The point is not that one articulation of violence excuses another, nor even that moral parity exists between them, but that the legitimacy of violence has become a debate within mainstream US politics.

    1. Hey Nancy, about that “insurrection” as you call it: ‘people will do what they do.’ Now where’s my promised $2k check?

  6. For the past 4 years THE MINUTE former President Trump was elected I have heard “illegitimate President”, “stolen election” by Democrat members of Congress, people in the current administration, the press, n on social media 24-7! Add to that Trump n Trump voters were called Nazis, fascists, white supremacists, Uncle Toms n rascists with NO evidence, wearing MAGA gear or knowledge of Trump support got people beaten, verbally assaulted n harassed.You want to talk about incitement?!?There was inciteful language n threats of violence 24-7 on social media n in the press n protests were violent, alongwith threats of violence against the President. Threats to impeach began the MINUTE he was elected n declared President Elect by MEMBERS OF CONGRESS, the press n high profile public figures. We have had 8 months of riots n attacks on state n federal properties, the Capital, the White House n President n police precincts, businesses, n whole communities with hundreds if not thousands of injured police, police killed, civilians injured n killed n businesses n communities destroyed! One was in my own hometown n I watched a poor business owner on video plead with rioters not to destroy his bike shop and they SHOT AT HIM with a pistol multiple times n thank God were bad shots! I heard reports from my family n friends back home n it was horrifying. But people like Kamala Harris on Steve Colbert show smiled n threatened continued protests n encouraged all to donate to bailfund for lawbreaking n violent protestors. One got out on bail n KILLED someone! Biden’s aides n Democrat members of Congress donated to bailfunds as did many Denocrats, press n celebrities! I heard Senator Kaine THREATEN violence on television “fight them in the streets” and fight them at the ballot box…” n “fight them in the streets can be taken NO OTHER WAY! Kaine also defended his ANTIFA member son who ran from police, RESISTED arrest, n illegally entered the state capital Rotunda in Minnesota n threw firebombs. Kaine n his wife defended their son publicly! And would not condemn the violent ANTIFA organization which has been behind much of the extreme violence all over the US the past 8 months. I heard NO Democrat members call May 31-June 2 insuurection yet the President n White House were under attack n baracades broken n many Secret service injured! The womens march outside the White House had a guillotine with a lifesize bloodyTrump getting his head chopped off. There were speakers THREATENING violence against the President. Now we have a President being accused of inciting violence when he said the opposite, some people being charged with insurrection for standing outside the Capitol n chanting n some for entering open doors n taking pictures, doing no damage n whose intent was to speak to Congress. No doubt there were plotters there, a violent faction n some who angrily enter whose their intent was to be heard. The violent should be punished, the destructive should be punished, the lawbreakers should be punished. But to accuse the President of ANYTHING, lets apply that standard to ALL n I think the Democrat offices, the press n celebrities n other govt officials’ offices would ALL be closed for a LONG time because they have done far far far worse these past 4 years n continue! And the left rioters & insurrectionists would be behind bars and in LARGE numbers n Kamala Harris n Joe Biden would be candidates for impeachment and/or censure under the 14th amendment because to quote AOC, she n other Democrats in Congress, the White House n other federal appointed jobs “almost got President Trump killed n DID get cops, citizens and others killed with their REAL words of incitement for THE PAST FOUR YEARS 24-7 AND refusal to condemn the violence, denial of far left groups as violent or a threat to govt/our country, n ENCOURAGING, PUBLICIZING LINKS and DONATING TO THESE INSURRECTIONISTS N SEDITIOUS INDIVIDUALS BAIL FUNDS!
    By gosh, it is HIGH TIME Republicans began applying this same standard to the REAL inciteful and enabling behavior to sedition/insurrection and violence by Democrat elected officials, etc.!!!

      1. Tim Kaine advocated for violence in the streets while defending his son’s ANTIFA antics.
        Some anarchists are acceptable when it comes to Democrats

        1. The FBI hasn’t declared Antifa to be a domestic terrorist group. Tim Kaine’s 2017 comment wasn’t about Antifa when he said “We are so excited that the American public is energized to speak out against the abuses of this administration. … the way we get outside the bubble is we take advantage of this tremendous public outcry against the administration. What we’ve got to do is fight in Congress, fight in the courts, fight in the streets, fight online, fight at the ballot box, and now there’s the momentum to be able to do this. And we’re not afraid of the popular outcry, we’re energized by it and that’s going to help us do our job and do it better.”

          1. So…because the FBI hasn’t Antifa as terrorists, they must be at least as benevolent as the Proud Boys., right? And likewise, when Mr. Kaine said, “fight in the streets” he didn’t mean *fight, fight*? Got it. I guess “fight in the streets” does sound every bit as altruistic and benign as “peacefully and patriotically protest.” I see your point: words mean the opposite of themselves, and such meaning can only be determined after ascertaining the speaker.

            What a bunch of malarkey. Why do leftists insist on thinking, speaking, and behaving as utter nitwits? “people will do what they do,” indeed.

        2. FBI is playing ANTIFA like a fiddle. Just as it did the Proud boys too, we now know. FBI is the problem more than any group of protesters

          Sal Sar

    1. Don’t forget to take your meds…you are experiencing strong hallucinations. I’m sure you could not actually be denying that Team Trump is packed with Nazis, fascists, white supremacists since to do so would be utterly absurd given the facts.

      1. The Nazis marched men women and children into the woods. They made them lie face down and shot them in the back of the head. The clothing of the shooters was spattered with brain and bone fragments. It went on for days. These are the people that you are comparing the Republicans to. The Nazis had a highly organized propaganda campaign demonizing the Jews. Your tactics demonizing Republicans are the very same tactics used by the Nazis. In Germany the word Jew was used. Today the word Nazi is used in exactly the same way. Here we have such a deeply thought out analogy by Acromion that displays a complete lack of any knowledge of history. Acromion will be angry at my comment because Nazi is such a fun word to say. Who am I to interrupt his entertainment.

    2. Cindy, the Democratic leadership stifled back-bencher calls for impeachment, for Trump’s 1st 3 years, until the Ukrainian QPQ of which he was clearly guilty of using presidential powers to go after a political rival, and now his attempt to over throw the results of the last election by instigating an insurrection with the clear intent of stopping the Congress from performing it’s limited but constitutional duties. At that point Speaker Pelosi all but begged the GOP publicly to clean up the mess and they failed. No one in the Democratic leadership wanted to pursue this impeachment but by principle are forced to.

      The same can be said about Congressional Democrats who challenged the certifying of the 2016 results – no Senator joined them and none of the leadership did either. If you’ve forgotten, Hillary conceded late the night of that election, called Trump to wish him well, and – unlike the coward Trump – had the gonads to show up for his inauguration as a matter of respect and institutional support. Keep in mind that all this followed Trump “winning” the EC, while losing the popular vote. Hard feelings were more warranted after one of these elections than the other.

      Tim Kaine did not defend Antifa.

      In a Sept. 8, 2017, letter sent to constituents inquiring about Antifa, Kaine wrote, “I condemn all violence at any political demonstration, including any violent activities by members of Antifa.”

      https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2018/jun/20/corey-stewart/corey-stewarts-comments-sen-tim-kaine-and-antifa/

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