There is a new controversy over the alleged bias of the J6 Committee and the extreme measures used to avoid alternative or conflicting accounts. On Friday, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), a member of the House select committee, declared that former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone” did not contradict” the testimony of previous witnesses like Cassidy Hutchinson. However, the New York Times is reporting that he was not asked about statements that the Committee knew he would contradict. The controversy comes at a time when the head of the Oath Keepers has offered to testify, an extraordinary move since he is facing criminal charges. However, he has one big demand: it must be live and in public. In other words, it cannot be edited or tailored by the Committee.
Lofgren told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer “Mr. Cipollone did appear voluntarily and answer a whole variety of questions. He did not contradict the testimony of other witnesses. And I think we did learn a few things, which we will be rolling out in the hearings to come.”
The contradictions with Hutchinson are important after other witnesses contested her account on a key point of her testimony.
This brings us back to the offer of Stewart Rhodes to testify live. That is an extraordinary offer for a criminal defendant. No defense lawyer (including this one) would support such an appearance before a criminal trial. If the Committee is truly interested in getting to the truth, why wouldn’t it hold an open hearing? It has suggested that Trump was in collusion or a conspiracy with this group. It also alleged that the Oath Keepers came to Washington to commit an armed insurrection. We could now, for the first time, hear from one of the leaders of the two groups on that very subject. It would ideally allow him to make an opening statement and offer a full account on whether he coordinated with anyone in the White House on January 6th.
If Rhodes is willing to take this risk, the Committee should be willing to give up control over what the public can see and hear in the J6 investigation.