A Case of Hope Over Experience: The J6 Referral Falls Short of a Credible Criminal Case

This week the January 6th Committee voted to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department, including the proposed indictment of former President Donald Trump.  However, the Committee’s splashy finale lacked any substantial new evidence to make a compelling criminal case against former President Donald Trump. The Committee repackaged largely the same evidence that it has previously put forward over the past year. That is not enough. Indeed, the reliance on a new videotape of former Trump aide Hope Hicks seems a case of putting “hope over experience” in the criminal Justice system.

While still based largely on the failure to act, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) insisted that “if that’s not criminal, nothing is.” The opposite may be true from a First Amendment perspective. If the failure to act is criminal, it is hard to see what would not be criminal under this standard.

After members like Schiff, again, promised new evidence to support criminal charges, the Committee continued its pattern of rehashing previously known evidence with network-quality videotapes.

The failure of the Committee to offer any new and direct evidence of criminal conduct was obvious at the outset. Vice Chair Liz Cheney began her remarks by again detailing what Trump failed to do. It was a repeat of the prior hearings and for some likely left the impression of actors who are refusing to leave the stage long after the audience departed.

The one new piece of evidence was largely duplicative. It shows former aide Hope Hicks saying that she also called upon Trump to make a public statement calling for peace and telling him that there is no evidence of systemic fraud. Nevertheless, the videotape has been heralded by figures like former acting Solicitor General Neil Katyal on MSNBC as “evidence I’ve never seen before from Hope Hicks.”  Katyal bizarrely claims “I think that tells you all you need to know about premeditation. Call it criminal intent. The House committees evidence here is very strong.”

So all you need for premeditation is the failure to accept the weight of evidence or to act promptly after the start of a riot. Katyal might “call it criminal intent” but many judges would likely call it something else.

The fact is that the J6 Committee failed to change many minds largely because of what was on display in the final public meeting. It was the same highly scripted, one-sided account repeated mantra-like for months. There is justifiable anger over these accounts, but this hearing was billed as presenting the case for criminal charges. It missed that mark by a considerable measure.

Of course, to raise obvious legal barriers to prosecution today is to invite an Internet flash mob accusing you for being an insurrectionist or fellow traveler. Major media from the Washington Post to National Public Radio routinely refer to the riot as an insurrection despite a deep disagreement over the characterization of the criminal conduct. The media unrelentingly echoes this one view despite polls showing most citizens view that day as a reprehensible “riot” motivated by loyalty to Trump.

The media also downplayed the glaring failure of the J6 Committee to produce what it described as bombshell evidence of a criminal conspiracy by Trump. Members like Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Ca.) repeatedly promised that the next hearing would reveal such direct evidence only to have the same rehashing of the prior claims for prosecution.

The Committee was playing to the same audience and knew that they did not have to produce such evidence to make their case. Experts like Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe have previously declared Trump’s felonies were shown “without any doubt, beyond a reasonable doubt, beyond any doubt, and the crimes are obvious.” That included what Tribe suggested was a clear case of attempted murder of former Vice President Pence.

Likewise, experts like legal analyst and Michigan Law Professor Barbara McQuade told MSNBC viewers that Trump could be charged with manslaughter over the riot.

The problem is that crimes actually require satisfaction of underlying elements and cannot be proven by soundbite or desire alone.

Instead, much of the evidence cited what an official failed to do. Yet the last hearing seemed to focus on a number of things that did not occur, from a draft tweet that was not sent to an executive order that was never signed. There were discussions of appointing Trump attorney Sidney Powell as a special counselseizing voting machines or replacing the Justice Department’s leadership. It is a chilling list, but it is also notable in that no final action was taken on such proposals.

That is a far cry from evidence showing mens rea — “guilty mind.” However, crimes generally require both guilty minds and guilty acts. Building a criminal case on the failure to act to stop the violence is a notoriously difficult case to make.

The most damning evidence concerns what Trump failed to do in those 187 minutes.

However, while repeatedly omitted by the Committee, Trump told his supporters to go to the Capitol “peacefully” to support Republicans challenging the election. At 1:11 p.m., Trump concluded his speech. Around 2:10 p.m., people surged up the Capitol steps. At 4:17 p.m., Trump made his statement to stop — roughly an hour and a half later.

That speech appears protected by the First Amendment and existing Supreme Court precedent. In Brandenburg v. Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled in 1969 that even calling for violence is protected under the First Amendment unless there is a threat of “imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.”  The Trump speech, in my view, falls well below that standard for criminalization.

Repetition of the same earlier points does little to strengthen the case for prosecution. The Committee has presented a powerful record of Trump’s failures on that day, including his reckless rhetoric and lack of response. Trump may be guilty of all of these failings, but that does not mean that he is a criminal actor. The reason that Mar-a-Lago presents a greater threat to Trump is that it is based on his actions, not inaction, in retaining classified material.

It is a disappointing end for the J6 Committee, which could have been so much more than it was. Both sides have pointed fingers at each other for the failure to have a single member nominated by the Republican party. However, even after that breakdown, the Committee could have strived to create greater balance by discussing alternative interpretations of key actions or statements. It could have allowed for greater public examination of witnesses rather than the tightly scripted accounts used in the hearings. It could have explored other issues in public hearings, including the failure of the Congress to adequately prepare for the riot despite prior warnings.

While some Democrats have asserted an almost proprietary claim to the January 6th riot, this was a desecration of our constitutional process that harmed us all. Indeed some of us were critical of Trump’s speech as he was giving it. At a minimum, that day was a failure of leadership — but that does not mean it was a violation of the criminal code.

While the members assured each other that history would honor their efforts, the judgment is likely to be more mixed. It is not a criticism of what they became as much as what they could have become in investigating the tragedy of January 6th.

Despite the broad condemnation of Trump for his speech and conduct on that day, there is a difference between what is viewed as reprehensible and what is chargeable as criminal conduct.

333 thoughts on “A Case of Hope Over Experience: The J6 Referral Falls Short of a Credible Criminal Case”

  1. My understanding is that J6 actually worked against the Democrats and the sham-nature of it has moved enough people in the center from a pro-Biden or neutral position to a pro-Trump position that Trump would likely beat Biden if the election was held today. Further, the number of Americans who say Trump was responsible went down following the hearings, from 42 percent to 38 percent showing that the J6 Kabuki Theater failed to work.

  2. They thrive on their Propaganda drama. That’s why they had to delay their final report, because Zelensky and the Mitch McConnell spending bill were making more news than the lies that Nancy is telling. I wonder if the right will subpoena Nancy and make her testify how SHE held back security from the Capitol. ” Pelosi and her staff “coordinated closely” with Irving on security plans for the Joint Session of Congress on Jan. 6, but Republicans were deliberately left out of “important discussions related to security.” ” Nancy needs to be on trial. Let’s check out her tax returns while we are at it, since she IS the Insider Trading Queen.


  3. “It could have explored other issues in public hearings, including the failure of the Congress to adequately prepare for the riot despite prior warnings.”

    CYA at work in these hearings.
    I don’t expect much from political nutjobs who riot at the Capitol.
    I do expect much from police and politicians tasked with securing the Capitol.

  4. ATS, you keep shredding your credibility. Everyone knows you are Anonymous the Stupid. If they don’t know it now, they will learn it later. You hide under the generic anonymous name and icon, use addresses that make your post disappear along with anyone else’s down the line (you are spiteful against your fellow bloggers) and use multiple aliases.

    You lie and deceive in most of your posts, and anyone that follows the links can see John Say, Iowan, and others destroying you.

    Politically, though you deny it, you cling tightly to fascism and have a significant affinity for Stalinism. You want children abused in schools, believe in censorship at will, and will use guns and force against anyone who disagrees.

  5. Which of the following would not be criminal under the “Schiff standard?”

    A. Any action (or inaction) taken by Joe “Mr. Ten Percent” Biden, a member of his family, or their co-conspirators.
    B. The murder of Ashli Babbitt
    C. The FBI’s interference in the 2020 election
    D. All of the above

  6. Anonymous the Stupid, we have heard your banter about Twitter and how fine it is that government indirectly censored people. That is a part of fascism. We have heard your statements about big government. We have heard your take on the gradual elimination of American rights. We have heard you applauding government using guns to get their way.

    Plain and simple you are a fascist. When you define the word you will find much of the above in any definition.

  7. Real President Donald J. Trump: “Peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,…” on an election stolen by Chris Wray, J. Baker, Zuck at FB, Jack at TWTR, the MSM, the DDS et al.

    Deep Deep State Capitol Police: Open the gates, open the doors, wave the rioters in, deliberately inflame the lunatic fringe component of the mob (on video).

    “Oppressed Minority” and Affirmative Action Beneficiary, Michael Byrd: Employ the ridiculously disproportionate force of an “assault” weapon in cowardly fashion to shoot and kill, Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed female (the very definition of the word woman) protestor who had struck debilitating fear in Mikey’s lion heart.

    Liz Cheney: Implore “Daddy” to make them make me president; you promised!!!

  8. “A Case of Hope Over Experience: The J6 Referral Falls Short of a Credible Criminal Case”

    This column is a great illustration of Turley’s objectivity, and of his fidelity to the law and the Constitution. Notice how he clearly distinguishes his *personal* view of Trump’s behavior from his analysis of the law and of the facts of the case.

    To the modern Left, the law is a malleable tool used to satisfy a desire (in this case, to “get Trump”). To Turley, the law is Lady Justice.

    When the Leftists smear him, they are attacking him for his *virtue*.

    1. It does not matter.

      Criminal intent is easy to prove – we all beleive it is criminal for someone else to intend something we do not like.
      Left, right most everyone here finds the conduct of those on the other side criminal.
      Sometimes it is. Often it is not.

      Turley touches on the Biden corruption. There is no doubt Joe Biden is corrupt. There is no doubt he had criminal intent.
      There is already enough to impeach him should democrats not be wearing blinders.
      It is even highly likely that an investigation will find an actual crime.
      But so far there is 10,000 times more than needed to deeply investigate.
      There is no compelling evidence of a crime. And though an investigation will likely reveal massive it sill may end with Joe having to pardon his son and no proof of criminal conduct by Biden.

      But there is little doubt of criminal intent.

      In the US intent – knowing that what you are doing is wrong, is necescary for most crimes.
      But intent is not a crime itself, nor even an element of a crime. it is just a requirement for all crimes except statutory crimes.
      Crimes like sex with someone underage where intent is not needed.

  9. A totally expected Barr esque preemptive attempt by Turley to blur the actual report being released today by the J6 Committee. As usual, he alludes to a weakness in a prospective case while completely ignoring significant strengths…

    Weakness: Getting beyond the hearsay in regard to seditious conspiracy. While all of us know trump and those he leaned on are guilty of this (including those mouthpiecing for him, like, umm, Turley himself)…it’s unclear whether DOJ will press forward in the actual criminal portion of the investigation on the conspiracy….

    Where they will press forward after a January indictment on classified material/espionage, is with obstruction. Here a criminal case *has* been made by the Committee, Turley’s boiler plate denial aside.

    As I’ve said on this blog many times before, it’s been somewhat of a Greek tragedy watching Turley double down after his friend Barr took the exit ramp from the cray awhile back. It’s not certain whether he’s playing for future defense work or whether he just wagered poorly in making a judgement Wasington would be full authoritarian by now. Either way, Jon made moves that while they paid off financially were career crushing in terms of being widely respected. He’ll be the equivalent of a lawyer in the Bush administration who worked on pro torture issues starting right about now.

    1. And yet the FACT is that the “evidence” you have is of a conspiracy to act within the law and constitution.

      This is why everyone goes “ho hum”

      Because you came up with nothing.

      If nearly everything that the J6 committee found one person to say or to say they heard is true – there still is NO CRIME.

      It is perfectly legal and constitutional to attempt to overturn an election. Democrats try all the time.

      Very rarely people have succeeded.

      Guess what Election fraud and malfeasance is real. The only thing unusual about Trump’s claims of election fraud in 2020 is the scale and the fact that they would have required a broad conspiracy.

      Yet, the Twitter files have just PROVED a large conspiracy to influence the 2020 election. It is no longer much of a leap to large scale ballot harvesting and election fraud.

      Regardless, you are free to beleive what you wish.

      In American you have a constitutional right to be wrong. You have a constitutional right to act legally even if you are wrong.
      You can even act legally for known false and bad reasons.

      There is absolutely no crime in the US of “bad motive”

      Yet, that is the core of not just the referals, but the whole J6 investigation.

        1. What has happened repeatedly in the past even recent past is presumptively legal.
          If it were not, Gore, Kerry, Abrams, Clinton and myriads of other “election denying” democrats would be in jail.

          Election challenges occur. They are more frequent the closer elections are. Since 2000 we have more and more close elections.
          And more election challenges. Al Franken lost on Election day by about 2300 votes. Over the course of almost a year, in court he picked up 5000 votes and won.

          We are in the midst of a major political re-alignment and until that completes – and possibly after, we will continue to see lost of close races.

          Therefore we will have lots of election challenges.

          Bush/Gore 2000 was a disaster. to almost anyone with a brain it should have been obvious that the margin of victory was so small and the margin of error so large you could count the election over and over and get signficantly different results every time.

          Democrats say the Supreme court gave the election to Bush. That is true. But ultimately someone was going to have to give it to someone.
          No matter who won FL in 2000 the result was going to be determined by a judge.

          We avoided claims of fraud in 2000 – but anyone who doubts there was plenty of fraud in 2000 – and every election lives in a hole.

          Brennan center lists to say election fraud is rare – though there data is bad. Regardless, election fraud is nearly non existent in elections that are not going to be close. The larger the amount of fraud needed to win an election the less likely fraud is and the more likely it gets caught.

          Bushes 2002 HAV which got rid of punched cards and mechanical voting machines was important as those are sources of error and the machines are sources of fraud.

          But replacing them with block box voting terminals and OCR scanners is not that much of an improvement.

          Worse from 2000 through the present we have seen widespread adoption of voter convenience measures. Early voting, no excuses absentee voting. now mailin voting. AZ’s on demand ballot printers.

          All of these add complexity, increase the error rate, and increase the oportunity for Fraud.

          If you wish to beleive 2020 had no significant fraud – delude yourself. Regardless, so long as we continue the messy election processes we have and the close elections we will have fraud, likely increasing. and eventually it is going to get caught and they will cast further doubt on all elections through to 2020.

          The fact that Trump’s claims did not get a real public hearing means that once we have demonstrable fraud in an election – millions of people will change their beleif about 2020.

          We need to clean up our elections. It is self evident the process is a massive error prone mess and that you will have massive problems with people trusting results.

          We need transparency, adherence to the law, and simplicity.

          Mailin elections are a mistake. But if we must have them, then we must have ONLY mailin elections, we can not do combinations, that complicates everything greatly. We must have an ID system to verify Mailin voters identity, States must mail ballots on request. Ballots must be returned only by mail. and we must prohibit political campaigns from sending people to voters homes while ballots are outstanding.
          If you can not campaign at a polling place – you can not campaign in someone’s home. No one but immediate family should ever see another persons ballots.

          But we would be better off getting rid of mailin voting completely. Early voting is a mistake – it is not as bad as mailin voting, but it is still problematic. It complicates voting and complexity means errors and errors mean lack of trust and oportunity for fraud.

    2. The twitter files reveal that the FBI Under Barr was illegally trying to influence an election – as well as exposing state censorship.


      There are alot of things I like about Barr. He is one of the most articulate and best defenders of Trump and the Trump administration.

      But when he goes off on “the election was fair and square” – my eyes fog over.

      The portions of the Federal Government HE was responsible for were actively involved in influencing an election.

      Barr was asleep at the wheel on this. Clearly did not know what those under him were up to.
      And so far is not honest enough to admit that.

      YOU can pretend that the activities the Twitter files reveal are kosher. There is not a way on earth that AG Barr would have tolerated those actions had he known about them.

        1. “He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side, if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion… Nor is it enough that he should hear the opinions of adversaries from his own teachers, presented as they state them, and accompanied by what they offer as refutations. He must be able to hear them from persons who actually believe them…he must know them in their most plausible and persuasive form.”

          ― John Stuart Mill, On Liberty

  10. Mr. Turley well knows an interagency referral is merely a formal request from one branch of government to another to review investigative materials and evidence obtained as a result of official congressional proceedings. The interviews and witness statements from, reportedly, at least a thousand people at the Jan 6th insurrection/riot will be helpful in filling out the official investigation being conducted by the Special Counsel right now.

    1. to review investigative materials and evidence obtained as a result of official congressional proceedings

      It has no Constitutional basis. It is meaningless.

      1. It does not mater as the incoming head of HPSCI noted, Republicans in the house will have more power than ever before – becuase of Democrat precidents.

        Turn About is Fair play.

        The mess we have today does not correct itself until everyone returns to the narrow rule of law as written.
        Otherwise we play an ever escalating game of gotcha as each side uses the ever disintegrating rules and norms to persecute the other.

        Nunes just revealed that in 2017 the DOJ was spying on the HPSCI as they were investigating the Collusion Delusion.
        Aparently Rosenstein had threatened to do so in an angry meeting with congressional staff, but walked it back claiming he was only joking.
        Except that Nunes and others through FOIA requests has found the government subpeonas and they predate Rosensteins outburst.
        Nunes said that the house was suspicious of this for some time, as DOJ seemed to know what HPSCI staff were doing long before being told.

        Nunes said that the HPSCI sent numerous criminal referals to DOJ that Durham is purportedly investigating and except Sussman and Danchenko these are all people in government, They all either lied to congress under oath or obstructed congressional investigation.

      2. It’s “meaningless”? A detailed and comprehensive investigation and presentation of the facts of January 6th are, in toto, meaninglessly? Trump is a the worst president ever to occupy the White House.

  11. OT comment. Dr. Robert Malone is a fraud. And a liar. The truth will eventually come out to expose this sob for who and what he actually is. Do not buy into a word this fraud says.

    1. Can you provide an actual basis for this – aside from vague “the truth will come out”.

      Either you know something or your guessing.

        1. I am perfectly willing to listen to claims regarding Malone, but I want some support for those claims before I will pass judgement.

          Just as there are people one both sides of any debate that are quacks. There are people who are not.

          Sometimes they are brilliant and quacks. William Shockley was both brilliant and racist.

    2. This statement demonstrates what liars ATS and anonymous commenters on the left are. Malone’s research is available for all to see. Most of his work has been proven accurate.

      There is not much difference between the left of today and the left in the era surrounding WW2. The left continuously lies to convince an unwary public of things that are not true, diverting them from reality.

  12. “The FBI reimbursed Twitter to the tune of more than $3 million as it pushed the social media company to ban accounts and target so-called “foreign influence” operations, the latest installment of the “Twitter Files” revealed on Monday.

    In an email dated Feb. 10, 2021, an unidentified Twitter employee told then-deputy general counsel Jim Baker and then-general counsel Sean Edgett that “we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!”


    1. It is worse than that. This occured because Twitter got annoyed at repeated requests by the FBI to look for Russian bots.
      Which Twitter did over and over – and never found any.

      1. Musk signaled he has evidence the same happened at facebook. It sounds like the payments are statutorily provided for when the govt requests information. As you noted, twitter never submitted paperwork until the FBI refused to accept Russia bots were not “a thing”. and kept demanding they find them

        1. These requests are investigative (that is of course assuming they are legitimate, rather than just primining)

          For the FBI to open an investigation it must have evidence that meets the reasonable suspicion standard.

          The FBI can not just go to Twitter and say – look for russian bots engaged in election interferance.

          It must have some equivalent of the Downer/Papadoulis meeting or the Steele Dossier as a basis to open an investigation and make these requests.

          Yet we have testimony before congress by the FBI that they have absolutely no indications of any efforts by Russia to influence the 2020 election.

          Both can not be true. Either the testimony to congress is perjury, or the requests to Social MEdia are without the required predicate and are illegal and unconstitutional.

          Regardless, it is increasingly clear that the DHS, CIA, FBI, DOJ have all become political actors in support of the democratic party – regardless of which party is in power.

          This is a HUGE problem. In the 50’s we had government – the FBI and HUAC unconstitutionally targeting communists.

          Communism is an absolutely repugnant ideology that has always lead to copious bloodshed.
          But in the US we allow people to advocate for pedophilia, so long as they do not practice it.
          That is free speech and that is freedom of affiliation.

          The Blacklists are a dark part of our history – they were somewhat bipartisan, But there is little debate that Republican Sen. Joe MacCarthy lead the charge.

          In the 60’s we had the FBI targeting the civil rights movement. And we were all aghast at that.

          Today we have multiple intelligence agencies targeting republicans. Nothing that came before is this bad or this dangerous.

          First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
          Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist.
          Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
          Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

          Martin Neomoller

          1. “This is a HUGE problem. In the 50’s we had government – the FBI and HUAC unconstitutionally targeting communists.” …”The Blacklists are a dark part of our history – they were somewhat bipartisan, But there is little debate that Republican Sen. Joe MacCarthy lead the charge.”

            I suspect that placing the blame on McCarthy and using McCarthy’s name as the villain for the story is an attempt to make us focus narrowly instead of broadly. In that way, one could shift blame to a name and add the fear of being called a McCarthyite. I believe that is and has been a tool of the left. We must understand what the public knew and thought about this history.

            McCarthy, despite his disagreeability, was right. The public, however, is mistaken about the who, what, and when.

            1938 was the date HUAC started. Their investigations were ongoing when McCarthy became the Senator from Wisconsin in 1947, about the time the Hollywood 10 went before HUAC. People blame McCarthy for that blacklist, but he had nothing to do with it. The timing was wrong, and McCarthy was a Senator, not a representative of the House.

            Did “Republican Sen. Joe MacCarthy lead the charge”? No, but he was part of the process and left with the blame.

            It is true McCarthy had a list of names, but he did not disclose them, except for the one he cited after an unrelenting attack by Welch. The person mentioned was a member of the Welch firm who Welch wanted on a committee. Was that release of a name part of McCarthy’s disagreeableness or Welch’s relentless attacks calling for McCarthy to name names? That led to ‘have you no decency’. Whose fault was it when McCarthy named ONE person who happened to be in Welch’s firm, Welch or McCarthy?

            Was McCarthy correct? YES. Was McCarthy asking to fire the people on his list? No. He wanted those people investigated and removed from sensitive jobs until cleared of suspicion. His list was smaller than the FBI list, though some confused the two. The army also had a list and an ongoing investigation. When released, that investigation, known as the Venona Files, proved McCarthy correct.

            1. Let me direct you in another direction, providing one example of how committees in Congress, the press, and the public handled those disclosing names and locations of communist agents on our shores. William A. Wort is known for his work in the school system, but the public knows little about his work investigating communist infiltration in America and our government.

              He appeared before a committee of 5, three Democrats and two Republicans. I bring this up because of the J6 committee. Like the J6 committee, they heard what they wanted to hear. They didn’t give due attention to his witnesses and didn’t call many of them before the committee. Some made a mockery of his testimony, and then news reports made a mockery of him at parties and elsewhere.

              Why did they have to do this? Were they trying to make him into a fool so that what he brought to the committee would be disbelieved? Isn’t that how Jan6 handled the committee while the press reported on its actions?

              When he first came to Washington, someone else arrived at the same time, but for the opposite reasons. That person was Whittaker Chambers, who in 1948 blew the whistle on communist activities and named names such as Alger Hiss. I don’t know if Chambers had any connections to Wort, but he had been a Time Magazine’s senior editor. I will bet Time Magazine was part of the media that attempted to prevent Wort’s testimony from being believed. Isn’t that what we see from the MSM today?

              Later before he died, one of the Democrat committee members, O’Conner, confessed in the media that the committee lied.

              Wort, like McCarthy, was effectively silenced, but both were correct. The left was able to stem the truth by preventing testimony and lying while relying on the press to cover their tracks while promoting the leftist version of events. We see this at the Jan 6 committee, where the left has been somewhat successful. We see this everywhere. Today, people look down at committees trying to prevent communist infiltration when they should be looking up, as these spies were investigating the communist community that was in the process of killing over 100 million people.

            2. MacCarthy was correct about the danger of the communism – we are seeing that in this marxism 2.0 that has taken over today.

              But MacCarthy was absolutely wrong in his actions. You can not sh!t on your own values to defeat even an evil enemy.

              I am not even slightly interested in defending MacCarthy – you are missing details of the Welch/MacCarthy conflict.
              Also that is painted as the tipping point. The real tipping point was that MacCarthy was going after the military next, and Eisenhower said HELL NO!

              Is the story, MacCarthy, Republicans, against freedom ? No. As I recall, even John Kennedy was part of going after communists.
              As was Nixon. And Alger Hiss actually was a Russian Spy.
              In Hollywood Reagan was a part of the blacklists, as was John Wayne.

              Certainly there is a bigger story. Regardless, what was done was mostly Wrong.
              Just as what is being done now is even more wrong.

              I will defend the right of svelaz and the worst people on the left to say the stupid things they say.
              And then I will fight tooth and nail to expose what they say as garbage.

              There have been twitter file claims that the Trump WH had some small involvement. Matt Taibbi reported that he was TOLD that, but also that he saw not evidence yet.

              If they were – then screw them too.
              I am not defending Trump or Republicans
              I am defending Free Speech.

              This is dangerous, immoral and evil.
              It was in the 50’s regardless of which party was pushing it. and regardless of how repugnant communists are.

              1. “But MacCarthy was absolutely wrong in his actions. You can not sh!t on your own values to defeat even an evil enemy.”

                What are the 3 most important values he shite on in his actions before the Senate dealing with communism?

                1. individual liberty. That is the only one I need to prove MacCarthy immoral.

                  Most every critique I am making of Svelaz is true of MacCarthy

                  They are the same.

                  1. .McCarthy had a mouth but no power outside of one vote.

                    “individual liberty.”

                    I will deal with your words exactly as you said without adding modifiers, since you didn’t.

                    “individual liberty.”

                    What individual liberty are you talking about? Is it the individual liberty permitting one to burn people’s houses down?

              2. “you are missing details of the Welch/MacCarthy conflict.
                Also that is painted as the tipping point. The real tipping point was that MacCarthy was going after the military next, and Eisenhower said HELL NO!”

                He was going after communists in the government and even in the military. He stepped on a lot of toes and didn’t go about it in the best way possible. Eisenhower was a hero and people reacted to some of the ways McCarthy ended up trashing people.

                However, McCarthy was right about the existence of communists in sensitive areas of government and the Venona Documents proved him correct.

                1. There is a difference between going after communists and going after spies.

                  Alger Hiss was an actual spy.

                  Communism is a vile ideology. But people are free to hold to whatever beleifs they wish.

                  1. “There is a difference between going after communists and going after spies.”

                    Whittaker Chambers wasn’t a spy until they found out he was a spy.

                    Tell us the names of some communists McCarthy went after.

                    1. I mean hollywood. I was not being specific.

                      It is legitimate for Congress to look into spying inside of government.

                      Given that at the time our biggest enemies were the USSR and China – communist party membership or involvement is a reasonable basis for investigating, someone in a position to spy.

                      It is not a basis for the federal government to pry into a persons private life in anything that does not have clear national security implications.

                    2. “I mean hollywood. I was not being specific.”

                      John, in a discussion about McCarthy, the response Hollywood would mean the Hollywood 10, not Hollywood teachers. It’s hard to imagine you were arbitrarily naming a city, or you could have just as easily thrown out the city of Pittsburg.

                      The Hollywood 10 is associated with McCarthy, and that proves my earlier point that most blame McCarthy for things he did not do. You are aware HUAC was a committee in the House, not the Senate, and that is where the Holywood 10 took place. McCarthy was a Senator frequently blamed for the Hollywood 10 and other incidents, some of which occurred before he took office.

                      You know McCarthy had nothing to do with the Hollywood 10, yet asked to name some of the communists McCarthy went after, you mentioned Hollywood proving the use of:

                      “McCarthy’s name as the villain for the story is an attempt to make us focus narrowly instead of broadly. In that way, one could shift blame to a name and add the fear of being called a McCarthyite. I believe that IS AND HAS BEEN A TOOL OF THE LEFT. We must understand what the public knew and thought about this history”.


                      Now, John, let us get back to the question. What were some of the names of the people McCarthy went after?

              3. “As I recall, even John Kennedy was part of going after communists.”

                At one point Robert Kennedy was the assistant counsel to Cohn for McCarthy.
                “In Hollywood Reagan was a part of the blacklists, as was John Wayne.”

                You are either wrong or worded the above wrongly.

                “I will defend the right of svelaz and the worst people on the left to say the stupid things they say.”

                McCarthy wasn’t trying to abridge speech rights.

                This is the problem. You seem to be adding things against McCarthy that didn’t exist. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like how he managed himself but we are focussing on McCarthy rather than what was actually happening much like the left focuses on Trump instead of what is happening.

                  1. “MacCarthy was trying to deprive communists of jobs.”

                    McCarthy did things poorly, but he was correct and proven right again and again, but you still wish to chastise him for those things done by others.

                    McCarthy didn’t name names. In fact, he didn’t ask to fire people. He asked to move them from sensitive jobs until an investigation took place. Isn’t that how we generally handle things?

                    The rhetoric of the times was too emotional, but it promoted what needed to happen. I might complain about the excesses, but in the end, McCarthy’s theme was correct. Today we see something similar in our school systems. We have people in ‘sensitive’ positions in the schools who teach ‘CRT’ and sexualize our children. Do you wish to argue that by stopping these actions or getting rid of those that persist, we are taking away ‘jobs’ and ‘individual liberty’?

                    Based on these three comments in a row, I suggest you reread what I initially wrote because you are asking questions already answered.

                    For anyone else that might be confused as to what was said previously the two posts are at:

                    1. You have fallen into the trap of blaming everything on McCarthy.

                      The essential problem was communists in essential and sensitive portions of our government. Mc Carthy was correct.
                      The process is problematic because people invariably get hurt when malfeasance exists among a lot of people because it is difficult to separate the good from the bad.
                      I agreed McCarthy’s personality wasnt the best for the job and sometimes the process became abusive. That is to be expected because underneath what was being seen was different groups that wanted to live things the same.

                      Those groups included communists, politicians, corporations, and mislead people. That is pretty similar to what we are seeing today. I am sure when Musk fired all those people he should have kept some of them and fired others. That is the name of the game. It is easy to criticize but criticism alone is valueless. Why was McCarthy more wrong than anyone else. provide names and details.

                    2. MacCarthy is dead. At the moment he is just a label for the evil that he and those like him did.

                      Absolutely there are complexities – there were real spies and they were a legitimate target.

                      I have concerns about marxists as teachers – that have been borne out by history – but that is not a federal matter.

                      The blacklists were and still are technically legal.
                      They are no different from the nonsense that the left is doing today – “cancel culture”

                      That was a mistake then. It is wrong now too.

                      I have no problem admitting that MacCarthy and those he represents were right about alot.
                      Marxism is toxic and evil. But as Brandeis wrote – the remedy is more speech, not force silence.

                      You win the argument in the court of public oppinion – not by rigging the game and silencing your opponent.
                      That is immoral – whether on the right or left. it is also dangerous.

                    3. .”MacCarthy is dead. At the moment he is just a label for the evil that he and those like him did.”

                      John, it is not just a label. It is a leftist method of burying what the left does so that the next generation has to start from scratch and believe it is the conservative/libertarian at fault for everything.

                      You proved that with your statement, Hollywood. McCarthy had nothing to do with the Hollywood 10. There were communists in sensitive government positions. Today we are more advanced. We have Socialists (Marxist ideology despite what they might believe.) in government, the media, Hollywood, academia, and elsewhere. How does that happen? In part because the left won the war of words and was able to bury what occurred by substituting a name and demeaning that name.

                      “I have concerns about marxists as teachers ”

                      Having concern doesn’t do much for the future. Understanding what happened (McCarthyism is one of those things) better helps us prevent bad things.

                      “I have no problem admitting that MacCarthy and those he represents were right about alot.”

                      Then one should reconstruct that word game the left plays to understand and realize how they duped the public. Republicans are afraid of being called McCarhyites. If you haven’t noticed, Democrats have no such concern. They created the term and use it ‘liberally’ to promote their brand of Marxism.

                      “Marxism is toxic and evil. But as Brandeis wrote – the remedy is more speech, not force silence.”

                      The term McCarthyism (I don’t personally like McCarthy) prevents more speech and free speech. Think of who uses it. Today, that term isn’t much different than the term racist. They shut people up.

                      “That is immoral – whether on the right or left. it is also dangerous.”

                      This so-called game is not one of who is more immoral. The left is immoral. The right can occasionally act immorally, but that is not something today that is a primary characteristic of the right.

          2. “. . . HUAC unconstitutionally targeting communists.”

            I disagree.

            HUAC’s focus was *not* on an individual’s convictions or ideas. The focus was on an individual’s membership in the communist party — a party openly dedicated to the armed overthrow of the government. If there is such a thing as “sedition” (violent overthrow of the government), then that party and its members were guilty as hell.

            In addition, notice the hypocrisy of those “humanitarians.” They kept squawking “free speech, free speech” — while endorsing a communist ideology that criminalizes speech.

            As for the private movie studios that blacklisted writers, et al., that is their right. If they don’t want to support loathsome creatures bent on destroying America — people should cheer.

            1. Sam, I might be in the middle of this. There were excesses, but the investigations were necessary to remove people from sensitive positions in government.

              Look what is happening today. Biden is a crook, and many in the FBI have aided and abetted him. Did we win the cold war? If so, why is our government spying on its citizens, censoring their speech, stealing their money, rigging elections, and jailing people? Many of those investigated were pushing for what we have today. One could say that they won.

            2. If you believe in liberty, you must allow those who do not the liberty to speak.

              It is irrelevant whether communists advocate for the murder of babies.
              If you truly beleive in liberty they must be free to speak, they must have all the rights that you claim for yourself.

              The fact that they would not do the same for you is not relevant.
              Either you believe what you claim, or you don’t.

              MacCarthy didn’t. HUAC didn’t. Progressives today don’t.

              Svelaz doesn’t

      2. John, thank you, but I know it is worse than that, but here we have the beginning of a money trail.

        We will never get to the bottom of this just like we haven’t in the past because too many in government and elsewhere are involved want things kept hidden. This has been going on for decades. Look at how many times the FBI has been accused of acting out of line. We can make a list and the list will not exclude any decade since the FBI was formed. Has it gotten better or worse? Worse, because today the FBI is on the side of our nation’s enemies.

        1. There is far more than we need in the Twitterfiles.

          I allowed Svelaz to distract me while he is completely incorrect in his claim that the FBI avoided making Twitter a State Actor,

          What is far more important is that there was no legitimate purpose to any of this.

          The FBI was knowingly requesting Twitter to censor information that the knew to be truthful in order to rig an election.

          They told twitter multiple lies.

          There may be circumstances in which the government can legitimately ask the media to censor the truth – such as shipping schedules in times of war. This is not one of those. They asked Twitter to censor multiple stories they knew to be true.

          None of this censorship served any purpose except to rig the election.

          Svelaz can only argue that the FBI’s actions were acceptable by ignoring the fact that the only purpose was to rig the election, and no other legitimate purpose is possible.

          1. “This is not one of those. They asked Twitter to censor multiple stories they knew to be true.
            None of this censorship served any purpose except to rig the election. ”

            In the discussion, you focused on the abuses rather than the nation as a whole. I agree that those abuses should never have occurred but what we are seeing today are the abuses under investigation yesterday. Our emotions and indignation failed to permit us to focus on a dangerous problem that we are now paying for today.

            You are optimistic because of a belief that tides turn. I am a pessimist because I believe the turning of the tides never bring us back to the freedoms we had before.

            There is no perfect world, so there cannot be perfect liberty.

  13. I generally respect you, Jonathan, but this line was pretty bad….
    “The reason that Mar-a-Lago presents a greater threat to Trump is that it is based on his actions, not inaction, in retaining classified material.”

    You know quite well that the President can declassify anything he wants to and ‘classified’ markings are meaningless with respect to this. If you declassify something it must have classified, right? So how the Hell wouldn’t it have classified markings on it? I’m surprised you would make a statement that ignores the fundamentals of the separation of powers and the powers of the President in terms of classification.

    1. And he offered the guard to protect the Capitol…but that was declined. So if mens rea is an element….it was not Trump’s men’s rea for an insurrection. At all. But it was some one else’s men’s res….the person who declined…the guards security. This is obvious. But I guess we are going all alabama here….where if the cops shoot someone….the kid gets felony murder….because but for their armed robbery…going off without a hitch….the cops shot a perp…..it’s logical b.s.. But here even worse….he offered defenses….and someone said “no thanks”….worse the 100 politicians he must have conspired with…..for “denial” a and they are not charged in his “conspiracy” ? What gives?

      1. That’s a really good point that I hadn’t connected before. I feel like Washington is now like a corrupt detective fiction town as you said. It was always corrupt, but not this flagrantly.

      2. @Jaelyn,

        Yes, you would need intent and mens rhea for some of the charges.
        But the obstruction, could be different.

        In an earlier comment, someone posted a link to a Dershowitz video where he gives a very detailed explanation.

    2. To date there is no evidence of Actions regarding Classified material at MAL.

      That is one of the weakest parts of the govenrments case.

      There was absolutely no legal way classified infomation gould get on Hillary’s basement bathroom email server.

      So how did Classified information get to MAL ?

      The possibilities:

      It was transfered there while Trump was president. That is legal.
      It was transfered there inadvertently by GSA as Trump was leaving office. – Legal
      Trump declassified it an transfered it there – legal.

      Sometime after J20, 2021, Trump snuck to DC scaled he WH fence grabbed a bunch of classified documents and brought them back to MAL.
      Not legal but not plausible.

      It is near 100% certain that what is at MAL got their legally – whether classified or not.

      At that point DOJ has the same problem with the MAL case as the J6 case.

      Failure to do something is not a crime.

    3. The professor’s line still holds though. Crime through inaction is a very difficult thing to get a conviction on, or should be. Saying Trump didn’t “call them off early enough” simply is not criminal. Immoral arguably. Whereas with the documents at least there’s a crime there,albeit a very arguable one.

  14. The Leftists are really good at accusing others of doing the same thing that the Leftists are doing but for them it’s supposed to be allowed because they are so much better than everyone else. They have fallen seriously short of what’s needed to bring this to an actual jury. I remember the Hicks chick; she was fired for talking about things that had gone on in the office and she got caught and at first, she came out and said it was her fault and that she lost the best job she could have ever had. And now she’s trying to get back at Trump because he didn’t bring her back on. That will fall completely on its ass. Not to mention that Trump came out with not only a video of Twitter but also two more tweets asking people to just go home. He reminded them that we are the party of law and order and to respect the men and women in blue. He did everything he could to stop it. Not to mention that the only people who were arrested and are still in jail are Trump supporters. What about Antifa and BLM. They were both there that day and they were the ones climbing the buildings and breaking the windows and causing all of the unrest and damage. Trump supporters might have gotten a little out of line, but it would be hard pressed to claim insurrection since they had no weapons. You can’t take over a government by saying stop, we are going to remove you. We don’t have any weapons, but we demand that you follow our orders. And just how far do you think they would have gone with that. The only people who were armed were the police and Antifa/BLM. This whole farce is to try and keep Trump off the ballot. What they haven’t thought about is that they have made Trump far more popular than he ever was. The people see the contradiction in all of this and how Trump has been persecuted for 7 years and they have yet to have found anything wrong and prosecutorial.

  15. My favorite part was a woman whose constituents decided she was unfit for office telling everyone Trump is unfit for office.

      1. You can eliminate the conflict between Trump and Chenney entirely from consideration and still Easily come to the conclusion that the world and Montana are far better off with Cheney out of congress.

        But for Cheney Republicans would have been able to roll back SOME of the Patriot Act under Trump.

        Cheney is a Neo-Con. It is time for the neo-cons to return to the democratic party where they belong.

    1. The committee was so biased they screwed themselves. They baked this into the mix same as Both Impechments , shams! NY Attorney General found nothing on Trump! Mar a Lagongor all the whoopla ALL CHARGES DROPPED. J6 is the LSST CHANCE !! Ant blown away ! Garland himself Under Investigation! We the People have had Enough !!

    2. BRANSON vs ADAMS is at the Supreme Court doors !! If the cCourt has COURAGE they will take this case in full hearing! IF WON Biden, Kamala, Pelosi & Pence banned forever!! 🙏🏻 300+ CONGRESSMAN also!! “CREEKS NOT GOING TO CLEAR UP TILL THE SWAMP IS CLEARED OF CRITTERS!” Let’s Clear that Swamp : 👍🏻 🐍🐊🐍

  16. The committee lacked credibility from the go. 16 minutes after President Trump was inaugurated, Democrats vowed to impeach him. Clearly, he has been the victim of a witch hunt from day one. They stole the election from him, anyone who denies this fact is too stupid to waste time in discussion. What happened on J6 was an FBI setup, if you don’t know that, stick your head back up your rear end.

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