Domestic Terrorist Theater

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The so-called “bipartisan” House committee (read: Democrats and a few NeverTrump Republicans) investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol voted unanimously today to refer former Trump White House strategist Steve Bannon to the Justice Department for criminal charges. This tees up a full House vote Thursday to hold Bannon in contempt for defying a congressional subpoena.

This saga has dragged on for a while now, and this latest plot twist comes after Bannon refused to provide documents to the committee or appear for a slated deposition after President Trump likewise refused to provide documents and other evidence to the committee on the basis of executive privilege.

But while Bannon follows Trump’s lead, it appears most of the other targets of this “investigation” are rolling right over. Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) opened the hearing by stressing that Bannon “stands alone in his complete defiance of our subpoena.”

“It’s a shame that Mr. Bannon has put us in this position. But we won’t take ‘no’ for an answer. We believe Mr. Bannon has information relevant to our probe, and we’ll use the tools at our disposal to get that information,” he said.

“I want to make it clear just how isolated Mr. Bannon is in his refusal to cooperate with the Select Committee. We have reached out to dozens of witnesses. We are taking in thousands of pages of records. We are conducting interviews on a steady basis. This is the shoe-leather work of conducting a serious, focused investigation,” he added.

It will ultimately be up to the Justice Department to file charges against Bannon, something that could result in a fine, jail time or both.

The panel running this probe released a criminal contempt report late Monday to lay out in writing the multiple attempts by the committee to seek compliance from Bannon, only to be repeatedly rebuffed by his attorney, Bob Costello.

The report also offers new insight into the information the committee was seeking from Bannon, including any possible ties to patriot groups such as the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

It also asks for information about his coordination with another figure who was subpoenaed, Kash Patel, who was then serving as the chief of staff to acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, as well as Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA), who, according to a report from the Senate Judiciary Committee, was recently highlighted as a key figure in Trump’s pressure campaign on the Justice Department in the waning days of his presidency.

“Until such time as you reach an agreement with President Trump or receive a court ruling as to the extent, scope and application of the executive privilege … Mr. Bannon will not be producing documents or testifying,” Costello wrote the committee the day before Bannon was scheduled to testify.

Mr. Costello appears to be making a reasonable claim, namely that nothing should be turned over until the courts rule on President Trump’s executive privilege suit.

But that isn’t good enough for Liz Cheney, the Wyoming representative who is on a personal crusade to rid Washington DC of any hint that Trump was ever there. She seeks not only to punish Trump and his circle, but to rid the Capitol of the stench of Trump-ism. Make no mistake — she’s going to milk the Jan 6. riot for all it’s worth.

“Based on the Committee’s investigation, it appears that Mr. Bannon had substantial advance knowledge of the plans for January 6th and likely had an important role in formulating those plans.  Mr. Bannon was in the war room at the Willard on January 6th. He also appears to have detailed knowledge regarding the President’s efforts to sell millions of Americans the fraud that the election was stolen,” she said.

She also sought to poke holes in his executive privilege argument, saying no such claim could shield Bannon from testifying on all topics under the subpoena.

“Mr. Bannon’s and Mr. Trump’s privilege arguments do appear to reveal one thing, however:  they suggest that President Trump was personally involved in the planning and execution of January 6th. And we will get to the bottom of that,” Cheney said.

Holy conspiracy theory, Batman.

According to Liz Cheney, the storming of the Capitol–to the extent it was ‘stormed,’ was the masterplan of boogeyman Trump and his team of henchman led by Steve Bannon. The narrative is quickly reaching absurdity levels not seen since the infamous “pee-pee dossier,” but that of course does not matter. Absurdity has never kept the Establishment from enforcing their self-serving narratives, complete with media support.

As for Trump’s lawsuit, it was filed against the committee and the National Archives on Monday, challenging a sweeping records request seeking documents and communications from within the White House “relating in any way” to Trump’s wife, children, and a litany of aides and informal advisers within Trump’s orbit.

President Biden recently waived executive privilege over the trove of documents, with White House counsel Dana Remus citing “unique and extraordinary circumstances.”

The committee has strongly pushed back on any claims to executive privilege.

“First, virtually all the documents and testimony sought by the subpoena concern Mr. Bannon’s actions as a private citizen and involve a broad range of subjects that are not covered by executive privilege,” Thompson wrote to Costello in early October.

“Even if your client has been a senior aide to the president during the period covered by the contemplated testimony, which he was most assuredly not, he is not permitted by law to the type of immunity you suggest Mr. Trump has requested he assert,” he added.

The committee also denied a last-minute attempt by Bannon to delay the vote given Trump’s lawsuit.

Others facing subpoenas, including Patel and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, are said to be “engaging” with the committee. But swampers in the House have stressed anyone who ultimately refuses to cooperate with the committee will face the same repercussions as Bannon.

“I want other witnesses to understand something very plainly: If you’re thinking of following the path Mr. Bannon has gone down, you’re on notice that this is what you’ll face,” Thompson said.

“We will be back in this room, with a new report, with the names of whoever else mistakenly believes they are above the law,” he added.

The question of whether Bannon will be prosecuted rests with the Justice Department, and the White House has stressed that the DoJ will have complete independence when making this decision. Of course, they stress it because no one actually believes that. The shameless Adam Schiff is already hopped up on the partisan justice around the corner, as it’s exactly what he sought during the Trump presidency, truth be damned.

“All I can say is that I’m very encouraged by what we have seen from the Justice Department and the administration thus far,” Schiff said.

“The administration like any administration wants to make sure to protect the prerogative of the executive, but here they have made it clear now in multiple ways that the public interest in getting to the bottom of a bloody insurrection outweighs any considerations of privilege, and again, I just underscore with Bannon, we’re not really talking about privilege here,” he added.

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Big Picture

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Will Bannon be prosecuted?

Right now, it’s very hard to tell. Legal experts have noted that the DoJ is showing signs of reluctance. When that happens, congressional committees often pursue civil suits instead. It’s not nearly as messy or controversial.

Criminal prosecution for contempt is considered a ‘nuclear weapon’ in these cases. Most often, prosecutors take the path of least resistance, which in this case would mean a civil suit. We should remember, though, that the rules go out the window when it comes to Donald Trump. The same swamp that sought to prosecute Trump administration under a centuries old, never prosecuted law such as the Logan Act is surely capable of throwing Steve Bannon in jail for contempt.

Let’s not lose sight of what is really happening here, though. The Jan 6. riot–and yes, there was rioting–is a political tool of the DC Establishment to make pissed off Americans the enemy. They don’t need to address the root issues of what has pushed so many otherwise good people to the point where they would force their way into the Capitol and demand justice.

The dirty little secret is many of those people on the Hill that day were not just there to protest a shady election. Many of them have wanted to barge into the Capitol for years and couldn’t pass up the opportunity to bring their dreams to fruition. And not for fame, adrenaline, ‘insurrection’ or any other buzzword applied to the situation. They simply want representation.

They want what should be the bare minimum for a government designed to be of, by and for the People. They want politicians in DC to work for them. They want the problems faced by the everyday American on Main St. to matter to the people who have been elected and tasked to care about such things.

If Americans still had real representation in DC, there would be no barbed wire fences; no guards or automatic weapons; no gauntlet of security to negotiate before entering what was supposed to be the People’s House. Frankly, if the People felt like they had a voice in their government, Donald Trump would have never had a political career.

Instead, we have a political class who have never been more insulated from the people they purport to serve. And whether they want to admit it or not, they like it that way. They like the cushy job they’ve landed with taxpayer money. They like all the fringe benefits of schmoozing with lobbyists. They like living a sheltered life in which none of the problems facing their constituents can reach them.

But I have news for the ever comfortable Swamp — they will reach you. Jan. 6 was little more than a few thousand good Americans expressing frustration with the system that screws them over at every turn. That system is the root cause of the frustration that politicians on the Hill have insultingly and cynically labeled ‘terrorism.’ And until that system is fixed, the problem will only get worse.

Liz Cheney, Adam Schiff, Adam Kinzinger and co. want to play the victim because it’s the only card they have. Portray your constituents as bloodthirsty monsters out to destroy the Republic and voila!–no need to address their concerns. Labeling frustrated Americans as ‘terrorists’ adds another layer of insulation between the unwashed masses and the entitled politicians who thrive on a system of legalized corruption right in front of our faces.

Jan 6. was not an insurrection. It was a small flare-up. But make no mistake — the inability of our ruling class to do an honest assessment of what led to that event will all but ensure that an actual insurrection is inevitable. It won’t happen as a neat attack on the Capitol. It will come with a thousand lashes from people who can’t afford to head to DC for a week, but find it perfectly within their means to disrupt the tyranny being perpetrated in their towns and cities.

The American people are becoming fed up and Washington, DC, would do well to get out of their bubble and recognize that fact. Demonize Americans long enough and we will see true demons emerge. And only then will our ruling class experience the Hell long endured by the People.

No amount of barbed wire can shield our rulers from a self -fulfilling prophecy.

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treysoldier

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6 thoughts on “Domestic Terrorist Theater

  1. Excellent. Saving this one! Your last 10 paragraphs are spot on in describing the frustration We The People feel! Blessings, Trey.

  2. I asked my brother,who lived in MD at the time, several days before the Jan 6 rally if he was going to the rally. He said a friend STRONGLY advised him to avoid going suggesting things were not what they seemed. I now take this to mean the government (FBI) was involved in a set up. As always appreciate your insight.

    1. The FBI didn’t force anyone to breach the Capitol, but there were almost certainly undercover feds in the crowd encouraging it.

  3. Another brilliant article. Great work Trey.

    1. Thank you for reading!

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