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Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

September 02, 2022

The January 6 Congressional Hearings

Often, Congressional bipartisan hearings are painful to watch. Such hearings used to be much less poisonously contentious, such as the famous hearings about President Nixon?s attempt to abuse his authority to guarantee his reelection. Nixon?s own party finally stopped trying to defend him and followed the evidence: Nixon was a criminal.

The Republicans subjected Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to 11 hours of questioning and insults about the terror attack in Benghazi, which proved empty. It was an ugly spectacle.

On January 6 of 2021, an armed mob invaded the US Capital with the intention of finding and killing Democratic leaders and lynching Republican Vice President Mike Pence. By luck, the attempted coup to prevent the recognition of Joe Biden?s win failed.

It seemed clear that Trump had summoned and incited a mob of organized thugs to help him overturn a fair and free election. His most dedicated (or pragmatic) supporters, House Minority Speaker McCarthy and Senate minority chief McConnell, both spoke in anger at the actions of Trump, calling them outrageous. However, when the Democrats attempted to impeach the outgoing president again, the Senate Republicans refused to vote to impeach and revoke any possibility of Trump holding office again.

The Democrats requested that a special bipartisan commission be assembled (as it had been with Nixon), but McCarthy wanted to appoint the same obnoxious bulldogs who had persecuted Hillary Clinton in the Benghazi hearings.

Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, rejected these people and instead asked two Republicans, Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney, to serve on a bipartisan Congressional Committee tasked with investigating the attempted coup on January 6. Both of these conservative Republicans faced attacks, death threats, and removal from party leadership by McCarthy, but they were patriots, not party hacks, genuine portraits in courage.

The members of this committee were mostly former prosecuting attorneys, which made the process and the findings careful and credible, and their hearings were structured in a way that the general public could understand, but also ready to hand over to the Justice Department to investigate and prosecute.

Most impressive were the witnesses, almost all life-long Republicans and some even part of Trump?s inner circle, who testified that Trump refused to accept his electoral loss, producing instead a complicated lie about fraud, fake ballots, voting machines wired to toss his ballots, and insults about every American institution, including Federal Courts, that tossed out his lawsuits.

All witnesses in these hearings were Republicans, yet they did their duties and told the truth. What emerged was a range of criminal actions by Trump himself, as listed below:

Sedition to overturn a free and fair election by force.
Conspiracy, conspiring with violent cults such as Proud Boys and others to plan and carry out the attack on the Capital.

Attempting to violate the Georgia election results by browbeating the Georgia officials to find nonexistent votes to change the outcome.

Monetary crimes (raising money with his big lie about a fraudulent election, and then defrauding donors by using those funds for himself.

Violating the emoluments clause by granting favors to those using his own enterprises (defrauding the government).

Accepting foreign help and money from Putin to win the presidency and taking money from Saudi Arabia and China to benefit his childen?s businesses.
Blackmailing a foreign leader, withholding weapon deliveries to Ukraine in exchange for lying about his political rival.

Witness tampering (threatening witnesses participating in his impeachments and January 6 hearing.
Dereliction of duty to protect the country by refusing to call off the thugs and dupes who violently besieged the Capital.

In past history, the Justice Department was able to convict mafia leaders for tax evasion, an easier case than murder and conspiracy. Possibly, President Trump will be convicted in Georgia and by the Justice Department from an easy case: Hiding classified documents and lying about it.

It is an important precedent for the Justice Department to show that nobody, not even a president or past president, is above the law. This is obviously a very serious issue, but they must make it clear that law is for everybody. It finally looks like the end game.

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Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman is a historian, lecturer, and author of "How Do You Know That? Contact her at Lfarhat102@gmail.com or www.globalthink.net.