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Tag: mo brooks

House Select Committee May Issue Subpoenas To GOP Lawmakers

While GOP lawmakers cheer the conservative Supreme Court’s reported willingness to overturn Roe v Wade — the culmination of a decades-long Republican effort to rip women’s rights to shreds — a congressional panel’s tightening investigation into the January 6 insurrection is about to take a turn forceful enough to flip those conservative smiles upside down.

The House Select Committee, a bipartisan panel of lawmakers looking into the deadly Capitol attack, particularly the roles former President Trump and his allies played in inciting the mob, has signaled its willingness to compel GOP lawmakers to cooperate with its investigation by way of subpoenas.

Sources familiar with the select committee’s investigative and deliberative process have told news media outlets that the panel will make its decision on subpoenas in the coming weeks. The select committee is wrapping up its probe in preparation for its public hearings in June.

After trying and failing to divert Congress’ focus to the “violence and public property damage” of the racial justice protest of Summer 2020, Republican lawmakers denounced the congressional investigation into January 6 as a partisan political tool wielded against Trump and refused to cooperate, so the select committee siphoned information from the Republicans’ deputies and assistants, per Politico.

However, the coordinated effort by GOP lawmakers and top Trump allies to stonewall the select committee’s investigation has angered members of the select committee, veering their sentiments towards the near-unprecedented subpoena action, according to the Guardian.

The sentiment shift in the select committee was triggered by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and other Republican lawmakers’ refusal to voluntarily appear for an interview and compounded by three Trump allies’ strikingly similar refusal to testify.

Having pierced through Trump’s inner circle’s secrecy by turning to Trumpworld staffers who often witnessed, or were briefed, on sensitive meetings, the select committee is increasingly unwilling to ignore some Republican members of Congress’ deep involvement with Trump’s unlawful campaign to subvert the 2020 presidential elections.

Last week, the select committee sent letters to three House Republicans — Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Mo Brooks (R-AL), and Ronny Jackson (R-TX), the former physician for the Trump White House — requesting their voluntary cooperation in its investigation, a glance into the lawmaker’s unorthodox connections with the Trump White House, as well as the far-right militia groups that attacked the Capitol on January 6, The Guardian is reporting.

In the letter to Jackson, for instance, the select committee cited “encrypted messages” obtained from the Oath Keepers about “provid[ing] you personally with security assistance.” The panel wished to uncover how the Trump-supporting militia group learned that Jackson had “critical data” to guard, per text messages unveiled in the House panel’s court filings.

Although the select committee is running out of options in its pursuit of accountability for the perpetrators who incited the pro-Trump mob to stall Congress’ certification of Joe Biden’s victory, its members are reluctant to resort to subpoenas, for fear that their colleagues would drag the panel into lengthy legal battles for its attempt to compel their testimonies.

However, sources on the select committee told the Guardian they’re confident some Republican congressional representatives will comply with subpoenas out of fear that Democrats would, in a similar fashion, defang future Republican subpoenas, should the party win back control of the House come November’s midterms.

It's The GOP In Disarray, As Trump Tears His Party Apart

Hours after Trump took the extraordinary step of un-endorsing a Republican in the Alabama primary for the U.S. Senate race, the candidate responded. He claimed Trump had repeatedly pressured him, in 2022, to “rescind” the last election and to help illegally install the Republican back in the White House.

The stunning and bitter feud is just the latest that Trump has detonated within the GOP. A one-man wrecking crew who’s committed to sowing discord throughout the Republican Party, Trump seems to take glee in pitting it against itself as he insists his personal grievances about the “stolen” election be the GOP’s most pressing electoral issue.

Dems in Disarray has been a Beltway media go-to narrative for years. Why won’t they apply it to today’s comically fractured GOP?

Trump views the unfolding primary season not as a way for the party to position itself for midterm contests against Democrats, but as a chance to exact revenge on Republicans whom he considers to be insufficiently loyal to Mar-a-Lago.

Lashing out at the previously-endorsed Rep. Mo Brooks in Alabama, Trump insisted the withdrawal was because Brooks had recently told a radio show host it’s best for the GOP to look forward, not back. The implication is that Trump will now find a primary candidate in Alabama who is fixated on Trump’s win being “stolen” and he’ll support that person. But there is no such candidate in the race. There are two other leading players besides Brooks and neither seem interested in running on Trump’s laundry list of 2020 grudges and slights.

Trump’s throwing a tantrum and the GOP has to clean up the mess. Again. It didn’t help that Brooks, a right-winger who rode the Tea Party wave to office, was floundering in Alabama GOP primary polls and that Trump hates being associated with a loser.

So where’s the nonstop “feuding,” “civil war,” “chaos” coverage for today’s fractured GOP? Those were the hysterical words the press used last spring to describe Democrats when just two senators initially refused to support the White House’s infrastructure bill.

Remember when Biden and his team were filling out their cabinet in an orderly manner? The D.C. press lost its mind with Dems in Disarray coverage — the president-elect was facing a "considerable challenge" while "confronting factionalism and fierce impatience." Alliances had been "strained," his choices were "vexing" "frustrated" and "increasingly skeptical" supporters. Biden had "irritated" Democratic lawmakers who are "complaining."

Oh my!

And don’t forget during the spring of 2020 when the New York Times basically wrote off the Biden campaign, insisting the "perilously passive" candidate was "grappling," "uncertain," "tentative," "cloistered," "stuck at home," and "struggling with basic technical difficulties," while Democrats were "worried" and "perplexed" — Biden won the election by 7 million votes.

In Georgia today, not only is Trump trying to end the career of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in his high-profile reelection run, the egomaniac is targeting Kemp’s allies, too. “For the second time in as many weeks, the former president endorsed a little-known Republican challenger to one of Kemp’s closest political loyalists,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Trump is likely fuming that the candidate he is backing against Kemp, former U.S. Senator David Perdue, is trailing, setting up a potentially humiliating Trump defeat.

Meanwhile, Trump can’t stop insulting the GOP’s most senior senator, Mitch McConnell (R-KY), calling him a "dumb son of a bitch" and a "stone cold loser." Can you imagine what the D.C. press coverage would look like if a former Democratic president launched grenades at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi from the sidelines on a weekly basis? For Trump though, the press shrugs, committed to its Trump-being-Trump mindset, where there’s nothing does truly damages his party.

Trump is still the party’s presumptive 2024 nominee and there is a cult-like following around him. But his runaway narcissism is taking a toll on the party, and the press ought to center its Trump coverage that way.

Republicans know all too well how Trump can spoil their chances for success. Democrats swiped two surprise, run-off Senate victories in January 2021 largely because Trump was still obsessed with overturning his election loss, while waging war on Georgia Republicans for not doing enough to help him steal away Biden’s win.

Trump not only distracted the GOP during the crucial run-off elections, he likely animated Democratic and Independent voters by loudly lying about the 2020 election. Recall that Republicans lost the White House, House and Senate while Trump was president.

There’s also no indication Trump’s revenge tour is connecting with voters. A recent Gallup poll offered participants a chance to rank the 30 most important issues facing America. “Election reform” was a choice that nobody selected.

It’s the GOP that’s in disarray, trust me.

Reprinted with permission from PressRun

https://pressrun.media/p/gop-in-disarray-trumps-tearing-the?s=r

Mo Brooks Says Trump Urged Coup To Oust Biden After January 6

Hours after Donald Trump withdrew his endorsement from Rep. Mo Brooks’ Senate campaign in Alabama, the Republican congressman —who spoke (while wearing body armor) at the January 6 rally that preceded the attack on the U.S. Capitol and voted against certifying President Joe Biden’s victory—issued a statement that should have the House Select Committee and Attorney General Merrick Garland sitting up and taking notice.

Trump blamed Brooks’ statements about the need to move on from the 2020 elections for his decision to rescind the endorsement, saying Brooks “went ‘woke.’” But Brooks first said that last August, and the decision also comes as Brooks is trailing in Alabama Senate primary polls. So it may be a case of Trump trying to avoid the stench of loser as much as Trump being butt-hurt that Brooks no longer thinks the last election is the biggest thing in U.S. politics today. Now he’s turning his back on a guy who may have things to say that people want to hear.

In his response statement, Brooks first blamed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for having “manipulated” Trump. Brooks called himself “the only candidate who fought voter fraud and election theft when it counted, between November 3 and January 6.”

Brooks then went on to say, “I repeat what has prompted President Trump’s ire. The only legal way America can prevent 2020’s election debacle is for patriotic Americans to focus on and win the 2022 and 2024 elections so that we have the power to enact laws that give us honest and accurate elections.”

Brooks isn’t saying that he thinks President Joe Biden won the 2020 elections fair and square. He says there was voter fraud and election theft (this is a lie) and that he wants to change elections law to prevent it from happening again. But there’s an interesting word in there. “Legal.”

And that word is an important lead-in to the final paragraph of Brooks’ statement: “President Trump asked me to rescind the 2020 elections, immediately remove Joe Biden from the White House, immediately put President Trump back in the White House, and hold a new special election for the presidency. As a lawyer, I’ve repeatedly advised President Trump that January 6 was the final election contest verdict and neither the U.S. Constitution nor the U.S. Code permit what President Trump asks. Period.”

Judge Strikes Trump's Immunity Claim, Allowing January 6 Civil Lawsuits

In an expansive 112-page ruling on Friday, D.C. District Court Judge Amit Mehta ruled that Donald Trump is not immune from being sued over his actions related to January 6, and that court cases against Trump—as well as members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers white supremacist militias—may proceed.

Dealing with a series of lawsuits as a group, Judge Mehta wrote, “The court holds that all Plaintiffs have plausibly established Article III standing, President Trump is not absolutely immune from suit …” Mehta also dismissed the idea that a lawsuit against Trump automatically became a “political question” that couldn’t be dealt with in court, as well as claims from Trump’s attorneys that he couldn’t be tried because he had been acquitted by the Senate in his impeachment trial.

Judge Mehta agreed to halt proceedings against Donald Trump Jr. and Rudy Giuliani related to the speeches they gave at the rally preceding the assault on the Capitol. The judge also offered Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) a prescription by which he can avoid legal repercussions from his militant speech that appeared to encourage violence. In all three cases, ruled Judge Mehta, even though the speakers used phrases that could easily be connected to later violence at the Capitol — such as Giuliani calling for “trial by combat” — everything they said was still protected under the First Amendment because they didn’t call for immediate and specific action.

That wasn’t true for Trump. Not only did Trump call for his followers to “fight,” he did so in direct connection with calling for them to march on the Capitol, and with full knowledge that he was attempting to interfere with finalizing the Electoral College vote.

Mehta made it extremely clear that he understood the consequences of this ruling, the context of the legal questions, and the scrutiny it will face.

“To deny a President immunity from civil damages is no small step. The court well understands the gravity of its decision. But the alleged facts of this case are without precedent, and the court believes that its decision is consistent with the purposes behind such immunity...”

The only section of the suits where Mehta ruled in Trump’s favor was related to a portion of the suit brought by Rep. Eric Swalwell. That section dealt with claims against Trump for his failure to take action to halt the insurgents, or to bring in additional law enforcement or National Guard to end the threat. This, ruled Judge Mehta, involved questions about Trump acting in his official capacity. As a result, these actions are immune from scrutiny in a civil suit.

That doesn’t apply to Trump’s speech on January 6. Trump’s attorneys had insisted that public speaking was a part of the role of the presidency. Mehta agreed. However …

“But to say that speaking on matters of public concern is a function of the presidency does not answer the question at hand: Were President Trump’s words in this case uttered in performance of official acts, or were his words expressed in some other, unofficial capacity? The President’s proposed test—that whenever and wherever a President speaks on a matter of public concern he is immune from civil suit—goes too far.”

In this case, Mehta focused on Trump’s insistence that his followers march on the Capitol — an action that was not included under the permit for the January 6 rally. In ordering his followers to march, and telling them to fight, Trump was telling them to violate the terms of the permit and encouraging them to engage in violence. That was particularly true because Trump had called for militia groups, like his co-defendants the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, to come to the event and he knew they were present on that day.

Trump’s attorneys had insisted that Trump’s calls to “fight” were nullified by the single time that he mentioned that this should be a “peaceful” event. Mehta also didn’t agree with this statement.

“The President’s passing reference to “peaceful and patriotic” protest cannot inoculate him against the conclusion that his exhortation, made nearly
an hour later, to “fight like hell” immediately before sending rally-goers to the Capitol, within the context of the larger Speech and circumstances, was not protected expression.”

A ruling that any speech goes beyond First Amendment protection is extremely rare, because to do so a speech must not only encourage violence, but encourage specific and nearly immediate violence. But Mehta’s ruling states that Trump’s speech on Jan. 6 — bolstered by the pressure he had applied to get state leaders to overturn the election results, his efforts to push Mike Pence into refusing his Constitutional role, and his attempts to gather violent white supremacists to his cause — fully met that test.

“He called for thousands ‘to fight like hell’ immediately before directing an unpermitted march to the Capitol, where the targets of their ire were at work, knowing that militia groups and others among the crowd were prone to violence.”

Judge Mehta also noted that Trump’s tweets on that day appeared to “ratify” the violence, indicating that the assault on the Capitol was the outcome he had wanted. That included a message Trump sent while insurgents were inside the Capitol criticizing Pence for “not having the courage to do what should be done to protect our Country,” which encourage those already calling for Pence’s execution.

“It is reasonable to infer that the President would have understood the impact of his tweet, since he had told rally-goers earlier that, in effect, the Vice President was the last line of defense against a stolen election outcome. The President also took advantage of the crisis to call Senator Tuberville; it is reasonable to think he did so to urge delay of the Certification.”

Trump started the insurgents on their way, encouraged them when they were involved in the assault, and tried to use the assault for personal advantage.

Mehta also took note of Trump’s tweet from later that afternoon.

“And then, around 6:00 PM, after law enforcement had cleared the building, the President issued the following tweet: ‘These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!’ A reasonable observer could read that tweet as ratifying the violence and other illegal acts that took place at the Capitol only hours earlier.”

Overall, the ruling from Mehta — which is even more dismissive of the objections raised by attorneys for the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers — doesn’t just keep the door open for civil action against Trump, it’s a quick reference for what should be future criminal action.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

Another Trump-Backed Senate Candidate Vows To Dump McConnell

Reprinted with permission from DailyKos

Regardless of whether Republicans retake control of the upper chamber next year, the Republican caucus that emerges from the midterms will undoubtedly move to the right as GOP candidates across the country vie to out-MAGA each other in their primaries.

The Senate Republican caucus that emerges was already bound to be less beholden to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell as Donald Trump plays kingmaker in some critical swing-state contests in, for instance, Georgia, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

But in addition to those races, several Trump-aligned candidates in states where Republicans will almost certainly prevail are not only pledging their loyalty to Trump but also serving notice to McConnell that his days may be numbered.

Trump-backed Kelly Tshibaka, who is challenging Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski for her Alaska seat, is the latest GOP Senate hopeful to say she'll vote to send McConnell packing if elected, according to Politico.

"When I defeat Murkowski and become Alaska’s next U.S. Senator, I will not support Mitch McConnell as leader," Tshibaka told Steve Bannon in a Monday appearance on his War Room podcast. "It’s time for new, America First leadership in the Senate.”

Tshibaka's pronouncement sounds a similar note to that of Missouri Senate candidate and disgraced former governor Eric Greitens, who also appeared on Bannon's podcast to serve notice to McConnell.

"We've got to have new leadership in the Senate. The Republican Party is now the MAGA Party," Greitens said. "No more weak, woke, establishment Republicans!" Greitens added when he tweeted out the clip.

Another Trump toady, Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, who is running for that state’s open seat, has hinted at something similar.

"I will support the candidate for Senate majority leader who is the most conservative and best reflects the values of Alabama citizens," he told Politico early this month. Brooks was a bit cagey, saying McConnell “could” get his vote. But he wouldn’t commit, as if he were still hedging his bets on whether the McConnell or Trump wing of the party ultimately prevails. That type of slippery answer also isn't panning out well for Brooks, who is underperforming in his race despite Trump’s endorsement and recently shook up his campaign staff.

But expect to see more anti-McConnell pledges as GOP candidates continue to compete for Trump's endorsement in ruby-red states where whoever wins the primary is a shoo-in for the Senate.

If and when they get there, McConnell could have a real problem on his hands.

Fearful GOP Extremists Threaten Telecom Companies, Cheney And Kinzinger Over Jan. 6 Probe

Reprinted with permission from American Independent

House Republicans who are being reviewed as part of a probe into the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol are up in arms, and now some are targeting their fellow GOP lawmakers.

Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) — who is among the nearly one dozen GOP lawmakers whose phone records the House select committee is seeking — called for two Republicans on the committee to be banished from the House Republican conference.

In a letter to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Biggs called the two GOP lawmakers — Reps. Liz Cheney (R-WY) and Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) — "spies for the Democrats" and said they should be expelled from the conference.

Biggs downplayed the severity of the January 6 attack and claims it is a "false narrative" to call the riot led by a Donald Trump-supporting mob hoping to stop the transition of power an "insurrection."

In the letter, first reported by CNN, Biggs wrote:

Republican Conference meetings are an opportunity for elected House Republicans to strategize the most effective path to push back on the radical policies of Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats. many of the coming discussions will likely revolve around our defense against the Democrats' perpetuation of the false narrative that January 6th was an insurrection and how to protect our own from their legally questionable investigative methods. ... We cannot trust these members to sit in our Republican Conference meetings while we plan our defense against the Democrats.

Biggs' letter follows a threat against telecommunication companies from Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA), whose phone records are also being sought as part of the probe.

Greene said on Tucker Carlson's Fox News program Tuesday night that, "These telecommunications companies, if they go along with this, they will be shut down. And that's a promise."

This all follows a similar threat from McCarthy himself, who falsely claimed that the House select committee was violating federal law by seeking the GOP lawmakers' phone records and warned that a future Republican majority "will not forget" if the companies turn those records over.

Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) — who helped organize the effort to stop certification of Biden's Electoral College victory that helped spur the attack — said in an interview on Wednesday that there is no "probable cause" for the committee to get his records.

The House select committee said it's not deterred by the threats.

"The committee's efforts won't be deterred by those who want to whitewash or cover up the events of January 6th, or obstruct our investigation," the committee tweeted on Tuesday.

On Thursday, it announced that Cheney will be its vice chair.

Cheney said in a news release announcing her new role:

Every member of this committee is dedicated to conducting a non-partisan, professional, and thorough investigation of all the relevant facts regarding January 6th and the threat to our Constitution we faced that day. I have accepted the position of Vice Chair of the committee to assure that we achieve that goal. We owe it to the American people to investigate everything that led up to, and transpired on, January 6th. We will not be deterred by threats or attempted obstruction and we will not rest until our task is complete.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Washington Post Urges Jan. 6 Subpoenas For Ivanka And Kushner

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

The Washington Post editorial board is calling on the Democrats' January 6 select committee to subpoena Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows.

"Top of the list is precisely what then-President Donald Trump did before, during and after the attack," they wrote in a Tuesday op-ed. "How did he prepare his speech preceding the insurrection, in which he told the crowd to fight? What did he anticipate his audience's reaction would be? When did he know the pro-Trump mob was threatening the Capitol?"

The board added: "Answering such questions calls for subpoenaing former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; Mr. Trump's daughter Ivanka and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner; and other White House aides with useful information."

According to a recent book by Washington Post journalists Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker, Ivanka Trump attempted to calm the former president down on the day of January 6, encouraging him to call off the violent riot – a request Trump repeatedly rebuffed.

"I'm going down to my dad. This has to stop," she reportedly told her aides while spending "several hours walking back and forth" from the Oval Office in an effort to defuse the situation.

The Post's editorial board also called on the select committee to investigate a number of top Trump allies in Congress, including Reps. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Mo Brooks (R-AL), Jim Jordan (R-OH), and Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), all of whom, the Post reports, may have interacted with Trump on the day of the insurrection. McCarthy, who voted in favor of overturning the 2020 election, has been adamantly opposed to the Democratic-backed select committee and has often downplayed Trump's role in the insurgency. However, back in February, just a month after the riot, CNN reported that Trump and McCarthy had gotten into a "shouting match" over the former president's refusal to tell the rioters to stand down.

"Well, Kevin," Trump told McCarthy over the phone. "I guess these people are more upset about the election than you are."

"Who the f--k do you think you are talking to?" the lawmaker responded.

CNN also reported that Rep. Tuberville spoke with Trump on the day of the riot, calling the former president via phone to announce that Mike Pence, the former vice president, had been evacuated in time to avoid the violent horde.

The phone call has since come under scrutiny in the light of Trump's tweet attacking Pence less than ten minutes after the call.

It's not clear whether Rep. Brooks spoke with Trump on the day of the riot. However, the Alabama lawmaker did deliver a White House-approved speech during the "Stop the Steal" rally just outside the Capitol building, where he bandied Trump's election lies and told Trump's supporters: "Today is the day American patriots start taking down names."

Brooks has since personally disavowed the riot.

The Post editorial board also argued that lawmakers should put the leaders of far-right extremist groups on the stand – particularly leaders "at the center of the violence" – as well as Justice Department and Capitol Police officials who "failed to anticipate the riot."

Months after the riot, it was reported in various media that the Pentagon had denied multiple requests to deploy the National Guard, even as the chaos was unfolding. Capitol Police also reportedly had extensive intelligence that there would be violence on January 6, but the former Capitol Police chief dismissed the concerns as alarmist.

The Sedition Caucus, Under Oath

It is an indisputable fact that House Republicans, including Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, were at the very heart of former President Donald Trump's coup plot to overturn the 2020 presidential election. While more than hints and clues have pointed to their involvement ever since the January 6 insurrection, their central role emerged this past week when notes of a December 27, 2020, conversation between Trump and the acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen were disclosed.

Informed by Rosen that the Department of Justice could not and would not reverse President Joe Biden's election victory, Trump urged him to "just say the election was corrupt [and] leave the rest to me and the [Republican] congressmen." Moments later, Trump referred specifically to Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, founder of the Freedom Caucus and close associate of Mark Meadows, the former Freedom Caucus chair who left Congress to become Trump's White House chief of staff.

Jordan is so far unwilling to say whether he will testify about the insurrection if he is summoned, just as he refused years ago to assist official inquiries into hundreds of sexual assaults on the Ohio State wrestling team in which he was suspected of complicity or worse. But this time, if the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol requests his appearance, either voluntarily or by subpoena, he will have to show up or face legal consequences. So will several other members of the Capitol Hill "sedition caucus" who sought to invalidate Biden's election, including McCarthy and Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs, Alabama Rep. Mo Brooks, and Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, to name a few of the most prominent.

And so will their longtime confederate Meadows, who has already been subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee in the Rosen matter and "may face significant criminal exposure," according to the Just Security website published by New York University School of Law.

Each of these Republican myrmidons has serious questions to answer. Brooks, donning a flak jacket when he addressed the pre-riot Trumpist rally at the Ellipse on January 6 calling for "kicking ass," has claimed immunity, a justification denied by the DOJ. Boebert allegedly gave a tour through the Capitol with unknown persons later identified as insurrectionists in December and January. "Stop the Steal" organizer Ali Alexander boasted of concocting a plan to intimidate Congress from certifying the election with Gosar, Biggs, and Brooks.

Jordan was implicated in the coup effort very early, even before Election Day, when he publicly accused Democrats of planning to corrupt the balloting. In the weeks leading up to the insurrection, he plotted with Meadows and Trump at the White House; in the days afterward, he was given the Medal of Freedom by Trump in a closed ceremony there. It is undoubtedly the first time that high honor has been awarded for seditious conspiracy against the Republic.

As the Lincoln historian and former presidential adviser Sidney Blumenthal pointed out in a recent Guardian column, members of Congress possess no immunity against a subpoena from a House investigating committee. Moreover, as Blumenthal also noted, there is richly ironic precedent to summon all of these characters, voluntarily or otherwise, in the official Senate probe of John Brown's infamous Harpers Ferry raid on the eve of the Civil War. Leading that investigation was none other than Mississippi Sen. Jefferson Davis, the traitor who later served as president of the Confederacy (whose battle flag soiled the Capitol hallways on January 6.)

Harper's Ferry was the last domestic insurrection to come under congressional scrutiny — until now. Among the witnesses called to testify about the events leading up to Brown's attack were two antislavery Republican senators suspected by Davis of knowing or aiding him. And it is safe to say that Rep. Adam Schiff, the California Democrat, Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, and other Democrats on the committee are aware of that precedent.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans named to the committee by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has suggested that Jordan and McCarthy, both of whom spoke with Trump on January 6, should be called — and a very large and rapt television audience awaits her questioning of them.

Meadows, who spent that day and the days preceding the insurrection with Trump in the White House and knows what the former president did and didn't do, will have to face the music. It will not be the last time he's been caught in a coup. In January 2013, when he conspired with Jordan to overthrow Republican House Speaker John Boehner, he was exposed in the failed attempt. He later came to the speaker's office, according to Boehner, got down on his knees, and pleaded, "Will you please forgive me?" Meadows will undoubtedly have another opportunity to get on his knees soon.

These ultra-right Republicans are the face of an authoritarian and frankly nihilist insurgency that began its takeover of the Grand Old Party back when their model Newt Gingrich rose to power as speaker. It is no surprise that this miscreant crew now surrounds their would-be dictator Trump like a praetorian guard, or that they spearheaded his attempt to destroy democracy. But the time is rapidly approaching when they will have to answer for those actions under oath. Of course, Jordan and Meadows and Brooks and Boebert and the other members of the gang can always plead the Fifth Amendment.

To find out more about Joe Conason and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com