This week marked a change in the investigation of the Hitman’s assault on America in his attempt to steal the election and overthrow the Constitution. One of the leading confederates in this effort surrendered himself to the Court in response to his defiance of a House subpoena. His action including his public media antics have generated much discussion while obscuring the most important fact. The true question to be asked of the legal proceedings is “So what?”
Let’s examine a possible sequence of events and their meaning for the upcoming elections in 2022 and 2024.
Bannon played a pivotal role in the insurrection of 1/6. He was the public voice. He was the one extolling the importance of this critical event in American history. He brought a sense of the historic even apocalyptic drama about to enfold. Bannon placed the events in its cosmic importance and called on Trumpicans to participate in this great day in American history.
He has no wish to say so under oath to the House committee. He understands the consequences of saying under oath what he said on the radio. He knows that these actions he advocated and the planning he participated in with others will be deemed criminal and seditious by the very people he was seeking to overthrow. Hence the defiance. He has more to gain from the national spotlight on his every utterance than he has to lose inside the courthouse or before the House 1/6 committee.
Suppose he loses the case in Court. Suppose after however long it takes including appeals, there comes a time when he is found guilty and stands for punishment. Will he be sentenced for two years or concurrent 30-day terms? Will he receive probation? Will his fine be minor and easily paid off by loyal Trumpicans? Will it cause him to testify under oath, to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and to incriminate himself? Obviously not. After going through these process the net result still will be no testimony.
The same sequence will be repeated with all the other participants in the attempted coup who are subpoenaed. What do they have to gain by testifying under the oath and telling the truth to the House committee? The answer is nothing. The people who are guilty of sedition have nothing to gain by admitting that they helped the Hitman’s attempt to steal the election and overthrow the government. Possibly one individual might seek a deal: to tell the truth in exchange for not being indicted in the final report. And that is the key. The final report and not these legal maneuverings is the key in determining whether the effort by the House committee was worth it.
THE HOUSE REPORT
Consider what has happened so far. Over 150 people voluntarily have given testimony to the House Committee. Additional information is available from the public comments of various individuals such as Bannon and from published books detailing exactly how the Vice President was to steal the election. Simply based on the information provided so far, the House committee could write a narrative about the Hitman’s attempt to steal the election and overthrow the Constitution.
More information is coming. True, there has been a delay in the transfer of records from the National Archives to the House committee. Once those legal hurdles have been overcome there is likely to be a veritable gusher of data pouring onto the Committee. It will be as if it had struck the mother lode. There will be so much information there that the narrative of the final report will read like a Hollywood script as indeed it will be one day.
In addition, there may be information from the case unfolding in Georgia.
In short, the House committee will not need the testimony of the insurrection instigators to have sufficient date to indict all of them for sedition. This is not to say that the information from the co-conspirators would not be welcomed, only that it is not necessary to compile a damning indictment of all the people who refused to tell the House committee the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
The concern for Bannon, Meadows, et.al. is not what is going to happen for defying the subpoenas, but what will happen when they are charged with sedition by the House.
THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
The true moment of truth will come the DOJ receives the House report calling for the indictments of multiple participants in the insurrection including the former President of the United States. Each and every person will not necessarily be charged with the exact same counts but all the people who obstructed the investigation will be charged for their participation in the insurrection.
What will the DOJ do then? So far most of the chronological discussion has been around the narrow window of the investigating committee. Everyone knows it needs to be done prior to Trump’s Traitors taking over the House. Informally, the Committee seems to be aiming for a (late) spring date to have a completed report with or without the recalcitrant participants. One can anticipate a report based on the evidence it has including the data from the National Archives. The House committee should be done in time.
In time for what? The general rule is no politically-related indictment after Labor Day when the election campaign “officially” begins. This means roughly, the DOJ will have the summer to decide whether or not to indict anyone for sedition and whatever other charges are included in the report. One of the conspirators named in the report will be the former President himself.
At this point, there is no way to know what the DOJ will do in the summer of 2022. There is no way to know which people it will indict, when it will indict them, or who it will not indict. One possible scenario is to string indictments of the small fish prior to Labor Day. This means Bannon, Meadows, Clark, etc.,, all the underlings save for the Hitman himself.
Normally the midterm election in a first–term President is seen as an opportunity for out-of-power Party to gain seats. Certainly everyone anticipates that scenario will be followed even without the added benefit of voter suppression and gerrymandering. However, this time we will have two presidents. Strange as it might seem the leading issue after the House report is completed may not be the economy or Covid Instead it will be:
Is Joe Biden the legitimate President of the United States and should Donald Trump be held accountable for his effort to steal the election and overthrow the Constitution?
Is Donald Trump the legitimate President of the United States and should Joe Biden (and his Vice President) be removed from office due to his successful steal of the election?
If the latter prevails, expect a new House committee to investigate the steal leading to an impeachment in the House but insufficient votes in the Senate to remove Biden.
Everything going on now is just foreplay. If Trumpicans take control of the House and Senate effectively there will be no government for two years save by Executive Order. The President will be spending most of his fending off repeated impeachment attacks and investigations from the Trumpican-controlled House. It well may be that rather than have to wait for 2024 election for division of America into the United States of Trump and the United States of America, it may happen after the 2022 elections. Whether or not America can function in those circumstances remains to be seen. Stay focused on the 2022 election and let’s see if we make it to 2024. Maybe some Congressional Republicans will go rogue and caucus with the Democrats …