BACK TO THE TOPIC --- AND, IF SOME HAVE FORGOTTEN:
⮞⮞ Trump Loyalists Are Running Out the Clock ⮜⮜
Trump is Running Out the Clock on the January 6 Probe
Mark Meadows, Steve Bannon, and Trump himself
are thwarting investigators
with legal battles that may outlive the probe.
are thwarting investigators
with legal battles that may outlive the probe.
Source: Bloomberg Businessweek
The Lower Courts seem iffy at best on which way they would rule on many of the Executive Privilege claims already on record regarding The House Committee on the January 6th Capital Protests, but virtually to the man, the Trump Loyalists insist that they have the ability to take any negative decision all the way up to the Conservative United States Supreme Court.Almost a year after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, close allies of former President Donald Trump are stonewalling the congressional panel investigating the insurrection. Despite compiling evidence and sharing vivid glimpses of how key figures in the Republican political and media worlds responded as the attack unfolded, the House committee has so far been thwarted in its efforts to get firsthand accounts from Trump’s inner circle about what the president knew and did that day.
That insider testimony may never arrive. A succession of Trump partisans has been trying to stall the investigation with a legal battle that’s unlikely to be resolved anytime soon.
In November, Steve Bannon, once Trump’s chief White House strategist, earned a rare criminal charge of contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the committee. Others have since followed his lead.
Trump’s last White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, initially cooperated with committee investigators, sharing thousands of documents and communications from the day of the attack. At a Dec. 14 hearing, Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican and the committee’s vice chair, read a series of explosive text messages from Meadows’s phone. (Among them: “We need an Oval address. He has to lead now. It has gone too far and gotten out of hand,” Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. texted.)
But Meadows came under heavy criticism from Trump’s allies and broke off cooperation. His refusal to testify resulted in the House voting to hold him in criminal contempt of Congress, referring the matter to the U.S. Justice Department.
Republicans close to Trump say such outright resistance is the new standard of loyalty to the former president. “Bannon’s position of strength is an example to others,” says Boris Epshteyn, former White House special assistant to Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump’s estranged former lawyer, agrees that stonewalling by key witnesses is “designed to please a party of one.”
The list of notable Trump allies declining to cooperate is growing longer by the week. On Dec. 17, Roger Stone, a longtime Trump confidante, appeared before the committee to assert his Fifth Amendment rights in response to questions. In an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek beforehand, Stone slammed the committee as “a partisan witch hunt.” John Eastman, a conservative attorney who advised Trump on ways to overturn the 2020 presidential election, has sued Verizon Communications Inc. and the House committee to prevent investigators from obtaining his cellphone data.
People outside Trump’s immediate circle are also defying committee summonses. Republican Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania said on Dec. 21 that he’ll refuse a request to appear before the panel. Faced with a subpoena, far-right radio broadcaster Alex Jones sued the committee and said he intends to plead the Fifth like Stone.
Bannon has been explicit about his desire to sabotage the investigation, even as he faces the possibility of jail time, warning that his contempt charge will boomerang on Democrats and become “the misdemeanor from hell” for Attorney General Merrick Garland, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and President Joe Biden. It has, at the very least, proved a headache for the committee because Bannon and others have used the courts to delay their reckoning.
Bannon has invoked Trump’s claim of executive privilege as the reason he won’t testify. Meadows has signaled he’ll do the same. Trump’s own efforts to thwart the committee are also dragging out the probe, even though his legal argument for doing so is seen by experts as shaky at best.
In October the former president sued to block the National Archives from handing over his White House records related to Jan. 6, claiming the documents and communications are protected by his executive privilege—even though he’s no longer in office and Biden waived it.
Kimberly Wehle, a professor at the University of Baltimore School of Law, says the limits of executive privilege are evident in the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forced then-President Richard Nixon to hand over audio recordings of his Oval Office conversations in the Watergate investigation: The court said Nixon’s privilege claim was outweighed by the public’s right to information. Wehle expects that precedent will apply to Trump.
“When you’re talking about a bloody insurrection that’s looking more and more like a deliberate, planned effort to sway the election to the loser and take it away from the American people, Nixon is a pretty good authority for holding that even if Meadows or Trump have executive privilege, it’s waived here,” Wehle says.
Trump suffered a setback on Dec. 9, when the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ruled he’d provided “no basis” for overriding Biden’s assessment of the executive branch interests at stake.
“The events of January 6th exposed the fragility of those democratic institutions and traditions that we had perhaps come to take for granted,” the unanimous three-judge panel said in the ruling affirming the committee’s right to seek the evidence.
But even unfavorable court rulings may not produce the testimony the committee seeks. Trump has vowed to take his case to the Supreme Court. Lawyers close to the case say it’s likely to end up there, with the legal fight over executive privilege already proceeding along two parallel tracks—Trump’s case and Bannon’s—and possibly soon a third (Meadows’s). That process would take months to play out, and it could well outlast the committee.
Many Trump allies are betting Republicans will win control of the House in November and shut down the investigation once they’re in power, denying the panel the firsthand accounts from Bannon and other key figures that it seeks. Experts see few options for heading off this scenario.
“It just takes way too long to adjudicate these things, and there are too many layers of appeal, especially when you’re on a ticking clock like the committee is—it can just take too long,” says former federal prosecutor Jennifer Rodgers. “It’s a tactic that Trump and his allies have really taken advantage of through the whole Trump administration.”
Many Legal Experts say that it would take many months to exhaust all the Loyalist's lower court routes of appeal, & that's before getting to the United States Supreme Court. Once hitting the US Supreme Court it can be held up for many months more.....
Being that an extremely high percentage of Mid-Term Elections go to the opposition Party, based on history alone, the Republicans seem a cinch to rest the House (presently an ultra-slim 51% - 49% democ-rat majority of 433 total seats) & Senate (present 50 - 50 even split of 100 total seats) from the democ-rats in the 2022 Elections, so if history alone holds true, the democ-rats will lose the majority needed to run a 'January 6th Committee', ending all January 6th investigations dead in their tracks way before any final ruling on Executive Privilege might even see the light of day!!