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Jan. 6 Committee: Why Our Justice System Is Adversarial

us reps mccarthy armstrong and banks

July 21, 2021 - Washington, D.C. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., joined by Reps. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., (L) and Jim Banks, R-Ind., at a news conference on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s decision to reject two of Leader McCarthy’s selected members from serving on the committee investigating Jan. 6th. (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Michael Dorstewitz By Friday, 06 January 2023 09:10 AM EST Current | Bio | Archive

The close of the 117th Congress brought with it an end to the House Select Jan. 6 Committee. And what it reported (and failed to report) illustrates why we have an adversarial system of justice.

An adversarial system is characterized by having opposing parties, prosecution and defense, vigorously present their side of an issue. The Jan. 6 Committee was composed entirely of prosecutors, and their work-product showed it.

Although the committee’s findings were predetermined, its final report nonetheless made several startling admissions. Chief among them that then-President Trump was resigned to the fact that he had lost the election well-before Jan. 6, The New York Times reported Monday.

"In a 302-page transcript of his interview with the committee, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the voluble chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the panel about a meeting in the Oval Office a few weeks after Election Day, in which he said Mr. Trump seemed to acknowledge he was not going to be sworn in again," the Times said.

"General Milley described Mr. Trump saying 'words to the effect of: Yeah, we lost, we need to let that issue go to the next guy. Meaning President Biden.'"

That would appear to disprove the committee’s conclusion that Trump refused to accept the official election results and thereafter worked to overthrow them.

Rep. Thomas Massie, a Kentucky Republican, brought up another committee finding about a shadowy character named Ray Epps, who was seen on multiple videos telling demonstrators that they needed to storm the Capitol Building.

"January 6th committee abandoned all pretense of legitimacy when they bent over backwards to exonerate Ray Epps, who persistently directed protestors to go into Capitol, told protestors he expected he’d go to jail and texted, 'I also orchestrated it' once his mission was complete," Massie wrote.

But the committee report may be especially remarkable not for what it revealed, but for what it withheld.

"In the end, the committee released about 280 transcripts of interviews," the Times reported. "Though the panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, only a few hundred sessions took the form of formal depositions or transcribed interviews. Lawmakers said they withheld certain transcripts that contained sensitive information."

Sensitive to whom?

Also, although the committee cherry-picked what information it released in order to make their case, they were still unable to make their case.

But it may get worse.

After Republicans flipped the House, Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., sent a letter to committee Chairman Rep. Bernie Thompson, D-Miss., in November, telling the panel to preserve its records, in anticipation of a new proposed House rule.

The rule would state that "Any records transferred or withdrawn pursuant to this subsection shall become the records of the Committee on House Administration."

But until the House selects a speaker, it arguably has no rule-making powers.

Absent the rule, the records would be sent to the National Archives where they would remain under seal for 30-50 years, according to the Los Angeles Times.

What would those records disclose?

Would they include the testimony of former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who said it was the failures of the Pentagon, FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security that led to the tragedy of Jan. 6?

Would those records include information that someone from the inside had to have opened "the 20,000-pound Columbus Doors that lead into the Rotunda" that "are secured by magnetic locks that can only be opened from the inside using a security code"?

All of this and more would have been public record had the Jan. 6 Committee been formed as an adversarial body, as committees normally are.

Then-House Minority Leader McCarthy attempted to do so by appointing GOP Reps. Jim Banks of Indiana and Jim Jordan of Ohio, both strong Trump supporters, to the committee.

Pelosi rejected them both, while admitting that her action had no precedent.

"With respect for the integrity of the investigation, with an insistence on the truth and with concern about statements made and actions taken by these Members, I must reject the recommendations of Representatives Banks and Jordan to the Select Committee," Pelosi said in a statement.

"The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision,” she added.

McCarthy pulled all his appointees after that, stating that Pelosi’s action "represents an egregious abuse of power and will irreparably damage this institution."

He added, "the Speaker is more interested in playing politics than seeking the truth."

Although he was criticized for this, McCarthy was right in pulling his remaining committee choices.

It’s un-American when any "fact-finding" body acts as judge, jury and prosecutor, and the results are always predetermined.

We have always done better in the past; we can do better in the future.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to Newsmax. He is also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter. Read Michael Dorstewitz's Reports — More Here.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

It’s un-American when any "fact-finding" body acts as judge, jury and prosecutor, and the results are always predetermined. We have always done better in the past; we can do better in the future.
archives, mccarthy, pelosi
Friday, 06 January 2023 09:10 AM
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