If the Jan. 6 House select committee’s infamous track record is any indication, it would have already leaked new smoking-gun evidence in their possession heading into Thursday’s prime time hearings. But there was no leak because there is no smoking gun.
Instead, last Friday, the illegitimate Jan. 6 committee — choking from a lack of relevancy — was handed a lifeline as the politicized Biden Justice Department indicted former Trump adviser Peter Navarro for allegedly being in contempt of Congress. It was unbelievably fortunate and coincidental timing for a committee desperate to come up with something new.
That narrative continued this week with the committee’s controversial hiring of former ABC News President James Goldston to choreograph their hearings. In Washington, this is code for a committee that’s come up empty and needs to bring someone in to put lipstick on a pig. The last time Mr. Goldston was involved with Congress was in November 2019 when House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote him a letter demanding information about ABC News’ apparent cover-up of the Jeffrey Epstein scandal. People still want answers.
The Jan. 6 committee has a huge image problem and this decision makes it worse. The panel already lacks legitimacy because it doesn’t reflect the will of the people. Of its nine members — all handpicked by Speaker Nancy Pelosi — seven are Trump-hating Democrats and the other two are Trump-hating RINOs. This committee disregards House rules and precedent for political purposes, has no minority members or staff and is running an anti-Trump taxpayer-funded campaign operation in plain sight and everyone knows it. Now, bringing in an executive from the biased mainstream media is only making this perception problem worse. I guess if you need to run some fake hearings, who better than someone from the fake news to help orchestrate it?
The Pelosi-created select committee has wasted an untold amount of taxpayer dollars, conducted 1,000 depositions, reviewed hundreds of thousands of records and has come up with absolutely nothing useful for the American people. As evidence, the “big” reveal to start the week was more of the same. The committee let it be known that it has White House photographs from Jan. 6 that haven’t been seen publicly, more surveillance video from inside the Capitol Building of the riot and that it would be showing clips of their videotaped inquisitions — er, depositions — at the hearings. Well, at least now the world can see with their own eyes that there were no minority members or counsel present at these illegal proceedings, which is required.
When far-left Democrat committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin boasted recently that “the hearings will tell a story that will really blow the roof off the House,” he committed a deadly political sin. Mr. Raskin raised expectations to an unrealistic level and set his committee up for failure. Not even their allies in the liberal press corps can rescue a partisan sideshow that will be dominated by repackaged old news.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Democrat Committee Chair Bennie Thompson, and RINO Committee Co-Chair Liz Cheney are guilty of obsessing over the events of Jan. 6, 2021, for political gain instead of focusing on fixing the actual disasters that President Joe Biden’s policies are creating on a daily basis.
Even the anti-Trump Associated Press couldn’t help but include this lapse in judgment in a recent report on the upcoming hearings.
“‘In quieter times, the hearings would have a stronger hold on public attention,’ said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. … ‘But, as is, they will be competing for attention with topics with greater immediate relevance in our lives.’”
These topics of course are the inflation crisis, the gas price crisis, the baby formula crisis, the food price crisis, the violent crime crisis and the border crisis, to name just a few. The American people might tune into a prime-time hearing if the topic was “What Congress Can Do To Lower Gas Prices,” but another Trump witch hunt 18 months after his presidency is a complete waste of time and money that amounts to a dereliction of duty.
The mainstream media will surely fall in line in their hearing coverage this week because Ms. Cheney’s high-profile role in helping Democrats keep control of Congress by trying to destroy former President Donald Trump is an intriguing storyline for their shrinking audiences.
However, overcoming the committee’s credibility problem may be a bridge too far. Former Democrat House Committee Chair Henry Waxman, an expert on congressional oversight, may have said it best when he wrote, “successful congressional investigations have always been conducted on a fair and bipartisan basis. The best investigations have gone to great lengths to involve the minority and protect the rights of minority members.”
By contrast, the Jan. 6 committee doesn’t even have a minority side and because of this has continuously abused their subpoena power, deposition power and contempt power — with no end in sight.
When Republicans take over Congress next year, the House Committee on Administration should conduct a thorough internal investigation into the operations of the Jan. 6 committee to ensure something like this never happens again. Document preservation notices should be issued without delay.
• David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United and served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President.