January 6th Update

Here’s what happened while we were all looking at the Supreme Court

US Supreme Court, source: www.commons.wikimedia.org

In March I wrote about the growing legal case against the January 6th insurrectionists. The case continues to work its way from rioters up the chain of command to planners and funders.

Perhaps that is why we saw a very rare event earlier this week — the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion. It spells out the likely overturning of Roe v. Wade, establishing a woman’s constitutionally protected right to an abortion.

Yes, it could be a coincidence. There is a LOT of interest in who leaked the document and why, and answers to these questions will likely shed light on why it was leaked now. Regardless of the answer to those questions, there were a number of significant developments in the January 6th investigation that were immediately overshadowed by the seismic news from the Court. Thus, an update is needed so we don’t lose focus if that is the intent of the leaker(s).

What’s new?

  • The Select Committee investigating the insurrection requested the cooperation of three more Republican members of Congress, Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), and Ronny Jackson (R-Texas) who promptly refused to do so. The refusals add to the previous ones from Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Scott Perry (R-Pa.), and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) Some Republican members of the House, including Jackson, are mentioned in encrypted messages between members of the far-right militia, the Oath Keepers, which was part of the attack on the Capitol building.
  • William Todd Wilson, a member of the Oath Keepers based in North Carolina, became the third member of the group to plead guilty to seditious conspiracy and pledged cooperation with authorities. In court filings, Wilson recounts overhearing a conversation where the organization’s leader, Stewart Rhodes, urges someone in the White House to connect him directly to then-President Trump. Rhodes planned to urge the president to direct the Oath Keepers to “forcibly oppose the transfer of power”
  • A large number of text messages have been released in recent weeks showing communication between Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and a variety of people — members of Congress, Fox News personalities, Cabinet members, the president’s family, even the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas — all urging the administration to overturn the results of the election. An election that over 60 lost court cases showed to be legitimate.
  • While it’s been known that Vice President Pence resisted Secret Service efforts to take him away from the Capitol building on January 6th, Select Committee member Jamie Raskin hinted that the committee had more and darker information as to what was happening behind the scenes. From a recent Washington Post article on the topic:

“He called Pence’s comments about not getting in the car “the six most chilling words of this entire thing I’ve seen so far…“He knew exactly what this inside coup they had planned for was going to do”

“…Pence and his aides regarded the Secret Service with some suspicion about whether they might whisk him away against his wishes. They were also suspicious of the intentions of a senior Secret Service leader who was also a political aide to Trump.”

What does this new information mean?

So what’s coming into greater focus this week based on this information?

The Congressional Republican — Oath Keeper nexus. Multiple Republican members of Congress were being discussed by the Oath Keepers on and around January 6th. The leaders of which are pleading guilty to seditious conspiracy to “forcibly oppose” the transfer of power. These members of Congress refuse to cooperate with the January 6th Select Committee. The leader of the Oath Keepers expected to be able to talk directly to then-President Trump.

The White House had the broad backing of the right-wing. Several people from a broad spectrum of right-wing organizations encouraged the administration to overturn the election. The text messages to Meadows convincingly illustrate this.

Vice President Pence’s removal from the scene was pivotal — and he knew it. As much as the Vice President may have had other motivations for remaining in the Capitol (eg. deny the rioters getting their way), it’s clear that at least part of his motivation was suspicion that he was in danger of being swept up in a coup attempt.

Final thoughts (for now)

One word captures the intent of the coup plotters on January 6th — delay. Whether it was Republican members of Congress opposing state electors in the House chamber, or the Congress going home for the night due to the forceful occupation of the building, delay was the key to the coup succeeding. Mike Pence’s refusal to leave and Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell’s reconvening of Congress frustrated the plan to delay the proceeding.

The intent to overthrow the election was clear. That’s not in doubt. That is, hopefully, in and of itself, a crime that will put several of the planners, including members of Congress, in jail. Add on to that a clearer nexus between the Oath Keepers and members of Congress, and even the White House itself, and I’m hopeful we’ll see more of the conspirators in jail, including the one whose orange jumpsuit will match his face.

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Joel Ombry

Joel Ombry


Trying to figure it out by writing it down. Interested in politics, health and fitness, writing and personal development.