The illegitimate January 6 Committee was in dire need of another fake news headline to stay relevant, and it sure got one.
“Jan. 6 Committee Lays Out Potential Criminal Charges Against Trump,” screamed the headline from The New York Times in their latest anti-Trump screed. There’s just one problem with this – congressional fact-finding committees can’t file criminal charges. Not to mention, the politicized select committee appears to have already decided on its preferred conclusion before completing its investigation.
Recently, the committee that’s made up of seven Democrats, two Republicans in name only, and zero Republicans made a politically-inspired filing in a federal civil case alleging that President Donald Trump engaged in a criminal conspiracy while he was trying to make sure only valid votes were counted in the 2020 presidential election. Only faux prosecutors on a phony committee perpetually abusing its power would think concocting this story was a good idea. This new court filing is just the latest act of desperation by a committee that set expectations way too high and is now trying to do something to satisfy the Trump-haters who are frothing at the mouth.
Instead of holding a public hearing or releasing a report laying out their findings, this unhinged legislative body continues to behave like a prosecution conducting a secret grand jury investigation. And rather than focusing on the tragic events of January 6th, the committee continues to operate with a reckless disregard for House rules and precedent. Witnesses have no due process rights in this inquisition and have suffered from the committee’s repeated abuse of its limited constitutional authority.
The January 6 Committee’s pathological pursuit of former President Trump wreaks havoc on the American legal system. The most recent collateral damage from the gang that couldn’t shoot straight also happens to be the oldest evidentiary privilege in law: The Attorney-Client Privilege. This privilege protects every American’s right to candid, confidential conversations with legal counsel. It helps counsel provide reliable advice to clients and encourages clients to share complete information with their counsel. This sacrosanct privilege is most important during times of massive government overreach and prosecutorial abuse. As we have seen over the past few months, the January 6 Committee represents the worst of both these flaws.
The committee’s filing in the District Court for the Central District of California is an opposition research document borne from partisan hands. It’s completely frivolous, and the Members of Congress and committee lawyers responsible for the filing should be referred to the House Ethics Committee for investigation. This outrageous filing would have you believe that only Democrats are permitted to contest election results in our country. Even The New York Times wrote in describing the document that “the filing disclosed only limited new evidence….” There’s a reason for that; the January 6 Committee has laid a big goose egg.
Law professor and renowned constitutional scholar John Eastman is only the latest target. According to the committee’s most recent court filing against him, Mr. Eastman’s alleged crime is that he provided legal advice to a sitting President of the United States regarding technical interpretations of the Electoral Count Act.
That’s it; that’s the sum of their case. But providing confidential legal counsel is precisely the reason why the attorney-client privilege exists. If it did not exist, your average American would stand before government tribunals without the full protection of counsel. As for Professor Eastman, President Trump had every right to review all of his constitutional options.
This sham committee should do something in the open for a change and release the transcripts of all 650 interviews it’s conducted to date.
The American people deserve complete transparency from this opaque unconstitutional prosecution conducted by partisan Washington politicians. Let the people read all the evidence themselves and draw their own conclusions.
It’s becoming obvious that the January 6 Committee is on life support. They’ve telegraphed that they plan to hold hearings in April and issue a report in June. If they had the goods, they wouldn’t limit themselves to just two months of hearings. And moreover, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, and Committee Co-Chair Liz Cheney certainly wouldn’t release a report that will get lost going into the long hot summer if it had any chance of hurting GOP prospects at the ballot box in November. Maybe, just maybe, the Democrats have decided to wrap up their failed inquisition and do something the American people care about, like trying to fix the inflation, crime, and border crises they created before the midterm tsunami wipes them out.
• David N. Bossie is president of Citizens United and he served as deputy campaign manager for Donald J. Trump for President.