The January 6 committee is issuing a sweeping demand for former President Donald Trump’s communications with his presidential staff and members of the press in an assault on freedom of the press and executive privilege.
The partisan House committee’s reiteration of a request comes less than one week after FBI agents confirmed that Donald Trump was not a part of any planning or coordination of the Capitol siege, which was carried out by a small minority of extremists.
These facts are not stopping the House committee from seeking to violate the rights of the executive branch and those who communicated with it. In a letter issued on Wednesday, the committee makes clear the extraordinary information it is seeking:
The Select Committee reiterates the requests made in the March 25, 2021, correspondence from multiple committees of the House of Representatives, which the Select Committee subsequently joined, for documents and communications received, prepared, or sent between December 1, 2020, and January 20, 2021, relating to the counting of the electoral college vote on January 6, 2021, the potential for demonstrations, violence, or attacks in the National Capital Region on or around January 6, 2021, and the events or aftermath of January 6, 2021.
Those March 25, 2021, requests include but are not limited to:
1. All documents and communications relating in any way to remarks made by Donald Trump or any other persons on January 6, including Donald Trump’s and other speakers’ public remarks at the rally on the morning of January 6, and Donald Trump’s Twitter messages throughout the day.
2. All calendars, schedules, and movement logs regarding meetings or events attended by President Trump, including the identity of any individuals in attendance, whether virtual or in-person, on January 6, 2021.
3. All documents and communications regarding the movements and protection of Vice President Pence on January 6, 2021.
4. All video communications recorded of the President speaking on January 6, 2021, and all documents and communications related thereto, including communications involving the President or any other officials or employees in the Executive Office of the President or the Office of the Vice President. This request specifically includes videos of communications released to the public and communications recorded but not released to the public, any documents or other communications identifying or discussing the content of those videos.
5. All photographs, videos, or other media, including any digital time stamps for such media, taken or recorded within the White House on January 6, 2021, or taken of the crowd assembled for the rally on the morning of January 6, and all communications or other documents related to that media.
The Jan. 6 committee couched its extremist demands for privileged communications with its trademark hyperbole and misrepresentation of the facts.
The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is examining the facts, circumstances, and causes of the January 6th attack. Our Constitution provides for a peaceful transfer of power, and this investigation seeks to evaluate threats to that process, identify lessons learned, and recommend laws, policies, procedures, rules, or regulations necessary to protect our Republic in the future. Pursuant to the Presidential Records Act (44 U.S.C. § 2205(2)(C)), and House Resolution 503, the Select Committee requests that you produce the documents described in the attached schedule from the Executive Office of the President (EOP) and the Office of the Vice President (OVP) in your custody, control, or possession.
The list of members of the press who are instructed to turn over Trump-related communications to the Jan.6 committee is truly breathtaking in scope.
The committee is requesting records of communications between the White House and a whole list of people, including "Stop the Steal" organizer Ali Alexander, InfoWars hosts Alex Jones and Owen Shroyer, and conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec. Link: https://t.co/sG5YaNCwpZ pic.twitter.com/YSUO62yoFG
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 25, 2021
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The list includes:
- Michael Flynn
- Alex Jones
- Ali Alexander
- Scott Presley
- Rogan O’Handley
- Vernon Jones
- Gina Loudon
- George Papadopoulos
- Bernard Kerik
- Roger Stone
- George Flynn
- Katrina Pierson
- Enrique Tarrio
- Michael Courdrey
- Jack Posobiec
One of those petitioned to release communications is press member Jack Posobiec, who is the Senior Editor at Human Events. He reacted to the news on Wednesday.
This is completely illegal and my lawyers will make short work of it
These ugly communists want to go full Stalin and Gestapo as they flail about to distract from the failures of the dementia patient they got as president who even Obama called a ‘f*** up.’ Be cautious! https://t.co/c4OR2xEEr5
— Jack Posobiec 🇺🇸 (@JackPosobiec) August 25, 2021
Appears Jack Posobiec, one of the people the committee wants records of White House communications with, is going to learn that media communications with government officials are not privileged. https://t.co/1vP7of87A6
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 25, 2021
“Appears Jack Posobiec, one of the people the committee wants records of White House communications with, is going to learn that media communications with government officials are not privileged,” Fischer said.
Will look forward to seeing the chats, Jack.
— Jordan Fischer (@JordanOnRecord) August 25, 2021
“Will look forward to seeing the chats, Jack,” he also taunted.
Attorney Ron Coleman gave his reaction upon seeing the Jan. 6 committee’s demands.
“Letter is a complete joke,” Coleman said.
The Jan. 6 committee’s request comes in the aftermath of a final blow to the Democrats’ narrative that the events at the Electoral College constituted an “insurrection.”
“The FBI has found scant evidence that the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was the result of an organized plot to overturn the presidential election result, according to four current and former law enforcement officials,” Reuters reported.
“Though federal officials have arrested more than 570 alleged participants, the FBI at this point believes the violence was not centrally coordinated by far-right groups or prominent supporters of then-President Donald Trump, according to the sources, who have been either directly involved in or briefed regularly on the wide-ranging investigations,” the report continued.
“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” said a former senior law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”
Thus, the FBI has provided substantiation that many of those arrested at the Capitol riots were Trump-supporting MAGA tourists swept up in a planned siege by outside extremist groups. Donald Trump had nothing to do with ‘ordering’ the siege.
House impeachment managers, nine radicals hand-picked by Speaker Pelosi to bring a partisan case to the Senate, made the case that former President Donald Trump was “singularly responsible” for the Capitol siege. The impeachment managers made the argument in an 80-page document.
The Nation will indeed remember January 6, 2021—and President Trump’s singular responsibility for that tragedy. It is impossible to imagine the events of January 6 occurring without President Trump creating a powder keg, striking a match, and then seeking personal advantage from the ensuing havoc.
However, President Trump could not have “incited” the Capitol attack that was planned before his speech was given. The New York Times reports that the “first barriers were breached” at 12:53 p.m. at the Northwest side of the Capitol. The NY Times then claims that Trump’s “call to action” was at 1:12 p.m. Of course, this is nearly twenty minutes after the purported first “breach” of the barricades. The speech was given a mile and a half away.
The Commander-in-Chief and head of powerful intelligence and law enforcement agencies did not select a motley rabble of disparate extremist elements to carry out a “coup” to disrupt the objections of the Electoral College. The extremists in the Capitol building were not even found to be armed with firearms. This was a ludicrous argument from the very beginning, but that did not stop major news outlets from promoting it.
The January 6 committee’s demands come as the Department of Justice is cutting deals left and right with the more than 550 defendants charged for the event. This includes dropping felony charges, even for violent offenses.
“As the cases against nearly 200 of the Capitol rioters begin to wind through federal court, many of the defendants blame the commander in chief they followed for the violence that left five dead during the insurrection Jan. 6,” USA Today earlier reported.
“In court documents, media interviews and through official attorney statements, staunch supporters of former President Donald Trump who carried out the attempted coup argue they were merely doing what they thought the nation’s leader had asked, some citing a cult-like loyalty.”
Yet none of the January 6 defendants have been charged with “insurrection.” None of them have been charged with “treason” for attempting to overturn an election. In fact, many of those who were charged with even violent crimes are getting plea deals, apparently to prevent the release of exculpatory evidence in discovery, such as nearly 14,000 hours of video footage of the event.
There was no known attempt to overturn the election or to attempt a “coup,” as the FBI admits. None of the defendants were charged for “insurrection” or “treason.” Most of the charges are petty misdemeanors, such as “trespassing” and “parading” without a permit.
The Jan. 6 committee’s sweeping ‘request’ for extensive records from the Trump administration, and members of the press that communicated with it, is nothing more than a brazen act of hubris. It is a desperate ploy to keep the false “insurrection” narrative from falling apart, even as the Democratic Party is clearly incapable of doing anything except scapegoating opponents for its failures, including the failure to provide security for what amounts to be a riot at the Capitol on January 6.
Liberal attorney Jonathan Turley put the final nail in the “insurrection” coffin in an editorial on Monday.
“There is a fair distinction between those who tried to stop the certification of a presidential election and those who burn police stations or businesses during protests,” Turley wrote. “While the majority of people who went to the Capitol were protesters and did not engage in the riot, there were some who sought to physically disrupt or prevent the certification, including the use of violent entry into the Capitol.”
“Yet, there remains a striking contrast in how other riots are characterized or prosecuted,” the attorney continued. “Most of those arrested for violent protests after the death of George Floyd saw their charges dropped by state prosecutors. For months, rioters sought to burn federal buildings or occupy state capitals and, in some cases, seized police stations, sections of cities, even occupied a city hall. They were not declared insurrectionists; they were rioters before being set free after brief arrests.”
“Many of us remain disgusted and angered by the Jan. 6 riot — but it was a riot,” Turley concluded.
When members of the Democratic Party and the left-wing press are willing to fork over their communications showing coordination with the radical groups Black Lives Matter and Antifa during the 2020 riots, then maybe Trump’s staff and members of the communications press might take the Jan. 6 committee’s request more seriously. Until then, it smacks as nothing more than an illegal and unconstitutional “fishing expedition” that belies that the party has become a complete joke.