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LIVEBLOG: Watch The January 6 Committee Hearings With Your Wonkette!
And get drunk AFTER!
It's time! The House January 6 Select Committee begins its first of six hearings this evening, and we are all watching it together. As we told you earlier, we're expecting opening statements from Chair Bennie Thompson and Vice Chair Liz Cheney.
Did you ever think you'd say, "Thank God for Liz Cheney"?
Yeah, us neither! But we never thought we'd see the Capitol attacked, only to watch half the nation's leaders downplay it as "tourists" or "patriots" or a reasonable response to a "stolen election." We are all the way in the upside down now, kids. So please forgive us if we sound glib. Or sarcastic. Or angry. Or weepy. It's been a long five and a half years of insanity, and we're all doing what we have to do to hold shit together.
But we made it through this far together, so best we all hold hands and keep marching. So, without further ado, here's a link to watch along with us.
WATCH LIVE: Jan. 6 Committee hearings - Day 1 www.youtube.com
And away we go!
8: 00Hey, guys. The C-SPAN guy said 8: 02:30 is the official start time. Which ... okay, why though? Anyway, we're here and ready to rock and roll.
8: 05Very solemn as Rep. Bennie Thompson gavels in. Thompson says he lives in a tiny town in Mississippi with a population of 521, where racism is very much alive and people try to justify slavery and Jim Crow. He says the justifications for the attack on the Capitol remind him of that kind of rationalization.
"We swore an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic," he reminds his colleagues, emphasizing the word "domestic."
"That oath was put to test on January 6, 2021," he adds.
8: 08Thompson commends Capitol police who "defended the Constitution against domestic enemies" to ensure a peaceful transfer of the power.
"The president of the United States — the president of the United States — trying to stop the peaceful transfer of power," Thompson says incredulously.
8: 11If Republicans had a shred of patriotism, they'd die of shame in the face of this quiet, dignified speech.
8: 12Video of Bill Barr, ughh what a comedown after Thompson.
"I did not agree with this stuff, which I told the president was bullshit," he says in his nasal whine. "You can't live in a world where the incumbent stays in power based on its unsupported view that the election was stolen."
8: 14Wow, Thompson isn't sugarcoating it.
"Donald Trump as at the center of this conspiracy to march down the Capitol to subvert democracy."
And, "Jan 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup."
And, "The violence was no accident, it represents Trump's last stand."
8: 16Thompson reminds the audience that Democrats wanted a bipartisan commission, but Republicans refused to piss off Daddy Trump, so here we are.
"There are those in this audience who thirst for power but have no understanding of what makes America great."
"We need to show we are worthy of the gifts that are the birthright of every American."
8: 18Thompson recognizes Vice Chair Liz Cheney. Man, did you ever think you'd see the day when Liz freakin' Cheney was the hero?
And yet here she is, reading Donald Trump for filth. Bring it, Congresswoman!
8: 19Cheney says you're going to hear testimony from Trump's own aides who told him he had to call off the rioters.
"Maybe our supporters have the right idea...Mike Pence deserves it," he said, when told that the mob was shouting to "Hang Mike Pence."
8: 22Now Cheney's schooling us on the seditious conspiracy indictments of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. Which y'all knew about , but maybe not everyone does.
8: 29Cheney says there was a seven-part plan to overturn Biden's win.
The second hearing will show that Trump and his advisors knew they'd lost the election, and they lied to the public deliberately.
First clip played is Jason Miller says that on November 6, Trump's top data guy told him he was going to lose.
Second clip is Alex Cannon, Trump campaign lawyer, saying that he told Mark Meadows in mid-late November that there was no evidence of fraud
"So there's no there there?" Meadows responded, before going on to tell lies about pervasive fraud to this day.
Ewww, Bill Barr again, testifying that he told Trump there was no fraud and that the allegations of Dominion rigging the vote were "complete nonsense" and "a great disservice to the country."
Oooh, it's Vanky! She says she respected Bill Barr and believed that he was telling the truth about there being no real fraud.
Here's Barr's resignation letter on December 14, where he very clearly did not mention that the president's claims were total crap.
8: 30Cheney's on to the Justice Department coup where environmental lawyer Jeff Clark tried to get the DOJ to send letters to states announcing investigations of non-existent fraud as a pretext to recast the Biden electors for Trump, and the only thing that stopped him was a threat by the top lawyers at the DOJ in the White House to resign en masse.
8: 32Oh, HAI Scott Perry! Cheney says that the Pennsylvania congressman who spearheaded the Justice Department coup contacted the White House about getting a pardon.
Perry refused to speak to the committee, and Clark took the 5th.
8: 36Pence chief of staff Marc Short said his boss "ultimately knew that his fidelity to the Constitution was his first and foremost oath."
And now we're on to coup coup curious lawyer John Eastman, a man close to my heart .
Cheney's doing a very good job showing that Republicans were the ones who stopped Trump carrying out his coup, i.e. rebutting the bullshit claim that this is a Democratic with hunt.
8: 39Now she's laying the ground for the cosplay electors scheme , which will be theme of the fourth hearing. The fifth and sixth hearings will be about Trump's role in the violence.
Hey, Sidney Powell gets a shout out. Drink up those Kraken cocktails, kids!
8: 42Cheney says that Trump's "be there, will be wild" tweet lit the fuse, and lots of people in the White House knew there was a potential for serious violence.
Trigger warning: video of covid-era Bannon promising on January 5 that "all hell will break loose tomorrow."
8: 45Cheney points out that Trump was totally checked out, refused to do anything to call off the mob. Not via his social media platforms, and not via the military.
By contrast, Gen. Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs, testified that Pence was "explicit" and issued "unambiguous" orders to bring out the military and the National Guard. Unlike Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows who was mostly concerned that they "kill the narrative" that Pence had made all the decisions.
8: 45Man, having Cheney up there is so, so powerful. As an establishment Republican, she's the absolute perfect person to highlight that Republicans were the ones who stopped Trump, and Republicans are the ones who enabled him.
LOL, we're about the watch video of Jared getting interrogated by Cheney about his response to multiple threats by White House Counsel Pat Cipollone to resign if Trump didn't quit trying to mount a coup.
"I kind of, my interest at that time was to get as many pardons done as possible," he said, displaying maximum douchebaggery and unseriousness."
"I kind of took it to be whining," he shrugged.
OH MY GOD, DUDE.
8: 50Liz Cheney has a final message to her fellow Republicans.
"There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone. But your dishonor will remain."
Man, that was an ass kicking.
8: 54Now we're getting a sizzle reel of the Proud Boys marching through DC, interspersed with incitement by Trump. You really get a sense of the menace of this violent mob as they breached the barricades.
Jesus, that was a horrible, terrifying day.
8: 56Thinking about Debbie Lesko saying on January 5
I also ask leadership to come up with a safety plan for members. I'm actually very concerned about this, because we have who knows how many hundreds of thousands of people coming here. We have Antifa. We also have, quite honestly, Trump supporters who actually believe that we are going to overturn the election. And when that doesn't happen — most likely will not happen — they are going to go nuts.
Because they fucking knew what was coming.
9: 01My God, the video of these poor, outmanned Capitol Police trying to hold the line.
Fucking Troy Nehls.
“Troy Nehls, who suggests that the Capitol Police "wanted it to happen" on Jan 6, was one of McCarthy's nominees for the Select Committee. And *not* one of the ones Pelosi rejected.”
— Liz Dye (@Liz Dye) 1654723966
And the crowd braying for "Nancy, Nancy."
9: 02We're getting a ten minute recess after that video. People in the room, who were likely there that day, are crying. That was so, so graphic and horrible.
9: 07BTW, while you're pissed off, check out this video of Rep. Matt Gaetz saying Rep. Jamie Raskin is just working through his grief over his son's suicide, and "The country shouldn't have to go through all that with him."
“In a particularly low move, Matt Gaetz attacked January 6th committee member Rep. Jamie Raskin as being “unable” to do his job due to losing his own child to suicide. Gaetz: “The country shouldn’t have to go through all that with him.””
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@PatriotTakes 🇺🇸) 1654726485
In case you weren't disgusted enough already.
9: 09OMFG Debbie Lesko, who said on January 5 that the Trump people were going to "go nuts," but only in a closed meeting with the Republican caucus — she wasn't sharing that info with Speaker Pelosi or anyone in a position to do shit about it.
“The NUMBER ONE question the January 6th Committee should be asking tonight is why was the U.S. Capitol not secured?”
— Congresswoman Debbie Lesko (@Congresswoman Debbie Lesko) 1654821464
9: 11Okay, to remind y'all, tonight we're going to get testimony from documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, whom the Proud Boys inexplicably allowed to follow them in the run up to the Capitol Riot, followed by testimony from US Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, the first law enforcement officer injured in the attack.
Preview here .
9: 13And we're back! Chair Thompson is introducing Edwards and Quested, who was apparently working on a documentary on "why Americans are so divided."
Bit too on on the nose, that.
9: 20Officer Edwards makes an opening statement.
"In the days after the attack, I was called Nancy Pelosi's dog, incompetent, a traitor to my country, and a villain. ... I was none of those things. I was an American."
She invokes her grandfather, a war veteran, saying, "I would like to think that he would be proud of me."
"I am a proud American, and I will gladly sacrifice many things to ensure that the America my grandfather defended will be here for many years to come."
My God, how can Republicans possibly attack this woman? They can't ... well, they can. But it's appalling.
9: 22Quested introduces himself.
"For anyone who doesn't understand how violent that event was, I'm here to tell you, I saw it, I documented it."
Juxtaposed with Trump's invocation of the Proud Boys in the debate to "Stand back and stand by."
Hey, video of Enrique Tarrio, former head of the Proud Boys, bragging how many more members they got after that debate. That guy's in jail now!
9: 26Gahhhh, it's Alex Jones talking to Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes about the coming bloody war.
Guess who else is in jail right now?
And here's video of that guy pleading the Fifth, followed by Tarrio claiming that the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers had "mutual respect."
Quested says he picked up Tarrio from jail on January 5, after he'd been arrested for stealing a Black Lives Matter flag off a church back in December. When he was arrested, he was charged with possessing illegal, high-capacity magazines on him.
They drove to a meeting in parking garage where Tarrio met with Rhodes, then interviewed Tarrio in Baltimore, since Johnny Law had told Tarrio to GTFO out of DC.
9: 32Quested said that he was with "a couple of hundred" Proud Boys on January 6, and they left the Ellipse before Trump even started speaking, heading for the Capitol. Then they met up with a crew of Proud Boys from Arizona wearing orange arm bands.
9: 37Bennie Thompson is walking Quested through the scene of the gang of Proud Boys basically casing the Capitol to look for weaknesses in the security perimeter.
"What you witnessed was what a coordinated plan would look like."
9: 40Liz Cheney is going to take over and question Officer Edwards, beginning with horrifying footage of Edwards getting thrown to the ground and hitting her head on the steps during the initial breach.
9: 42Edwards describes her interaction with Proud Boy Joseph Biggs and describes Biggs using his megaphone to whip up the crowd against the Capitol Police.
"I felt the bike rack come on top of my head. I was pushed backwards ... the back of my head clipped the concrete steps behind me."
9: 45Officer Edwards blacked out, came to, and went back to duty, decontaminating people who had been sprayed with tear gas and/or bear spray from the protestors: "Adrenaline took over."
Then she returned to the line: "Officer Sicknick was behind me ... I turned, and it was Officer Sicknick with his head in his hands, and he was ghostly pale." She was alarmed, because pepper spray turns you red, not white. She says she was then sprayed herself.
Apparently over at Fox they are only showing the back of Officer Edwards's head and video of congress watching the video, not the video itself.
“Incredible. Fox News isn't showing the video of the actual violence. It's too damning. They're showing panned out shots of Congresspeople watching it. They really don't think their viewership can handle the truth of what happened on January 6th.”
— Ben Collins (@Ben Collins) 1654822866
9: 52Officer Edwards: "It was a war scene. I was slipping in people's blood. It was carnage, it was chaos ... It was hours of hand-to-hand combat, it was beyond anything that any officer has trained for."
“Officer Edwards says she saw Officer Sicknick on January 6 with his head in his hands and he was "ghostly pale." Sicknick later died of a stroke. (Tucker Carlson tonight was insisting this means he didn't actually die as a result of January 6.)”
— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1654822281
Chair Thompson is thanking Officer Edwards and the Capitol Police, promises to give a fair account of what happened that day.
"If you and your fellow officers hadn't held the line against those violent insurrectionists, we can only imaging the violence that would have ensued."
9: 55Now we're getting another reel of multiple convicted rioters saying that they came to DC because Donald Trump called them to DC, interspersed with Trump's invitation tweets and his speech saying he'd march down to the Capitol with them that day.
And we are adjourned.
9: 58My goodness that was horrible. And speaking of horrible ...
What a disgusting piece of shit.
10: 01Okay, next hearing is Monday morning at 10am ET. We will be here to live blog, of course. Thanks, and good night.
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