Legal experts have fallen head over heels for the specific serious crimes that Hutchinson’s testimony has provided evidence of. It feels like we’ve entered an endgame. What will Donald Trump do now?
Unfortunately for him, the House Committee does not operate in a vacuum. The US Justice Department, which falls under the purview of Joe Biden and not Congress, is also investigating these issues: Last week, the Department seized the phone of John Eastman, a lawyer who had been the source of many of the unhinged legal theories Trump was pushing, and raided the home of Jeffrey Clark, the man who served as his acting attorney general for a few weeks. (And it’s likely that the department had already secretly subpoenaed material about the couple from several communication providers.)
Trump has evaded so many investigations thus far that it is foolish and desirable to think that he will do the job. But his options seem few at the moment. He can deny and deny and deny that he knew about guns on the National Mall, but investigators can easily find and talk to the people who can corroborate Hutchinson’s story. (It is a crime to lie to the FBI; in addition, the Justice Department can compel people to testify truthfully by granting them immunity.)
Trump may also keep claiming it’s all a conspiracy — another one of his tiresome mantras. This will be duly reinforced by his friends at Fox News. But of course, all of the most damaging testimonies to date have come from a conspiracy of… the motley crew he himself chose to run his administration.
The mere fact that Trump did nothing that day to stop the attack on the Capitol should have been enough to make him a pariah. Now we have to worry about whether the attack was part of his plan from the start. (Likewise, it’s a scandal in itself that groups like the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, early in the Capitol and ready for mayhem, also provided personal security for Roger Stone, the longtime political impostor and Trump friend who pardoned Trump after he received multiple convictions for his interference in the Mueller investigation.) But the reality could be much worse: At this point, it would be surprising to learn that these armed groups were not an explicit part of the president’s plan to return power. to take.
The committee has said it will give at least one more presentation, focusing on exactly what Trump was doing on the day of the attack, and then deliver a final report, presumably before the fall midterm elections, in which Democrats can withdraw their majority. losses. (And Republican Liz Cheney, the commission’s vice chair, could lose her seat.)
The position of Trump and his cronies is starting to feel a little cult-like. Not a “screaming and screaming and irrational” cult, but a “damned and ready for the end” cult. That’s sobering to say. But of course they all caused it themselves. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer group of people.