'Darkening clouds' for Trump with key Pence aides set to lead off House hearings: report
According to an analysis by Slate’s Dennis Aftergut, the constant drip of information about former President Donald Trump and his administration’s involvement in the Jan 6th insurrection looks to turn into a flood when the House hearing on the Capitol riot kicks off on Thursday with three witnesses linked to former vice president Mike Pence poised to testify first for maximum effect.
As Trump and his allies prepare to do all they can to push back at the six scheduled hearings slated to be broadcast live, Aftergut wrote, a bad May for Trump is about to become a worse June for the former president.
“There are darkening clouds on his horizon,” wrote Aftergut. “On June 9, the Jan. 6 House Select Committee will hold public hearings as part of their ongoing investigation into the storming of the Capitol last year. In short order, the set of six scheduled televised sessions this month are likely to build momentum towards making the case that the president was directly involved in attempts to undermine the peaceful transition of power.”
“The steady dropping of shocking findings from the committee over the course of the past months suggests the sessions will likely have many viewers on the edge of their seats,” Aftergut added, and then suggested that the Pence associates could set Trump’s defenders back on their heels as they reveal the content of conversations between the former president and their former boss as Trump tried to get him to refuse to oversee the certification of the 2020 presidential election.
“June’s hearings follow a series of escalations in Trump’s ongoing legal battles stemming from his attempts to undermine the 2020 election,” he writes. “May’s legal developments and the looming hearings suggest increasing pressures and prospects that Trump will face criminal charges, the committee’s lead-off witnesses will be three courageous Republicans working for Vice President Mike Pence, who supported his resistance to the multi-step conspiracy that Trump appears to have led and aimed at ending the lawful transfer of power: His staff attorney, Greg Jacob, Pence’s outside attorney, Michael Luttig, the eminent former federal Court of Appeals Judge, and Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff.”
Aftergut suggests that, after dropping several “bombshells” in the weeks precedinhg the hearings, the devil will be in the details as the committee makes their case for criminal charges againt Trump.
“While the final details are still being sorted, the upcoming hearings have two apparent goals. First, committee members intend to address Trump’s election meddling. And second, to elucidate the circumstances around the ‘hours of inaction‘ before Capitol police received backup from the national guard releasing a video telling his followers inside the Capitol to leave,” he wrote adding, “If the details coming out of the investigation are any indication, the committee is hard at work building their case.”
“If May’s news was any indication, this select committee’s hearings will tell an even more chilling story — beginning, middle and end — about how a criminal conspiracy nearly ended our democracy,” he concluded.
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