We’re nearing the finish line of election season, which means it’s empty everything in your barrels time, including the kitchen sink for Republicans and Democrats. For Republicans, it’s the usual barrage of negative campaign ads in competitive districts. On the Democratic side, they’re calling out old faithful: the January 6 committee.
On Thursday, the committee voted “to issue a subpoena to former President Donald Trump for testimony and documents, a move that marked a significant escalation of the panel’s probe.” It’s a significant escalation because the committee is seeking to bring Trump in to testify right before the midterms — that’s not an accident. It’s a thoroughly political ploy meant to try and impact the elections like any other October surprise.
The move is desperate Hail Mary throw at an end zone from a long distance away. And the Democrats have Carson Wentz at QB; the throw is unlikely to make it or be complete.
No reason for Trump to play ball.
From a straightforward legal perspective, Trump has several options. The Wall Street Journal reported, “The former president could comply with the subpoena and testify. He could appear before the committee and assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, a step he took recently in a New York probe of his financial dealings. Mr. Trump could go to court to contest the legitimacy of the subpoena. Or he could refuse to testify, potentially setting up a high-stakes legal standoff.”
Fox News has added that they have sources suggesting that Trump wants to testify before the committee and “loves” the idea. Fox adds, “The source said that if Trump complied with the subpoena and testified, he would ‘talk about how corrupt the election was, how corrupt the committee was, and how Nancy Pelosi did not call up the National Guard that Trump strongly recommended for her to do three days earlier on January 3, 2021.'”
Run out the clock.
I do not doubt that Donald Trump would love to jump on television screens across the country and paint his version of events. It would also be a very foolish move.
More likely, Trump’s legal team will tell him they have a straightforward plan: run out the clock. Democrats are expected to lose Congress in the upcoming midterms. If things shake out as everyone expects, the new Republican House majority would immediately be in a position to end the January 6 commission on the spot. That move would also end any need for a subpoena of Trump.
The WSJ reported the same, “Democrats currently have a narrow majority in the House, and nonpartisan analysts favor the GOP to win the majority. Republican leaders have said they would end the January 6 committee if they take control, and the panel has been working to wrap up its probe and write a final report. If Republicans are running the House, they would likely cancel the Trump subpoena, said Randall Eliason, a former federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C.”
A political diversion by Democrats.
In short, this is a fishing expedition that hopes that fish jumps on their hook to make them relevant. Trump can make all these statements on the campaign trail without ever setting foot in front of the January 6 committee. Running out the clock ends the committee’s brief moment of relevance.
The timing is the most telling point that this is a political move, not related to any truth gathering. The January 6 committee made this announcement on October 13, 2022, the same day the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest inflation report.
Democrats are trying to move their January 6 committee in front of the inflation firestorm raging across the country. I’m sure every voter going into the booth will be thinking of January 6 and not what they pay at the grocery store or how rent and mortgages have gone up. Inflation has impacted every part of their lives.
Inflation is still the name of the game.
James Carville made the phrase, “It’s the economist, stupid,” famous for a reason. He’s right. Clinton rode through multiple scandals and stayed in a relevant position because the economy was strong. For Joe Biden and the Democrats, the script has flipped. They want a scandal to overplay the economy when we’re staring at the highest inflation and interest rates in a generation and debating whether or not we’re in a recession.
Subpoenaing Donald Trump before the midterms, when you’re unlikely ever to get any information out of him, reeks of desperation. If this was about finding the truth, Democrats could have done this last year and had plenty of time. Waiting until weeks before the midterms, when polling suggests a red wave is on the way, is desperation.
An economic dam is breaking, and Democrats want to erect a paper wall. Regarding the economy, their only plan to fix things is to talk about January 6.
It’s still the economy, stupid.