Two Things I Don’t Get From The January 6th Committee

Former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson

Or at least that I’m surprised aren’t getting more notice

1) According to the testimony of former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, when then-President Trump angrily demanded metal detectors be shut down at his January 6th DC rally so people could swarm in—even though law enforcement already had confirmed visual and physical evidence that many people were armed—his push-back was:

They’re not here to hurt ME.”

Yet at the same time he has always insisted, and continues to insist to this day that a great number of the so-called insurgents on that day were actually Antifa or Black Lives Matter supporters in disguise.

Which has to mean one of two things:

  1. Either he KNEW they WEREN’T antifa, or 
  2. He was happy to take that risk to jack up his crowd size

Now, this is probably not a potentially prosecutable piece of the story, because politicians are allowed to lie, and we know they do all the time, especially Trump. (That’s why having independent media is so crucial.) And it also perfectly fits Trumps pattern of knee-jerk blaming his opponents for anything he or his supporters do.

Still, since it does seem to definitively disprove one of Trump’s major assertions regarding the activities of that day, I’m surprised it hasn’t been getting more attention. Or any, as far as I can tell.

2) And this is something as far as I can tell no one is talking about, and frankly, I’m perplexed:

When Trump got into his SUV after his January 6th speech and demanded he be taken to the Capitol building—as has now been pretty firmly established—why was that demand refused?

Actually, wasn’t he right to assert something along the lines that:

I’m the f-ing President, I want to go there, so you’d better f-ing take me there!

Which again now is pretty well established he said in some form or another.

But wasn’t it within his rights to demand that? And not be denied that desire?

I mean, he WAS the f-ing President of the United States of America on that date. What gives the Secret Service the right to refuse him, even if he really wants to do something really, really dumb or dangerous or even illegal? 

Because as Attorney General Bill Barr argued, before Trump hired him, so long before he “saw the light”: since the Justice Department falls under the purview of the White House, the President is the law, absolutely and completely. 

Barr’s exact words:

The Constitution itself places no limit on the President’s authority to act on matters which concern him or his own conduct….Constitutionally, it is wrong to conceive of the President as simply the highest officer within the Executive branch hierarchy. He alone is the Executive branch.” (Barr’s emphasis.)

Here’s a crass and not at all apt analogy, but when Secret Service knew President Clinton was in some kind of weird semi-office space with one of his interns, would it have been within their job description to come in and pull him off?

Presidents make all kinds of dumb mistakes—even the very best—sometimes even reckless. So why was this President’s order countermanded this particular time?

Yes, had Trump been taken to the Capitol as he demanded, the day would’ve been even uglier by a lot, but he would’ve been finished. Right then and there. Instead of all this ensuing BS.

So again, what right did the Secret Service, or White House Counsel, or whatever person or group of people made the decision that it was not safe or appropriate or legal for Trump to drop in on the Capitol have to countermand his direct order?

Yes, yes, yes I get it: everyone in his direct employ on the day kept saying he wouldn’t be safe and he’d be charged with all kinds of charges. “Every crime imaginable” according to Chief White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, per Hutchinson. But. Still. They imparted that knowledge to him. Why is that not the extent of their authority? Why does that also give them the ability to not do what a sitting President is ordering them to do? Because that’s what they did.

Somebody needs to explain this one to me. Because it seems to me this reflects a big missing piece of the narrative. Doesn’t it?