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      Back in June 2019, the New Yorker wrote an article lambasting the Espionage Act. The George W. Bush Administration pursued several government insiders for leaking classified information, but it was the Obama Administration that normalized the use of the Espionage Act against journalists’ sources. Among its targets were Jeffrey Sterling, a former C.I.A. offic […]
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Heading into the Second Day of the House Committee Hearings

Just some of the various questions and thoughts which I am pondering after the first day of hearings by the January 6 Committee on June 9.

Nick Quested was one of the two witnesses on the first day, he was shooting a documentary film, which was supposedly to be about extremist groups. So he was taking film of the Proud Boys at the Capitol. They did not seem to mind him being there. Did he know what they expected to happen on January 6? No one at the hearing asked him, perhaps they had earlier; but it would have been very important to know if he had any conversations with their leader Enrique Tarrio on the day before the attack on the Capitol.

Was Roger Stone intimately involved in the planning? Did he get pardoned by Trump with part of the deal being that he would work on the attempted overthrow of the government? We need much more information on Stone’s part in this.

Who planted the pipe bombs in the DNC and RNC? And was this part of an orchestrated plan, or lone actors? I would strongly suspect that it was the former. And how has the FBI, even with a picture of the person who planted at least one bomb, not been able to identify that person, or apparently learn any more, a year and a half later?

How could the pipe bombs left at the DNC and RNC have been missed by the Secret Service which purportedly “swept” the area and found nothing; and then later a woman doing her laundry found the one at the DNC, and Kamala Harris avoided being blown up by it, and then they found the one at the RNC? Were the pipe bombs a significant part of the overall plot, the mechanisms by which Trump could declare martial law and invoke the Insurrection Act?

Was the bomb at the RNC similar to the Reichstag Fire in terms of the plot, the attempt to claim that it was the omnipresent spectre of antifa which was doing all of this?

Why did the Proud Boys head for the Capitol building even before Trump started to speak? It was suggested at the hearing that they wanted to scout out the defenses before the mob attacked. Thus they knew that there would be an attack, led by them and the Oath Keepers, this was absolutely not a spontaneous event. Also, was the goal to have these two groups create a barricade inside the building, to hold it indefinitely?

Apparently the Oath Keepers had stashed many guns in Virginia, presumably because the gun laws are easier for them there than in D.C. Was the plan to bring these guns in during the attack, and use them for maximum killing, and also to create a force which could repel any police efforts to take back the building, even for days, as the martial law was in effect?

Was the plan very efficient, or was it a series of various efforts, intended to make sure that at least one would succeed? Start a riot; kill people; have Harris and Pelosi killed; have martial law declared; make sure that Pence could not certify the electoral vote; all or at least one of those?

Why did Pence not trust the Secret Service at that point? The fact that he has never spoken about this publicly, is a crucial fact. “I’m not getting in that car” Why did he say that?

Why did Pence advisor Marc Short urgently tell the Secret Service that there was an increasing risk to Pence in the days right before the insurrection? Presumably we will learn this in detail. What was he told to cause him to make that warning?

How corrupted had the Secret Service become under Trump?

Did someone tell the insurrectionists to go through Pelosi’s desk drawers to try to find the electoral certification documents and destroy them? If not, what were they doing opening all the drawers and grabbing and throwing out things inside them?

Who told Grassley that he would be standing in for Pence in the Senate proceedings that day, and what was the rationale given?

Why were various members of Congress trying to gain pardons from Trump? What had they done which caused them to think that they needed a preemptive pardon?

Just because there are a number of weird and violent and erratic people involved, does not mean that there was not a coherent plan tying most of it together, with a definite intended effect that we may have been extremely lucky to have avoided, and may very well not be so fortunate to avoid the next time, or the one after that.

I know that all the questions may not be answered, but the people who know the answers are all there, if they could be compelled to tell, or if this can all be tied together so effectively that there won’t be the opportunity for the usual people to shrug and say, “Who knows?,” or “They didn’t prove anything.”

Take your best shot at it, Committee members, even if you don’t get every single supposition right. Robert Mueller did not tie it all together, maybe the constraints he was acting under caused him to believe he could not. This time we need a pattern woven which a large part of the public can see and understand. Far too much criminality and worse has been allowed to succeed in the last half century of this nation’s history. Don’t create half of the fabric, and then say the equivalent of, “Well, that’s all the time we have to work on it.” We’re counting on you.