December 2, 2022

Trump lashes out at McCarthy and Pence over January 6 hearings

8 min read

Visiting his Bedminster Golf Club, Trump spent the past week sharing his frustrations with almost everyone who listens. He criticized the congressional panel during a speech to conservatives in Nashville last Friday and took up his grievances about the committee on the road.

Trump’s growing frustration with the absence of any hardliners on the Select Committee – which gave the panel uninterrupted air time and deprived Republicans of the ability to cross-examine witnesses in real time – The latest example is how public hearings have come under their skin. The former president had previously complained about the lack of allies in the committee, although he did so last week, especially without realizing that the panel was unable to respond immediately to the committee’s findings on the plan. Have been disappointed with Appearing during each hearing.

Trump has also publicly and privately criticized former Vice President Mike Pence, whose Chief of Staff Mark Short and former White House Attorney General Greg Jacobs have both been featured in select committee hearings. , Which sheds an unsatisfactory light. Campaigning Trump pointed to Pence and others as he struggled to stay in power.

And while Trump is happy. Counter-programming effort After being fought by its Capitol Hill allies on conservative media and social media, it still feels the need to take matters into its own hands. He was responding to the committee’s first prime-time hearing earlier this month. With a long rebuttal of 12 pages Pence and most of his 90-minute speech at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s road-to-majority conference last week, failing to investigate the deadly Capital riots, were criticized by Pence and two Republican members of the committee – Republican Liz Cheney and Adam Kinsinger of Wyoming. Dedicated to Illinois

As the former president is considering launching another presidential bid – possibly before the midterm elections – he has also become increasingly sensitive about how audience and voter turnout is gaining traction. According to several Republicans close to Trump. The stakes are high: the investigation could not only shed light on Pence, one of his potential rivals in 2024, as investigators point to the former vice president’s role in averting a constitutional crisis, but also It could also anticipate potential legal trouble for Trump. He is already embroiled in a series of legal battles over his role on January 6.

Trapped in this highly stressful environment, Trump has begun venting his anger on people inside and outside his orbit, from McCarthy and Pence to his former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, and Attorney General Bill Barr.

‘We have no representation on this panel’

Trump’s biggest grievances of late are focused on the lack of Republican representation on the committee – Cheney and Kensinger, both appointed by Pelosi, are ardent critics of Trump. McCarthy selected five Republicans for the panel, but Pelosi, in an unprecedented move, vetoed Indiana Rep. Jim Banks and Ohio Jim Jordan from serving on the committee. Supported efforts to reverse the 2020 elections.

Not only has Trump privately chosen to withdraw the rest of his selection for the McCarthy panel, but in a recent radio interview, Trump took the complaint publicly, although he did not name McCarthy.

“Unfortunately, a bad decision was made,” Trump told conservative talk show host Van Allen Root. “This committee was a bad decision, not to be represented on this committee. It was a very stupid decision because you know, they try and pretend they are legitimate, and only when you get involved in internal affairs. If so, you say, ‘What kind of thing is this? It’s just a one-way witch hunt.’

“We have no representation on this panel. We should definitely have some Republicans, real Republicans … we don’t have anyone on this panel who can compete,” Trump said in an earlier interview. “In a way, Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.”

The thinking of some of Trump’s advisers – and even among a handful of right-wing Republicans on Capitol Hill – is that not pushing any GOP legislator back into the room in real time or providing insight is a There was a mistake. About the former president and the rest of the GOP conference, what investigators plan to highlight in public hearings. If Republicans were on the committee, they could ask tough questions of witnesses, make procedural moves to disrupt the proceedings of the hearings, and make sub-statements, taped statements, and other evidence collected by the panel. I had some advance information.

CNN had earlier reported that Trump had been carefully apprehended. Her daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her son-in-law, Jared Kishner, appear in a video clip during the first television hearing, although they knew they had spoken to the committee. According to a person close to Trump, the former president complained to aides at the time that his daughter’s testimony was taken out of context and deliberately included to embarrass her.

Some Republicans have also questioned whether the January 6 bilateral commission investigation would have had a better outcome for Trump and the GOP. At McCarthy’s direction, New York GOP representative John Katko reached an agreement on a commission that would require both sides to agree on subpoenas, which the commission was forced to complete by the end of last year. , And any current politicians were stopped. By serving in the investigating agency.

But both McCarthy and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell opposed the commission, which failed in the Senate and forced Pelosi to set up a select committee instead.

A GOP source called the move a “wise mistake.”

However, Jordan defended McCarthy’s decision, saying the GOP leader had no choice but to boycott the select committee after Pelosi was fired. Following McCarthy’s decision, Republicans on Capitol Hill rallied around the move. And McCarthy used the moment as a political opportunity to paint the investigation as a victim of one-sided witchcraft, which has become the GOP’s main point of contention.

Jordan told CNN, “Pelosi knew that when she would not allow the leader to be elected to the committee, she knew that Kevin had no other choice.” “You’re doing something that hasn’t been done in the history of the country, and we just have to go with it? No?”

Still, even if most GOPs have no regrets about McCarthy’s decision to remove the rest of his Republican picks from the committee, the problem is that Trump is making a second guess about McCarthy, who The former president needs support to become the speaker of the day.

And in conservative radio interviews, Trump went out of his way to make it clear that he only endorsed McCarthy for re-election but not for the speaker, a position McCarthy has long looked for and expected. It remains to be seen whether the Republicans will regain this seat. People close to Trump in November, who want House Republican President Joe Biden to aggressively investigate if he finds himself in power, say he has deliberately endorsed Speakership to further his advantage on the road. Has stopped.

“No, no, no, I didn’t,” Trump said when the talk show host suggested that he endorse McCarthy for speaker. “No, I supported him in the race. But I did not support anyone for the speaker.”

‘I don’t see him leaving Mike anytime soon.’

Within Trump’s orbit, another top Republican – his anger at Pence – has sparked tensions among allies who express frustration with the role Pence’s aides play in public hearings and People who think their attacks are unnecessary and unhelpful.

If Trump’s goal is to prevent Pence from potentially challenging him in the 2024 presidential primary, allies of the former vice president say it will not work, noting that Pence is going to make that decision for himself. And besides criticizing Trump. Still, Trump is expected to continue his attack this weekend when he appears at an election rally in Illinois for incumbent Republican Marie Miller, according to a source close to Trump’s GOP.

A Trump adviser said, “I don’t see him leaving Mike anytime soon and, obviously, Mike is working with the clear undertones of 2024, so much so that he’s going to cause himself trouble.” Will

At the same time, some in Trump’s orbit still believe that Pence has no legitimate threat in 2024, especially if he runs against the former president.

“It has no political window,” another Trump adviser told CNN, referring to Pence’s chances of a successful presidential bid.

Pence, however, continues to run into a political stalemate. Although the former vice president has not stood in the way of his former advisers testifying before the committee, he has indicated that he will abstain from the ongoing hearings, instead making a series of public appearances. Where they have focused on other issues. Economy and border security.

He also rescheduled a long-planned visit to Capitol Hill to meet with the Republican Study Committee on Tuesday. Not only would this hearing be a strange time for Pence, but it would also potentially put Republicans like Banks, the head of the RSC, in crosshairs, something most Republicans are anxious to avoid.

While Pence declined an invitation to attend Nashville last week, he recently joined Governor Mike D. Wine for a roundtable discussion on the oil and gas fields on Ohio’s main battlefield and attended the university. Delivered a strong speech on a policy at the Club of Chicago. On Monday, GOPs are reviewing the pitch in front of primary voters if they want a presidential nomination. The former vice president has visited all three early voting states over the past year – some more than one – and is due to release a book about his time in administration later this fall.

During his appearance in Chicago on Monday, Pence repeatedly urged Republicans to focus on the future – in stark contrast to Trump’s single public focus on the 2020 election.

Pence said, “In the days between now and election day, we need to say yes to you – yes to the future, yes to the future of freedom and our dear values. And the Republican Party needs to be the party of the future.” Should.”

Committee members said they could still file a petition seeking to force Pence to cooperate with the ongoing investigation, but after last Thursday’s hearing, several sources familiar with the investigation acknowledged that at this stage But that is unlikely.

Pence, meanwhile, has given little indication that he will testify voluntarily, publicly or behind closed doors, a move that would certainly escalate the one-sided confrontation with Trump at this time, which is a bit off. There will be political benefit.

But Pence is not the only White House veteran trapped in Trump’s line of fire.

The former president has also complained to allies about the content of text messages that Meadows provided to the committee before suspending its cooperation. Messages for Trump’s then-Chief of Staff from his own adult children, Fox News on-air allies, and some of his strongest supporters on Capitol Hill suggest that some Trumps condemn violence in the US Capitol. How desperate they were to do that. Timely – and their complete anger with the initial reaction.

The testimony of at least two former Meadows aides, Cassidy Hutchison and Alyssa Farah, also proved important in the January 6 investigation. He later burned the papers in his office. Perry of Pennsylvania where the two discussed efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. Perry was the first person to associate the then president with Justice Department attorney Jeffrey Clark, whom Trump considered considering being in charge of a high-level law enforcement agency to help carry out his defeat plan. What

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