Ret. Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — who worked as a part of the National Security Council before his removal following his participation in the first impeachment proceedings against then-President Donald Trump — spoke out against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) this week after the top Republican announced his opposition to plans for an independent commission to investigate the January Capitol riot.
Kevin McCarthy announces he won't support January 6 commission: pic.twitter.com/ZYnK7A5kiC
— Haley Byrd Wilt (@byrdinator) May 18, 2021
Stunningly, McCarthy based his opposition to the commission in part on what he described as a “shortsighted scope that does not examine interrelated forms of political violence in America.” What he’s referring to is the GOP lie that the Black Lives Matter and “Antifa” movements have posed a threat to the United States like that posed by the Trump-supporting Capitol mob in January. No matter any isolated instances of rioting that unfolded amid last year’s nationwide Black Lives Matter-associated protests against police brutality, none of those other demonstrators attacked the U.S. Capitol and murderously hunted top government leaders, as Trump supporters did!
On Twitter, Vindman commented as follows, referring to McCarthy’s antics as “disgusting”:
‘Disgusting @GOPLeader is casting aside bipartisan commission on the Jan 6 insurrection. He has failed to live up to his oath to support & defend the Constitution, continues to promote the big lie & believes he can whitewash his complicity. #Demandaccountability #HereRightMatters’
Disgusting @GOPLeader is casting aside bipartisan commission on the Jan 6 insurrection. He has failed to live up to his oath to support & defend the Constitution, continues to promote the big lie & believes he can whitewash his complicity. #Demandaccountability #HereRightMatters
— Alexander S. Vindman (@AVindman) May 18, 2021
There is no substantive on-the-ground connection between anti-police brutality riots and the Trump-inspired storming of the Capitol beyond the fact that both situations involved violence. McCarthy’s insistence on an examination of generally unrelated political violence as part of the Capitol riot commission’s work constitutes little more than an apparent cowardly deflection. It’s worth noting — the legislation that has been prepared to form the commission is already a bipartisan effort, no matter McCarthy’s opposition. House Homeland Security Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) announced it with the support of Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.), the top Republican on Thompson’s panel.
McCarthy could be summoned for testimony by the investigative commission handling the riot, which will have the power to issue subpoenas. McCarthy was in contact with then-President Trump on the day of the riot. Infamously, Trump issued only delayed responses to the violence — and eventually explicitly justified what took place, writing on Twitter that “these are the things and events that happen” when an election is stolen, which of course did not actually happen.