Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), vice chair of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, isn’t abandoning the push to hold Trump accountable for his misconduct, and Trump seems extremely nervous.
It seems as though the former president spent his July 4 holiday thinking of Cheney. In a recent ABC interview, Cheney indicated it remained a possibility for the riot panel to eventually issue a criminal referral implicating the ex-president, and Trump clearly took great offense at that. Cheney noted in the same interview the Justice Department wouldn’t have to wait for the committee to issue a referral before beginning prosecution. (A referral wouldn’t force prosecutors to bring charges, but it would come with significant evidence.) Prosecuting Trump seems like something Cheney’s inclined towards supporting in her personal capacity, even if she leaves final decisions to others, since they’re not hers anyway.
“How can I be guilty of a crime when I’m the one who wanted to stop the so-called “crime” by strongly recommending 10,000 plus troops to D.C., and hence the surrounding of the Capitol, only to have this recommendation rejected by Pelosi and the Mayor of D.C., who are in charge of Capitol security?” Trump said on Truth Social late Monday. “There would have been no “January 6” if they had followed my recommendation. The Unselect Committee refuses to even mention this totally conclusive and determinative fact. WITCH HUNT!” The notion that Trump was blocked from implementing a plan to use National Guard troops to protect the Capitol on January 6 is fictional. No Congressional leader holds the power to keep the president from undertaking such a move, and nobody elsewhere does either. The D.C. National Guard “reports only to the President,” per its website, although there are what sound like multiple methods available for its activation.
Filling out the 10,000-troop presence Trump said he was after would have seemingly required drawing from different corners of the military, since the entirety of the D.C. National Guard is below that number, but there’s no record of a formal authorization by Trump for National Guard troops at the Capitol in the massive numbers he’s repeatedly cited — a fact he might be acknowledging with his reference to a “strong recommendation” (not an authorization) on his part. Meanwhile, for Trump to have seemingly referred to what happened on January 6 as a “so-called” crime provides another apparent example of him basically accepting what happened.
“We don’t have a fair system of “Justice” in this Country anymore,” Trump angrily added at an earlier point on Monday, in case his willingness to look the other way from the dangerous threats posed by his supporters wasn’t obvious enough already. “The way they are treating me & my supporters, compared to what happens to those “on the other side,” is like day & night. It has been this way for a long time, but never like it is today! All semblance of a “FAIR & BALANCED” Media to look over, study, and report on what is going on in our Country is GONE! Fight on, America, Fight On! (Oh, I’m sorry. By using the word FIGHT, they will say I am inciting an Insurrection. Apologies!).” (Obviously that last bit of Trump’s rant was sarcasm.) There’s no real-world evidence for some separate legal standard getting applied to Trump supporters and Trump himself. Does he think people who violently fought with police at the Capitol should just… not face consequences for doing so? (Unfortunately enough, that is, in fact, kind of the general direction of his rhetoric.)