I want to begin by emphatically stating that this analysis of Thursday’s opening statements made by Chairman Bennie Thompson of the House January 6 Select Committee has nothing to do with President Trump’s alleged actions or inactions following his speech on that infamous day. Nor do I make any insinuations about the legitimacy or illegitimacy of the 2020 election results that led to the organization of the J6 rally in D.C. I also make no defense for the behavior of the violent perpetrators and their attacks on police officers. I simply intend to show forth the lies contained in Thompson’s opening remarks and make the larger point that such provable falsehoods serve no other purpose than to reasonably call into question the veracity of everything else that follows from the Committee. Not to mention, calling into question the very purpose of its Hollywood-produced, scripted, predetermined outcome.
Because Thompson had this week tested positive for COVID, he made his opening statement by remote video. Here is the first of his untruths, referring to President Trump’s supposed intentions for that day:
“He summoned a mob to Washington. Afterward, on January 6th when he knew that the assembled mob was heavily armed and angry, he commanded the mob to go to the Capitol, and he emphatically commanded the heavily armed mob to fight like hell.”
A moment later, Thompson said:
“Even though he was the only person in the world who could call off the mob he sent to the Capitol, he could not be moved to rise from his dining room table and walk the few steps down the White House hallway into the press briefing room, where cameras were anxiously and desperately waiting to carry his message to the armed and violent mob savagely beating and killing law enforcement officers ravaging the Capitol and hunting down the vice president and various members of Congress.”
“These facts have gone undisputed.”
Those so-called “facts” presented by Thompson are not only disputed, they are blatant lies, but let’s begin with his initial characterization by calling hundreds of thousands of those who peacefully assembled in D.C. on that chilly Wednesday, a “mob.”
According to a Department of Justice spokesman, there were only 225 individuals who engaged in violence against law enforcement officers and/or property destruction at the Capitol Building. That means 99.999% of those who traveled to the nation’s capital did nothing more than exercise their 1st Amendment rights: “the right of the people peaceably to assemble and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” Whether or not you agree with their reasons for assembling — to express their doubts about the validity of the November 2020 elections results — is irrelevant if you believe any and all Americans have that inalienable right to peaceably assemble in protest. In fact, in a statement Thompson made concerning the riots that followed George Floyd’s death, he said:
“Protesters in Minneapolis and across the country are employing their constitutional right of free speech and the right to assemble.” He did not call those protestors and rioters a “mob.” He went on to justify the potential end result of the violence that occurred during those protests, by saying, “Riots are destructive, dangerous, and scary, but can lead to serious social reforms.”
As compared to the numbers from January 6th — 225 violent protestors, less than $2 million worth of property destruction and four deaths on the day, (all caused by police action) — the BLM riots of 2020 resulted in dozens of lives lost, (including those of several law enforcement officers), thousands of injuries, and more than $2 billion in property destruction, (including local, state, and federal facilities). Yet, Thompson considered those acts of violence as necessary to bring “social reforms.”
In response to a May 30, 2020 tweet from President Trump, about the earliest of those BLM riots, in which Trump alleged those to be the work of “ANTIFA and the Radical Left,” Thomson responded:
“The President does not have the authority under federal law — or even the Constitution — to designate a domestic group as a terrorist organization. We have seen numerous reports from the news and state officials that right-wing extremists and white nationalists are infiltrating protests to purposely make things worse, sow chaos, and incite violence.”
Thompson believes those who assemble to express their grievance about issues with which he disagrees are nothing more than a “mob,” but those who violently and destructively express their grievances with which he agrees are justified in their actions. He specifically states that “right-wing extremists and white nationalists” were the ones inciting the violence following George Floyd’s death. An exact opposite and parallel claim by many on the right about the January 6th violence, is that activists from Antifa and BLM were responsible for initially provoking what took place at the Capitol. This is an egregious double-standard from an elected federal representative, (not to mention, utter stupidity if he doesn’t realize his hypocritical words are easily retrievable from the internet), and that doesn’t yet address his specific lies.
Speaking of Trump’s assumed awareness of what the protestors had in their possession, Thompson said, “he knew that the assembled mob was heavily armed . . .”
To begin with, only two arrests were made on January 6th of those in possession of firearms. One, on the Capitol grounds, was found carrying a 9mm handgun along with 25 rounds of ammunition. A second person, who had been earlier in the day been arrested for his actions, was found to have a couple of firearms and Molotov cocktails in his car. The remainder of those involved in violent acts used the likes of ax handles, flagpoles, and bear spray, or they fashioned makeshift weapons out of what they were able to find during the melee: pieces of fencing, crutches, ladders, and other items used as either projectiles or clubs. Some of the known unindicted provocateurs were seen to have brought with them crowbars, hammers, and other devices to be used for breaking windows and prying open doors. These devices were seen in videos, used by those who arrived at the Capitol before Trump even finished his speech. Obviously, not persons who were there to attend Trump’s speech. (Neither is there any evidence that the President knew the Oath Keepers had brought and legally stored in a Virginia hotel room, firearms which they did not bring to either the rally or Capitol Hill.)
By contrast, those charged with the defense of the Capitol that day — Capitol Police, DC Metro Police, tactical units from the FBI, ATF, U.S. Marshals, and military special forces — were the ones actually “heavily armed,” bearing sidearms, automatic assault rifles, sniper rifles, and an array of less-lethal crowd dispersement weapons.
Thompson’s next lie, “. . . he commanded the mob to go to the Capitol . . .”
In FACT, the march on the Capitol was a pre-planned event by the rally’s organizers, published on their website and with flyers detailing those additional events, widely distributed throughout social media. In addition to more scheduled speeches on the Capitol grounds — following the rally at The Ellipse — the “March to Save America” was publicized to begin at 12 P.M. Because Trump was an hour late beginning his speech, and then didn’t conclude until 1:11 P.M. — after the initial west side barricade breach approximately 23 minutes earlier, and because the west terrace violence had also already begun before Trump concluded — all remaining pre-publicized events were interdicted by the unexpected turn of events.
As to Thompson’s assertion that Trump “commanded the mob to go to the Capitol,” the statement Trump actually made, in reference to those other pre-scheduled events and marches, “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” Trump concluded his speech by saying:
“So we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue — I love Pennsylvania Avenue — and we are going to the Capitol. And we are going to try and give — the Democrats are hopeless, they are never voting for anything, not even one vote — but we are going to try to give our Republicans — the weak ones because the strong ones don’t need any of our help — going to try and give them the kind of pride and boldness that they need to take back our country. So let’s walk down Pennsylvania Avenue.”
Not once did Trump “command” anyone to do anything. He simplify said, “we are going to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue” . . . “to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard” . . . but Chairman Thompson claimed Trump “emphatically commanded the heavily armed mob to fight like hell.”
“Fight like hell?” That remark from Trump was terribly twisted out of context by Thompson. What Trump was referring to was his ongoing contestation of the election itself and the future of election security in our country. In the specific context of that speech, what he actually said, was:
“Our brightest days are before us. Our greatest achievements still wait. I think one of our great achievements will be election security because nobody until I came along, had any idea how corrupt our elections were. And again, most people would stand there at 9 o’clock in the evening and say, ‘I want to thank you very much,’ and they go off to some other life. But I said something is wrong here, something is really wrong, can’t have happened, and we fight. We fight like hell, and if you don’t fight like hell you’re not going to have a country anymore.”
Thompson pretends as if Democrats themselves have not frequently used the phrase, “fight like hell” in their own political and policy-making proclamations. For instance:
-Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., told CNN’s Don Lemon on March 18, 2019, “I’ll FIGHT LIKE HELL to make sure we see this report” by Robert Mueller on Russiagate.
-Rep. Gil Cisneros, D-Calif., said on February 26, 2020, that Orange County Democrats would have to “recruit and FIGHT LIKE HELL” to compete against Republicans.
-Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., told TechCrunch, “We are gonna FIGHT LIKE HELL to get our bill in the next COVID-19 package,” referencing vote-by-mail legislation.
-Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told Hispanic leaders on a May 2, 2020 conference call that “Democrats are going to FIGHT LIKE HELL” for COVID-19-related government assistance.
-“I — and I know many other senators and members of the House — will FIGHT LIKE HELL to make sure we act and act as soon as possible” to secure COVID-19 relief, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on May 8, 2020.
-“We will file lawsuits, pass legislation in the House and FIGHT LIKE HELL,” against alleged GOP voter suppression, Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., declared via Twitter on June 9, 2020.
-Then Vice-President Joe Biden said on June 25, 2020, that “families all across this nation deserve . . . a president who would go into the White House and will FIGHT LIKE HELL to make sure they get the healthcare they need.”
-Then Senator Kamala Harris said, “Millions of Americans are counting on us to stand up, right now, and FIGHT LIKE HELL to protect the Supreme Court,” after the death of Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
There are literally dozens of other examples of Democrats themselves using the phrase “fight like hell” in their speeches, remarks, tweets, and other statements, but somehow Trump’s use of that phrase — only referring to his ongoing determination to contest the election results — was a call for the January 6th “mob” to mount a violent insurrection. This is a flagrant misrepresentation by Thompson of Trump’s remark.
Thompson wasn’t done lying in his opening remarks before Thursday’s House Committee, saying, “cameras were anxiously and desperately waiting to carry his message to the armed and violent mob savagely beating and killing law enforcement officers . . .”
“Killing law enforcement officers?”
The indisputable facts are . . . while there were numerous examples of riotous protestors violently attacking Capitol and DC Metro Police, not a single law enforcement officer was killed on January 6th. For weeks following January 6th, media falsely reported that Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick’s death was the result of having been struck on the head by a fire extinguisher. Once that assertion was proven untrue, others conjectured he might have suffered an allergic reaction to pepper spray. Investigations by the DC Police Homicide Branch, the Capitol Police, and the FBI determined that neither of these claims was accurate, and his death the next day — on January 7th — was concluded by D.C.’s chief medical examiner as having been caused by a stroke, classifying his passing as from “natural causes.” The other four deaths on January 6th were the direct result of police actions against the protestors themselves. Two men died as a result of flash-bang grenades launched over the heads of the violent skirmish line into peaceful observers. One died of a stroke, and the other from a heart attack. During the skirmish at the west tunnel entrance, an already-unconscious lady was mercilessly beaten by a female police officer and she died on the spot. Finally, the most publicized death was that of Ashli Babbitt, who was shot and killed by Capitol Police officer Michael Byrd.
Not a single law enforcement officer was killed by the “mob” on January 6th, yet House Select Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson stared into the camera on Thursday evening and claimed the protestors killed “officers” — plural — that very day. This, is a flat-out lie not to be corrected by mainstream media or their fact-checkers, and therefore believed to be true by half the country who only get their news from CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NPR, The New York Times, The Washington Post, et al.
Does this mean that all testimony and representations made by the House Select Committee are false? Certainly not. But, as I’ve covered in previous articles and podcasts, the “lies of omission” — an abundance of evidence the Committee is not sharing with the American people, the questions they refuse to ask, the people they do not want on the witness stand, and the videos they will not include in their Hollywood-produced dog and pony show — are the most significantly scandalous aspect of those hearings. Chairman Thompson’s opening deceptions only set the stage for the totality of their dissimulation of facts and the adherence to Nancy Pelosi’s directive for them to “establish the narrative” of January 6th.
What we have witnessed from those eight House Select Committee hearings is akin to something right out of the Soviet-era People’s Court, where facts were not only immaterial to their predetermined conclusions, and ‘Pravda’ — the truth — was essentially inadmissible.
Steve Baker, the photojournalist who captured hours of video documenting the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol protests, has seen his work broadcast on news stations and networks around the world. He’s been with us several times before and will join us this Friday LIVE at 9:30 AM Central. We’ll discuss in detail some of the information in today’s story that he authored. But, I can promise you, there will be MORE information about this craziness that will come out before our Thursday conversation. If that happens, we’ll get Steve’s thoughts about them.