Nearly eight months ago a crazed horde of hostile Donald Trump cult disciples invaded the United States Congress in an attempt to block the constitutionally mandated certification of Joe Biden's election. They broke windows, battered down doors, and assaulted police officers, while chanting threats to kill House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and hang Vice-President Mike Pence.
Pelosi gave Republicans an opportunity to support an independent investigation of the January 6th insurrection, but they stubbornly refused. Pelosi then set up a House Select Committee that Republican minority leader Kevin McCarthy also declined to participate in. McCarthy threw a tantrum when Pelosi nixed two of his proposed Committee members, Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, due to their support for, and personal connections to, some of the insurrectionists. Those connections created the potential that they could be called as a witnesses themselves.
As the Committee prepares its investigation, it sought documents related to the events of January 6th and any communications between the insurrectionists and persons in government positions, including the White House, cabinet departments, and members of Congress. That, of course, might include Rep. Jim Banks (R-QAnon).
In what appears to be a pre-emptive move to prevent the disclosure of activities that could implicate him in crimes, Banks fired off a letter to Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson making the specious argument that it was improper to request the materials being collected. Banks also sent the letter to the general counsels of AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.
“One House Republican is gearing up to fight an effort from the committee probing the Jan. 6 Capitol attack to collect the communications of members of Congress.
“The pushback from Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) comes after committee Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) told reporters this week that he plans to ask telecommunications companies to turn over the records of several hundred people, including lawmakers.”
The letter that Banks sent sounds strikingly similar to the pleading of a defense attorney trying to suppress evidence that incriminates his client. Banks gave the telecom companies unsolicited advice saying that “recipients of legislative subpoenas retain their constitutional rights throughout the course of an investigation.” So what we have here is a member of Congress (who does not serve on the committee of jurisdiction) attempting to persuade corporations that possess materials relevant to an investigation to withhold those materials. That's not suspicious at all, is it?
Banks is taking a page from the playbook of his mentor and messiah, Donald Trump. When Trump heard about the subpoenas by the Committee, he released a statement, via his spokes-shill, Liz Harrington (whose proxy Trump tweeting is violating Twitter's rules against circumventing a ban), claiming that…
“Executive privilege will be defended, not just on behalf of my Administration and the Patriots who worked beside me, but on behalf of the Office of the President of the United States and the future of our Nation.”
You have to wonder if it's the result of Trump's narcissism, ignorance, or dementia that causes him to believe that he still has the power to invoke executive privilege.
Finally, it should be noted that the letter Banks sent was probably written in consultation with his communications director, Buckley Carlson. Buckley is the son of Fox News ranter, Tucker Carlson, who last month viciously slandered one of the police officers who heroically defended the Capitol on January 6th.
Banks has proven that Pelosi was right to block him from the Committee. His extremist views show that he would not have been interested in an honest investigation, but rather only in protecting Trump and defending his “Big Lie” that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from him. The very lie that Trump used to incite the insurrectionist riots in Washington, D.C. in the first place.
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