The Jan. 6 Committee May Be a Sham, but It’s a Deathly Serious One

The Jan. 6 Committee May Be a Sham, but It’s a Deathly Serious One
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, joined by fellow Committee members, delivers opening remarks during a hearing on the January 6 investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington on June 9, 2022. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Benjamin Weingarten
The January 6 Committee may be Kabuki theater, literally stage-managed by an ex-corporate media executive.
It may prove wholly futile, as House Democrats themselves have seemed to acknowledge. Americans don’t seem interested in litigating the Capitol breach 18 months later.
But we ought not to let the cynical spectacle of the hearings distract from the tyrannical nature of the Committee, and how it fits in the Whole-of-Ruling-Class War on Wrongthink being waged against Americans.
Now, make no mistake: This is a Soviet-style show trial with American characteristics, rigged by the one-sided makeup of the panel, its disregard for Congress’s rules, lack of clear legislative purpose, its badgering of the Department of Justice to put legal force behind its political witch hunt, the characteristically devious ways in which it has operated—for example, in resorting to doctoring leaked documents to smear its political opponents—and, of course, its pre-judgment of Jan. 6, 2021, and its causes in every particular. Needless to say, this is not, and never remotely resembled from its inception, a good faith fact-finding exercise. This operation epitomizes what the Ruling Class means when it talks about “justice.”

It’s also an obvious, sorry attempt to distract from the Democrats’ disastrous agenda—from the punishment it is inflicting on Americans in policies making us poorer, less safe, and less free. It is a hurried, last-ditch effort to stave off a shellacking in 2022 by trying to scare Americans into believing the alternative to Democrats is American al-Qaeda.

At a minimum, it is about pounding political foes to the greatest extent possible if the Democrat ship is inevitably going down in November. And it is one more round in the obsessive effort to destroy the Bad Orange Man, in an early start to the 2024 anti-Trump campaign that it would love to see culminate with him in jail or disqualified from the ballot.

It will, and indeed already is, fundraising on the theater—theater to be witnessed by organized watch parties. It is just that solemn an effort.
The disingenuousness is also thick and won’t be lost on discerning observers. The hearings are hyped by those who have put several hours of chaos at the Capitol on par with the Civil War, World War II, and 9/11. These are often the same people who dismissed the vastly greater death and destruction that Americans faced across an entire summer by those with whom the Committee essentially stood in solidarity. They are the people who will encourage agitation over the pending Dobbs decision and wash their hands of it when Supreme Court justices face threats to life and limb. They are the people who will claim the peaceful transfer of power was threatened on Jan. 6, but who cheered on or participated in the effort to forestall the peaceful transfer of power to Trump in any meaningful sense as they worked to destroy him from the time he was a candidate through the present day.

But there is a deeper darkness to the Committee as well that transcends the foregoing awfulness. It rests on a premise that drives and justifies its limitlessness, lawlessness, and brazenness.

The premise is this: Donald Trump holds views that are uniquely dangerous. His followers hold views that are uniquely dangerous. Those dangerous views make them dangers ... to the power and privilege of the Ruling Class, which uses “democracy” as a stand-in to drape itself in the virtue of popular support, just as Communists use “People’s Republic” in the names of countries they rule.

To extend the American al-Qaeda analogy: to the Committee, Donald Trump was the emir; his confidants the commanders; the Capitol protesters jihadists; and the tens of millions of Americans constituting MAGA were providers of aid and comfort.

Putting armed troops and walls around the Capitol to fortify it was also theater, with a purpose: to instill this narrative in our minds.

Irrespective of how dishonest, self-serving, and appalling the narrative is, what matters is that the Committee operates consistently with this view.

The Committee treats its political opposition as if it is terroristic: It hoovers up the personal information and communications of countless Americans, and compels private companies to do the same. It probes conservative organizations and follows their money flows. It issues subpoenas against sitting members of Congress for their Wrongthink. It destroys the concept of executive privilege, seemingly because in its view, Trump was a “domestic violent extremist” leader. It submits criminal referrals to the Justice Department to carry out its jihad. How would it act differently if it was pursuing a terrorist conspiracy?
Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that, as with the civil liberties abuses that have followed efforts to pursue actual terrorists in the past, this effort has done undue damage to virtually every institution.

It has damaged the legislative branch via the rule-breaking, subpoenaing of members, and leaks; the Supreme Court in its targeting of Justice Clarence Thomas’s family; the executive branch in killing executive privilege; the Constitution through the Committee’s very creation; and soon the republican system itself when it gets around to calling for abolishing the Electoral College.

That the Justice Department seems to be coordinating, shackling, and threatening to gag former Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro, slapping new sedition charges on some of the accused, and locking up still others on the eve of the hearings, represents the further weaponization of the Committee—to the detriment of our system.

The Committee should be thought of as the most nakedly partisan force in the Whole-of-Ruling Class War on Wrongthink.

It’s the purest expression of the contempt our betters feel for us.

It wants Trump jailed, all in his orbit broken, bankrupted, and silenced, and every American who dares to think differently to feel the chill.

For these reasons, while one might be inclined to dismiss the January 6 Committee, this would be a grave error.

On display is the purest expression of the kind of system of “justice” our Ruling Class intends for us all.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Ben Weingarten is editor-at-large at RealClearInvestigations. He is a senior contributor to The Federalist, columnist at Newsweek, and a contributor to the New York Post and The Epoch Times, among other publications. Subscribe to his newsletter at
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