Happy January 6th week, not to be confused with the last January 6th week that occurred earlier in the year. The committee that has tasked itself with “investigating” the much talked about unrest at the Capitol Building following the 2020 election held its first primetime hearing on Thursday night.
Did we learn anything new and noteworthy? The answer to that is not really. Instead, as expected, figures like Liz Cheney gave speeches about how terrible Donald Trump is while rehashing the same claims we’ve been hearing for a year and a half. I kept waiting for the ball to be moved forward, and it just kept sitting there.
One exchange was especially hilarious, and it involved the left’s favorite bogeymen, the “Proud Boys.”
If you can’t watch the clip, you are missing out. The Proud Boy member being questioned is asked by Bennie Thompson whether a larger crowd started to gather after their group walked down the steps toward the Peace Circle. His response? That they went for tacos, and the way he says it makes the clip.
Well, no, first of all we round to the back and down the steps, and we took some photographs on the east side of the capitol, and then we went for lunch…we went for tacos.
Absolutely scintillating stuff. This is what we are here for. To learn that the Proud Boys went for tacos on January 6th. Case closed, insurrection proved. Throw these guys in jail. What a roaring success for the Democrats.
Jokes aside, the committee claims the Proud Boys did much worse. Jake Tapper took to Twitter last night after the hearing ended to drop this supposed “bombshell,” and I think it’s actually pretty revealing. Just not in the way Thompson and Tapper believe.
TAPPER: But you know what, I wonder about the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. You convincingly made the case that Trump was good for their membership. And you convincingly made the case that they were there, they thought, because Trump them to be there to undermine the election and to stop the electoral count vote — the electoral vote count. Are there going to be witnesses that describe actual conversations between these extremist groups and anyone in Trump’s orbit? THOMPSON: Yes. TAPPER: There will be? THOMPSON: Yes. Obviously, you have to go to the hearing, but we have a number of witnesses who come forward that people have not talked to before, that will document a lot of what was going on in the Trump orbit while all of this was occurring. TAPPER: So, it’s not just happenstance that they were there? That they were encouraged directly by people around.
The insinuation is clear here. Thompson wants you to connect the dots and believe that the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers colluded with the White House to plan January 6th. But is that what actually happened?
You’d think a seasoned reporter like Tapper would ask some obvious follow-ups in regards to Thompson’s assertion. For example, did the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers receive instructions from anyone in Trump’s orbit to enter the Capitol Building? Were they told to fight with the police? Did any of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in question (i.e. those in contact with people in Trump’s “orbit”) actually even enter the Capitol? Did they commit any crimes?
Instead of getting any answers, Tapper just demurs like a giggling schoolboy and moves right along, seeming to accept the premise that Thompson is pushing. But that premise has no evidence as of yet. It does not matter whether any Proud Boys talked to Trump associates. This is still ostensibly a free country, after all. What matters is what was said, whether any of it provides proof January 6th was orchestrated, and whether the president was in the loop.
That Thompson stays so vague is the tell that these conversations they have transcripts of are going to lead to nowhere, which is the running theme of the January 6th committee. The goal here isn’t to provide hard evidence of a “coup.” It’s to throw a ton of stuff against the wall in hopes people start to connect dots that aren’t actually connected. This is about pushing a narrative, not the truth.