They’ve got him now! The walls are closing in! Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Establishment), one of the foremost Trump-haters in Congress, announced Sunday on CNN that the rabidly partisan witch-hunters of the Jan. 6 Committee have the goods on Donald Trump to the extent that they can actually bring criminal charges against him. In light of the fact that we have been hearing for years that the walls are closing in on Donald Trump and his total discrediting and ruin is near, it would be wise to take Cheney’s latest salvo against this man she hates with such passionate intensity with a full shaker or two of salt.
One of the foremost propaganda organs for the Democrat Party and the hard-Left, the New York Times, reported Sunday that “The leaders of the House committee investigating the Capitol attack have grown divided over whether to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department of former President Donald J. Trump, even though they have concluded that they have enough evidence to do so, people involved in the discussions said.”
Jake Tapper asked Cheney on CNN: “Is that true? Do you have enough evidence to refer Trump for criminal charges?”
Cheney replied: “Well, we have not made a decision about referrals on the committee. I think that it is absolutely the case, it’s absolutely clear that what President Trump was doing, what a number of people around him were doing, that they knew it was unlawful. They did it anyway.” Actually, that’s not clear at all. Cheney conveniently ignores the fact that in his speech to protestors on Jan. 6, 2021, Trump said: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.”
Peaceful protest is not unlawful in the United States, and there is nothing else that the Jan. 6 Committee can reasonably charge Trump with calling for or inciting. But “reasonably” is the key word in that sentence; the Jan. 6 Committee is made up of pillars of Washington establishment politics, all of whom have a burning hatred for Trump; there is no indication that they have any interest in being reasonable.
Cheney, however, found the criminal conduct elsewhere. She continued: “I think you certainly saw that in the decision that was issued by Judge Carter a few weeks ago, where he concluded that it was more likely than not that the president of the United States was engaged in criminal activity.” She was referring to U.S. District Court Judge David Carter’s statement in late March: “Based on the evidence, the Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021,” when he pressed claims of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Trump spokesperson Taylor Budowich called Carter’s decision an “absurd and baseless ruling by a Clinton-appointed Judge in California.”
But Cheney had even more than that, or she thought she did: “I think,” she said, using the term loosely, “what we have seen is a massive and well-organized and well-planned effort that used multiple tools to try to overturn an election. You have seen just in the last few days a plea agreement from one of the leaders of the Proud Boys, which lays out in really chilling detail the extent to which violence was planned, the extent to which the message that went out on December 19 about the planning — about the rally in Washington — and, don’t forget, Donald Trump tweeted out that message: Be there. Be wild.” It’s a massive stretch to try to link Trump saying “be wild” to someone allegedly plotting violence, especially when Trump is on record telling the protestors to be peaceful, but that’s not stopping Cheney. “That, the day after that message,” she claimed, “the organization and the planning started, and that they understood, that they knew that they were going to attempt to use violence to try to stop the transfer of power. That is the definition of an insurrection. And it is absolutely chilling.” Yet even if her characterization of the Proud Boys case is all true, there is no indication that Trump approved of it or even knew about it. Her attempt to link it to Trump is tenuous at best.
But this isn’t the first time that Cheney has charged ahead with accusations against Trump despite the evidence not exactly bearing her out. Jumping head-first into her fantasies, she told Tapper that “the objective was absolutely to try to stop the count of electoral votes, to try to interfere with that official proceeding. And it’s absolutely clear that they knew what they were doing was wrong, they knew that it was unlawful, and they did it anyway.”
There’s no telling what could happen now. The Committee doesn’t really have anything it can use to bring criminal charges against Trump, but that may not stop it from trying. Remember how the “Lock her up” chants against Hillary Clinton at Trump rallies brought us dark warnings from the establishment media about how only in tinpot dictatorships and banana republics are opposition leaders imprisoned? We don’t hear that so much anymore.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.