It seems as though the entirety of the last week has been the January 6th one-year anniversary. It was not by accident that the House Select Committee released a lot of material pertinent to that day in the last week, demonstrating more clearly than ever that the single last thing that happened on January 6th was some bizarre uprising that got out of hand in an otherwise normal protest. No, it was a meticulously planned attempt to overthrow an election, an American election. It was a coup, as Ari Melber told Peter Navarro two days ago. But the coup was slow-rolling and had begun weeks before, and that critical fact cannot be forgotten on the anniversary of only the most dangerous day.
In the face of this coup, Vice President Kamala Harris spoke today at the Capitol (as did the President), and warned:
“January 6th reflects the dual nature of democracy, its fragility and its strength. You see, the strength of democracy is the rule of law … The strength of democracy is that it empowers the people.”
“And the fragility of democracy is this. That if we are not vigilant, if we do not defend it, democracy simply will not stand. It will falter and fail,” Harris added.
Harris also urged for the expansion of voting rights, saying “we must pass the voting rights bills that are now before the Senate. We cannot sit on the sidelines; we must unite in defense of our democracy.”
Vice President Harris is 100% correct and it is because she is so correct that some of us are cringing. If one looks at the bolded portions of her words and pairs them with Merrick Garland’s inadequate speech yesterday there is dire reason to worry. We point again back to the slow-rolling coup, the one that built up over weeks prior to January 6th and went unaddressed in Garland’s speech.
The attack on the Capitol on January 6th was nothing more than the culmination of a weeks-long effort led by Trump himself to overthrow the election, committing crimes all along the way. The Department of Justice is not being “vigilante” (to use Harris’s words) as it moves up from window breakers, to the people with the bullhorns, to the people who paid for January 6th, and maybe to the people “at the top,” all while – apparently – ignoring the evidentiary value of Jeffery Rosen, former Acting-Attorney General, telling DOJ’s own Inspector General, that Trump told him to sign a letter saying that the DOJ found fraud occurred within the 2020 election. Trump committed a felony that day in that instruction.
This type of instruction, this type of felony, in front of other witnesses doesn’t require twelve months of investigation to “get right,” it doesn’t require that Garland get testimony from someone who roughed up a police officer, and it is most certainly against the rule of law that Harris cited.
Garland did not say a single word about all the “pre-January 6th activities that constitute a crime against democracy, crimes we must vigilantly prosecute if we’re to prevent them from ever happening again. As Vice President Harris said, democracy consists of a weird combination of fragility and strength.
Ironically, we saw the strength in Mike Pence’s adherence to the Constitution on January 6th itself. But now it’s hard not to feel the fragility, upon hearing Merrick Garland speak as though he is investigating a drug kingpin, starting by arresting the guy on the street, moving on to his dealer…
It is against the law for a president to call up another Republican Secretary of State and demand that he find another 12,000 votes. It is against the law for a president to tell the acting Attorney General to sign a document saying that the DOJ found fraud in an election in which the DOJ found no fraud. Merrick Garland did not say a thing about these crimes and these particular crimes are not the type that requires talking to the Shaman and the Oath Keepers first. You start by talking to your own DOJ Inspector General and that particular evidence was available when Joe Biden raised his hand on January 20th. We have not seen DOJ indict one person for one portion of any of the pre-January 6th crimes.
Sad as it is, it appears to some of us that Vice President Harris’s strong and needed message regarding the strength needed to remain committed to the rule of law might be seen as entirely inconsistent with the actions of their own Justice Department.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, features writer, author, and attorney. He is originally from Canada but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, which he grows increasingly thankful for every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the beaches of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic that cannot add and loves dogs more than most people. He also likes studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology, and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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