I doubt I've ever been as moved by testimony at a congressional hearing as I was today. The professor captures effectively and eloquently what was said and its importance. But the video and the voices of the witnesses convey more — their strength and resolve in the face of crushing pressure, and the pain and disruption they've suffered by despicable mistreatment.

I was proud of the witnesses but disgusted beyond words that the President and those who worked for him could wield this much hate. And hate that inspired cruelty by manipulated citizens based on lies upon lies upon more lies.

If today's hearing doesn't penetrate the bubble and build a large majority supporting swift and harsh justice, America hasn't just lost its way. It's marching toward a cliff.

Expand full comment

The image of the cowardly Wisconsin Senator Johnson, running away from owning his actions to undermine the Constitution he swore to protect and defend, is an apt metaphor for the entire Republican Party trying to duck and weave away from what it has collectively, energetically, done to destroy American democracy.

I am hoping I live long enough to see American democracy destroy the current version of the Republican Party.

Expand full comment

When I think of the punishment Lardo Lardass deserves for his crimes, it comes down to "gettin' all medieval on yo ass" (as per "Pulp Fiction") and in the specific details has to be filed under "If my thought dreams could be seen/They'd probably put my head in a guillotine..."

There is nothing too bad or too extended could happen to him.

That said, I am really glad to know a guy like Rusty Bowers still exists. I'm certain I could disagree with him on any number of policy questions, but on the Important Questions, he's someone to hold up as an inspiration. The same for Raffensperger.

And when I think of the story of Lady Ruby Freeman and her daughter Shay Moss, I want to multiply Lardo's punishment by 1,000x.

Expand full comment

As extraordinary a story as is being told, individuals are responding precisely as you might expect them to. tfg continues to spout the same garbage he always has, matching fact with fiction, blow for blow. The conspirators deny, deny, deny that they were complicit, instead blaming low level staff members in their offices and vague awareness that "something" had been afoot. The media mouthpieces apply the same fantasy factory to the investigation that they did to the electoral process. Other entities say "we thought we were only assisting" another entity like the orange emperor's presidential campaign office. Dodge and weave, hide behind hastily erected barriers such as "proxy executive privilege", ignorance of what was going on within one's own offices, refusal to accept legitimacy of the investigating committee, the legitimacy of a subpoena, take the 5th, deflect accountability under oath, hope that cooperation yields indemnity, request preemptive pardons, scrub, scrub, rinse, repeat. These are not imaginative responses. I fully expect to hear that some of these individuals ultimately decamp to places in the world without extradition treaties as the judicial noose begins to tighten some months from now. The story is extraordinary in exposing the scope and intensity of the plot, right up to and including the CEO of the government. And, even in it's blatant criminality, it represents the same hubris demonstrated by His Royal Orangeness over decades in the business sector, in Hollywood and on the New York tabloid pages. You truly get what you pay for; hire a criminal, get criminal behavior. I think, ultimately, we're going to look back on all of this and wonder, how could we have been collectively so deluded as to think that this blustering blowhard was going to have a net-positive effect on our country in spite of his personal behavior and the history of his public conduct. We didn't elect a high class crook; we installed an "enforcer", a thug, a bully, a two-bit petty thief and grifter where we needed an honest and experienced executive.

We mistook hubris for charisma, pathological lying for political ideology, nepotism for executive privilege, narcissism for any shred of altruistic principle. It doesn't matter that more voted for someone else than for him. What matters is that there are far more eligible voters who stayed home in addition to those who showed up to vote against him. The silent, disinterested, complacent, cynical, disheartened and defeated non-voters paved his way into office. That is where our collective accountability lies. We've been served the bitter fruit of indulgent complacency and now we're choking on the aftertaste of having been compelled to swallow what was on our plates.

We can't even hope that his previously converted acolytes will be deterred by this detailed expose. All we can hope is that enough light has been shed in the dark corners of our political landscape that an additional mass of slumbering citizens will awaken and join the rest of us at the polls who can distinguish fact from fantasy amongst the candidates.

Expand full comment

Despicable is the only word I have. If this is not High Crimes, I don't know what is. To my conservative friends & family who still support Trump and his lie. Wake the F,,,, up. NOW.

Expand full comment

Read about Ginni Thomas’s new book today. She is so proud to have her husband’s law clerks sprinkled across the land. And I am appalled that they are likely to be people who will, like officials in New Mexico, refuse to certify an election. Dark and frightening days.

Expand full comment

The January 6th committee hearings should be played over and over in every highschool and college in America.

There is a connection between American gun violence, America's number one in the world covid19 deaths, the January 6th violence, the continuing Republican violence to break our election system in America, our unmitigated climate crisis and Putin's invasion of Ukraine that puts everyone at grave risk.

Our school children, minority communities and elderly in particular are dying at higher rates with increasing violence because of the virulence of Trump Republicans. Our economy is increasingly more stressed and failing. Our social fabric is stretching and tearing. Our political system is broken. Our domestic and international security are in question. All because Trump Republicans have bought into an alternative reality that looks like a knock off of Putin's Russia and our former Confederacy, both based on a form of white supremacy and slavery to their violent authoritarian ideas.

Expand full comment

At the very least, the hearings provide irrefutable evidence that Trump and his confederates attempted by fraud, threats of violence, and actual violence to sabotage the peaceful transfer of power to his successor as chosen by means of free and fair elections. But it's what happens next that's most important. If charges are not brought, then the United States becomes just another country that is too weak to uphold its adherence to democratic norms- a performative democracy not that different from Russia. But if charges are brought, there is a genuine risk of massive civil unrest stoked by Trump's enablers in Congress and elsewhere. My hope is that the current administration does not succumb to blackmail and fear. That it stands strong. That it decides that the protection of democracy is worth the risk. That democracy in the United States is a way of life worth fighting for and, if necessary, dying for.

Expand full comment

Today I cried! Listening to the horrors people had to endure just broke me. Yes, I still feel intense anger, but the sadness took front and center.

I just read a NYT article on what it would/could mean if Garland were to take the case. There are numerous reasons why this could fail and/or come back to haunt us forever. I came away feeling that an investigation/conviction are not likely.

Presently saddled with a new emotion: FEAR

Expand full comment

Today’s hearing was incredibly moving. If you missed it, you can catch it here:


Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2022·edited Jun 22, 2022

Except for the two poll workers from Fulton County, Georgia, who testified to the harassment and defamation from local Trump supporters, egged on by the former president himself, the principal witnesses that I saw during Tuesday's televised session were Republican state officials from Arizona and Georgia. How lonely, and afraid, those brave individuals must be feeling now. I think it was Representative Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who mentioned that there were more than thirty other potential witnesses, all Republicans, who were invited to testify before the committee, either declining to accept the committee's informal request for them to testify, or by refusing the committee's subpoena. Nonetheless, Mr. Schiff, on behalf of the January 6 committee, ably made his point that the constant pressure applied to state and local public officials charged with managing the election and accurately counting the votes cast in their respective states and electoral districts was incessant and brutal to the point where many election workers and their supervisors, some of whom had perform those tasks in elections going back decades, were now refusing to do those jobs again. It is late in the day, but we as a nation cannot afford to allow this to continue. To counter these threats, statutes and election regulations need to be strengthened to provide for severe punishment for election disruptors and those who incite them to violence.

Likewise, those who planned and participated in the preparation of fraudulent Electoral College certification documents should be indicted and tried for committing fraud against the federal government and their own state governments; and I, for one, would make their terms of incarceration consecutive. Late yesterday evening, a video recording showed Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin hemming and hawing about a batch of false certifications that the senator's Chief of Staff had received from Trump supporters, which documents Senator Johnson was reported to have previously agreed to hand carry with him to Washington, to be delivered into the hands of Vice President Mike pence prior to his constitutional duty to preside over the official counting of the Electoral College state ballots. Whether Wisconsinites pay any sort of attention to Senator Johnson's shenanigans remains to be seen; but as an evidentiary matter, there is opportunity for fruitful discovery as to the identity of the persons who prepared the fraudulent documents; how it came to be that Senator Johnson's Chief of Staff just happen to be the conspirators' intermediary; and what led the conspirators to this fraudulent certification scheme to believe that Senator Johnson was on board, and amenable to putting these forged documents into the Vice President's hands. Cockamamie as the plan was, which is probably why the plan failed, it does show how far the senator was willing to go to support the president's false assertions that he had not lost the election.

Like all of the misbegotten scheming that was circulating within the Republican electoral orbit, an absence of witnesses to what was done is not likely to be a problem; the salient characteristic of these Trump-inspired crimes was their public nature. President Trump's bullying telephone call to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffenspurger demanding that Raffenspurger find '11,780 yet-uncounted votes for Trump' was astonishing for the brazenness, but also for Trump's cluelessness about what he was actually asking Raffenspurger to actually do, creating a cache of 'newly discovered' ballots, all of which would be for Trump. The idea that Trump believed that this could be done without anybody noticing it beggars the imagination! In point of fact, however, President Trump didn't care whether anyone outside his orbit would've been taken in by the con. Trump had been peddling obvious falsehoods his entire life, and about anything and everything whether relating to Trump or not, it simply didn't matter. There were enough people out in the world who are willing to believe anything that Donald Trump said, that it didn't matter whether it was true or not. The proof of the assertion is today's Republican Party; it is a national political party that is committed to believing, and acting upon, anything and everything that Donald Trump tells them. One could argue that today's Republican Party is held together by its members' almost universally accepted affirmation amongst them, that they're good with anything that Trump tells them, and that the truth of the assertion is irrelevant. Believing the falsehood is a test of their loyalty to him. That is the exact definition of a cult of personality.

That may yet change if Attorney General Merrick Garland makes good on his promises to prosecute those who are implicated in the January 6 Insurrection. One thing that does concern me is what happens after that. I mention this because a third of the American electorate are demonstrably antidemocratic, and they are in thrall to a demonic personality whose self absorption and nihilism knows no bounds.

Those of us who do take the oath of loyalty, or who have in the past taken that oath of loyalty, are appalled but what we see today coming out of the Trump party. Watching Rusty Bowers, the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, and listening to his testimony, I saw the tears in his eyes as he related his conversation with President Trump, telling him, "You are asking me to do something against my oath, and I will not break my oath." Mr. Bowers spoke of the American Constitution as having been divinely inspired. He also spoke about the harassment that he and his family received from Trump loyalists, which abuse was visited on his desperately ill daughter. She died last year.

Brad Raffenspurger's wife received 'sexualized' threats by text messages, and Trump supporters broke into his daughter-in-law's house.

The two election workers in Fulton County, Georgia, I mentioned above, Shaye Moss, and her mother, Ruby Freeman, were vilified in public denunciations by President Trump and Rudolph Giuliani. Such was their fears that Ms. Freeman was persuaded by the FBI to move out of her home for two months out of concern that she might be attacked and killed by enraged Trump supporters.

We as a nation are going to have to figure out how we need to deal with the former president's hard-core supporters. Unlike in the post-Civil War Reconstruction, and post-World War II Germany, we don't have a military force that will change their mindset. We are stuck with these people. Their behavior is execrable, and those who engage in the kind of harassment and destructiveness that were described in Tuesday's committee hearing need to be punished. If we believe that we live in a nation of laws, those laws need to be enforced. What we discovered during the Trump administration that many of the standards of conduct that we believed had the force of law had nothing in the way of institutionalized enforcement, whether by law or regulation, that compelled obedience. We need to think about that, because Trump-fomented chaos is not an option.

Perversely, conservatives rail against the strictures that government imposes through laws and regulations; and they do so in the name of liberty. And yet, when it comes down to cases it is those selfsame conservatives that over decades, have shown themselves to be incapable of either empathy or self-control when it comes to modulating their appetites and passions. I am writing this today, beset by the reverberations of outrage over what I heard in Tuesday's testimony. The voice I hear in my head has nothing to do with Liberal 'cancel culture' nonsense about 'safe places', 'trigger warnings', and all that other stuff that has to do with fads and fashion. I'm talking about basic decency and respect for other people, and of the jobs they do that are essential to our well-being, and yet so often go unrecognized. Above all, those who behave badly need to be held to account, and as severely as necessary to get the point across.

Expand full comment

For the first time I listened live to the testimony of Bowers, Rafensperger and, Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss.

If the United States of America cannot come up with a "crime' around what Trump sponsored against Shaye Moss and her mother? All the lies around a carefully selected video segment that included African American election workers simply doing their jobs? Black folks selected ON PURPOSE to appeal to the racist segment of America?

Well, if the US cannot offer consequences for what Trump did to Shaye Moss then the United States deserves what it gets when Trump gets elected again.

If the majority of Americans want to see what embracing hate, lying, fear, violence and money is?

Then let them have what they want: Give them Trump unpunished for his entire life of crime, hate, destruction and vile talk.

But, if any reasonable person is the current US Attorney General, then, Trump is going to jail.

Purposefully editing a lengthy video to get a couple of black election workers on video doing their jobs and building a complete lie (ON PURPOSE) around that AND using the people in the video's names to ensure that they might even end up dead?

I don't care if that is illegal or not. It should be. I want Trump jailed for such a reprehensible, despicable, disgusting approach to his life and the lives of others.

Time to give Trump some of his own medicine inside a prison.

Let Trump learn what it is like to be "targeted" on the prison playground. That would be a wonderfully educational experience for him.

Expand full comment
Jun 22, 2022·edited Jun 22, 2022

Fortunately, in addition to his myriad other failures, Trumph is a coup klutz planner.

Expand full comment

After having destroyed their lives with their lies, why aren’t Ms Moss and Lady Ruby suing Trump & Giuliani for libel and slander. A Billion Bucks will do.

Expand full comment

6/21/22 - From Londyn Wiggins via Mobilize

Virtual Party on Letters to the Editor for Jan. 6 Hearings

Today’s hearing was a powerful one and we want to make sure we are joining these brave individuals in speaking out for what is right.

Join us for a letter to the editor writing party, tomorrow at 4pm ET- including guidance on how to write a letter to the editor regarding the January 6 hearings

To register: https://www.mobilize.us/jan6hearings/event/471922/ Letters to the Editors are very impactful, especially in your hometown’s newspaper.


Trump and MAGA Republicans have continued working to be able to put themselves in power regardless of the outcome of an election: changing laws that make it more difficult to vote and easier for them to overturn elections they lose so they can elect candidates who will do their bidding. We must speak out and take action to hold those involved in this ongoing criminal conspiracy accountable to protect our freedom in this historic moment. Join us tomorrow to learn how you can raise your voice locally. We hope to see you there!

PS. Can’t make tomorrow’s Letter Writing Party, you can write one on your own using this tool: https://act.newmode.net/action/declaration-american-democracy-coalition/write-letter-editor-january-6th-select-committe


Expand full comment

To preserve my mental health, I rarely read more than just this newsletter as far as news. Currently I’m also out of the country, which is a nice reprieve. I have been wondering for a while though, will any of these discoveries by the Committee lead to any real consequences for these players, like arrests and further down the road, convictions and prison for the big guys? Does any of this have any true legal power? I hope you understand what I mean, I seem to be missing the right vocabulary in my head 😬

Expand full comment