House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Jan. 6 select committee is targeting private citizens over the free exercise to petition and protest, a primary pillar of American democracy the partisan probe purports to protect.
On Wednesday, the committee unveiled its latest round of subpoenas in its investigation, including subpoenas for 11 organizers of peaceful demonstrations between Jan. 5-6. The organizers collectively petitioned the government to hold a protest, were granted permission to hold that protest, and are now being investigated in a politicized probe by vindictive lawmakers who seek punishment for any and all involved regardless of their presence at the Capitol.
Even leftists have recognized the latest subpoenas targeting citizens for holding a protest as extreme overreach.
“At minimum, there needs to be some distinction between people who actually participated in the attack on the U.S. Capitol and those who were in D.C. lawfully exercising their right to protest,” said Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program, fearing a “dangerous precedent.”
The Brennan Center is a radical leftist group.
That the subpoenas are a bridge too far for them illustrates how radical the move is — or, really just shows how scared they are about Republicans using the same pretext.
“For instance, I worry about a future committee, under different leadership, finding some pretext to subpoena the emails and text messages of Black Lives Matter leaders or other racial justice activists,” Goeitein added.
While lawmakers on Capitol Hill hold oversight powers to subpoena records from executive agencies, the legislature’s investigative powers targeting private citizens are far more narrow. The subpoenas issued by the committee to date possess no legislative purpose but were instead crafted to generate more exposure to paint the Capitol riot as rising to the same level as the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Only by doing so, Democrats in partnership with NeverTrump Reps. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., who was stripped of her number three role in House leadership this spring, are targeting American citizens.
Those newly subpoenaed by the committee include Amy Kremer, Caroline Wren, and Maggie Mulvaney, the niece of former President Donald Trump’s former Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. The probe has also used its subpoena power to compel records from Trump campaign operative Katrina Pierson and Cindy Chafian, whose group organized an event the day prior to the Capitol riot. Others subpoenaed for their roles in organizing the “Stop the Steal” rally near the White House on Jan. 6 include Tim Unes, Justin Caporale, Megan Powers, Kylie Jane Kremer, Hannah Salem Stone, and Lyndon Brentnall.
Since its inception, the Jan. 6 committee has taken the shape of a partisan show-trial sought to weaponize the legislative branch against the Democrats’ political dissidents rather than a legitimate probe investigating the breach of the Capitol complex. As the committee formed, Pelosi barred participation by Republican Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Jim Banks of Indiana, prompting Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy to urge members to boycott the investigation altogether. Cheney and Kinzinger joined the Democrats’ panel anyway, with Cheney serving as the committee’s vice chair, and a close Cheney ally tapped as its lead investigator.
“Congress is obligated to conduct a full investigation of the most serious attack on our Capitol since 1814,” the Wyoming congresswoman said when tapped by the speaker for the committee in July.
The comparison ignored the 1954 raid by Puerto Rican nationalists who shot five congressmen, the 1983 Senate bombing by left-wing militants later granted clemency by Democrats, and the al-Qaeda terrorists who flew a plane into the Pentagon on 9/11, let alone the routine outbursts of domestic terrorism by left-wing militants throughout the nation’s capital last summer.
At the investigation’s first hearing in July, the committee opened with a panel of anti-Trump police officers who testified about their experiences at the Capitol building the day of the January riot as members showed tears for the cameras.
Did any of these politicians cry when the capital looked like this last summer?
— Tristan Justice (@JusticeTristan) July 27, 2021
One officer, Harry Dunn, had previously defended the riots engulfing the nation’s capital last year. The devastation from the two weeks of rioting in the immediate aftermath of George Floyd’s death alone cost an estimated 66 times more than the damage at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The Jan. 6 committee’s first round of subpoenas issued last week targeted four former aides in the Trump White House, including a former chief of staff.
No subpoenas have yet been issued for officials at the FBI, which The New York Times admitted last week planted informants in the crowd that overtook the Capitol.