Responsibility Now: Don’t Let Trump Officials Get Away

Steve Bannon by Gage Skidmore on Wiki Commons

Steve Bannon is facing charges for contempt of Congress, a sign of the growing ferocity with which the January 6th Commission is willing to fight against obstructionist forces. And it is a welcome sign, but it must go further. From the very beginning, the Commission has been the subject of opposition and obstruction. And if there is to be any justice, the Commission must overcome this opposition with intense fervor.

From the very beginning, Republicans opposed the January 6th investigation. When he had to propose members to put on the Commission for his party, Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) proposed five members. Two of which were Jim Jordan and Jim Banks, who believe that investigation is a farce. The result was surprising to nobody. Speaker Pelosi rejected Jordan and Banks to keep the investigation running, causing McCarthy to remove all Republicans from the committee.

This, in turn, created the idea that the investigation was partisan when Democrats gave Republicans every opportunity to take part in it. To put this in other words, Democrats were forced to reject their opposition to have a committee in the first place. And it is precisely that obstruction that Democrats should punish. Steve Bannon’s refusal to testify aside, the reality is that Trump and his allies are working tirelessly to avoid the consequences of their actions. And investigators ought to consider why that is.

Just this week, former President Trump sued the House of Representatives to prevent them from accessing documents related to his involvement in the January 6th insurrection. All of which is to say that Republicans are fundamentally opposed to the investigation because it would undermine much of their rhetoric surrounding the 2020 election and would undermine their claims of Democratic corruption. Instead, they are trying to undermine this thorn in their side before the midterms.

As the charges go before the Justice Department, the Commission needs to tear through every last one of these officials. Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and every person involved in January 6th should be forced to testify, no matter what. Our democracy can’t withstand any more obstruction or obfuscation. There is a time and place for negotiation and bipartisanship, but when one party actively wants to hide what they did, that time and place cease to exist.

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