The Jan. 6th Committee Recommends Prosecution for Trump
Plus, Piecing Together What Trump Knew and When He Knew It.
Recently at The Bulwark:
(BEST OF) CHARLIE SYKES: Cautionary Pundit Tales
JVL: Bring Trump to Justice. 🔐
ATMA: Does 'Avatar: The Way of Water' Justify a Trip to Theaters? 🔐 (Editor’s note: The cruise ship had an 11:30 showing, and I chose sleep, a wise choice, Sonny says.)
You can support The Bulwark by subscribing to Bulwark+ or just by sharing this newsletter with someone you think would value it.
AMANDA CARPENTER: Four Crimes: The Jan. 6th Committee Recommends Prosecution for Trump.
During its investigation, the House January 6th Committee unearthed a tremendous amount of new information about what led to the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol. On Monday, in its final meeting, the committee voted to recommend that the Department of Justice charge former President Donald J. Trump with (1) inciting or assisting an insurrection, (2) obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, (3) conspiracy to defraud the United States, and (4) conspiracy to make a false statement.
Although the complete report will not be released until Wednesday, the “introductory material” published on Monday lays out the rationale and evidence for those charges. Let’s go through them one by one.
It is difficult to overstate the constitutional significance of today’s final public hearing of the House January 6th Committee. Its referral to the Department of Justice of four potential crimes committed by Donald J. Trump and his close associates—assisting an insurrection, obstructing an official proceeding, conspiracy to make a false statement, and conspiracy to defraud the United States—is unprecedented in American history.
But more hangs in the balance than the fate of just one man.
The January 6 committee never wavered from its main goal: to make sure Trump never holds power again. Plus, the Lauren Boebert-MTG feud, and overestimating the power of the internet age to stop political candidates from telling very big lies. Will Saletan joins guest host Mona Charen today.
Bulwark+ members can listen to an ad-free version of these podcasts on the player of their choice. Learn more at Bulwark+ Podcast FAQ.
CLARE COFFEY: There Is No Mary Problem in ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’.
Despite its sinking into insignificance upon initial release, the eventual ascendency of It’s A Wonderful Life was always almost inevitable. For one thing, it stars Jimmy Stewart. For another, like all the greatest Christmas literature, it has an undercurrent of darkness to it. Like A Christmas Carol or A Charlie Brown Christmas, it deals with the death of human hopes as much as their renewal. And, most importantly, its emotional punch grows, not diminishes, with rewatching over the years.
WILLIAM SALETAN: Piecing Together What Trump Knew and When He Knew It.
When Donald Trump claimed that he had won the 2020 election—and when he exhorted his followers, on that basis, to march to the Capitol on January 6, 2021—did he know that his claim wasn’t true?
The answer to that question isn’t obvious. One could argue, based on Trump’s public behavior, that he was pathologically deluded and sincerely thought he had won. If some jurors buy that theory—if they decide that Trump was sincere, albeit wildly wrong—it might be hard to convict him of the crimes for which the House January 6th Committee has recommended his prosecution.
Zelensky’s coming? It’s being reported that the Ukrainian president will be flying to Washington in the final days of this Congress as it grapples with a must-pass year-end spending bill. Whether it’s an address to Congress, or high-profile meetings, one thing’s for sure, Pelosi is not ending her rule with a whimper. Slava Ukraini!
Ship update: Was unsuccessful at winning Bingo, but Frozen fans in the family are sure getting their fill! How many times can you watch this movie? Like the old Tootsie Pop commercial: the world may never know. I guess I should just… let it go?
Treat yourself to The Bulwark. Why not stock your own holiday stuffing? We’ve got a special deal right now just for you.
That’s it for me. Tech support questions? Email email@example.com. Questions for me? Respond to this message.
Editorial photos provided by Getty Images. For full credits, please consult the article.