Two things can be true at the same time:
(1) This week’s January 6 hearings may not make a big difference to voters, and Democrats should keep their expectations in check.
(2) Trump and the Trumpified GOP are, nevertheless, acting like they are worried.
Former President Donald Trump has made it clear he is looking for cover from his closest allies around the upcoming public hearings by the House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection -- and some prominent names in Congress and the Republican Party are answering the call.
Trump's team has communicated to some of his most loyal acolytes on Capitol Hill that the former President wants people vigorously defending him and pushing back on the select committee while the public hearings play out, according to GOP sources familiar with the request.
This morning, the Brookings Institution is out with a comprehensive guide to this week’s hearings: TRUMP ON TRIAL: A Guide to the January 6 Committee Hearings and the Question of Criminality. The 100+ page report is authored by Norman Eisen, Donald Ayer, Joshua Perry, Noah Bookbinder, and E. Danya Perry — and very much worth your time.
From the executive summary:
The issue of criminality is central to the congressional hearings commencing on June 9, 2022, convened by the House of Representatives’ Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. Pending the Committee’s own interim or final reports, this publication serves as a guide to the hearings and the evidence the Committee and prosecutors may adduce as to whether Trump and his circle committed crimes. The report covers key players in the attempt to overturn the election, the known facts regarding their conduct, and the criminal law applicable to their actions.
The report goes beyond prior analyses to provide the first in-depth treatment of the voluminous publicly available facts and the relevant law, including possible defenses.
The report reviews the evidence as to whether Trump as a matter of law conspired with his outside counsel John Eastman, administration lawyer Jeffrey Clark, and others to defraud the United States in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371, by scheming to block the electoral count on January 6, 2021 and to subvert the Department of Justice’s election enforcement work.
We similarly review the evidence as to whether Trump and Eastman violated 18 U.S.C. § 1512(c) with their scheme to obstruct the congressional count. While this report is primarily focused on federal offenses, we also note evidence potentially probative of state criminal violations. Fulton County, Georgia is one jurisdiction currently investigating such evidence, and we briefly address the factual and legal analysis attendant to that investigation, which is also the subject of a separate report by some of the authors here.
Our review of well-established law and public record evidence as it exists today leads us to believe that there is substantial evidence of all the essential elements of those federal and state offenses and suggests there is a substantial basis for prosecutors to go forward.
You can download and read the whole thing here.