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Lawmakers listen to an image of a Trump campaign donation banner displayed behind them during a House committee hearing on January 6.Susan Walsh/AP

  • Trump is angry that he has no allies on the January 6 committee to defend him.

  • He lambasted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy for boycotting the committee.

  • But Trump was fortunate enough to support a bipartisan commission and chose to oppose it.

As the Jan. 6 House committee details Donald Trump’s efforts to reverse his 2020 election defeat, the former president turns his anger on House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Trump complained about McCarthy’s decision to boycott the panel, with the former president telling the Punchbowl newsletter on Wednesday: “Republicans don’t have a voice. They don’t even have a say.”

He is also said to be watching every commission hearing with greed and anger and feels the GOP is doing little to defend him.

But Trump has no one but himself to blame for the situation, one of his Republican critics pointed out, because it was he who opposed the formation of a bipartisan commission evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats to investigate the riot.

“Trump opposed the bipartisan commission,” Representative Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican who voted to impeach Trump for the insurgency, told The New York Times on Wednesday. “Once again he is rewriting history.”

In early 2021, the House passed a bill to form a panel on Jan. 6 modeled after the 9/11 commission, with the Democratic caucus and 35 Republicans voting in favor. But it was blocked by a Republican filibuster in the Senate after Trump, congressional GOP leaders and the far-right Congressional Freedom Caucus opposed it.

Criticizing the 35 Republican Representatives who ignored his call to vote against forming a commission, Trump said at the time that “sometimes there are consequences for being ineffective and weak.”

But Republican leaders could have used the commission as an effective platform to defend Trump, or at least try to mitigate the damage.

Under the commission’s rules, they would have been free to pick five Republicans to serve on the commission and select a Republican co-chair. Trump allies selected for the panel could have sought to undermine the arguments of Democrats and Trump critics, and subject witnesses to cross-examination.

After the committee bill was defeated, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi instead formed the House committee to investigate the attack, a move allowing her to veto Republican nominations and giving her considerable power to shape the committee.

The Democratic-controlled committee, in its carefully choreographed hearings crafted by television producers for prime-time audiences, presented a damaging case for Trump’s culpability unopposed. It featured shocking testimony from Capitol police officers injured in the riot and election officials threatened and intimidated by Trump allies.

Last July, McCarthy said he would not select any Republicans to take part in the survey after Pelosi banned two of his picks, Rep. Jim Jordan and Rep. Jim Banks, because of their support for Trump’s bid. to undo their 2020 defeat.

However, the committee’s rules left McCarthy no choice but to conform to Pelosi and select Republicans approved by her to serve on the panel or withdraw from the committee altogether. He chose the latter, and the two Republicans on the current Jan. 6 commission, Reps. Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, are outspoken opponents of Trump who have been ostracized by much of the GOP.

The timing of the hearings is also detrimental to Trump.

If he had backed a bipartisan commission, it should have presented its findings by the end of 2021. Instead, the House committee scheduled the rollout of its hearings to harm Trump ahead of Trump’s midterms. 2022 and remind Republican voters of riot guilt.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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