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Why Trump is still deflecting responsibility for Jan. 6 and blaming Pelosi


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Donald Trump says he wished he could have walked to the Capitol on that fateful day.

Whether or not he really wants to walk a mile down Pennsylvania Avenue with a massive group of supporters — a president protesting outside the dome for an election he insisted he didn’t lose? — this is yet another glimpse into his mindset about Jan. 6.

The increasingly partisan debate over the riot is heating up again, with the House voting to criminally dismiss two other former Trump aides for defying subpoenas. It often seems like the arguments will rage forever between Democrats who want to hold people accountable (i.e. Trump and his allies) for a criminal insurrection, and Republicans who think the other side is dramatizing and exploits the event for political reasons – and which in many cases questions whether Joe Biden legitimately won the election.

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Other tragedies – Pearl Harbor, 9/11 – have united our country. This one is tearing it up.

A supporter of President Donald Trump holds up a sign as Trump’s motorcade leaves the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020.
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

In a 45-minute Mar-a-Lago interview with Washington Post reporter Josh Dawsey, the former president said of the Capitol protest, “Secret Service said I couldn’t go. J ‘would have gone there in a minute.’ He also said the crowd he addressed on the Ellipse was the largest he had ever spoken to, an echo of the crowd beat of his inauguration.

At least a dozen times, he blamed the riot on Nancy Pelosi, who only partially controls the Capitol police. “I thought it was too bad, and I kept asking why she wasn’t doing anything about it? Why wasn’t Nancy Pelosi doing anything? And so is the mayor of DC. The mayor of DC and Nancy Pelosi are in charge. I hated to see it. I hated to see it. And I said, ‘We have to deal with it,’ and I assumed they were dealing with it.

Excuse me, the President of the United States, watching the riot on TV and refusing pleas from aides and Ivanka to speak for 187 minutes, assumed someone else was dealing with it ?

(By the way, Pelosi, 82, tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday.)

Trump again denied destroying call logs or using a burn-in phone during that 7-hour interval in his recorded calls, a story that has been largely debunked. “I don’t remember getting many…Why would I care who called me? If members of Congress called me, what difference would it make? There was nothing secret about it. There was no secret.”

Why Trump is still deflecting responsibility for Jan. 6 and blaming Pelosi

President Donald Trump, flanked by Ivanka Trump, President Donald Trump’s daughter, right, speaks before signing the Presidential National Security Memorandum to launch the ‘Global Women’s Development and Prosperity’ initiative.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

When Trump released a video later that day, he told the crowd, “Go home. We love you. You are very special.”

In yesterday’s story, the 45th president also took a swipe at the January 6 committee for taking testimony from Ivanka this week, which he called “shame and harassment”. But how is that since her daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner — who were both senior White House advisers — agreed to voluntarily answer questions? Trump said he didn’t know what they told the panel.

Many more are defying committee subpoenas, and the House just voted to hold two ex-aides — Peter Navarro and Dan Scavino — in criminal contempt.

But is it all a slow motion masquerade? The Justice Department has still not acted on a December criminal referral for former chief of staff Mark Meadows. The only person charged with contempt is Steve Bannon.

Also yesterday, New York Attorney General Letitia James called for Trump to be held in contempt for failing to deliver documents under subpoena. Keep in mind this is a civil case from the Democratic GA — James didn’t even press charges — but she’s asking for fines of $10,000 a day.

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To give you an idea of ​​the contempt on the Hill debate, panel chairman Bennie Thompson said that Navarro and Scavino “must be held accountable for their disregard for the law.” But Republican Rep. Jim Banks accused Democrats of “abusing the seat of our democracy to attack American democracy.”

But the whole thing seems surreal. Democrats were also looked down upon when Republicans ruled the Hill, but it’s extremely rare for someone to be prosecuted and get the maximum sentence of a year in prison.

Merrick Garland’s department is examining the 15 boxes of White House documents, some of which are classified top secret, that Trump brought to Mar-a-Lago, the Post reported in a separate article.

Why Trump is still deflecting responsibility for Jan. 6 and blaming Pelosi

United States Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks at the Department of Justice, ahead of the one-year anniversary of the attack on the United States Capitol, in Washington, Wednesday, January 5, 2022.
(Carolyn Kaster/Pool via Reuters)

Meanwhile, a federal judge appointed by Trump has acquitted Matthew Martin of New Mexico of disorderly conduct charges for entering the Capitol on Jan. 6. His defense was that a police officer waved him in, which prosecutors called absurd.

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Martin said he “enjoyed the day… It was a magical day in so many ways.” He added that “I know bad things have happened.”

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It’s kind of an understatement. And what’s even worse is that the country remains deeply divided over what happened, who is to blame, and whether Trump – who the Post says refuses to let go of “the fantastic idea that he could be reinstated” – bears some responsibility.

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