Blue State Blues: Show Trials and Partisan Prosecutions are Un-American

Cheney teleprompter January 6 (Alex Brandon / Associated Press)
Alex Brandon / Associated Press

The term “un-American” has been abused in recent years, but it certainly applies to Thursday night’s show trial by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol.

Democrats apparently believe that having a one-sided inquisition with doctored evidence in prime time will help boost their party’s fortunes in the midterm elections. It should have the opposite effect, showing Americans that Democrats are violating the Constitution while ignoring real issues.

The hearing revealed nothing that Americans did not know before; even the “new” footage of the Capitol riot felt old, after Democrats used similar footage in the second impeachment trial last year. At one point, they overdubbed it with footage of former President Donald Trump describing the crowd at his rally — not the riot — as “peaceful” and full of “love.”

They tried that kind of stunt at the impeachment trial and were upended by Trump’s lawyers. So they just eliminated the other side.

The first public testimony at the committee was not live, but rather a series of video snippets from recorded depositions by witnesses, starting with former Attorney General William Barr.

One wonders whether these witnesses understood, when they agreed to cooperate with the committee, that they were auditioning for a role in a televised hearing, with no legal protections.

We have been told that Committee and its hearings are necessary for the purpose of “defending democracy.” But it excludes the democratically-elected representatives of the minority party in Congress. The only Republicans are the anti-Trump pair that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) hand-picked for the purpose.

Worse, the Committee has issued a subpoena to House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), under threat of prosecution for contempt. There is no evidence that he had anything to do with the Capitol riot.

You cannot force the opposition leader to testify and call yourself a “democracy.”

The Committee is the third show trial that Democrats have used to attack former President Donald Trump, and features Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD), who led the first and second impeachments, respectively.

The Committee has also used the same methods as those failed efforts, auditioning over 1,000 witnesses in secret depositions before choosing what to show the public. The Committee has gone further by denying the other side any voice even in the secret hearings.

Worse, the Committee has also dragged the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the courts into the charade. After promising the DOJ would be non-partisan, President Joe Biden urged publicly that witnesses be prosecuted if they fail to testify.

Attorney General Merrick Garland has complied, arresting two former Trump aides even though they had pending legal challenges in federal court raising legitimate constitutional issues about executive privilege and the committee’s violation of its own rules.

We don’t do this in America — or, at least, we didn’t, until now.

The grim saga of Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, who trampled civil liberties and destroyed lives in their search for communists, was once a cautionary tale, taught to high school students in history textbooks and in plays like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Instead, Democrats are treating McCarthyism like an instruction manual, abusing temporary congressional power to target their opponents.

They justify these abuses by pointing to January 6 as a dark day in American history, one they have equated to the Civil War and the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

They said nothing when left-wing mobs, often supported by Democrats, rioted across the country and even besieged the White House. The Secret Service had to move President Trump to a bunker for his own safety and that of the country — leading Biden to spend the several months mocking Trump for his supposed cowardice.

Democrats hope that viewers will watch the show trial and be convinced they can never return Republicans to power. But what voters will see is what Democrats are not doing in prime time: dealing with inflation, securing the border, or stopping crime in our streets.

Things are so out of hand that even voters in “progressive” San Francisco recalled their district attorney this week, the strongest sign yet that the public feels the “woke” movement that arose in reaction to Trump has gone too far.

But there is more at stake here than politics.

Democrats used the “Russia collusion” hoax to undermine a democratically-elected president, and have gone almost entirely unpunished. They have encouraged mobs to target Supreme Court Justices at their homes. They have even cast doubt on the legitimacy of this year’s elections.

And yet they are staging a show trial that mocks the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, accusing others of undermining democracy.

Voters should deliver the verdict.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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