The Truth about January 6, and Where We Should Go from Here
Listen to the Audio Mises Wire version of this article.
According to a left-wing propaganda narrative that you can read in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and similar outlets, the violence in Congress that occurred in the afternoon of January 6 was the culmination of a long series of outrages by President Donald Trump. When he lost the November election to Joe Biden, he could not accept his loss. He kept making baseless claims that he had won the election and accused Biden supporters of using fake ballots and rigged voting machines to inflate the totals for Biden. He kept filing lawsuits to get parts of the verdict overturned, but the courts rejected all his claims. He thought he still had a chance on January 6, when the electoral votes are counted in Congress. He wanted Vice President Mike Pence to violate the Constitution. Although Pence has the purely ceremonial role of presiding over the joint session, he wanted Pence to toss out slates of electors who opposed him, or at least send them back to the states for recertification. Pence refused to violate the Constitution. When Trump found out about it, he was so angry that he incited part of a rally supporting him to storm Congress and shut down the session. Because of him, several people were killed. He is a sore loser who should be removed from office immediately and sent to prison for sedition as well.
Every word of this narrative is false. Let’s take one item out of chronological order, because it has gotten so much attention. It’s alleged that Trump became enraged at Pence because Pence wouldn’t violate the Constitution. In fact, there is a good case that what Trump was asking Pence to do was perfectly legitimate. As John Yoo and Robert Delahunty pointed out in an article in the American Mind last October 19,
We suggest that the Vice President’s role is not the merely ministerial one of opening the ballots and then handing them over (to whom?) to be counted. Though the 12th Amendment describes the counting in the passive voice, the language seems to envisage a single, continuous process in which the Vice President both opens and counts the votes.
The check on error or fraud in the count is that the Vice President’s activities are to be done publicly, “in the presence” of Congress. And if “counting” the electors’ votes is the Vice President’s responsibility, then the inextricably intertwined responsibility for judging the validity of those votes must also be his.
If that reading is correct, then the Electoral Count Act is unconstitutional. Congress cannot use legislation to dictate how any individual branch of government is to perform its unique duties: Congress could not prescribe how future Senates should conduct an impeachment trial, for example. Similarly, we think the better reading is that Vice President Pence would decide between competing slates of electors chosen by state legislators and governors, or decide whether to count votes that remain in litigation.
Yoo is a controversial person, but there’s no doubt he is a constitutional law scholar in good standing.
Well, you might say, what right did Trump have to blow up on Pence just because Pence disagreed with his understanding of the Constitution? The answer to that is simple. Pence had assured Trump that he accepted his claim that there were irregularities in the voting. He said at a rally in Georgia on January 4, just two days before the count,
that the case for widespread election fraud would be made to the American people when Congress meets this week to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Trump.
“We’ve all got our doubts about the last election. I share the concerns of millions of Americans about voting irregularities,” Pence said at an indoor congregation at Rock Springs Church in Milner, Ga., in support of Republican Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue in runoff elections there.
Pence, who by law will be tasked with declaring a winner of the Electoral College vote, seemed to leave open the possibility that Trump could still remain in power for a second term.
“Come this Wednesday,” he said, referring to the impending certification of election results, “we’ll have our day in Congress. We’ll hear the evidence.”
The election was in fact stolen from him. It’s easy to hack voting machines, such as those made by Dominion, to change vote totals. When I say this, I’m not relying on a source the Left will dismiss as fantasies from conspiracy-theory nuts. According to a story published by NBC News last year,
It was an assurance designed to bolster public confidence in the way America votes: Voting machines “are not connected to the internet.”
Then Acting Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security Jeanette Manfra said those words in 2017, testifying before Congress while she was responsible for the security of the nation’s voting system.
So many government officials like Manfra have said the same thing over the last few years that it is commonly accepted as gospel by most Americans. Behind it is the notion that if voting systems are not online, hackers will have a harder time compromising them.
But that is an overstatement, according to a team of 10 independent cybersecurity experts who specialize in voting systems and elections. While the voting machines themselves are not designed to be online, the larger voting systems in many states end up there, putting the voting process at risk.
That team of election security experts say[s] that last summer, they discovered some systems are, in fact, online.
“We found over 35 [voting systems] had been left online and we’re still continuing to find more,” Kevin Skoglund, a senior technical advisor at the election security advocacy group National Election Defense Coalition, told NBC News.
“We kept hearing from election officials that voting machines were never on the internet,” he said. “And we knew that wasn’t true. And so we set out to try and find the voting machines to see if we could find them on the internet, and especially the back-end systems that voting machines in the precinct were connecting to to report their results.” …
The three largest voting manufacturing companies—Election Systems &Software, Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic—have acknowledged they all put modems in some of their tabulators and scanners. The reason? So that unofficial election results can more quickly be relayed to the public. Those modems connect to cell phone networks, which, in turn, are connected to the internet.
Trump has every right to be suspicious. Shouldn’t there be a full and impartial investigation by recognized experts of whether fraud occurred? If the Biden camp thinks the election was fair and honest, shouldn’t they have welcomed a full investigation? But of course they didn’t. And this type of fraud is just one of many others, such as truckloads of Biden ballots arriving after it looked like Trump was winning, in just the right numbers to give Biden the victory.
When we look at Trump’s complaints, we need to bear one vital fact in mind. As Mike Davis noted in New Left Review, November–December 2020, p. 5, “Biden eked out a slim victory, in some states only by microscopic margins, that won him 306 electoral votes, the same as Trump four years ago. A mere 256,000 vote in five key states purchased 73 of those votes.” This is why Trump is right: because just a few votes could change the outcome, and because there was a lot of apparent fraud, a full investigation was needed.
But, some people might say, this doesn’t excuse Trump. Didn’t he incite people at a rally to invade the sacred halls of Congress? Well, in the first place, the halls of Congress aren’t “sacred”. They belong to the people. And Trump didn’t incite violence. Not at all. He wanted a peaceful protest, and this is what he got, aside from a few antifa activists who crashed the protest.
According to in the American Thinker published on January 7,
January 6th’s events are being seized on as a game-changer, leading to calls to invoke the 25th Amendment; calls to impeach and remove President Trump; and efforts to discredit Trump, his supporters, and conservatism. It has distracted attention from issues around the legitimacy of voting procedures in several key states and guaranteed the Electoral College vote just before 4 A.M. that ratified Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’s inauguration as president and vice president.
Applying the classic legal question ‘cui bono?’ (‘who benefits?’), it is clear that Democrats, anti-Trump establishment Republicans, the leftist media, and TDS-sufferers all are victorious.
Disturbing video available (for now) on Twitter shows Capitol Police allowing demonstrators to enter the Capitol grounds. . . Elsewhere at the Capitol, the police sent out to hold a perimeter were unable to hold off mobs.
Why was the United States Capitol left so vulnerable?
After the demonstrators were led in, a policeman killed a young woman at point-blank range. The police and Secret Service ended the session of Congress, not the peaceful demonstrators. To give themselves cover, they imported a few Antifa agitators.
Why did they do this? I suggest they did this for a reason, which will become clear if we ask, What was going on just before the demonstration? The members of Congress were about to hear a debate on the objections raised against the votes in the swing states. The American people would have been able to hear the evidence for themselves. This had to be stopped. By stopping the session for about six hours, the debate was shifted to the very late evening hours of January 6 and early morning hours of January 7, when very few people were watching. Besides, all the attention was now on the protest rather than the fraudulent voting.
What can be done now? President Trump should not urge us all to “come together.” Instead, he should support secession. States and communities that support Trump are too far apart from supporters of the Biden-Harris BLM camorra to live in a united country. “Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14 [Douay-Rheims Bible])
[First published January 9 at LewRockwell.com.]