“The well is poisoned”: Trump’s last line of defense is shaking

“The well is poisoned”
Trump’s last line of defense is shaking

From Roland Peters

The Committee of Inquiry into the January 6th storm will begin. Democrats and Republicans fought bitterly over their representatives. Will the truth prevail?

For Donald Trump, the battle for the presidency is still not over. “This is just the beginning of the irregularities,” said the former US president in Phoenix last Saturday, before rattling off a whole series of alleged election frauds. “The results will be outrageous!”

A review is currently taking place in the US state of Arizona, which after many decades of Republican domination – only interrupted by Bill Clinton in 1996 – had turned surprisingly Democratic blue. A private company counts the constituency of Maricopa County controversial circumstances off again. In the national ranking of the electoral districts with the highest voting power, the region with the capital Phoenix ranks fourth.

Regardless of the outcome, the review aims to uphold the legend of the “Big Lie”. So the Democrats “stole” the Republicans’ victory and Trump is the real President. So far, all election fraud allegations have been rejected by the courts as unfounded. But as long as there are others, however unfounded they may be, there is also the possibility of questioning the official results in a justifiable manner. Around a third of all possible congressional candidates for the 2022 midterm elections would make use of this and at least use parts of the “Big Lie” to attract voters, the Washington Post stated.

Far from being an individual opinion: Trump is the real president.

(Photo: AP)

The US Congress in Washington noted Joe Biden’s victory on January 6th. But on the day when parliamentarians counted the electoral vote for the Democrat, Trump gave a speech not far from the Capitol. After that, part of the crowd stormed the building. It turned into a day of commotion. The count was interrupted, security forces barricaded the meeting room and drew their weapons, politicians hid or fled. In a broad investigation, the investigators have since arrested more than 500 people. The central questions: How did the Capitol storm come about? What responsibility does Trump have with his incendiary rhetoric?

US media have been dealing with these questions in great detail for more than half a year. For posterity, a bipartisan committee of inquiry of the House of Representatives is to record the answers from this Tuesday. But even with the appointment of the committee, the greatest gaps became apparent; between Democrats and Republicans, but above all within Trump’s party, between loyalists and so-called institutionalists, the moderate Republicans.

For Republicans and their candidates, an unfavorable report could have a negative impact on the upcoming midterm elections. In the autumn of next year, the House of Representatives and a third of the Senate will be elected at the national level. For Trump himself and his supporters, assessing the January 6 events may be the last line of defense to be considered eligible among moderate Republicans if the worst comes to the worst. Should the ex-president be assigned a responsibility, it would cost him support within the party and could deny him the chance to run for president again in 2024.

Scandal in Washington

For President Biden, one thing is certain: “I don’t care if you think I am Satan born again. The fact is, you can’t look at the television and say nothing happened on the 6th,” he said. “You can’t listen to people who say it was a peaceful demonstration.” This is exactly what Trump tries to convey when he points out in interviews that he had seen a “loving crowd” before the storm on the Capitol.

The Democrats have a majority in the House of Representatives, so they set up a commission with a similar majority. Last week there was a scandal because parliamentary group leader Nancy Pelosi refused to allow two Republicans to attend: Jim Jordan and Jim Banks. Both are loyal Trump supporters, neither wanted to recognize last year’s election results. Pelosi argued, “It’s about our constitution, it’s about our country.” Jordan and Bank had acted and expressed themselves in such a way that “it would be simply insane to appoint them to a truth-finding commission.”


Hate figure for many Republicans: Nancy Pelosi, longtime leader of the Democrats in the House of Representatives

(Photo: imago images / ZUMA Wire)

The Republicans described Pelosi’s move as “intolerable” and in response withdrew all of the members they sent from the committee. Group leader Kevin McCarthy also announced his own investigation on January 6th. McCarthy is one of Trump’s camps but appears to have little interest in a truthful investigation. Because in May there had already been an agreement on the composition of a committee of inquiry, with experts without political office, appointed in equal parts by Democrats and Republicans. McCarthy refused. There must also be investigated related political violence of “Black Lives Matter” and the “Antifa”, he complained.

His party colleagues in the House of Representatives overruled McCarthy, but the Republicans in the Senate blocked the deal for good. The “Freedom Caucus” within the group has meanwhile gone even further and demanded an initiative from McCarthy to remove Pelosi from her post. This has no prospect of success, but it draws the political dividing lines with a red marker. Pelosi is extremely unpopular with Republicans. For many years, conservatives have used their name and face in negative election campaigns.

Republican rebels

US President Biden has so far shown himself to be a tireless advocate of compromise attempts with the Republicans. The House of Representatives investigation is no exception for him. Something is beginning to change, but not overnight. “The well has been so poisoned over the past four years,” he said after Pelosi rejected the two Republicans.

Pelosi has instead invited two Republicans to the committee of inquiry who belong to the moderate wing of their party and who make Trump publicly responsible for the January 6 uprising: Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger. You are also the only Republicans who voted to set up the committee of inquiry. But they had already messed up with Trump’s loyalists. Cheney, for example, has already been removed from the top of the group after she voted for the impeachment process against Trump and repeatedly criticized him.

All of this shows how divided Republicans are right now when it comes to Trump. The attempt to write parliamentary history that is now beginning is also about the legitimacy of the controversial ex-president with regard to upcoming elections, in short: about power and influence. At best, ambiguous signals can be heard from the party base, similar to those from Washington. In a poll in May, around half of Republican voters said Trump was the rightful president. It will be difficult to agree on a truth in this political climate.