Back in August, Reuters reported that, according to four current and former law enforcement officials, the FBI had “found scant evidence” that the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion was caused by a coordinated group of supporters of then-President Donald Trump whose mission was to violently overthrow the U.S. government.
These sources had been “either directly involved in or briefed regularly on” the FBI’s investigation, the outlet said.
Unfortunately, this news did nothing to stop politicians and pundits on the left from referring to Jan. 6 protesters as “insurrectionists.”
In fact, the report was largely ignored by the congressional committee investigating the incursion and the legacy media, which are now pushing the idea that the “insurrection” was organized at a D.C. hotel.
The Hill reported Sunday that the Jan. 6 committee is pursuing the theory that Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, and other administration officials arranged a Jan. 5 “war room” meeting at the Willard InterContinental to plot their overthrow of the U.S. government.
Here’s how The New York Times characterized this meeting in a November article:
“In another room of the five-star hotel, a phalanx of lawyers and political advisers for Mr. Trump — including Rudolph W. Giuliani, his personal lawyer; Bernard B. Kerik, a former New York City police commissioner; and John Eastman, a scholar working feverishly on a legal strategy to prevent Joseph R. Biden Jr. from assuming the presidency — had set up a kind of command post.
“On the hotel’s grand front steps, Roger J. Stone Jr., a longtime Trump adviser, was flashing his signature Nixon victory sign to fans as members of the Oath Keepers, a militant group, protected him.”
“What unfolded at the Willard Hotel in the hours before the Capitol riot has become a prime focus of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack as the panel intensifies its scrutiny into whether there was any coordination or tie between those pushing a legal strategy to overturn the election results and those who stormed the Capitol that day as Congress met to count the electoral votes to formalize [then-President-elect Joe] Biden’s victory.”
This is absurd. No evidence has emerged that what happened on Jan. 6 was planned out ahead of time, especially by Trump or those close to him.
While there were many Republicans staying at and holding meetings at the well-known Washington hotel that day, there is no evidence to suggest they were planning a coup.
Nevertheless, Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, who chairs the Jan. 6 House panel, told CNN’s Dana Bash on Sunday’s “State of the Union” that the committee has requested information from the Willard InterContinental about the “makeshift war room.”
“Part of our work is to try to get access to the records on that day, who paid for it,” Thompson said, according to a CNN transcript.
If Trump’s Jan. 6 rally was designed to be a coup attempt, why were so few of the protesters armed?
Also, why would he request a military presence if he were planning an insurrection? Although a PolitiFact “fact check” said there was “no proof” of Trump’s assertion that he had recommended 10,000 National Guard troops be sent to the Capitol on Jan. 6, the Washington Examiner reported it had corroborated his statement.
The “war room” theory smacks of desperation. The Jan. 6 committee is desperate to find anything that will undergird its narrative that the Capitol incursion was a planned coup attempt.
It’s unlikely any of the information the Willard hotel provides would be the smoking gun the committee members are looking for, but it allows them to keep their version of what happened alive in the media.
They hope to string out their investigation as long as they can to try to dampen Republican support ahead of the midterm elections this year. But frankly, that ship has sailed, and they simply look more and more unhinged.