The New York Times warned Saturday that Democrats are setting a dangerous precedent with the January 6 Committee, exceeding the constitutional powers of Congress in a way that Republicans can use when they take back the majority.
The Times‘ Michael S. Schmidt — who shared a Pulitzer Prize for the discredited Russia “collusion” story — and Luke Broadwater — reported that the committee ” is borrowing techniques from federal prosecutions, employing aggressive tactics typically used against mobsters and terrorists … [to] develop evidence that could prompt a criminal case” against former President Donald Trump, even though it has “has no authority to pursue criminal charges.”
The committee hopes to push Attorney General Merrick Garland to pursue charges against Trump and his associates, ignoring President Joe Biden’s repeated pledges that the Department of Justice under the Biden administration would not be used as a political weapon.
But the Times warned that Republicans could use the same tactics against Democrats if they win the 2022 midterm elections:
“Having lived through and being a part of every major congressional investigation over the past 50 years from Iran-contra to Whitewater to everything else, this is the mother of all investigations and a quantum leap for Congress in a way I’ve never seen before,” said Stanley Brand, a Democrat and the former top lawyer for the House who is now representing Dan Scavino, one of Mr. Trump’s closest aides, in the investigation.
It is a development, Mr. Brand suggested, that Democrats might one day come to regret. “When a frontier is pushed back, it doesn’t recede,” he said. “They think they’re fighting for the survival of the democracy and the ends justify the means. Just wait if the Republicans take over.”
The committee’s aggressive approach carries with it another obvious risk: that it could fail to turn up compelling new information about Mr. Trump’s efforts to hold onto power after his defeat or to make a persuasive case for a Justice Department prosecution. Mr. Trump survived years of scrutiny by the special counsel in the Russia… (Read more)