Some members of the party that hasn’t managed to figure out how to stiffen its spine in the face of Donald Trump for seven years are apparently privately hoping that the Democrats and two Republicans on the Jan. 6 select committee will do their dirty work for them.
That’s all according to Fox News’ Britt Hume and at least one other vaguely outspoken Never Trumper, so take it with a grain of very salty salt.
During a Fox News segment following the Jan. 6 committee’s second hearing Monday, Hume suggested that while committee members may ultimately opt out of taking action to push legal accountability for Trump’s failed coup, the hearings themselves may help spark enough of an uproar that Trump’s electability is questioned, if not tarnished in 2024. That all comes with a sobering caveat, of course — it’s still pretty well established that his most rabid supporters will see the committee’s work as nothing more than the political hit-job he’s painted it to be.
When Fox host Bret Baier asked Hume if the committee seems to be making a legal or political case against Trump (and his incitement of the insurrection), Hume said he thought it might be “both.” He then suggested that Republicans know they “can’t win” with Trump as the nominee once again in 2024.
“What strikes me about this, Bret, is that if they succeed ― either by damaging him or staining him such that he is either unable for legal or political reasons to run again ― they might end up finding out that they’ve done the Republican Party a great service,” he said.
“Because I think a great many Republicans think they can’t win with Trump at the head of the ticket again,” he continued. “They’re afraid of his supporters and don’t want to come out against him directly. But they’d like him to go away. If the effect of this committee is to make his possible candidacy go away, I think a great many Republicans would privately be very glad.”
And at least one Republican backed up Humes’ analysis. As HuffPost noted, Former RNC spokesperson and Bulwark writer Tim Miller tweeted out Humes’ remarks, suggesting the Fox analyst was “sooooo close” to making the point that he and other Never Trumpers have apparently been pushing.
This all comes as some members of the select committee investigating Jan. 6 offer mixed messaging on whether or not the panel will, in fact, have a backbone against the ongoing threat beyond just Trump. Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) told reporters Monday night that the committee doesn’t plan to make any criminal referrals against Trump or his allies to the Justice Department. Other committee members quickly swooped in to combat that argument, with vice chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) tweeting later Monday night that the committee “has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals.”
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What We Are Reading
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The ‘divisive’ ban whitewashing Virginia’s classrooms — Sonia Rao
I thought the Jan. 6 committee wouldn’t matter. I was wrong. — Max Boot