Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Wading The Rubicon: Yesterday's Hearing

      The Rubicon wasn't much of a river in Roman times and none of the modern candidates -- the river renamed "Rubicon" in 1933 is still the most likely -- are any more imposing.  Along a lot of its length, you can wade across.

      However puny, it was the border between the provinces and the territory of Rome.  It was a line no army raised by a provincial governor could lawfully cross.  To do so was a direct threat to the Republic's government.

      The Trump Administration's defense against claims of attempted coup have generally been along the line of "What river?  There was no Rubicon, and if there was, it was just a little ditch and besides, the other side was engaged in skullduggery!"

      Said "skullduggery" was non-existent; then-President Trump's own Justice Department said so.  In the wake of yesterday's 1/6 Committee hearing, it appears Mr. Trump's Rubicon was real, he waded it knowingly, and he's had river mud on his shoes and water-soaked pant-legs even as he has maintained his innocence.

      He is no innocent.  His culpability was direct.  His intentions were to create even greater unrest than he managed and he was only barely restrained by some members of his staff.  I had taken him to be little more a petulant man-child magnified by fame and money, enraged by defeat, grasping futilely at straws; the enormity* of his ambition and the coordination of his efforts to illegally retain power is now becoming clear.

     Mr. Trump wanted to be Caesar.
* e·nor·mi·ty  /iˈnôrmədē/
noun: enormity; plural noun: enormities
1.the great or extreme scale, seriousness, or extent of something perceived as bad or morally wrong.
   "a thorough search disclosed the full enormity of the crime"
2. a grave crime or sin.
    "the enormities of the regime"


Eck! said...

Prepare for incoming, the faithful will attack
mostly with lies and bad words.

I do agree however once you cross the line
its visible and anything else if just more lies.


Anonymous said...

Please tell me just how much of Ms. Chambers' testimony was hearsay, how much of that hearsay 'evidence' was contradicted by others (even without cross-examination), and just how many of ex-pres Trump's security details were interviewed. If you are talking about criminal referrals, you need much more than hearsay testimony.

Roberta X said...

So, Anon, unfamiliar with Congressional hearings, then?

Criminal prosecution is up to the Department of Justice. Not a House Committee.

However, witnesses are testifying under oath. And some of them -- General Flynn, for one -- are taking the Fifth. That's not a mark of innocence.

Roberta X said...

For the amateur attorneys, here's an interesting link to Federal rules on hearsay evidence. Difficult for a lay person to parse, but the tl;dr is, "sometimes it's okay."

It's not lookin' good for Mr. Trump. I was never a fan, but wow, I had not realized the depths to be plumbed.

Anonymous said...

Hi, RX back again. I am not completely unfamiliar with such hearings, but in an effort to keep my note brief, simply left out that it seems to me that this hearing, like so many others before, is an echo chamber that has a predetermined conclusion, much like a grand jury indictment, where the audience is expected to fill the role of the grand jury, and there is NO expectation or exploration of exculpatory evidence (like the old anti-American committee). For the committee members to parade themselves in front of cameras after the meeting and claim 'proof' of misconduct, is mostly disingenuous at best.

BTW, thanks for your work here.

Roberta X said...

Anon, you still seem to be unaware of the function of such hearings. And the committee members (and no few of the cooperative witnesses) have either blown up their careers (if Republican) or earned a permanent place on the GOP's list of dire enemies.

I watched 1/6 live as it happened. There's no exculpating for that. Mr. Trump's Republican Party has become a neo-fascist party and I find it repugnant. I don't know if it can recover but their candidates and office-holders don't show much interest in trying.

I had seen plenty of proof before the hearings began. What they are bringing forth makes the whole mess look worse but it was already an existential threat to the Federal government United States of America.

Roberta X said...

My iPad doesn't believe "exculpation" is a word, so it fixed it for me. I don't have time to edit it just now. Blame machines are turning us into mumbling mediocrities.

Aaron said...

There's a reason hearsay is disliked in court. It is due to the lack of reliability and the ability to spread falsehoods by relying on the claim someone else saw or said it.

Ms. Hutchinson's statement, made without personal knowledge, relying solely on what she was told by someone who wasn't there, who was allegedly told the tale y someone who may have been there lacks such reliability.

You will note that curiously the originator of the tale was not called to testify under oath - thus Hutchinson can't be smacked for perjury as she can truthfully say she heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who heard it form another Trump was messing around (listen to REO Speedwagon for a catchy tune of hearsay in action) - rather than having the originator of the tale face possible perjury charges.

It lacks so much reliability that the Secret Service agents who were actually, you know, there at the time have stated it did not occur and they would testify under oath to such effect.

Funnily enough, the committee is neglecting to call them, nor the person who allegedly told the tale in the first place, that would hurt the narrative don'cha know?

The narrative is further harmed because Trump wasn't apparently even in the Beast at that time, and that is well nigh physically impossible if you're in the back of the Beast or even the Suburban limo he was actually in to reach the steering wheel unless he was elasti-girl.

Last I heard, while it's all the rage to rage out over
Orange Man Bad, no one has accused him of being Gumby, rather the opposite.

Hence the reliance upon managed show-trial testimony made for salacious headlines that conflicts with the statements of people who were actually there is rather misplaced.

One can dislike Trump for things he actually did, relying on fantasies is rather unbecoming, and the dislike of Trump tends to blind people to critical thinking and somber analysis, much as those who blindly dislike Clinton or Obama suffered the same derangement syndrome.

Roberta X said...

Hearsay is "disliked," Aaron? Generally not admissible in court, with specific exceptions in some Federal proceedings. Exceptions which would mostly likely apply to Ms. Hutchinson's testimony if a Congressional hearing was a trial, which it is not. (I provided a link above. It's not easy reading.)

As for "the originator of the tale was not called to testify under oath," he has, in fact, refused to testify under oath, one of the many Trump Administration staffers to so refuse (or to take the Fifth when they do testify).

The reported behavior in the limo (apparently it was a Suburban and not The Beast) is not, in fact, physically impossible, and is the least significant of the bad behaviors reported. Even the Secret Service agents who dispute reports of a physical altercation agree that Mr. Trump was insistent on going to the Capitol with the insurrectionists. Funny how you didn't bother to mention that.

Mr. Trump attempted a coup and nearly succeeded. You can't fast-talk and justify that reality out of existence.

I was willing to give the GOP their Andrew Jackson moment, and put a temperamental clod in the White House. Presidents are temporary employees, after all; they get four years with a possibility of another four, and then we're shut of them. I am not willing to tolerate attempts to illegally retain power by an outgoing President, whether I like him or loathe him. Why are you?

Dishwasher Philosopher said...

One thing I keep seeing get lost in complaints about hearsay evidence is one of the other nuggets that the young lady spoke about regarding Trump's insistence that they remove the magnetometers from the rally. And saying that the armed individuals weren't there to "hurt him". This is something that she was present for and seems worse to me than him attacking a Secret Service member or trying take control of a vehicle.

Robert said...

Thank you for using "enormity" correctly. I also appreciate the lack of "impact" when "effect" is appropriate.

Roberta X said...

Aaron, your most recent contribution will not be published; in it, you are repeating well-worn talking points, at least one of which is untrue, as have I pointed out in this comment thread. Engage the conversation here and your comments will be published. Continue to replay the same tired old stuff from Trumpist GOP echo chambers in a way that makes clear you're not reading other people's comments in the thread, and you won't be published here.