Imagine a BLM member's trial in which the prosecution simply played violent videos over and over, which weren't even related to the defendant in question. Sound fair? No? Well, welcome to the Third Trump Impeachment, aka the January 6 televised hearings.

Having watched a lot of PBS back in the day, I kept waiting for chairman Bennie Thompson to promise a Democratic Party tote bag if I phoned in my pledge of $50 or more. That was the tone from, as they say, gavel to gavel. But there are so many important things being left out...

Imagine a BLM member’s trial in which the prosecution simply played violent videos over and over, which weren’t even related to the defendant in question. Sound fair? No? Well, welcome to the Third Trump Impeachment, aka the January 6 televised hearings.

Having watched a lot of PBS back in the day, I kept waiting for chairman Bennie Thompson to promise a Democratic Party tote bag if I phoned in my pledge of $50 or more. That was the tone from, as they say, gavel to gavel. But there are so many important things being left out in the Dems’ desire to showcase violence. Here are just five of the issues that the hearings have left unquestioned.

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Dems and groupie Liz Cheney constantly use words like coup, insurrection, incitement, sedition, and treason. Most of them are lawyers and are well aware those words have specific legal definitions. They’re real fighting words, not to be thrown around like casual slurs against a man who once was president and has a very good chance of being president again.

So let’s add one more: indict. It is easy to be the bully, ganging up unopposed on TV to say nasty words. But they only count if the Department of Justice indicts Trump for one of them and seeks to bring him to trial. That’s why we have a judicial system, to prevent organs of government from simply making accusations against citizens without due process. Indict him or drop it. If there are not grounds to indict, drop it. Democrats: put up or shut up.

Like the members of the Warren Commission before them, the people claiming the accepted January 6 narrative is beyond reproach are the same ones who shy away from any actual court challenge that might challenge it. Potential game-changers are wish-washed away as conspiracy theories, not to be spoken of. You will not hear the word “indictment” in the hearings this week.

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Are we finally going to learn who Ray Epps is and what the role the FBI played on January 6? It would take only simple questions from the committee: Mr. Attorney General, how many undercover people did you have on the ground on January 6? How many of them traveled to DC with groups they had elsewhere previously infiltrated? What was their purpose on January 6? What were their rules of engagement — in other words, what were they allowed to do? Could they lead people forward? Could they give statements to the media misrepresenting the mood of the crowd? Did any of the agents stray and become provocateurs?

You would think, given the raw number of undercover officers on the ground on January 6, that this would be an easy question to answer. Yet when Representative Thomas Massie asked Attorney General Merrick Garland at an earlier hearing in October 2021 if any federal agents or assets entered the Capitol or incited others to riot, Garland refused to answer.

Massie then played a video of a man on January 5 saying “we have to go into the Capitol,” and asked Garland if that man was a fed. No comment, said Garland. That man was Ray Epps, president of the Arizona Oath Keepers, who has been seen on video organizing the first group to breach the Capitol. That was just one minute after a pipe bomb had been found, as if the acts were coordinated. This all appears to have happened even before Trump finished his “incitement” speech.

Epps refuses to answer journalists’ questions about whether or not he is a federal agent and is still a free man. Why? Under oath and before the January 6 committee, someone should ask FBI Director Wray, Attorney General Garland and Ray Epps to give a yes or no answer to this question: did Ray Epps work for or with the federal government? Yet they won’t. You will not hear Epps’s name on the televised hearings this week.

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While the Justice Department has called the inquiry into January 6 one of the largest in its history, why has no information come to light on the pipe bomber? Two bombs were planted near the Capitol. Official Washington is one of the most heavily watched spots on earth. Why haven’t the Capitol Police allowed the release of more than a few minutes of the 14,000 hours of security camera footage? Social media only shows the riot in process. The surveillance video would show what happened before. Who planted the pipe bombs?

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Why, and on whose order, did Capitol police allow 300 people to simply walk into the building without resistance on the afternoon of January 6? And who was the man in a bicycle helmet whom video shows initiating the window-smashing that ended in the shooting of Ashli Babbitt? Why was he welcomed behind police lines once things got out of hand?

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At what point will Ashli Babbit’s killer, who was never punished and never faced trial (simply an inquiry, and because Congress exempts the Capitol Police from the Freedom of Information Act, the family was forced to sue “for notes and summaries of what the officer said regarding the shooting and the reasons he discharged his weapon”), testify about January 6?

When will the Committee start showing the video of her being shot by Capitol Police? Babbitt, wearing a Trump flag like a cape, was one of the rioters who smashed the glass on the door leading to the Speaker’s Lobby of the Capitol. A plain-clothes Capitol Police officer fired a shot and Babbitt fell into the crowd and died. It was the only shot fired in the riot. A SWAT team just behind Babbitt saw the situation differently and never fired on her or those with her. Babbitt was unarmed and was not resisting arrest because the cop never got that far. He just shot her.

Though these issues are missing from the hearings, what’s missing most of all is a statement that the system worked. The Constitution held. Vice President Pence, the only real hero of this sordid tale, and other officials on down did their jobs and stood up for the democratic system. Trump was never going to remain in office. The whole thing is flimflam, while the truth is another victim of Democratic desperation to frame Trump for something, anything, ahead of 2024.