Although the public has other things to worry about — like runaway inflation and a collapsing stock market — there has been a lot of static about the January 6 show trials that opened last Thursday on location in Washington, DC. I’ve contributed to the cacophony myself, though not without misgivings. As rumors swirl about important changes in the cast next year — Liz Cheney, for example, is said to be returning to her real constituency in Georgetown — a friend writes to remind me that the entire show may be eclipsed by a new...
Although the public has other things to worry about — like runaway inflation and a collapsing stock market — there has been a lot of static about the January 6 show trials that opened last Thursday on location in Washington, DC. I’ve contributed to the cacophony myself, though not without misgivings. As rumors swirl about important changes in the cast next year — Liz Cheney, for example, is said to be returning to her real constituency in Georgetown — a friend writes to remind me that the entire show may be eclipsed by a new kid on the block: the June 8 House Select Committee to investigate the plot to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at his home in a partially disclosed, insecure location.
Sequels always have more over-the-top plots than their originals, and the June 8 Committee promises to be no exception. After all, the protest at the Capitol mostly involved people milling about in the corridors. There were exceptions, of course: some unruly protesters, for example, and let’s not forget the killing of Ashli Babbitt, an unarmed vet, by Michael Byrd, a Capitol Police Officer, and the gruesome demise of Roseanne Boyland in a stampede.
But January 6 did not feature a determined assassination attempt against a sitting Supreme Court Justice. Nicholas John Roske, a twenty-six-year-old from Simi Valley, showed up one night by Kavanaugh’s house with a Glock, plenty of ammunition, a tactical knife, pepper spray, and a host of supporting hardware designed to make the life of an assassin bent on penetrating someone’s home at night an easy job.
You can hardly blame Roske. After all, Senator Chuck Schumer, standing on the steps of the Supreme Court, warned Justices Gorsuch and Kavanaugh that by signing on to the leaked draft opinion voiding Roe v. Wade, they were opening themselves to retribution. “You have released the whirlwind,” he said, “and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you.”
Well, it turns out that what almost hit him was Nicholas John Roske. And it looks like Nancy Pelosi and other members of Congress are dead set against putting more roadblocks in the way of future and more competent Roskes. They both set themselves against a proposed Supreme Court Supplemental Protection Bill that would have beefed up security for the justices. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez even bragged about helping to defeat the measure. (Update: the bill has since passed.)
Of course, attempting to intimidate — let alone murder — judges and justices is already illegal. Section 1507 of Title 18 of the US Code stipulates that “Whoever, with the intent of interfering with, obstructing, or impeding the administration of justice, or with the intent of influencing any judge, juror, witness, or court officer, in the discharge of his duty, pickets or parades in or near a building housing a court of the United States, or in or near a building or residence occupied or used by such judge, juror, witness, or court officer” shall be fined, imprisoned, or both.
I think my friend has a splendid idea with this successor to the failing January 6 entertainment. And I have just the person to substitute for Liz Cheney: Marjorie Taylor Greene. The popular and outspoken Georgia representative was actually hauled before a judicial proceeding by Democrats who, in an effort to prevent her from running for reelection, accused her of “insurrectionary behavior” on January 6. It was a silly, surreal performance in which ham-handed prosecutors claimed that Greene incited violence by using coded language — uttering the number “1776,” for example — to stir up her supporters.
When the Augean stables of Congress are at least partially cleansed come November, it will be time for the Senate to do to Chuck Schumer, and the House to do to Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, what the Dems tried to do to Greene. This time, however, the prosecutors will have a lot more to go on. I am going long on popcorn.