In January, I wrote here about the concerns of US Democrats following Joe Biden’s first year in office. The fear was already great that they wouldn’t have much time left to change the mood before the midterms. That Donald Trump will return if the Biden government is unsuccessful.
At the time, I spoke to Ben Meisales, a California civil rights attorney who, along with his two brothers, Jordan and Brett, founded the progressive political action committee Meidas Touch during the Trump era. I remember being almost a little surprised that he sounded so unusually upbeat despite abysmal poll numbers for the Biden administration.
He was basically declaring that the Democrats still have two important “wild cards” in the election year. The first: The Supreme Court, with its arch-conservative majority, overturns the fundamental judgment “Roe v. Wade” from 1973, thereby mobilizing the liberal forces who want to ward off the backlash.
The second: The House inquiry into the storming of the Capitol unearths the previously unknown, a “smoking gun” that is seriously getting Trump and his people into trouble. Ben Meisales explained that these two developments could open the eyes of voters to the consequences of elections and the danger Trump poses.
Both have happened in the past six days. The Supreme Court ruled last Friday that the liberal abortion law that has been in place for nearly 50 years should no longer apply, sending tens of thousands onto the streets across the country. On Tuesday, the U-Committee surprisingly presented a “mystery witness” on January 6: Cassidy Hutchinson, former assistant to Trump’s chief of staff Mark Meadows.
What and how the 25-year-old said at the sixth public hearing about Trump’s behavior around January 6 hit like a bomb.
Hutchinson spoke clearly but not without emotion, and she went straight to the heart of the inquiry: Trump’s responsibility for trying to use force to stop the peaceful transfer of power. An attempt that, as we also learned in previous sessions, only just failed and cost the lives of five people.
Attorney General Merrick Garland could now open criminal proceedingsWhat the formerly loyal White House aide explained may represent the last push Attorney General Merrick Garland needs to open criminal proceedings against the ex-President. Summarized:
What was also remarkable about Hutchinson’s hearing was that she actually managed to provoke incredulous reactions with anecdotes about his behavior after so many years of constantly agitated Trump. It can only get worse, as illustrated by the scene she described in the “Beast” – the armored presidential vehicle – on January 6: The president fell into his driver’s wheel and attacked a Secret Service official because his bodyguards were wanted to take him back to the White House after the rally instead of to the Capitol.
The fact that filmmakers like Sean Penn are interested in the committee of inquiry – Penn was there for a day last week – is no longer surprising since Tuesday at the latest. Neither is it sad that Cassidy Hutchinson is now under police protection. Here is my report from the spectacular hearing on Tuesday. And at this point I go into the consequences of your statement could have.
Originally it was said that the remaining three meetings would not take place again until mid-July. But the committee said it wanted to share the explosive information directly with the American public. The members of parliament, who are doing a remarkable job under the chairmanship of Democrat Bennie Thompson, but above all because of his Republican deputy Liz Cheney, also hope that statements like Hutchinson’s will persuade other potential witnesses to testify and cooperate with the committee .
For example, then-White House Counsel Pat Cipollone was subpoenaed Wednesday night, and Hutchinson said he was doing everything he could to stop Trump from going to the Capitol on January 6 because they would all be “charged with every crime imaginable.”
Almost everything that the British documentary filmmaker Alex Holder has to report, who is also supposed to testify, should have the potential for further excitement. As of September 2020, he had access to Trump’s inner circle, conducting interviews with both the President himself and Vice President Pence and several of Trump’s family members. On January 6, Holder was at the Capitol, speaking with the President before and after the storming. For months, Holder and his film crew had unhindered and direct access to Trump and his family – and hardly any Republicans knew about it.
The contact was mediated by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Holder has made a three-part series out of the eleven-hour raw material, which will be shown on the Discovery Channel starting in the summer. The title: “Insurrection”. My colleague Malte Lehming wrote down the details here.
The Supreme Court decision on abortion rights, which I’ve written more about here and here, was just one of several highly controversial rulings the six conservative chief justices are making America furious. The day before, the chief justices had also given all attempts to tighten gun laws after the horrific massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde the legal middle finger – and of all things at the same time as the final sprint in the struggle for a non-partisan compromise on the issue. More on this at this point.
The last four verdicts for this session are due this Thursday. Among them are two other highly political decisions with which the chief justices of the government can massively get in the way: on climate protection and on immigration law. Judging by the latest decisions, the conservative supermajority in the court will probably demonstrate its influence on American society here as well. We will report.
When the Americans celebrate their national holiday, July 4th (4th of Julay) next Monday, politics in Washington will also take a break over the long weekend, at least that is the hope. I use this somewhat calmer phase to travel to Canada. America’s northern neighbor is also celebrating: Canada Day on Friday. The better America, that’s what many call the huge country whose motto is A Mari Usque Ad Mare (From sea to sea).
At least it’s the quieter one. Spectacular scenery, few inhabitants (about a tenth of the United States in an area roughly the same size), liberal and tolerant, that’s how the state advertises itself. Let’s see how that feels these days when the United States doesn’t exactly make it easy for their friends to admire them either.
I was lucky enough to be able to travel through the Rocky Mountains on the west coast for two weeks after high school. I’ve also been to the capital, Toronto, but never to the east coast of Canada. Photos of the officially bilingual province of New Brunswick (Neubraunschweig in German) resemble those of the neighboring US state of Maine: colorful wooden houses, lighthouses, islands and dense forests. I’m super excited and will tell you about it.
While I’m allowed to travel, my colleagues in Berlin take care of US reporting, currently Malte Lehming in particular. However, I plan to report directly from Canada next Thursday before flying back to Washington. Until then, all the best!
Yours, Juliane Schäuble