Trump Must Be Subpoenaed After He Defends Coup As ‘Common Sense’

Jonathan Karl interviewed Trump for Karl’s last book on the Trump administration, Betrayal. For reasons passing understanding, Trump almost always agrees to be interviewed for these books. The interview adds to the work’s credibility, and Trump can be counted upon to say something newsworthy within the interview, something that becomes one of the more shocking revelations of the work itself. It happened in Betrayal when Karl asked Trump for his reaction to the January 6th crowds’ blood lust in chanting, “Hang Mike Pence.” Trump wasn’t bothered by it and remains unbothered, because it’s entirely understandable in Trump’s view. It is “common sense.” Plus, Trump knew Pence was okay.

We have all long since given up on finding the bottom of Trump’s inhumanity, but he retains a sick genius to spring it upon us in surprising and unique ways. Trump framed the desire to execute the Vice-President as an American civic duty. The alternative was giving up a “fraudulent election. ”

Two issues pop-out to the reader.

We have a Constitution and set of laws precisely because we reject mob violence as a means to force policy changes, especially changes in leadership. In our government’s framework, it is never “common sense” to execute (or even want to execute) a person charged with a lawful constitutional role. Yet again, Trump demonstrates that he fundamentally doesn’t understand the underpinnings of the United States’ very purpose, “self-government through laws.” In Trump’s world, if you don’t like the law’s results, it makes sense to kill someone to get the result you want.

Second, Trump agitated the crowds at a uniquely vulnerable point, tweeting out that Pence failed them just as the crowds broke through the Capitol barrier. Trump admits he “heard” that Pence was safe. It sounds as though Trump was in direct contact with security personnel in the building and must have known how badly the situation had devolved. To whom was he speaking? What was said? What did Trump ask about? Did he order anything? Who did Trump speak to next and did he reference the call? And, did Trump know that Pence distrusted the Secret Service such that Pence refused to be driven out of the Capitol campus, worrying about a “conspiracy theory” to take him out? What all did Trump know?

It sounds as though Trump admits that he spoke to someone familiar with the overall security situation at a pivotal point.  This admission alone requires the Select Committee to directly subpoena Trump. Within a minimal amount of time, after the crowd breached the Capitol, Trump tweeted that Pence failed them and thought it was common sense for the crowd to “want to execute” Pence. Concurrently, Trump knew Pence’s security status because he spoke to someone informed on the matter and it all happened in and around the time Pence refused to get into a Secret Service vehicle due to his distrust regarding a conspiracy theory involving the Secret Service. The Select Committee has a duty to question Trump about every detail that arose at this critical juncture, that point when the nation was most vulnerable.

Failure to do so, by definition, renders the investigation incomplete and of limited value.