What impact could the January 6 hearings have on Donald Trump?

David Pakman
Liberal Opinion

David Pakman

Host of The David Pakman Show
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The House committee hearings into the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol have begun, and already there is debate on what impact they will have on former President Donald Trump. He fired off a 12-page response following the second hearing that saw several former aides testify that they told him his claims of election fraud were not true. Trump even took a thinly veiled shot at his own daughter, Ivanka Trump, following her videotaped testimony before the committee. Straight Arrow News contributor David Pakman says any repercussions the hearings have on the November midterm elections and Trump will depend on what new information is learned.

We have to see through the entire hearings to be able to say with certitude, “how explosive is it going to be?” But on the first night, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney gave sort of an overview of what is to be expected, and it’s quite explosive.

Now, it is true that much of the evidence that Liz Cheney mentioned would be part of the subsequent sessions, is evidence that is already known to people who follow politics. For example, some of the things that William Barr said, those were previously reported — not everybody follows that. And that’s the question — “are new people going to see this?” But some of those things we’ve seen — the text messages between Kayleigh McEnaney and Sean Hannity, for example, or some of the text messages involving former President Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. If you have followed politics for the last year, a bunch of that stuff already leaked. So that’s not new. On the other hand, there were things Liz Cheney mentioned which are new. For example, forthcoming testimony from people who were allegedly in the room when Donald Trump on January 6th was told, they’re chanting, “hang Mike Pence.” And allegedly Trump said, “well, maybe he should be hanged.” That’s new and that’s explosive. Is it a crime? Well, that’s a different question.

So audience will be pretty good. There will be a bunch of previously unknown evidence. That’s number two. Number three is what will be the outcome here. And there’s sort of two questions as far as outcome. Will this impact the 2022 midterms in November? And what, if anything, is this going to do as far as criminal charges go, against Trump or anybody else?

So let’s take those two questions in turn. In terms of the midterms right now, it seems as though two issues, which aren’t normally great voting issues for Democrats are helping Democrats.

Number one, the believed forthcoming overturning of Roe v. Wade. There is evidence, so far, that Democrats are doing better all of a sudden in the polling since news leaked of the forthcoming overturning of Roe v. Wade. Normally, Supreme Court decisions don’t play a big role in midterm elections. So that’s one thing.

Number two, gun safety. Just because something’s repeated doesn’t mean it’s true, but it is often repeated and borne out in polling that Democrats running on gun safety regulations isn’t really great for them. It doesn’t really tend to do very much. In this particular case there maybe, has been, we don’t know yet, but there maybe has been sort of a straw that broke the camel’s back effect with multiple, nationally, really globally, newsworthy mass shootings, including in a school in the United States, and continued indifference from Republicans — who want to send thoughts and prayers and so on and so forth — to the point where it’s possible voters will say, “Hey, we have an opportunity to vote out some of these people saying we’re not going to do anything about guns.”

So, that’s in the background. In that context, I don’t believe that these hearings are going to have a significant impact on the 2022 midterms. It may change. And once we see everything that’s presented, I might have a different view.

And then on the issue of criminality, I have said for years, I don’t believe Donald Trump is going to be charged for anything that he did while he was president. I still believe that, but only just barely. So, whereas before I was about 90% on Trump’s not getting charged, I’m only at about 55% right now. Now it may be as a result of the committee hearings, but it also may be as a result of the investigation happening in Georgia. And increasingly legal experts are saying, “It’s the Georgia circumstances that may lead Trump to be charged”. Now, whether he would be convicted of anything, that’s a totally different story, but I’m only at about 55% certainty that Trump won’t be charged, which is basically a coin flip. So we’re going to follow all of it. We’re going to follow the hearings and we will see what, if any, repercussions there are.

The January 6th, Trump riot committee hearings have begun, and there are very different opinions about what is going to come from these and what the impact is going to be. On the one hand, you have the contingent mostly on the right wing, which says nobody’s going to watch them and nothing is going to be presented of, of value anyway. And, uh, this is just a witch hunt and this is grandstanding and that’s it. There’s just, there’s nothing here. We should be talking about hunter Biden’s laptop or critical race theory or, uh, <laugh> you know, whatever else. Okay. So that’s one side the other side, and I know some of these folks and these folks tend to be more on the left. There are some who believe this is going to be a blockbuster bigger than Watergate, that it will lead to the criminal indictment of Donald Trump.

And just about everybody who worked for him. And that’s it now I don’t believe either is correct. So let’s go through it piece by piece in terms of the audience, the audience so far has been pretty good. Those who want to, uh, ridicule the hearings have insisted nobody watched nobody watched well, if you look at the ratings from the first night, 22 million people watched on broadcast television, which is not that much, although it is about seven, 8% of the country. Um, and you know, really, we should probably say what percentage of adults and that’s a much higher number, but the online audience was huge. I mean, every, every streamer, even relatively small streamers had audiences in the tens of thousands or, or larger. And that’s a large composite audience, people listening online, people watching online, not part of that 22 million, the audience has been good, but it’s not a super bowl.

There’s no question about that. Number two, how explosive and novel will the, um, revelations be? Well, we have to see through the entire hearings to be able to say with certitude, how explosive is it going to be? But on the first night, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney gave sort of an overview of what is to be expected and it’s quite explosive. Now it is true that much of the evidence that Liz Chaney mentioned would be part of the subsequent sessions is evidence that is already known to people who follow politics. For example, some of the things that William Barr said, those were previously reported. Not everybody follows that. And that’s the question is that are new people going to see this, but some of those things we’ve seen the text messages between Kayleigh MCAN and Sean Hannity, for example, or some of the text messages involving failed. Former president Trump’s former chief of staff, Mark Meadows. If you have followed politics for the last year, a bunch of that stuff already leaked. So that’s not new. On the other hand, there were things Liz Chaney mentioned, which are new, for example, forthcoming testimony from people who were allegedly in the room when Donald Trump on January 6th was told, uh, their chanting hang Mike Pence. And allegedly Trump said, well, maybe he should be hanged. That’s new. And that’s explosive. Is it a crime? Well, that’s a different question. So audience will be pretty good.

There will be a bunch of previously unknown evidence. That’s number two. Number three is what will be the outcome here. And there’s sort of two questions as far as outcome, will this impact the 20, 22 midterms in November. And what is, if anything, is this going to do as far as criminal charges go against Trump or anybody else? So let’s take those two questions in turn, in terms of the midterms. Uh, right now it seems as though two issues, which aren’t normally great voting issues for Democrats are helping Democrats. Number one, the believed forthcoming overturning of Roe V. Wade. There is evidence, uh, so far that Democrats are doing better. All of a sudden in the polling, since news leaked of the forthcoming overturning of Roe V Wade, normally, um, Supreme court decisions don’t play a big role in midterm elections. So that’s one thing, uh, number two, gun safety very often.

I mean, it’s it’s often rep just because something’s repeated doesn’t mean it’s true, but it is often repeated and born out in polling that Democrats running on gun safety regulations. Isn’t really great for them. It doesn’t, doesn’t really tend to do very much in this particular case. There, there may be, has been we’re we don’t know yet, but there maybe has been sort of, uh, a straw that broke the camel’s back effect with multiple nationally, really globally newsworthy mass shootings, including in a school in the United States and continued indifference from Republicans who wanna send thoughts and prayers and so on and so forth, um, to the point where it’s possible, voters will say, Hey, we have an opportunity to vote out. Some of these people saying we’re not gonna do anything about guns. So, so that’s in the background. In that context, I don’t believe that these hearings are going to have a significant impact on the 2022 midterms.

It may change. And once we see everything that’s presented, I might have a different view. And then on the issue of criminality, I have said for years, I don’t believe Donald Trump is going to be charged for anything that he did while he was president. I still believe that, but only just barely. So, whereas before I was about 90%, Trump’s not getting charged. I’m only at about 55% right now. Now it may be as a result of the committee hearings, but it also may be as a result of the investigation happening in Georgia. And increasingly legal experts are saying, it’s the Georgia circumstances that may lead Trump to be charged. Now, whether he would be convicted of anything, that’s a totally different story, but I’m only at about 55% certainty that Trump won’t be charged, which is basically a coin flip. Okay. So we’re going to follow all of it. We’re going to follow the hearings and, uh, we will see what, if any repercussions there are.

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