What, no leg cuffs?
There were tough discussions from the Morning Joe crowd today over measures to force Republicans to testify before the inclined (and now defeated) Jan.6 commission.
“MSNBC Republican” Elise Jordan got the ball rolling, saying the committee should act as “tough” as Republicans would if they were in charge. She speculated that the Sergeant-at-Arms might be able to despise the witnesses and force them to come to the Capitol.
Mike Barnicle – perhaps still feeling the effects of his celebration of the ALDS Red Sox’s upset victory – then raised the stakes. Barnicle proclaimed:
“There will be no action on this until we see someone like Steve Bannon, handcuffed, driven to Capitol and forced to testify under oath. Period!”
No one brought Barnicle into the room in handcuffs for blatant plagiarism. Regardless, Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough quickly backed up Barnicle’s call for Bannon in Chains.
Mika: “Now is not the time to be weak. If this is an option that could happen, so be it. Never mind.“
Scarborough: “If [the subpoenas] are enforceable, apply your damn subpoenas!“
As for Jordan’s call on the Democrats to act as “hard” as the Republicans would do, let us recall the case of Lois Lerner. It was the former IRS official who was accused of choosing conservative organizations to deny them tax-exempt status. She declined to testify before a Republican-led congressional committee. And while she was held in contempt, she was not prosecuted. . . and we don’t seem to remember Barnicle calling for Lerner to be handcuffed!
Also note Jordan laments due process protections for Republicans. She said it was “unfortunate” that Democrats could not “boom, boom, boom” and immediately force Republicans to testify.
Some seasoned veterans of cable news bias recall CNN’s Jack Cafferty jokes in 2005: “What should Karl Rove do if he’s charged? … He might, he might want to be measured for one of those extra large orange jumpsuits, Wolf, because looking at the old man? Karl, I’m not sure he would, they would be able to close it in the full size model. “
When it comes to sinister liberal fantasies about Republicans being treated harshly, it would be hard to outdo MSNBC’s Tiffany Cross. We caught his last year fantasizing that President Trump was:
“Dragged across the White House lawn like a 1980s episode of The cops. “
MSNBC then rewarded Cross with his own show.
Here is the transcript.
6:14 a.m. EDT
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: The House select committee investigating the Jan.6 attack on Capitol Hill is stepping up efforts to force former Trump administration officials to cooperate with its investigation.
. . .
WILLIE GEIST: In a letter from his lawyer to the committee, former White House senior adviser Steve Bannon announced his intention not to appear today, citing former President Trump’s claim of executive privilege. . . The members of the select committee say they are ready to initiate criminal proceedings against witnesses who do not appear for their testimony to appear this week.
So, Elise, we’ve had members of the select committee on this show for the last couple of days, who both said, okay, if you don’t show up these are subpoenas, we’ll refer you just for lawsuits. If that means you are going to jail, you are going to jail.
ELISE JORDAN: It will still be long. This is what is unfortunate. They can’t boom, boom, boom, make it happen and force people to conform so that we can get the truth, get to the bottom of what really happened on January 6th. That’s why I still maintain that it was a big mistake for the second impeachment not to have this testimony right after the horror of January 6, and just to bring it out.
But, in the future, I really wonder what they can do to harden this. I believe the Sergeant-at-Arms, if ordered, could insult these people and order them to come to the Capitol. I don’t know exactly how it would work. This is something for lawyers who are well above my salary level. Corn I think they should use all the tools in their arsenal and attack this as hard as the Republicans would if they were in a similar situation.
MIKA BARNICLE: You are absolutely right. They have the power, and I’m sick of the chosen members of the committee coming here, they are well intentioned, I know that. They talk and talk and talk, and there is no action.
And there will be no action on it until we see someone like Steve Bannon, handcuffed, brought to the Capitol and forced to testify under oath. Period!
MIKA BRZEZINSKI: I think, I mean, it’s no time to be weak. It just isn’t. I mean, at some point the line has to be drawn as to what’s right and wrong in this country. And I wouldn’t be weak about it. If this is an option that could happen, so be it. Never mind. Don’t be weak.
JOE SCARBOROUGH: Either subpoenas are enforceable or they are not. And if they’re enforceable, enforce your damn subpoenas!