Talk about detached from reality. Would you describe the January 6 Committee as “truly bipartisan”? If you would, you can host a show on MSNBC. MSNBC's Joy Reid did her part on Wednesday night’s ReidOut, chortling about the fairness and nonpartisanship of the blatantly partisan committee.
Reid began by summarizing how Kevin McCarthy pulled his list of candidates after Nancy Pelosi rejected putting Jim Jordan and Jim Banks on the committee:
McCarthy, being a very brilliant political strategist, pulled all of his chosen Republicans — just pulled them all off the panel — leading us to where we are today, with a truly bipartisan committee. For God's sakes, there's a Cheney on it — plus Adam Kinzinger — and we, the American people are getting a clear coherent story, free of screaming nonsense, of how Trump, his allies, and congressional Republicans worked together to upend our democracy. Thank you, Kevin.
Ah yes, Liz Cheney and Adam Kizinger, definitely the perfect representatives of the other side of this story.
Reid continued gloating over the committee’s fair-mindedness with DNC advisor Kurt Bardella, who said McCarthy’s decision, “allow[s] them to operate in a way that they can tell the story from start to finish without any of the Republican propaganda bs nonsense we've grown all too accustomed to seeing during proceedings like this.”
Yes, wouldn’t it be so much easier for prosecutors to “tell the story from start to finish” without any of that pesky cross-examination, objection, and other “propaganda bs nonsense” from the defendant? Although the J6 Committee isn’t a criminal case, the same principle applies. Do Bardella and Reid seriously think the total lack of input from one side improves the committee’s credibility?
But Bardella kept piling on the praise, “this is perhaps the most non-partisan congressional investigation in modern history when you consider the participation of Liz Cheney, of Adam Kinzinger, when you consider that most of the witnesses that we have seen and heard from are actually Republicans, some who to this day would tell you they intend to vote for Donald Trump if he’s on the ballot in 2024.”
After playing a clip of Ron Johnson — who Reid derided as “the courier, Ron Johnson, AKA Senator who’s up for reelection,” — being asked by reporters about his alleged role as liaison between the Vice President’s office and a purported set of alternate electors, Bardella shed light on the true purpose of the hearings, “Ron Johnson is basically a courier for domestic terrorists.”
If there were any lingering doubts that MSNBC’s take on the J6 Hearings are purposefully staged political theater to cause maximum damage to the GOP in an otherwise bleak election cycle for the Dems, this interview removed them.
Click “Expand” to see the relevant transcript.
MSNBC’s The ReidOut
7:23:21 PM ET
JOY REID: Of the 13 members, five were to be chosen in consultation with McCarthy, and when the named — when he named two members who had participated in the attempt to decertify Biden’s win, Jim Banks and Jim Jordan, she said no dice. McCarthy, being a very brilliant political strategist, pulled all of his chosen Republicans — just pulled them all off the panel — leading us to where we are today, with a truly bipartisan committee. For God's sakes, there's a Cheney on it — plus Adam Kinzinger — and we, the American people are getting a clear coherent story, free of screaming nonsense, of how Trump, his allies, and congressional Republicans worked together to upend our democracy. Thank you, Kevin.
With me now, Kurt Bardella, advisor to the DNC and the DCCC, and for those who don't remember, someone who used to work for the guy who used to do the screaming hearings against Democrats, one of them — um, Darrell Issa back in the day. So you know how this is supposed to work. You — you and I have texted about this so just say the things we have said privately. How big of an error was this in the end, to keep screaming people off — the committee — for Kevin?
KURT BARDELLA: Well, Kevin McCarthy's loss, Joy, was — uh, was America's gain in a lot of ways, — uh, and — and in a backwards kind of way, Kevin McCarthy did this country a favor —
REID: He did.
BARDELLA: — By withholding his Republican-appointed members from this committee, — uh, but it was a massive strategic blunder — uh, and as you alluded to, perhaps the biggest blunder of his time as Republican leader to allow this committee to operate and function in an uninterrupted fashion, to allow them to operate in a way that they can tell the story from start to finish without any of the Republican propaganda BS nonsense we've grown all too accustomed to seeing during proceedings like this.
Uh, and in many ways, Joy, this is perhaps the most non-partisan congressional investigation in modern history when you consider the participation of Liz Cheney, of Adam Kinzinger, when you consider that most of the witnesses that we have seen and heard from are actually Republicans, some who to this day would tell you they intend to vote for Donald Trump if he’s on the ballot in 2024 —
REID: That’s right.
BARDELLA: — and they have provided the testimony. This is the least partisan congressional proceeding we'll probably ever see.
REID: 100 percent.
7:27:16 PM ET
BARDELLA: I have not missed not hearing the words, “my time is almost up — uh, because my time is so short I have to now run on and do this filibuster about things that make no — no sense at all. I have to cut the witness off.”
BARDELLA: We have been spared all of that, and instead allowed — and I really do think, Joy that this has gotta be the blueprint for congressional proceedings going forward.
REID: Absolutely, yeah.
BARDELLA: That we need to ditch the nonsense five-minute volley between Republicans and Democrats.
BARDELLA: Let's let the facts speak for themselves. Let’s let the witnesses that we've asked to be here actually speak to us.
BARDELLA: There is a novel concept, something we don't usually get to see.
BARDELLA: This is exactly how it needs to be done and this committee has done an extraordinary job.
REID: And — and just again you made a really good point. You know, Rusty Bowers has said he’d still vote for Trump to this day even though his family was threatened and he’s still being threatened, William Barr who trashed him for — you know, set back with his, you know, the wide stance — said he'd vote for him to this day so this is Republicans going at Republicans.
Um, I do want to let you have a — uh, a crack at this Ron Johnson situation because I think that's been one of the good revelations here. The courier, Ron Johnson, AKA Senator who’s up for reelection, here he is running away from Manu Raju of CNN.
[Cuts to clip]
MANU RAJU [Outside Capitol Hill, 6/22/22]: How much did you know about what your chief of staff was doing with the alternate slate of electors?
RON JOHNSON: I'm on the phone right now.
UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: No you're not. I can see your phone. I can see your screen.
RAJU: Can you explain what happened there? Why was your chief of staff even offering this to the Vice President?
JOHNSON: That's a complete non-story. We've issued a statement, and that’s a non-story. I don't know what you're — what you're even concerned about here. [Screen wipe] This was a staff-to-staff exchange, and I was, you know, basically unaware of it.
[End of clip]
REID: I mean, between people like him who was apparently willing to be a courier for Trump, Mo Brooks who showed up — you know, at the ellipse in a bulletproof vest and now is turfed out, Trump dumped him because he wasn't MAGA enough. How important is it do you think that we're starting to get to see how much lawmakers, Republican lawmakers were involved in this plot?
BARDELLA: Joy, it's vital that we understand the full totality of what Republican members of Congress were involved in this, which Republican members of congress were helping with it. Ron Johnson is basically a courier for domestic terrorists — uh, the idea that he didn't know what his chief of staff was doing when it comes to something this delicate, this sensitive, this confidential is complete nonsense.
And I think one of the things that we’re going to see tomorrow at the hearing — uh, as we look at what the Justice Department's role in — in the effort was under Trump to overturn democracy, I think that we're going to see more revelations about the broadening — uh, circle of accomplices that encompassed the Republican party and members of congress. You know, we remember in the very first hearing it turned a lot of heads when there was an allusion to, well, were — were there members of Congress asking for pardons, what Republicans were doing helping give tours?
I think that we're gonna get a lot more information on that, and even though the committee’s going to go on a two-week break to continue their investigation, I think that the rest of us are gonna have a lot to talk about after tomorrow’s hearing and a lot of Republicans are gonna be very uncomfortable when they see Manu Raju or Ali Vitali in the hallways.