The Jan. 6 Select Committee votes to subpoena Donald Trump as its last public session. Still photo via CNBC

After a series of eight public hearings during June and July, the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol held what was billed as the committee’s “closing arguments” on Donald Trump’s culpability, and the need to hold him accountable.

Wednesday’s session was a devastating denunciation of Trump, ending with a unanimous vote to subpoena relevant documents and testimony from the former president under oath. Trump immediately dismissed the House committee’s vote as a publicity stunt.

He posted on Truth Social:

Why didn’t the Unselect Committee ask me to testify months ago? Why did they wait until the very end, the final moments of their last meeting? Because the Committee is a total ‘BUST’ that has only served to further divide our Country which, by the way, is doing very badly – A laughingstock all over the world.

With time running out on the Select Committee this year, don’t look for Trump to testify.

Nevertheless, it was strategically smart, as Trump looks conspicuously like a man with everything to hide.

With less than one month before the 2022 midterm elections, the two and one-half hours were spent piecing together already-known evidence with newly spliced evidence to fine-tune the committee’s factual narrative of events leading up to the insurrection. and specifically what Trump was doing on that day—and the weeks leading up to it.

What was even more revealing, as we learned, was what Trump was not doing.

The big picture painted by the committee during the testimony from witnesses summarized the many ways in which the former president played a central role in fomenting a violent insurrection.

It began several months before his November 2020 electoral defeat, picked up momentum with his Big Lies about a rigged and fraudulent election, and was fueled by Trump’s rhetoric just prior to—and his twitter feed during—the assault on the Capitol.

The final investigative hearing has left no doubt that the insurrectionist-in-chief was integral to the development and evolving conspiracy to steal the election. New and corroborating evidence was also presented, confirming that Trump was all in with the organized violence being perpetrated on his behalf.

Without any hesitation, Trump wanted to be at the Capitol with the insurrectionists during the violent assault which, if their rhetoric was to be believed, would involve lynching Vice President Mike Pence. At a minimum, the plan was to deny the certification of Joe Biden as the 46th POTUS.

Only the Secret Service prevented him from leading the mob, we learned.

During the hearing there were also cameo appearances of Trump’s three pardoned co-conspirators: Steve Bannon, Roger Stone and Gen. Michael Flynn. The latter two, the testimony showed, were key links between the White House and leading members of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers—the armed militia of the revolt.

Buttressed by video footage and internal Secret Service communications at the final hearing, the new evidence further corroborated the pivotal testimony given this past summer by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, which pertained to what Trump knew or did not know, and what he did or did not do during the crucial 187 minutes on Jan. 6—from the time that the assault on the capitol began with his speech at the Ellipse to the time the mob was dispersed with a sympathetic farewell from the former president: “Go home now. “I know your pain, I know you’re hurt.”

And, in a Tweet later, he added just in case anyone doubted what he felt about the day’s events, “Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!”

The Thursday hearing will probably be the last public discussion before the voluminous final report is released before the end of the year. While that report will critically issue a list of recommendations for preventing future insurrections, I do not foresee the committee recommending any course of action for the DOJ to pursue.

It’s already on the job.

That stated, unlike the films that will be made some day about Trump and his career of criminality, there were no “split screen” stories to facilitate just accountability not only for a failed insurrection, but for all the other accrued legal wrongdoings attributed to the racketeer-in-chief during his four years in office.

I am referring to filmic zooming in and out of the split screen coverage of at least six separate but concurring investigations taking place in New York State, the Southern District of New York, Fulton County, Georgia, Mar-a-Lago, Florida, and the District of Columbia.

Split-Screen Narratives

This split screen of episodic criminality would delineate the overlapping and related violations, schemes, and rackets among the allegedly disparate, and yet inter-related, investigations into Trump’s larger criminal enterprise.

This is probably wishful thinking, but any real assessment of Jan. 6 ought to include the split-screen conduct that would help the Justice Department build a RICO case against Boss Trump and his criminal enterprise. I have proposed this before, although I cannot imagine it will happen.

Still, I believe that unless these different investigations can be merged in one mammoth prosecution, Trump will once again get away scot-free.

As I speculated back in August about the Mar-a-Lago papers, Trump might possibly cut a deal. Sure enough, we learned recently that “Trump Reportedly Pitched Trading Classified Files for Documents Proving Russia Probe was a Hoax.”

That’s a whole lot of chutzpah even for Donald, the born-again savior of QAnon and leader of the MAGA crowd.

But on a more serious (and brighter) note, thanks to the classified documents theft in South Florida and the Supreme Court’s denial of Trump’s appeal to restore the Special Master’s review on Thursday, look for Trump to be criminally indicted for espionage and obstruction of justice before the end of the calendar year.

Gregg Barak, Ph.D., is an emeritus Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Eastern Michigan University, the co-founding editor of the Journal of White Collar and Corporate Crime, and the author of the recently published Criminology on Trump.

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