We all saw the insurrection of January 6th. In our digital media landscape, it was seen by many in real time. Not only was Washington D.C. awash in cameras and media for the final certification of the 2020 election, but the rioters themselves gratuitously furnished terabytes of evidence.
But now as the Senate grinds toward a vote on a bipartisan commission to investigate what amounts to an attempted coup, the outcome of that vote appears to be poised to fail.
A major reason someone would oppose an investigation would be their own unclean hands. Senators Cruz, Hawley, Tuberville, Marshall, Kennedy and Hyde-Smith all objected to the certification of the 2020 election and thus opposed the peaceful transfer of power that has been the hallmark of our governmental model for centuries.
There are open questions as to how much actual support was given to the insurrectionists by sitting members of Congress. If this support was given, these members would be accessories either before or after the fact, or both.
What is accessory before the fact and accessory after the fact?
Accessory Before the Fact: “A person who aids, abets, or encourages another to commit a crime but who is not present at the scene. An accessory before the fact, like an accomplice, may be held criminally liable to the same extent as the principal. Many jurisdictions refer to an accessory before the fact as an accomplice.”
Accessory After the Fact: “Whoever, knowing that an offense against the United States has been committed, receives, relieves, comforts or assists the offender in order to hinder or prevent his apprehension, trial or punishment, is an accessory after the fact.”
As more time has gone by since January 6th, efforts to paint this violent insurrection as something else have grown more and more insane, culminating in trying to call these violent criminals tourists.
Considering the fact that over 400 of the rioters have now been arrested and are facing prosecution with mountains of self-provided evidence, Members of Congress who oppose the full background investigation to this event are essentially coming to their aid.
Two things need to happen here.
First the insanity of the filibuster must be removed from the toolbox of the Senate. This instrument of mass obstruction has given power to those who see power only as an ability to stop. Obstruction is not governance. It is simply trying to prevent change.
Second, those in Congress who supported this insurrection before and/or after the fact need to be removed under Section 3 of the 14th Amendment.