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The House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurrection continues to highlight one bombshell after another. The NYT reported: “Trump attempted to make the January 6, 2021 march on the Capitol appear spontaneous even as he and his team intentionally assembled and galvanized a violence-prone mob to disrupt certification of his electoral defeat, the House committee investigating the attack showed on Tuesday.” It was a “last-ditch effort” by Trump to remain unlawfully in office (NYT).

“(C)ourt records, trial testimony and accounts from police officers and rioters have supplied growing evidence that multiple people brought firearms to Washington for Jan. 6, 2021” (Washington Post). The evidence refutes lies from Wisconsin GOP Senator Ron Johnson that the Jan. 6 attack was not “an armed insurrection.” Rioters were intent on violence.

Earlier, Trump’s outside advisers drafted an executive order to have the Defense Department seize all voting machines and rerun the 2020 election. Top White House officials prevented implementation. Shortly after that December 18 meeting Trump sent his infamous tweet: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild.” The consequences were tragic: 9 dead, including 5 police officers, another 150 police officers injured and about 850, including 8 from Wisconsin, arrested and charged.

Wisconsin GOP Representative Mike Gallagher, on Jan. 6, 2021 said: “I mean this is banana republic shit. … (The) people storming the Capitol are doing it not because they want to participate in some two-hour debate, but because they want to overturn the results of the election.” He later voted to accept Biden’s Electoral College victory, unlike Wisconsin GOP Reps. Scott Fitzgerald and Tom Tiffany. However, Gallagher’s embrace of duty and honor soon ended. Gallagher voted no on authorizing the January 6 congressional probe. And, just silence by Gallagher on the aforementioned Jan. 6 bombshells.

Gallagher supports House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, someone who lies with abandon. McCarthy denied press reports that he had planned to tell Trump to “resign” after the Jan. 6 attack. McCarthy said the reporting was “totally false and wrong.” But there is a recording of the call confirming that he had intended to ask Trump to resign. McCarthy’s brief flirtation with integrity ended with his falling on his knees before Trump. Not a peep from Gallagher.

Gallagher doesn’t know what a real leader is. He supported removing Wyoming GOP Rep. Liz Cheney from GOP House leadership because she told the truth about Trump and Jan. 6, 2021. Gallagher’s permanent stain of dishonor. Cheney was replaced by New York GOP Rep. Elise Stefanik. Stefanik achieved notoriety by endorsing Republican Carl Paladino for a New York House seat. In 2021, Paladino called Hitler “the kind of leader we need.” No tweets from Gallagher.

Cheney is a real leader, vice-chair of the Jan. 6 investigation. At a recent speech at the Reagan Presidential Library, Cheney said: “Republicans cannot both be loyal to Donald Trump and loyal to the Constitution.” Will Gallagher heed her wisdom and finally make the right choice?

— Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C., for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.


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