Jan. 6 panel's case against Trump: Doomed to become the latest debunked elite narrative?

A string of recent revelations has raised questions about security posture of Capitol under House Speaker Nancy Pelosi prior to breach.

Updated: June 10, 2022 - 12:28am

Even as House Democrats' select committee on Jan. 6, 2021 argued Thursday that former President Trump is to blame for the chaos of that fateful day, explosive new reports collectively paint a very different picture of the Capitol breach, one suggesting the committee may be ignoring a slew of security failures that contributed to the tragic events of that day — and could leave the Capitol vulnerable in the future if unaddressed.

With the credibility of the media and political establishment already reeling from a succession of Democrat-friendly narratives being debunked, Thursday night's prime-time spectacle — the first of what's expected to be a marathon of six total Jan. 6 public hearings over the next two weeks — added to a growing list of stories, widely accepted in elite circles, put out by bureaucrats, politicians, and the mainstream media that were later called into question due to new information.

The seven Democrats and two Republicans on the Jan. 6 select committee tried to show that Trump was at the center of a coordinated campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and that his efforts incited a mob to breach the Capitol in a bid to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

They used a combination of video, audio, and live testimony to make the case, outlining their view of what happened on that fateful day. But they failed to mention key details that paint a fuller picture of what led up to the breach of the Capitol.

Just the News reported Wednesday that the Pentagon first raised the possibility of sending National Guard troops to the Capitol four days before the Jan. 6 riot, citing government memos that validate former Trump administration officials' long-held claims about their efforts to provide extra security.

The Capitol Police rejected the offer of troops, according to the government documents. Soon after, however, then-Chief Steven Sund decided he wanted the troops after all but was turned down by the House and Senate sergeants at arms.

As speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) oversees the U.S. Capitol, including the House sergeant at arms.

Meanwhile, Trump had signed an order on Jan. 4 to deploy 20,000 Guardsmen to prevent any violence if requested by Congress, which turned down the request.

On Tuesday, Just the News revealed that Capitol Police had compiled a secret after-action review months after the Jan. 6 riot that identified sweeping intelligence and security failures by the department, from delayed deployment of specialized civil disturbance units to the dismantling of an intelligence unit that monitored social media for threats.

The June 4, 2021, report identified 53 areas of failure needing corrective action, painting a more nuanced picture of what caused the Capitol breach than what the Jan. 6 committee sought to portray.

"It's frustrating that the mainstream media will use this opportunity to go after President Trump," Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), ranking member on the House Administration Committee, told the "Just the News, Not Noise" television show this week. "President Trump is not to blame for what happened on Jan. 6. It's those who broke the law that are to blame."

Davis also chided Pelosi, the Jan. 6 committee, and Democrats in Congress more broadly for not addressing some of the critical Capitol security failures and focusing almost exclusively on Trump and his claims about the 2020 election.

"Look, I will tell you, I don't think we're in a better security posture than we were leading up to January 6th," said Davis.

Republicans recently launched a counteroffensive designed to portray the Jan. 6 probe as "unconstitutional and illegitimate" and highlight the failures in protecting the Capitol.

Fewer Americans now say Trump was mainly or solely responsible for the Jan. 6 riot than in the aftermath of the Capitol breach, according to recent polling.

The slow unraveling of the Jan. 6 narrative may prove to be yet another example in a long series of narratives initially embraced uncritically by establishment media and political elites only to crumble over time under scrutiny — with each successive debunking further eroding public trust in mainstream political and journalistic institutions.

Most infamously, media outlets reported on a daily basis during Trump's presidency that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Democratic lawmakers echoed such reports while launching congressional probes meant to uncover more about the alleged collusion.

Officials in the FBI and other parts of the federal bureaucracy had used the Steele dossier, which contained several salacious and since-debunked claims about Trump and his alleged ties to Russia, as a central basis for probing Trump-Russia collusion.

In 2019, however, following a lengthy investigation, then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded there was no evidence to prove Trump-Russia collusion, undermining the dominant claim made by journalists and Democratic lawmakers for the preceding two-plus years.

Another major story that the powers that be got wrong was the authenticity of the laptop of President Biden's son, Hunter Biden.

In October 2020, the New York Post obtained emails from a laptop that Hunter Biden had abandoned at a repair shop in Delaware. Prominent mainstream media outlets either ignored the Hunter Biden story or cast doubt on its authenticity. Shortly after the Post's story was published, 51 former intelligence officials signed a public letter dismissing the report as Russian disinformation.

While only a small handful of media outlets, including Just the News, have consistently reported on the laptop's contents since 2020, much of the media has slowly acknowledged the laptop is genuine and not Russian disinformation. Last year, a Politico reporter said its materials were real, and last week the New York Times said it "authenticated" emails from the laptop.

The establishment was also quick to dismiss the theory that COVID-19 leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China, demonizing those who raised the idea as bigoted. The theory slowly gained credence within the Biden administration, however. It's now generally viewed as credible, although the exact cause is unclear because China, where COVID-19 originated, has been unwilling to cooperate on an investigation.

Coming full circle back to the aftermath of the 2020 election, concerns about the integrity of the vote have been widely panned by the Biden administration, Democratic lawmakers, and the media as conspiracy theories that fueled an insurrection.

However, putting Jan. 6 aside, Just the News has uncovered several revelations exposing fraud, illegalities, and irregularities in the 2020 election. In Georgia, for example, officials have opened a criminal investigation into an alleged ballot harvesting operation.

Ballot harvesting is a tactic, outlawed in most states, in which third-party activists gather and deliver voters' ballots.

In Arizona, Republicans are investigating similar allegations.

Recently, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency acknowledged that Dominion voting machines are vulnerable to hacking — a claim that had been long dismissed by opponents of Trump as baseless.