The U.S. doesn’t need investigations or commissions. It needs prosecutions.


“Live Update: Republicans Block Independent Commission on Jan. 6 Riot,” New York Times, May 28, 2021.

Karoun Demirjian, “GOP senators block Jan. 6 commission, likely ending bid for independent probe of Capitol riot,” May 28, 2021 (1:02 p.m. EDT).

Republicans have done the Democrats and the country a huge favor by blocking the creation of a special joint commission to investigate the January 6 insurrection. Only six Republican Senators had the independence from Trump and McConnell to vote in favor of the resolution that would have created the commission.

We don’t need a joint commission to investigate the January 6 uprising, with all the Republican ploys and machinations to distract our attention from the real issues that would inevitably accompany such a commission. This is not 1973, and the idea of creating an impartial commission like the Senate Watergate Committee in today’s political environment is hugely delusional.

We don’t need a House Special Committee to investigate the insurrection either.

We know what happened. The record of the House impeachment of Donald Trump and the Senate trial in 2021 provides us with all the information we need in order to act, now.

Of course, the Democrats, following their tragically mistaken course of not confronting Trump or his supporters, would prefer to investigate until hell freezes over.

They appear to have no sense of the nature of the Republican fascist threat that hangs over America, and even less the guts needed to take on the challenge directly. They hope that by not really taking on Trump and the Republicans, they can squeak by and retain their seats and majorities in the House and the Senate. In this, they seem to resemble their Republican counterparts, who forego all efforts to uphold the truth and the rule of law in seeking to retain their seats, no matter what the cost.

To be sure, there is no comparison between the Democrats and the Republicans in Congress. The great majority of the latter are actively supporting or complicit in a vast Republican conspiracy to overthrow the Constitution and our American democracy. The Democrats oppose these efforts, only not too hard, particularly if by their craven calculations doing so might cost them their seats and their razor-thin majorities in the House and the Senate.

No, we don’t need any further commissions of inquiry to distract us from the real issues and stakes in American politics today.

What we need is a Justice Department Task Force to launch and coordinate the prosecutions of Donald Trump and his Republican co-conspirators, who committed many serious felonies in their efforts to overthrow the election and the Constitution in 2020-2021. Trump should also be prosecuted for his many egregious crimes in office, including the instances of obstruction of justice detailed–with a summary of the evidence–in the Mueller Report, and the many other instances of obstruction of justice through witness tampering and retaliation against witnesses for truthfully testifying in impeachment investigations.

The rule of law is at stake here.

Congress, and in particular the House, has an important role to play. Instead of spinning their wheels in yet another congressional inquiry into the insurrection on January 6, the Democrats in the House should be holding hearings into why the Justice Department has not proceeded with prosecuting Donald Trump and his co-conspirators for the many crimes he and they committed in office, including the rash of election-related crimes committed after November 3, 2021.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.

1 Comment on "The U.S. doesn’t need investigations or commissions. It needs prosecutions."

  1. Michael Mauldin | May 28, 2021 at 2:57 pm |

    Yes, once again the TO has “nailed it”. Where is the justice department? Let’s have justice and hopefully peace will follow.

Comments are closed.