The Conspiracy to Get the Conspirators

Vox, the left-leaning “news explainer” site, published an article on Wednesday that accidentally makes the case that the January 6 Committee is knowingly violating the law while trying to show that Donald Trump knowingly violated the law. 

Congress has subpoena power to seek documents and testimony for legislative purposes, not for criminal prosecution. Those who were awake during fifth-grade social studies know there’s such a thing as “separation of powers.” Congress makes the law. Another branch, the judiciary, interprets it in disputed cases. But someone else, the executive, enforces it. 

These are some of the conditions of freedom. 

The Vox article says the January 6 Committee is seeking documents and testimony to refer the former president to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution. 

That’s not just trampling through the fields where the separation of powers—and possibly the grapes of wrath—are sown, but a violation of the civil rights of their targets, who are entitled to many protections under the Bill of Rights in criminal prosecutions. 

When a state actor violates your civil rights, that itself is a crime and a civil cause of action.

It is a federal crime for two or more persons to conspire to violate a person’s civil rights. It is also a federal crime to deprive a person of his civil rights under the color of law

All this highlights the dangers for everyone involved—that’s you, January 6 Committee—in the imprudent criminalization of politics. The Vox article proves that the conduct of the January 6 committee has the appearance of violating the law, because it certainly appears that way to Vox in the way they unwittingly describe the conduct. (They’ve been on a tear about how the committee’s real purpose is to prosecute as many former Trump officials as possible—and thus laud a conspiracy to violate civil rights.)

It will be left to someone else later to investigate whether the January 6 Committee is itself, in fact, a criminal conspiracy. And then, after that, whether any investigation of the January 6 Committee is in turn a criminal conspiracy. 

It’s conspiracies all the way down! 

As H. L. Menken said, “The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.”

About Jay Whig

Jay Whig is an adjunct fellow of the Center for American Greatness. Whig practices law in New York and a resides in Connecticut, specializing in insolvency and restructuring. Opinions are his own.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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