- if Senator Ernst demurs from McConnell’s characterizations about the Tucker Carlson release of Jan 6 footage in any meaningful way she owes it to posterity to say that louder than her presence with McConnell spoke
Grassley, Ernst dispute media claims they criticized Carlson’s Jan. 6 footage
The Iowa Standard (TIS) asked Senators Ernst and Grassley about their statements regarding the Tucker Carlson show releasing previously unseen video of the Jan 6 mostly peaceful demonstrations. As noticed by Carlson, and as we also pointed out, Ernst was on camera next to Senator McConnell when he voiced support for a condemnation of Carlson’s portrayal of the video made by the Capitol Police chief. The video as presented by Carlson questioned and was objectively exculpatory as to the guilt and especially the sentencing of demonstrators arrested and charged with various crimes that day. Other implications about police performance can be drawn from Carlson’s presentation.
Why couldn’t Ernst (and Grassley) say something to that effect?
Instead Ernst wanted it to be known that she thought editing 40K hours of tapes was somehow in general wrong. We are not aware of a similar statement by her criticizing the Jan 6 prosecutors treatment of the tapes, withholding the bulk of the tape from defense council, selectively editing it, serving to railroad convictions and lengthy sentences, denying exculpatory evidence. Indeed Senator Ernst, how are people to view 40 THOUSAND hours of tapes?
Evidence is in the tapes not Ernst or Grassley’s narrower perspective.
With any sense of comparative balance “equity” the charges against most of the Jan 6 protestors arrested should have been dismissed or charged as misdemeanors rating a fine and minimal sentences when compared to “direct action’ perpetrated by the likes of Antifa and BLM, (that is when the police ever got around to arresting them in various jurisdictions).
TIS asked Ernst and Grassley to respond to Tucker Carlson identifying each of them as supportive of McConnells views and to hold forth on these open ended questions:
Any statement on Tucker Carlson’s decision to air the footage.
Any statement regarding Jan. 6 following the release of the footage.
Any statement on whether they believe Ashli Babbitt’s murder was justified.
Any statement on the continued detention of protestors from Jan. 6.
The response from each senator to TIS was vague and failed to answer the questions posed to them. The responses according to TIS were as follows with Ernst essentially forwarding the comments she made to the publication Axios after standing next to McConnell and hearing him saddle up with the Capitol Police to condemn Carlson’s revelations to the public — revelations withheld by prosecutors from defense lawyers of those accused of trumped up crimes that day.
“[They] should be widely available to everyone and not just select people. And it should not be selectively edited. There’s a lot of different sides that will be presented and that’s OK. We need to have that discussion, but it needs to be an open, honest conversation. I can tell you from where I stood in the Senate chamber, it was a very uncomfortable feeling. And the people that were out in the halls, they were not friendly. Let’s put it like that. They were not being peaceful. I had two women staffers, early 20s, that were clinging onto me for dear life and crying. They were terrified by those people.”
Grassley was quoted by Rolling Stone as saying, “what happened that day shouldn’t have happened” in response to Tucker’s airing of the footage. But without knowing how the question was posed, that’s hardly a condemnation of Carlson.
. . .
Ernst’s office obviously replied with her response to Axios, but hasn’t responded to the other things we asked about. Grassley’s office responded, asking what we were referring to as well. We shared with them the story from Slate, as well as informed them Carlson pointed to Grassley as one of his critics during last Wednesday’s episode.
Grassley’s office said the comment reported by the media that what happened that day shouldn’t have happened was a “general observation” about the Capitol breach.
“When asked about making the video footage public, he’s said he believes it’s a matter of public interest and should be made available in full. He never commented about Mr. Carlson’s coverage.”
Yes it does seem fair and valid attachment when 1) the good Senator was standing next to and heard McConnell’s comments and offered no demurral in her time, even to the extent of the typical “I must disagree with my good friend . . .” 2) Senator Ernst was not there absent her history of what amounts to histrionics regarding events that day nor with ample time having passed when plenty of evidence has been revealed apart from the release of the tapes by Carlson demolishing her own falsehoods and over the top characterizations of events that day. Characterizations she has now only subtly modified but earlier ones never apologized for in order to stand corrected — especially regarding her allegations of blame regarding deaths Jan 6th.
Grassley was not standing with McConnell and Ernst that day but then 1) maybe he couldn’t because he has been with McConnell on so much or 2) maybe his instincts are a little better. But like Ernst the same criticism of his uncorrected/unapologized for assertions in line with the DC Party about Jan 6 are still relevant in evaluating his recent statement given the timeliness of these new developments.
TIS has not been remiss in reminding readers about the Iowa delegation’s uniformly pathetic demeanor about events that day but this story was an opportune time to invite them to specifically correct their previous “murdered police” statements and insurrection hyperbole. They might have had they bothered to answer TIS questions but they needed to be pinned down. Perhaps asking “do you stand by your comments two years ago regarding deaths and motivations of Jan 6 protestors?”
Here are Grassley’s and Ernst’s statements issued many days after Jan 6 when enough had been revealed to give them rhetorical pause but which they declined to exercise in keeping with DC Uni-party hyperventilating:
Ernst Statement on Upcoming Impeachment Trial (excerpt)(caps our emphasis)
Jan 25 2021
“As I’ve said, PRESIDENT TRUMP EXHIBITED POOR LEADERSHIP and holds some responsibility for the anarchy that ensued at the heart of our democracy. The individuals who lawlessly stormed the Capitol, MURDERED POLICE, and ATTEMPTED TO PREVENT CONGRESS FROM DOING ITS JOB, should be held accountable to the full extent of the law.
Statement for the Senate Record by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
United States Senate On the Senate’s Acquittal of former President Donald Trump February 13, 2021 (excerpt) (caps our emphasis)
“What happened here at the Capitol was completely inexcusable. IT WAS NOT A DEMONSTRATION OF ANY OF OUR PROTECTED, INALIENABLE RIGHTS. IT WAS A DIRECT, VIOLENT ATTACK ON OUR SEAT OF GOVERNMENT. Those who plowed over police barricades, assaulted law enforcement, and desecrated our monument to representative democracy flouted the rule of law and disgraced our nation. SIX PEOPLE, INCLUDING TWO U.S. CAPITOL POLICE OFFICERS, NOW LIE DEAD IN THE WAKE OF THIS ASSAULT. The perpetrators must be brought to justice, and I am glad to see that many such cases are progressing around the country.”
“While the ultimate responsibility for this attack rests upon the shoulders of those who unlawfully entered the Capitol, everyone involved must take responsibility for their destructive actions that day, including the former president. As the leader of the nation, all presidents bear some responsibility for the actions that they inspire — good or bad. UNDOUBTEDLY, THEN-PRESIDENT TRUMP DISPLAYED POOR LEADERSHIP IN HIS WORDS AND ACTIONS. I DO NOT DEFEND THOSE ACTIONS AND MY VOTE SHOULD NOT BE READ AS A DEFENSE OF THOSE ACTIONS.”
The “murdered police” and “dead police” statements are lies and were lies then. As they should know well by now referenced deaths were either unrelated or at the hands of police. Their general statements about the motivations regarding “what happened being completely inexcusable” and blaming of Trump are just plain pathetic. Not every avenue is appropriate but wanting to be heard, standing against “no standing” regarding evidence of a stolen election prior to it being ratified and clamoring for Congress to DO ITS JOB as in seriously explore the evidence prior to rubber-stamping as if Congress’ job was no more than ministerial, RATHER THAN the accusation from Ernst and Grassley that protestors were standing against their doing their job. It is not a subtle distinction. Failing to acknowledge that shows how out of touch those two can be.
By far most of the people even inside the Capitol, however overwrought some were, were there to be heard not to vandalize even if to cry out from the galleries. But Grassley and Ernst blaming Trump who asked people to be peaceful and patriotic that day is calumny against him and the spoken word. As we said previously, if Senator Ernst demurs from McDonnell’s characterizations in any meaningful way she owes it to posterity to say that louder than her presence with McConnell spoke.
I am not sure what Trump’s endorsement of Grassley in the 2022 Senate Republican primary indicated (one of the unimpressive primary and general wins Trump credits himself with). It seems more about Trump’s hope to have Grassley’s endorsement in the Iowa caucuses. But alas supposedly that is not going to happen. Grassley for now is demurring although perhaps his operatives will be full throttle.
Nevertheless, Trump, we suspect, will continue to let Grassley’s (and Ernst’s) comments blaming Jan 6 on him pass, hoping not to rile them. They should worry about not riling Trump supporters.
There are valid criticisms of Trump including especially who has the best public perception to win the 2024 general election. It is about winning not rewarding someone, or pursuit of retribution especially if that pursuit results in a negative perception and is counterproductive to an actual win.
However, my objective analysis is that if either were interested in helping Trump they would correct their untrue and hyperbolic statements surrounding Jan 6 which targeted Trump and by implication the sentiment of so many of his supporters. I do not see that happening and so never-Trumperies can actually use Grassley and Ernst’s statements against Trump and Trump supporters will be less enamored with them.
Related reading by Kurt Schlichter at Townhall:
Stop calling it an insurrection. (excerpt)
Nor was this incident some sort of “attack on Our Democracy where our freedom hung on by a thread.” The drama queenery might play on MSNBCNN, but it just makes the base despise the Republican Party even more – which is hard – when that crap comes from our own people. You are not downplaying what actually happened by characterizing it accurately and without the kind of breathless exaggeration the Democrat demagogues delight in. The Democrats’ cat’s paws spent six months burning down the cities and this overwrought handwringing only draws attention to the discrepancy in elite caring between when the pols were vaguely threatened and when the proles were losing everything. . . .
GOP pols, listen up. You are not defending the buffoons of January 6 by accurately characterizing their actions. Stop playing along with the false narrative that unjustly trashes your own people. Stop minimizing what happened in the murderous Democrat-abetted riots in LA in 1991 and throughout our country in 2020 by not just lumping this incident in with them but by pretending it was a zillion times worse.
Previous posts at V’pac
Standing with the Protocols of the “Insurrectionists” of Jan.6
Bait, incite, coverup, stonewall, Shanghai re January 6
Will Senators Grassley and Ernst apologize for parroting lies and spin about Jan 6th
Sen. Ernst issued an ahistorical near hysterical screed in response to Jan. 6 mostly peaceful demonstration