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After Top Oath Keeper Speaks To January 6th Committee, Trump Lashes Out

After Top Oath Keeper Speaks To January 6th Committee, Trump Lashes Out

Donald Trump doesn’t seem to be too happy that the founder of the Oath Keepers extremist anti-government militia group has been talking to the January 6th Committee. The morning after the 6-hour interview, the former president lashed out with multiple “statements” — that is to say, angry rants on letterhead, tweeted out by his spokesperson — listing all the people that he believes the “unselect committee” should be questioning instead.

[Photo credit PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP via Getty Images]

When Donald Trump or those close to him are being investigated, he’s shown a pattern of responding with whataboutism, pointing fingers at his political rivals as potential alternative subjects for investigation, and with claims of bias and persecution. Thursday morning’s statements are no exception.

The first, and longest, hit around 9am Eastern time, and queried why the “corrupt Unselect Committee of political hacks and highly partisan sleazebags” wouldn’t spend their time investigating the election fraud that Trump still claims took place in the 20202 election, instead of the insurrectionists “protesting” the result.

He also called (again) for an investigation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, reiterating that (still false) claim that she was responsible for Capitol security, and therefore the person truly at fault for not making sure the mob he incited couldn’t be successful in their attack.

Politifact dealt with this false claim when it began circulating almost a year ago, shortly after the failed coup, noting that the House Speaker is part of the chain of command for security. However, on the day of the attack, Congressional leaders approved a request for the National Guard, but “communication breakdowns, inaction and confusion over who had authority” resulted in more than an hour’s delay in deployment.

Perhaps Trump felt the walls closing in, because he signed off that statement with a whine: “Why am I, and those around me, responsible for anything? We’re not, plain and simple!”

Still, perhaps he couldn’t get the investigation off of his mind, or perhaps he continued watching the morning news shows, because a tweet-length complaint came in the form of a second statement less than 5 minutes later — this time demanding that the investigation be shifted from his involvement to the ballot-harvesting he claims has been proven in Georgia.

He’s presumably referring to a viral video that his supporters claim is evidence of ballot harvesting in Georgia — although the video only shows a man apparently dropping off multiple ballots, which is not necessarily a violation of Georgia law.

Georgia’s voter guide lists the people who can legally drop off your ballot for you:

Mother, father, grandparent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, spouse, son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law.

It’s not clear exactly how many ballots the individual in the video is dropping off, but they could easily be a family’s ballots, received in the mail on the same day, and returned by one individual instead of multiple trips — someone delivering multiple ballots isn’t inherently evidence of lawbreaking.

There’s good news, though, for Trump and anyone else worried about ballot harvesting: there’s already an investigation in progress.

USA Today separates the truth — that there has been a complaint filed by a right-wing group claiming ballot harvesting, and that there’s an investigation in response — from the fiction — that there is any evidence people were being paid for ballots, and that the investigation in any way stands as evidence of election fraud.

In fact, even True the Vote, the right-wing group making the complaint, isn’t alleging that the ballots were fraudulent, and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has also affirmed that there’s no such claim:

“Ballot harvesting, those are still lawful ballots, they’ve just been handled fraudulently. Many states actually allow ballot harvesting.”

It’s not clear what Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes told the January 6th Committee over the course of 6 hours on Wednesday, but it’s sure clear that Trump is unhappy about the direction of the investigation.

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