Iron County Progressive

 Trump is Guilty of Treason

Sheila Markin - The Markin Report - June 11, 2022

“Treason is the crime of betraying one’s country 

by attempting to overthrow the government.”

The January 6th Committee is presenting the criminal case of Trump’s treason to 

the American people in a series of public hearings that began on June 9th. The 

focus is on Trump but the committee is also exposing the criminal responsibility of 

allies close to Trump who helped him try to overthrow our government through the 

testimony of Trump’s inner circle. The committee is also warning us that the threat 

from Trump is ongoing and continuing. Trump really could return to power because 

he and his allies are changing the laws in Republican led state houses across the 

country to provide him with a Trump loyal slate of electors that could be appointed 

by state legislatures, overturning the will of the voters. Trump and the Republicans 

are ready to cheat to win and they won’t need a violent mob next time.

What the Committee Revealed

What we saw in the first two hour prime time hearing was a strong opening 

statement and a preview of the coming evidence told to us by Bennie Thompson and 

Liz Cheney. There was supportive video and live testimony from two witnesses who 

were at the scene of the insurrection on January 6th who described what they saw 

and experienced first hand that day. Video clips of statements made by former AG 

Bill Barr, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, General Mike Milley and numerous others 

from Trump’s administration were masterfully woven into the story narrated by 

Cheney and Thompson.

This first hearing set up the overview of the case that Trump was determined to 

stay in power as president by hook or by crook and foreshadowed what he did to 

mastermind and pursue seven schemes to overturn our country’s free and fair 

election with the help of allies, right wing extremists and Fox “news.” One scheme 

after the other was tried, ran into roadblocks and failed. The planned attack on 

Congress on January 6th became Trump’s last stand to stay on as president in 

2020, but the danger to our democracy from Trump still exists.

The Big Lie as Motivator

Trump purposefully and intentionally used the Big Lie about nonexistent election 

fraud to get his supporters to show up en masse at the Ellipse that day with the 

goal of getting a mob to stop the electoral count that would force Trump to leave 

office. Fox was his close ally deliberately disinforming Trump supporters about 

the truth about the election which was hyped as rigged and unfair. Far right 

extremists understood they were being enlisted by Trump’s tweets to show up on 

January 6 it “will be wild.” These extremists had a plan. They led the crowd right 

on cue and on time to disrupt the work of Congress. They came prepared with a 

broadcast system to inform the crowd about what Trump was tweeting out, 

inflaming the crowd and directing them to go after Mike Pence. There were chants 

to hang Mike Pence. A noose was erected. They wore body armor. They brought 

weapons with them.

We heard about how the mob engaged in hand to hand wartime combat from 

Caroline Edwards, one of the injured police officers, an articulate young woman 

who was no match for the thugs who shoved her down and assaulted her and the 

other officers trying to protect congressional legislators from being viciously 

attacked by this mob. Edwards recounted how she saw her fellow officers 

bleeding, vomiting, turning white after being sprayed and how she was slipping in 

their blood on the ground. These thugs were Trump’s goon squad, carrying out his 

bidding to stop the Electoral Count. And Trump was delighted they were fighting 

for him. He eventually told them to go home after many hours and after being told 

over and over to make them stop, but he also told them they were “special” and “we 

love you.” One of the best moments of the hearing was the juxtaposition of 

Trump’s gaslighting tweet after the attack in which he falsely portrayed the mob 

as a bunch of nice guys, saying there was a lot of “love” that day.

What was established in the first public hearing:

1) Trump was informed by his team in no uncertain 

terms that he had lost the election. His staff told him. The 

data guy told him. So Trump KNEW he had lost the election. He refused to 

accept that truth and do what presidents do in a democracy, namely, concede. 

Instead, he engaged in a massive con job. He used the Big Lie as part of his 

scheme to stay in power.

2) Trump was informed in no uncertain terms that the 

election was NOT stolen. His team told him that numerous times. 

Trump’s Big Lie that the election was stolen was central to his scheme to stay 

in power. He lied to his supporters to get them to come to Washington en 

masse to bulk up and engage in the insurrection that would be spearheaded by 

far right extremist groups that included the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

3) The insurrection at the Capitol was not 

happenstance or a spontaneous act by Trump 

supporters. It was preplanned and it was part of Trump’s last stand to stay 

president. Trump’s misled supporters really believed the election was stolen 

because Trump told them that. They came to DC to protest what they thought was 

a stolen election. They were duped by Trump, Fox and conservative media into 

being part of an invasive brute force to help the extremists enter the Capitol and 

disrupt the proceedings. Once at the Capitol, Trump’s base supporters were riled 

up by the extremist leaders to attack and enter the buildings, breaking doors, 

fighting in hand to hand combat with Capitol police with the goal of disrupting 

Congress and also capturing congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Mike Pence 

and others. This was Trump’s goal. He almost achieved it. And it was carried out 

with the help of others we will certainly learn more about in future hearings.

Nick Quested was a videographer embedded with the Proud Boys who established 

that the Proud Boys were not even interested in hearing Trump’s speech at the 

Ellipse. To his surprise, these people were engaged in casing the joint (Congress), 

looking for the less protected areas where they could penetrate the Capitol more 

easily. They went to eat tacos before the attack began. When you are about to 

engage in hand to hand combat for hours you need nourishment.

4) The Oath Keepers and Proud Boys plotted together 

the day before the attack on Congress in a garage. They came prepared on January 

6th wearing flak jackets and protective gear, 

carrying bear spray, pepper spray and other weapons. They also brought guns 

and ammunition which they stashed in their hotel rooms. The plan was to use 

these weapons if Trump declared a state of emergency and used his 

presidential power to order the military to take over of Washington, DC. Trump 

was not able to do in part because of the actions of Mike Pence.

5) Pence realized before January 6th that Trump had 

turned on him because he refused to go along with 

Trump’s plan. Mike Pence refused to do Trump’s bidding. He had been 

totally loyal to Trump throughout the presidency, but like Bill Barr, Trump’s 

plot to stay in power after losing a fair election went beyond Pence’s willingness 

to be a toady anymore. He not only refused to pretend that slates of fairly 

elected state electors should be challenged, he refused to leave the Capitol 

with FBI agents he rightly feared might have been sent by Trump to whisk him 

away so that chaos would ensue at the Capitol allowing Trump to use his 

presidential power to call for martial law. At the White House while the attack 

was ongoing, Trump told allies in his inner circle that maybe the mob had it 

right about wanting to hang Mike Pence, saying he “deserved” that.

6) Trump did nothing to stop the violence despite calls 

to do so from every quarter including his closest 

allies. General Milley recounted hearing only from Mike Pence who asked him 

in no uncertain terms to get help to stop the mob attack. Trump did not try to 

stop his supporters. This is evidence of Trump’s state of mind. He wanted his 

supporters to stop the electoral count. They were doing exactly what Trump 

wanted them to do. He was not at all interested in stopping them.

More Evidence is Coming

There was no evidence so far of direct communication between the Trump team 

and violent extremists led by the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers in the first 

presentation. But Bennie Thompson is suggesting in interviews with journalists that 

they will be presenting evidence of these extremists communicating directly with 

people in Trump’s orbit. The Justice Department has more tools including subpoena 

power that they could use to find out more than the House committee could about 

this connection between Trump’s inner circle and the violent extremists. I think 

the House is indirectly asking the Justice Department to take it from here and 

work the case.

We Are the Grand Jury. DOJ Could Indict

Whether or not Trump is indicted and tried for the crime of seditious conspiracy, 

the January 6th Committee is presenting the evidence to our country as if we are a 

grand jury. The Committee is not done with its investigation. But it does not have 

the power to indict Trump. The Justice Department does. Based on what we 

learned yesterday, Merrick Garland may well eventually face the difficult decision 

about whether to indict Donald Trump and what that might do to our already 

divisive country if he does.

Not all of the connections have been made just yet that would mark Trump as an 

indictable co-conspirator for sedition. Trump could still wiggle out. The Proud Boys 

and Oath Keepers who are said to be cooperating with the DOJ will be key in this 

regard. DOJ could find out how far up the chain of command the criminal 

conspiracy went. We know from journalists that the Proud Boys had a close 

relationship with Trump ally Roger Stone and these same plotters met with Stone 

in the days before the insurrection.

For the Ages

What we saw yesterday is the beginning of the presentation to all Americans who 

are watching these hearings. And 20 million Americans did watch last night! Far 

more than the numbers who watch Fox “news” hosts like Tucker Carlson. These Fox 

hosts have an audience size of 3.6 million.

Liz Cheney and Bennie Thompson, the face of the Committee, said some things that 

will be remembered for the ages. But I thought nothing was more telling than this 

quote from Liz Cheney:

“Tonight, I say this to my Republican colleagues who 

are defending the indefensible: There will come a day 

when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will 


Whether or not Liz Cheney survives her re-election bid to be a Senator from 

Wyoming (she is currently down 26 points), her legacy as a defender of our country 

and our democracy will forever be part of our American history.

What we are witnessing is remarkable. This is a huge moment in our history. Trump 

tried to overthrow our democracy and stay in power against the will of the 

voters. Ultimately and it will be up to us to show up to vote in 2022 and 2024 

to save our country from Trump