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Wednesday, February 22, 2023
Newsmax Columnist Pushes Conspiracy Theory To Bash Capitol Riot Committee
Topic: Newsmax

Like his fellow Newsmax columnist Jeff Crouere, Michael Dorstewitz was not happy with the House committee that looked into the Capitol riot, complaining in his Jan. 6 column that the committee "illustrates why we have an adversarial system of justice."

Dorstewitz gets a couple things wrong right off the bat. First, it's a legislative committee that never claimed to be anything else, which means that the "adversarial system of justice" does not apply. Second, Republicans were given the opportunity to appoint members to the committee, but then-House minority leader Kevin McCarthy refused to participate at all after then-House leader Nancy Pelosi refused some of his appointees for being pro-insurrection. (Would Dorstewitz have demanded that members of Al-Qaeda be appointed to the 9/11 Commission?)

Dorstewitz the complained that some witness testimony will not be made public, which prompted him to go into conspiracy mode:

Would they include the testimony of former Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, who said it was the failures of the Pentagon, FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security that led to the tragedy of Jan. 6?

Would those records include information that someone from the inside had to have opened "the 20,000-pound Columbus Doors that lead into the Rotunda" that "are secured by magnetic locks that can only be opened from the inside using a security code"?

All of this and more would have been public record had the Jan. 6 Committee been formed as an adversarial body, as committees normally are.

As evidence of Sund's claims, Dorstewitz linked to an article featuring ... Sund promoting his new book in which he presumably detailed exactly that, arguably making release of his testimony redundant. Regarding the Columbus Doors stuff, that's a bogus conspiracy theory. As a fact-checker found:

No evidence exists to support the claim that an electronic mechanism locks the doors from the inside. For one, the eavy damage sustained by the interior rotunda doors does not indicate that the doors were willingly unlocked to permit the rioters’ entry. And while the Capitol Police declined to comment to The Dispatch Fact Check on security measures at the U.S. Capitol, other sources have suggested that the doors could not have been locked from the inside because of fire evacuation and safety rules.

It wasn't until nearly the end of his column that Dorstewitz finally admitted McCarthy's snit about refusing to participate in the committee after Pelosi rejected his pro-insurrection nominees, which he benignly described only as "strong Trump supporters." He then declared: "Although he was criticized for this, McCarthy was right in pulling his remaining committee choices."

Dorstewitz concluded by whining; "It’s un-American when any 'fact-finding' body acts as judge, jury and prosecutor, and the results are always predetermined." Yet pro-insurrection Republicans never set up a credible alternative, something Dorstewitz makes sure not to mention.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:19 PM EST
Updated: Wednesday, February 22, 2023 6:20 PM EST

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