Capitol Hill reporters have been atwitter ever since Monday evening, when Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, read aloud a series of Mayday texts sent to then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows by Fox News hosts and Don Jr. as Trump supporters swarmed the Capitol.
But their excitement reached fever pitch on Tuesday when Cheney gave a follow-up performance, this time reading off Jan. 6 texts to Meadows from unnamed GOP lawmakers.
“It is really bad up here on the Hill,” one GOP lawmaker texted Meadows.
“Fix this now,” urged another.
The select committee investigating Jan. 6 plans to release those Republicans’ names at some mystery date in the near future, but one reporter immediately queried Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday on whether he was one of the unnamed lawmakers appealing to Trump to intervene.
“I was not,” McConnell offered, “but I do think we’re all watching, as you are, what is unfolding on the House side, and it will be interesting to reveal all the participants who were involved.”
McConnell, with his ritual glum affect, revealed no investment in the outcome of that information. But inside, he was likely doing a happy dance as he teased the big reveal of “all the participants who were involved.” Participants, eh?
This is undoubtedly where McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy part ways. To some extent, the McConnell wing of the GOP, which is at loggerheads with the Trump wing, wants—and maybe even needs—the Jan. 6 panel to succeed. The bigger the chunk the panel can take out of the crazy Trumpers currently running roughshod over the House GOP caucus, the better for McConnell. Who knows—McConnell might not even mind if some Trump-aligned GOP senators took a hit. Seriously, who except Ted Cruz isn’t rooting for Ted Cruz to get tangled up in legal trouble?
Unfortunately, it appears none of those texts came from GOP senators, according to Jan. 6 Committee Chair Bennie Thompson of Mississippi.
That doesn’t mean, however, that the investigative committee still couldn’t unearth some interesting information about Trump’s Senate allies. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina seemed pretty eager to unburden himself of the fact that he spoke with Ivanka Trump on Jan. 6, urging her to tell her father to call off the dogs.
But the bottom line here is that McConnell—who has no use for Trump—likely didn’t have any contact with him or his cadre around their Jan. 6 coup effort. So personally, McConnell likely has little to lose as the sweeping probe reveals who was in on Trump’s coup attempt and who wasn’t.
McConnell, for some unfathomable reason, missed his opportunity to put a final nail in Trump’s political coffin during Trump’s second impeachment earlier this year. The Jan. 6 panel might just offer McConnell another opportunity to take a bite out of the Trump wing, which is currently overrunning McConnell and his allies.
So keep your on eye on McConnell to potentially turn the knife a little here or there as the Jan. 6 probe continues to bear anti-Trump fruit.