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Sheldon Whitehouse is a hell of a smart guy.
When Amy Coney Barrett was being considered for the Supreme Court, he put on a masterful demonstration that showed how the Supreme Court actually works, and how one man has unfair influence on which cases get heard:
This morning, he posted a letter to the Boston Globe outlining how to penalize people like Ted Crus and Josh Hawley.
" So last week, six Senate colleagues and I filed a formal complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee asking it to examine the role of Republican Senators Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri in the insurrection. We need to understand if they coordinated or conspired with, aided and abetted, or gave aid and comfort to the insurrectionists and the groups lurking in the background. The committee must decide whether these senators failed to put “loyalty to the highest moral principles and to country above loyalty to persons, party, or Government department” or engaged in “improper conduct reflecting on the Senate” in connection with the violence."
That’s why we need more than just our ethics inquiry. Law enforcement must investigate not just the looters and trespassers but also the funders, organizers, and ringleaders; not just individuals but also groups. Years ago, the Justice Department won a pivotal case against the tobacco industry for fraud about tobacco’s health dangers. That case, and traditional doctrines like accessory, conspiracy and aiding and abetting, give all the tools needed to get to the truth and impose accountability. We need to make a priority of right-wing nationalist and white supremacist militias plotting domestic terror and of dark-money groups fomenting fraudulent lies.
All these investigations — from the Senate Ethics Committee to law enforcement — must follow the money. We do not know whether politicians pushing the lie of a stolen election have dark-money ties. But we know that, as the mob besieged the Capitol, senators sent out automated solicitations for campaign donations. We know private donors urged dark-money groups to call for a “march to the Capitol.” We know a swamp of hidden donors undergirds the apparatus of dark money and lies seeking to control not just mobs at the Capitol but also our system of government as a whole.