Get ready for the House “Roland Freisler” show trials

Judge Roland Freisler (left) and Rep. Jim Jordan (right) Republican of Ohio

The world should gird itself for what can be expected to be the most vitriolic show trial seen since Nazi “People’s Court” Judge Roland Freisler’s theatrics in humiliating from the bench the White Rose underground leaders in Germany and the Operation Valkyrie plotters who tried to kill Adolf Hitler in 1944. Freisler is best known for flying into fits of rage in order to psychologically disarm defendants brought before his court.

The incoming House Republican majority has their Freisler in the person of the jacketless Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio who is slated to assume the chairmanship of the House Judiciary Committee. Jordan is best known for delivering political rants during the impeachment hearings of Donald Trump while often targeting witnesses with personal insults. Jordan emulates to a tee the antics displayed by Freisler, who learned the practice of attacking defendants from attending the Soviet show trials of Chief Prosecutor Andrei Vyshinsky in Moscow in 1938.

Joining Jordan in staging show trials will be an assortment of other far-right MAGA devotees of Trump, including the House Oversight and Reform Committee chairman Jim Comer of Kentucky, House Financial Services Committee chair Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, and Intelligence Committee chair Mike Turner of Ohio. Comer is expected to launch a series of relentless hearings and subpoenas of witnesses and documents concerning Hunter Biden and his laptop computer. The alleged conspiracy surrounding the laptop has been the fodder for Fox News and other far-right networks that traffic in scandals spun from whole cloth. Other House probes of the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan and U.S. military aid to Ukraine have also been promised by House Republicans.

Jordan and Comer can be expected to seek particular revenge on the January 6th Committee, the mandate for which will expire when the Republicans take charge of the House. Republicans have promised to call as witnesses before GOP-chaired committees many of those who had previously appeared before the J6 Committee in order to attack their credibility. In addition, Republicans have indicated they intend to also call as witnesses members of the J6 Committee, including Liz Cheney, the Republican co-chair; Adam Kinzinger, the other Republican member of the committee; as well as Adam Schiff, Jamie Raskin, Zoe Lofgren, and chairman Bennie Thompson. House Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, who will retain her California seat as a backbencher in the new Congress, is expected to face subpoenas from Republican-led committees that will attempt to try to paint her and her alone as culpable for the lack of security at the Capitol on January 6.

Presumptive House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has promised to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. Other Republicans have targeted Attorney General Merrick Garland, FBI director Chris Wray, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Vice President Kamala Harris, and President Biden for impeachment. Other MAGA targets include National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, both of whom can be expected to face outlandish conspiracy theory accusations from Republicans.

Republicans in the House will try to outdo their dismal record from 2016, when they issued 70 subpoenas and letters in the Benghazi Select Committee’s investigation of Hillary Clinton, a wide net intended to dig up dirt on that year’s Democratic presidential candidate. After spending $7 million, the Benghazi committee came up with nothing. Those same tactics, on steroids with Jordan and Comer in charge and with Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Lauren Boebert, Clay Higgins, Paul Gosar, and others of the far-right fringe of the Republican caucus, will be employed against the Biden administration. In calling before GOP-led committees as many members of the Biden administration as possible, the Republicans hope to weaken the Democrats prior to the 2024 presidential election.

The Republicans will also seek to intimidate corporate CEOs by pointing to collusion between their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) policies, derided by the Republicans as “corporate wokeness.” House Republicans will also focus their ire on the 2020 Biden campaign’s involvement with various “Big Tech” companies in “undermining” Trump by failing to publicize the Hunter Biden laptop issue—a total non-issue—prior to the 2020 election. Jordan has indicated he will probe Garland for the search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago, which discovered a cache of highly-classified documents stolen by Trump from the White House; investigating as potential terrorists groups that have threatened local school boards with violence; and a DoJ investigation of the fake news operation Project Veritas.

Since the Republicans and Trump have made Hitler and the Nazis relevant in current American politics, a Freisler redux in the House seems only natural for a political party devoid of relevancy and jam-packed with anti-Semitism, racism, and gaslit propaganda.

Freisler would escape a certain hangman’s noose at Nuremberg. On February 3, 1945, a B-17 bombing raid over Berlin hit the Reich Chancellery, Gestapo headquarters, and Freisler’s People’s Court, which was in session. Upon hearing the air raid siren, Freisler adjourned the session and began gathering up court files on coup plot defendant Fabian von Schlabrendorff, who was then on trial and

Freisler's People's Court

facing the death sentence. However, Freisler stayed too long and an American bomb struck the court building causing a column to collapse on to Freisler, who was killed instantly. [right] It was Von Schlabrendorff who actually saw Freisler’s flattened corpse in the rubble. The defendant was eventually re-tried, acquitted, and after the war became a judge on the Constitutional Court of West Germany. Fittingly, the B-17 raid’s lead plane was piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Robert “Rosie” Rosenthal, a Jewish-American lawyer from New York. Although his plane was directly hit by German fire in the attack, Rosenthal stayed with his plane until his crew had bailed out. Rosenthal parachuted behind Soviet lines and was returned to duty with the U.S. Army Air Force by Soviet troops,

It would be serendipitous if, during a Judiciary Committee hearing with Justice Department special counsel Jack Smith being forced to testify, perverted former Ohio State wrestling coach Jordan was served with a subpoena to appear before the Justice Department’s grand jury investigating those involved with the attempted January 6th coup d’état. It wouldn’t be a bomb from a B-17 but it would, nevertheless, help blow up Jordan’s political career.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2022

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist, author and nationally-distributed columnist. A member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) and the National Press Club. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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