Friday June 10, 2022

January 6 Capitol riot hearings go public

January 6 Capitol riot hearings go public

The US Capitol Complex under siege by protesters.

The next six hearings of the United States House of Representatives Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack have been turned into public hearings on TV and the evidence recorded is being played out. It is led by the Democrats, but it has two Republican members as well. Democrat chair of the committee Bennie Thompson said, “We can’t sweep what had happened under the rug.

The American people deserve answers. So, I come before you this evening not as a Democrat, but as an American, who swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t just protect Democrats, or just Republicans. It protects all of us. So tonight, and over the next few weeks, we’re going to remind you of the reality of what happened that day. But our work must do much more than just look backwards. Because our democracy remains in danger. The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over.”

It is indeed true that the danger that Donald Trump poses American democracy is alive as he remains a powerful figure in the Republican party, and he is supporting many candidates in the biennial Congress elections in November. There is resistance within the Republican ranks, but Trump has the upper hand in the party.

So, Liz Cheney, daughter of former defence secretary Dick Cheney in the George W Bush from 2000 to 2009, who has taken her stand against Trump and his supporters in the Republican Party. She had angered the Trump groupies, but she spoke her mind when she, as a member of the House Committee, “On this point, there is no room for debate. Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what had told them: That the election was stolen, and that he was the rightful president. President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.

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 dishonour .”

More damaging deposition came from former Attorney General William Barr, who was seen as carrying out the Trump agenda. He said in his video testimony: “I made it clear that I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff which I call the bullshit. And, you know, I didn’t want to be a part of it…We can’t live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific evidence that there was fraud in the election. I told him it was crazy stuff, and they were wasting their time, and was doing grave, grave disservice to the country.” And daughter of President Trump, who was his White House adviser, said, “I respect Attorney General Barr. So, I accepted what he was saying.”

But it turns out that the evidence is not making any impact on the Trump supporters. They still believe that the election was stolen, and those who attacked the Capitol were law-abiding citizens. In the face of this popular perception, the committee had taken the right decision to place the facts before the country. The moot question is whether people will accept facts and ignore Trump’s false rhetoric, or whether they will dump facts because they like the sentiment of American white supremacy that Trump seems to generate among his followers. Committee chairman Bennie Thompson was right when he said that “The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over.”

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