Tuesday, March 28, 2023

January 6 hearing set to highlight battle between democracy and Donald Trump

WASHINGTON – The long-awaited public hearing of the House January 6 committee is set to begin this week, promising to uncover the deepening divide between Donald Trump and his allies on the one hand and democracy on the other.

The committee planned a half-dozen hearings over two weeks to draw its conclusions from more than 1,000 interviews—many forced by a subpoena—and more than 100,000 pages of documents, with the hopes of boiling it down to an easy-to-digest narrative. About what the president tried to do to stay in power.

“He’s got an enormous amount of information. He’s interviewed a huge number of people,” said retired federal appellate judge J. Michael Luttig, who advised former Vice President Mike Pence that he had no authority to reverse the election. Because Trump was demanding. “They have to nail it down and tell a simple story.”

For Luttig, who is expected to appear as one of the witnesses during the trial, that story isn’t complicated at all. “They have only one story to tell the American people that our democracy is in danger,” he said. “When Trump denies that he has lost the election and promises to do so next time to make sure he does, he is driving the stakes at the heart of our democracy.”

The committee announced a prime-time start at 8 p.m. for its first hearing on Thursday, promising “previously unseen material” “to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.” About a coordinated, multi-stage effort”.

Whether the hearing will affect Americans’ attitudes about the violent attack on the Capitol, Trump’s role in this and his party’s continued support for them, is another story. Polls in recent months show that concerns about the state of that day and democracy have generally subsided, and the impending Supreme Court ruling on food prices, gasoline prices, mass shootings, abortion, infant formula The shortage has been displaced by concerns about immigration and. other cases.

“The January 6 hearing is old news,” said Republican pollster Neil Newhouse. “Whatever comes out of the hearing is unlikely to change anyone’s opinion about who to vote for in the midterm.”

Half a century ago, televised hearings about the Watergate break-in and the role of Richard Nixon captivated Americans and eroded support for his presidency, eventually leading to his resignation.

Fifty years later, however, with hundreds of television channels and online outlets instead of three major news networks and a few dozen major metropolitan newspapers, the media environment is almost unrecognizably different.

This means that although Nixon’s attack on democracy was modest in comparison to Trump’s, the coming hearings – no matter how explosive the committee’s findings – are unlikely to stand Trump within the GOP or among Americans in general. Is.

Sarah Longwell, an anti-Trump GOP adviser who frequents focus groups of Republican voters, said some new, dramatic information could “focus the dialogue” for the time being, but for the most part, opinion-changing. Not there . “It’s mostly baked,” she said.

He said most Republicans see January 6 as “unfortunate,” but that it was time to move on. “They don’t think it was Trump’s fault,” she said.

Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi decided to go ahead with a select committee to investigate the January 6 Capitol attack after Republicans blocked a proposal to create an independent commission, as did the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. After the attacks. He then denounced Republican leader and fellow Californian Kevin McCarthy’s election-results attempt to include Trump supporters such as Ohio’s Jim Jordan on the committee, causing McCarthy to pull all of his selections.

Pelosi responded by appointing two Republicans to the committee: Adam Kizinger of Illinois and Liz Cheney, of Wyoming, as vice chair. Both were among 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for inciting the January 6 attack, and both have been vocal critics of their party mates who downplay the seriousness of the day or claim that Trump had done nothing wrong.

Trump and many in his party have lashed out at any Republicans who have criticized the former president’s actions and have been particularly aggressive in their attacks on Cheney and Kizinger. Earlier this year, both were condemned by the Republican National Committee, and House GOP leaders are openly working to defeat Cheney as she seeks re-election. Kinzinger, whose district was abolished by Illinois lawmakers after losing one seat in the 2020 census, is not seeking to return to the House.

Trump, despite losing 7 million votes nationally and 306-232 in the Electoral College, became the first president in more than two centuries to refuse to hand over power peacefully. His provocation of the January 6 attack on the Capitol – his last attempt to remain in office – killed five people, including a police officer, injured another 140 officers and led to four police suicides.

Nevertheless, Trump remains the dominant figure in the Republican Party and is openly talking about running for president again in 2024.

Nation World News Desk
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