The January 6 resurrection hearings just heat up
House Committee The January 6 attack investigation never exactly promised a quiet summer, but when the hearings began a month ago, it certainly looked like it could be one. quieter summer. Many of what is expected to be the biggest revelations appear to have been leaked before the hearing began, and public sessions are scheduled for six to eight sessions, each for about two hours. , seems to display modest ambitions — especially compared to the 237-hour Watergate Hearings in 1973, or even the 2015 Republican-led Benghazi hearings, where she Hillary Clinton testified publicly for 11 hours.
But then the real hearings begin — an emotional and tense multimedia roller coaster, exquisitely produced by former ABC News executive James Goldston to mimic the best. of a prestigious drama series, where each “episode” reveals deeper twists and turns of corruption and resentment. Agent Liz Cheney and surprise witness Cassidy Hutchinson, assistant to former chief of staff Mark Meadows, instead emerged as the summer’s most popular TV stars.
Testimony so far has proven far more convincing, damning, and damaging to former President Trump’s reputation than nearly anyone imagined. The Commission clearly has the goods and understands how to pack them for maximum effect. Now, the committee is preparing to return from a brief summer break with two more hearings this week, one on Tuesday and then, on Thursday, a second golden hour hearing.
For 18 months, traces of the Trump administration’s chaotic construction up to January 6 have appeared in news reports, documentaries, and government documentaries, leaving the public with a sense of wrongdoing and its damage to American democracy. But the events seem similar to what the country (and the world) lived through during his four years as president — a messy and tumultuous sequence of careless and messy statements, tweets ill-considered, hasty policy choices and recklessness.
Now the country may see differently: There is a method in Trump’s madness. The events of the ten weeks from early November to January 6 are much more tightly organized and sinister than previously known.
Most importantly, evidence of crimes and crimes has proven to be inevitable.
In fact, it seems, there were a lot of crime in the days and weeks leading up to the riots at the Capitol on January 6 — and Trump aides clearly understood that they were headed for a criminal calculation. Like Hutchinson told White House Counsel Pat Cipollone told her, “We would be charged with every crime imaginable if we [let the President go to the Capitol on 1/6.”
Altogether, the committee has painted a far more organized and coherent picture of the administration’s efforts than anyone imagined existed. The hearings have revealed a seven-part coordinated effort by the Trump White House—and the president personally—to weaponize every public, political, and governmental tool at his disposal to hold onto power in the face of a clear and convincing electoral loss. He and a small cadre of loyal aides tried to undermine the legitimacy of Joe Biden’s victory, encouraged states to overturn valid election results, tried to install election-doubting loyalists at the Justice Department, encouraged applied consistent pressure to Vice President Mike Pence to step outside his constitutional role and reject the electoral college certification, and then—when literally all else failed—he encouraged his supporters to the Capitol and then stood by, without action, while they rampaged through the building and came close to harming Pence and lawmakers.
Trump knew what he was doing, was told by aides repeatedly and broadly that it was wrong, and continued his pressure campaign anyway. January 6 wasn’t a spontaneous riot; it was the final attempt at a coup that had failed in every step until then. And the fact that so many of the participants, from members of Congress to, according to Hutchinson, White House chief Mark Meadows himself, apparently sought presidential pardons for their actions in the Trump administration’s final days make clear there was what prosecutors call “mens rea,” a guilty mind. In the 18 months since the events at the Capitol, the Justice Department has brought charges against more than 800 people involved in the riots at the Capitol, including eye-opening charges of “seditious conspiracy” against some of the white nationalist militia members, like the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys, who should figure prominently at this week’s congressional hearings. Precisely none of those yet charged have been within Trump’s inner circle.