Last week, the star witness at a January 6 select committee hearing warned that Donald Trump remained a “clear and present danger” to American democracy. The Texas Republican Party just showed why, underscoring the critical need for the House investigation into the 2021 attack on the US Capitol.
What the committee has established
- The attack on the Capitol was real and vicious, however Trump and his supporters downplay it. Moreover, many of the rioters believed that they were acting directly on the then-President’s wishes and responded to his statements.
- Trump was repeatedly told by top White House officials and campaign aides that he had lost the election and that there was no widespread fraud. But every time one conspiracy was debunked, he latched on to a new, more extreme one.
- Trump relentlessly bullied then-Vice President Mike Pence to sign up to the legal fantasy that he had the power simply to reject the election result and hand his boss a second term as he presided over Congress’ certification of the vote. Trump was told the scheme was illegal but pushed Pence to implement it anyway. (Pence did not.)
- On Tuesday, the committee is expected to expose a new front in Trump’s attempt to steal the election, focusing on his efforts to overturn Biden’s election victories in the key swing states of Georgia and Arizona.