Recapping Jan. 6 hearings
The end of this first round of Jan. 6 committee hearings offers a moment for the nation to take stock of what has been revealed about former President Donald Trump, his acolytes and their scheme to overturn the 2020 election.
Over these sessions we have learned:
That the bulk of Trump’s White House staff knew claims of mass fraud were bogus, acknowledged that Joe Biden had won the election and told Trump as much, repeatedly — only to be undermined by a willfully obtuse gang led by Rudy Giuliani, intent on wresting power by illegal means.
That Trump went to previously undiscovered lengths to get the Justice Department to do his bidding, and that at least a half-dozen Republicans preemptively sought pardons for their role in trying to overturn the election.
That Trump, who in his rally on the 6th pretended that urging protesters to march to the Capitol was spontaneous, planned for days if not weeks to call for them to go there, and intended to join them.
That Trump knew plenty of his supporters were armed, but resisted having them properly screened because he was convinced they’re “not here to hurt me,” with emphasis on the “me.”
That the man Trump saw as the key cog in this unlawful scheme, Vice President Mike Pence, resisted that pressure even as rioters who’d breached the Capitol placed him and his detail in grave danger. “There were calls to say goodbye to family members,” said one security official.
That as the chaos unfolded, Trump ignored a call from Pentagon officials seeking to coordinate a response to the violence. He was too busy calling senators to urge them to overturn the results.
That even after the bodies were counted and the dust settled after the attacks, Trump rejected a line drafted by aides saying that the election was over.
Getting to the bottom of how this same man leads 2024 Republican presidential polling would take a year’s worth of hearings, and would likely deliver even more depressing commentary on the state of American democracy.
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