Last Thursday night, a group from the US House of Representatives held a special hearing into the attack on the US Capitol, which took place on January 6, 2021. The hearing, which was the result of a nearly year-long investigation, was carried on live TV.
The committee is led by Democrat Bennie Thompson, of Mississippi. Republican Representative Liz Cheney, of Wyoming has the second most important position. In all, there are seven Democrats and two Republicans. Most Republicans in Congress support Mr. Trump, and did not support the investigation.
Ms. Cheney has been strongly criticized by Republicans for taking part in the investigation. But she has ignored the critics. On Thursday night she warned Republicans who were standing up for Mr. Trump,”There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.”
It’s been nearly a year and a half since the attack on the Capitol happened. Many people have forgotten about the event. Many others have ideas about what happened that day that simply aren’t true.
The committee has spent nearly a year trying to find the truth about the events leading up to the insurrection. The people on the committee have looked at thousands of hours of videos, studied over 100,000 documents, and recorded interviews with more than 1,000 witnesses.
Thursday’s hearing was designed to share information that the committee has collected. But the hearing was also meant to generate interest in the committee’s results. The committee members are very concerned that unless Americans learn from what happened on January 6, something similar could happen again.
During the hearing, the committee presented quotes, reports, and videos to help show what actually happened that day. The hearing offered strong reminders of how violent the attack on the Capitol was. Police officers who survived the attack described it as being like a “war zone”.
One of the important points the committee made was that Ex-President Donald Trump knew that he had lost the 2020 election. But instead of accepting the truth, he worked for months to overturn the election results and spread the false idea that he had won.
Another important point was that the attack on the Capitol didn’t develop naturally out of protests. The committee showed that at least two groups which supported Mr. Trump planned the attack in advance.
The hearing also showed that Mr. Trump made no efforts to stop the attack on the Capitol for hours, even though many people encouraged him to do so.
During the hearing, Ms. Cheney outlined what future hearings will cover. Among other things, the hearings will focus on Mr. Trump’s efforts to change the election results, how the insurrection was organized ahead of time, and the effort to get Mr. Pence to overturn the election results. The next hearing is on Monday morning.
Thursday night’s hearing was carried live on TV stations across the US instead of the normal nightly programs. Over 21 million people watched the hearings. The size of that audience is about the same as it would be for an important sports event.
Did You Know…?
One TV channel – Fox News – refused to carry the hearings. Fox News is a strong supporter of Mr. Trump and of Republican positions. Instead of carrying the hearing, Fox showed programs attacking the hearings as “fake”.
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