Latest hearings show Trump’s responsibility for the riot

The seeming purpose of the latest hearings of the congressional committee looking in the events of January 6, 2021 was to make it very clear that the invasion of the Capitol on January 6th was instigated by Trump and that the rioters were following his lead when they stormed the Capitol, threatened members of Congress, and defaced the premises. The hearings focused on the 187 minutes between the end of Trump’s speech at the rally and when Trump finally succumbed to the pressure he was getting from his staff and gave a weak statement on TV calling on the rioters to ‘go home’ but saying that he loved them. In addition to previously recorded testimonies, they had two witnesses, the deputy national security advisor Matthew Pottinger and the deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews, both of whom were so disgusted with Trump’s behavior on that day that they resigned immediately.

After inciting his followers at the rally, and later inflaming the situation even further with a tweet when it was clear that vice-president Mike Pence was not going along with the hare-brained scheme cooked up by the crazies like Rudy Giuliani, Sydney Powell, and John Eastman that Pence deny certification of the electoral college votes and instead allow fake slates of electors to be accepted, Trump then did absolutely nothing while the riot was going on, instead watching events unfold on the TV while in his dining room and resisting calls from his staff, family, and even his Fox News TV allies to call off the mob. Clearly everyone believed that the mob was under his control. Trump gave his mealymouthed call for the mob to to leave only after it was clear that the attempt to prevent the certification of Joe Biden as president was failing.

The committee also spent a lot of time showing how Republican house leader Kevin McCarthy was furious with Trump on that day and immediately after, issuing strong statements against him, but then had an about face and started groveling before Trump.

The committee vice-chair Liz Cheney emphasized that the case for Trump’s complicity and culpability during the hearing were made by conservative Republican loyalists among his family and his staff, and not by his political opponents.

They also produced recordings of Trump’s friend and advisor Steve Bannon saying before the election that Trump would do exactly what he did, falsely declare victory early on election night whatever the outcome, and if it did look as if he was not going to win, say that the election was stolen.

The big question is how many of Republicans are watching the hearings and what they feel. Before yesterday’s hearings, NPR took a poll and although it was the case that more Democrats and Independents watch the hearings than Republicans, I thought that a surprisingly large number of Republicans are watching and think that Trump bears responsibility for the events.

A majority of independents (55%) and 4 in 5 Democrats, but less than half of Republicans (44%), said they are paying at least some attention to the hearings.

A majority (57%) said Trump is to blame a great deal or a good amount for the Capitol riot, including 92% of Democrats and 57% of independents, but just 18% of Republicans.

Half of respondents said they think Trump should be charged with a crime, including 9 in 10 Democrats but only 10% of Republicans. Independents are split, 49% to 46%.

All the signs are that Trump is following the hearings closely and that he is worried that they are damaging him and, even worse, might lead to criminal charges being filed against him. He has been hinting that he might declare his candidacy for the 2024 election soon, because there is tendency for the justice department to not take actions that might interfere with elections, though that is not a hard-and-fast rule. If he declares his candidacy before charges are filed, and they are later filed, then he can claim that the charges are politically motivated.


  1. Owlmirror says

    If he declares his candidacy before charges are filed, and they are later filed, then he can claim that the charges are politically motivated.

    Ffft. Just counterclaim that his declaration of candidacy was criminally motivated, and indict him.

  2. Tethys says

    Lock him up, and every single one of the people who schemed to keep the loser in office.

    Every single one of my friends who consider themselves Republicans despise tfg, and are incensed at the recent bs from SCOTUS. However, I live in MN, which has never supported tfg because we already experienced the outcome of electing unqualified embarrassments like Jesse Ventura.

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