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Next hearing on January 6: What previous hearings have defined – and what revelations are to come

“January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after January 6, to overthrow the government.”

So spoke Democratic Congressman Bennie Thompson in June, as the January 6 committee held its first televised meeting on the events that struck the building where the country’s elected officials sat just 18 months earlier, when Donald Trump and his supporters were trying to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.

Its co-chair, Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, spoke in equally stark terms. Trump had a seven-part plan to stay in power, she said, and when rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” the then-president thought his deputy might have deserved it.

There have been eight hearings this year, including one in 2021, of what is officially called the United States House Select Committee into the Jan. 6 attack.

At least one more is planned – originally scheduled for September 28, it was postponed due to approaching Hurricane Ian.

The audiences were skillfully produced with the help of a former ABC News executive, and at times as many as 20 million people tuned in.

Some of the revelations stick in the mind for their sheer drama, like Cassidy Hutchinson, the main aide to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, revealing how she was told Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of his SUV when told said he wasn’t. back to the Capitol as his supporters stormed it.

Radio transmissions from Secret Service agents protecting Pence captured the anxiety in their voices as they feared being overwhelmed, and the committee was told some were using their cellphones to call loved ones, unsure if they would survive the day.

Other revelations included: that Rudy Giuliani, a former Trump attorney and prominent election conspiracy theorist, allegedly admitted he had no evidence of fraud; that the former New York mayor – while “drunk” (which he later denied) – urged Trump to claim victory prematurely on election night; that Attorney General Bill Barr made it clear to Trump that his fraud allegations were “*** bulls”; that even the defeated president’s daughter, Ivanka, did not believe his allegations of voter fraud: and that Trump knew on January 6 that his supporters were armed – but still wanted them to participate in his speech.

Two Georgia election officials have testified about the threats and abuse they received after the former president began spreading conspiracy theories about them online. And there was a rare moment of laughter when the committee released a video of Republican Senator Josh Hawley – who had been pictured stirring up crowds before the riot – fleeing once the insurrection was underway.

The committee also caused a stir when it revealed how physically close these chanting rioters were to the vice president.

“About 40 feet. That’s all there was,” Congressman Pete Aguilar told a hearing. “Forty feet between the vice president and the crowd.”

The committee has promised more disclosures for its ninth hearing once it is rescheduled.

Cheney, defeated in Wyoming’s Republican primary by a Trump-backed challenger and pondering a possible future outside the Republican Party, revealed the committee had obtained 800,000 pages of Secret Service communications material.

Committee member Zoe Lofgren told PBS news time information he had obtained: “I think that gives us some insight into what the Secret Service knew about what they shared with other law enforcement agencies, specifically the Capitol Police who are responsible for providing security to the Capitol. Certainly what the President’s intentions were on the 6th.”

Yet, does it matter? Are most Americans listening, and will what is said impact how they vote midterm in November?

A poll for NPR-PBS NewsHour Marist found that about six in 10 Americans said they pay at least some attention to the Jan. 6 hearings.

“Although inflation is a major concern for a plurality of Americans, including 57% Republicans and 42% Independents, the issues that spread below are abortion, guns, healthcare health and hearings on January 6,” Lee Miringoff wrote. , director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

He added, “The combination of these other issues resonates with 44% of independents and 76% of Democrats.”

Two-thirds of Republicans want Trump to run for president again

(Getty Images)

Republican pollster Sarah Longwell, who has long hosted focus groups and also long been opposed to Trump, says The Independent that for the first time, some people who had previously voted for the former president were looking to throw their support behind someone else, like Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

These voters do not sit in front of audiences, but the controversies that have emerged from them have entered the broader political spectrum.

“It’s really not that Trump voters sit down and listen to these hearings and be persuaded that Trump is bad. That’s not what’s happening,” Longwell says.

“The January 6 hearings are creating a lot of noise about everything Trump has people they don’t like defending. They want to talk now about why Biden is so bad, about inflation. They want to talk about why the world is doing so badly because of the “socialist democrats”. This is what Trump voters want to talk about.

Neil Newhouse, another Republican pollster, made the same point when asked how the recent FBI raid on Trump’s Florida mansion, where he allegedly stored classified material, might impact voters in November. , saying most Americans were more focused on the economy and “how Democrats’ overspending is exacerbating our economic slump.”

Asked about the impact the January 6 hearing might have on voters, he said: “Those who love Trump will use this as a reason why they should vote because they believe the Democrats are trying to make of the former president a scapegoat.”

He says those who dislike Trump “will use him as a reason to vote to show their displeasure with Trump’s perceived threat to democracy.”

“Bottom line, with the economy still struggling, crime on the rise, the issue of choice on the front lines, and immigration still on the minds of Americans, January 6 isn’t really going to play a major role in the way most Americans vote in November,” he adds.

Liz Cheney says there could be criminal penalties for Trump

Democrats have long lamented that very often little seems to stick with Trump, who consistently defended his actions on Jan. 6.

Although he was impeached twice by the House, was defeated by Joe Biden in 2020, and was the subject of separate investigations by the FBI and the New York State Attorney , Trump is actively preparing to run for the White House again.

Moreover, polls suggest he is a popular choice among many in his party.

A July poll by Morning Consult/Politico found that 66% of Republicans thought he should run for president in 2024, while 30% thought he shouldn’t, with those numbers just in slight decrease compared to March.

By contrast, only about 51% of Democrats think Biden should run for office — down from 66% in March — while up to 40% of voters think he shouldn’t.

It is typical for parties that gain control of the White House to lose control of one of the chambers in future terms.

The political news and analysis site Five Thirty Eight currently gives Democrats a 69% chance of retaining the Senate, but gives Republicans a 70% chance of winning the House.

Meanwhile, another poll for Washington Post-ABC News, found that with weeks to go before the midterm elections, Americans are divided nationally as they prepare to vote, with Republicans holding significant advantages on the economy, inflation and the crime, while Democrats are more reliable in handling issues such as abortion and climate change.

Cassidy Hutchinson, assistant to White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, made a series of revelations

(POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

There are those watching the hearings who believe they have provided a startling wake-up call to Americans about what is at stake in November.

Kristen Doerer, right-wing extremism expert and editor of Right Wing Watch, says the hearings showed Trump and his supporters carried out “a month-long conspiracy to overturn the election results and keep Trump in power.”

“voters” in the states where they lost.

“The last eight hearings have shown that this was a failed coup,” she said.

“I think we knew some of that, but what we didn’t know were the details.”

Doerer cites former Republican congressman Denver Riggleman, who served as an investigator for the committee.

In a forthcoming book and in an appearance on CBS 60 minutesRiggleman said the text messages from Meadows viewed by the committee “provide irrefutable, time-stamped evidence of a global conspiracy at all levels of government to nullify the election.”

Does she think those details are lost on people, and moreover, does she think the hearings will have an impact on the November election?

“I think the public is watching. They may not watch the entire audience and stick around for two or three hours, but they see the summary of it in their evening news programs,” she says.

Many Democrats will have already made up their minds, the hearing shows evidence of a coup attempt, she said, while many Republicans will think it is a witch hunt.

“But there are a number of independents,” she adds, “I think it really makes it clear to them that what happened was an attempt by Trump to stay in power — and that was illegal.”


The Independent Gt

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