Some will try to overlook its value – and some already have.
The most notable grumble came, unsurprisingly, from the man the January 6 report and the entire investigation backing it was about: Donald J Trump.
“The FBI used Twitter and Facebook to stick the 2020 Elections on Biden. Nothing negative can be said about it and ONLY negative can be said about me, especially since it is about Hunter’s Laptop From Hell,” he wrote in one of his several posts on Truth Social. “They were illegally after ‘Trump’ with a level of brutality, hatred and yes, desperation never seen before in our country.”
There will be many Trump supporters who will agree with him. Some of these may take note of the publication of the report and proceed as it passes. Others will continue to falsely believe that the 2020 election was rigged, and will completely ignore it, being convinced by Trump that it is crooked and biased.
For others, those who are already convinced of Trump’s guilt, and especially those with an open mind, the January 6 committee’s report will be something worth taking the time to sit down and read. At the very least, these people will want to know about their main findings.
The report’s arrival is both familiar and deeply shocking, even to those of us who have followed the committee’s work, its many hearings, and its multiple witnesses closely and attentively.
Yes, we knew the ex-president was making a crazier than fantasy effort to retain power. We knew that this effort involved bullying election officials to “find” non-existent votes; a series of lawsuits in federal courts (which were soon dismissed); and a plan by John Eastman, a little-known law professor, to use a broad reading of the U.S. Constitution to have pro-Trump states send their voters to DC and have the vice president oversee such a process. If only he had the stomach to do it.
We also knew that the most striking and violent manifestation of this was on January 6, when Trump addressed his supporters near the White House with words about the need to “fight like hell” and then sent them to fulfill their mandate. war.
We knew all this. Still, it’s still shocking to read the 814-page report or the executive summary, which contains 11 recommendations on how to “support” the country’s institutions.
“The main cause of January 6 was one man, former President Donald Trump and many others followed,” the report says. “None of the events of January 6 would have happened without him.”
An extraordinarily strong aspect of the report – something that resonated in 10 hearings – is that the words we heard did not belong to Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi or any other person Republicans could easily dismiss as bias. Rather, it is made up of people from Trump’s own circle: his own lawyers, his own Secret Service agents. It also allows us to hear the voices of Trump supporters who believe so much in Trump’s lies and enough to go to Washington DC and help attack the US Capitol.
Mike Pence says January 6 accusations would be ‘horribly divisive’
One of them is Graydon Young, who testified against Stewart Rhodes and other members of the Oath Keepers militia group. Young, 54, from Florida, was also a member of the militia and broke into the Capitol after “getting really drunk” following allegations about “stolen elections” on Facebook.
“Unfortunately for me at the time, that meant what felt like a Bastille-type moment in history that was that big turning point in the French Revolution,” Young said, admitting to the conspiracy accusations. Board. “It was exciting. I felt like I would be an important or integral part of what happened.
Another striking aspect of the report is that it reveals how many people more or less supported efforts to reverse the 2020 election over the course of several weeks. This includes the so-called “adults” in the room, the likes of Mark Meadows and Mike Pence. It’s sobering to think that even after the January 6 violence, 147 Republicans, including Ted Cruz and Kevin McCarthy, voted to reject Biden’s win. It’s shocking to think that two years after that day of violence and chaos, Trump continues to be a Republican favorite to be the party’s next presidential nominee.
The committee filed four criminal charges against Trump and requested that its findings be investigated in conjunction with the investigation currently being conducted by the Justice Department-appointed special counsel Jack Smith. This has never happened before.
In ordinary times, it would be incredibly difficult for the Justice Department to bring charges against a former president, especially a candidate who wants to reclaim the White House. Most would quickly dismiss any attempt as a political attack. However, considering that we are entering an unprecedented period, such a move no longer seems impossible.
That Trump will eventually read this report in his prison cell is probably a Democratic fantasy. On the other hand, if it does, there’s a lot to read.