Many on the right have bashed the House Committee looking into the Jan. 6 Capitol riot for having too few Republicans and leaning heavily on edited videotapes of former Trump staffers. There’s so much editing, viewers don’t know what they’re missing.
The hearings nonetheless have been a success for Democrats, as they’ve put a harsh spotlight on the human cost of former President Donald Trump’s big lie — that he won in 2020.
Tuesday, Ohioan Stephen Ayres testified about how he got sucked into the madness after reading a Trump tweet that urged supporters to come to Washington, D.C., to protest the election results on Jan. 6.
Ayres now regrets that he joined the mob that entered the Capitol building.
What was he thinking? Ayres thought that Trump would march down the Washington Mall with the group, he testified, the election might be overturned, and Vice President Mike Pence might not certify the results.
If Trump had tweeted that people should go home a few hours earlier, Ayres offered, if Trump hadn’t waited to tell his supporters to go home until the evening, he probably would have skipped the march into the Capitol building.
In June, Ayres pleaded guilty to disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building. He’ll be sentenced in September.
The hearings also present a sharp contrast between Trump’s never-say-die defenders and seasoned GOP wisemen who urged Trump to admit defeat.
Bill Barr, Trump’s attorney general, Pat Cipollone, Trump’s White House counsel, and Eric Herschmann, who worked under Cipollone, recognized that Joe Biden won the election. They’re no longer welcome in Trump World.
So who did Trump have advising him on the election on the evening of Dec. 18, 2020?
Michael Flynn, the national security adviser Trump fired, attorney Sidney Powell, and the Overstock guy, former Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne, who somehow attended a meeting in the Oval Office.
Herschmann chided Powell for losing 60 out of 61 cases filed to contest the election results. She responded, “The judges are corrupt.”
He countered, “Every one of them is corrupt? Even the ones we appointed?”
Add GOP governors and secretaries of state who took their responsibilities to heart.
Polls show that a hefty majority of GOP voters do not believe Biden’s victory is legitimate.
I harken back to late 2020 when Republican operatives were telling me that they didn’t have evidence of fraud because they didn’t have time to collect it.
Well, it’s more than a year and a half later, and the apologists still don’t have a case for fraud. All they have are anecdotes that don’t hold up under scrutiny and couldn’t change the Electoral College math if they did. Oh, and their lack of trust in the people they put into office.
No fact will get in the way.
Debra J. Saunders is a fellow at the Discovery Institute’s Chapman Center for Citizen Leadership. Contact her at email@example.com.
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