By Kara Thompson,
AFRO MDDC Intern
Since July 27, 2021, a select House of Representatives Committee has been investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol building. The committee is led by seven Democrats and two Republicans from the House.
Just a few weeks ago, on June 9, the committee began to share its findings with the public in televised hearings. The hearings featured testimonies, both live and via recorded video, from former White House staff. The former president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, can be heard giving her account of the events before, during and after the attack by domestic terrorists.
The first public hearing took place on June 9, and opening statements were given by the committee panel.
“January 6 and the lies that led to insurrection have put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk. The world is watching what we do here,” said Committee Chair Bennie Thompson in his opening statement.
Vice-Chair of the Committee Liz Cheney used her time to give an overview of the committee’s findings, and give an outline of what the hearings will cover.
“Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power. In our hearings, you will see evidence of each element of this plan,” she said.
The second day of hearings took place on June 13 and focused on evidence that former President Donald Trump knew he had lost the election, and yet still chose to spread the lie that the election was fraudulent.
“This morning we’ll tell the story of how Donald Trump lost an election—and knew he lost an election—and as a result of his loss, decided to wage an attack on our democracy. An attack on the American people, by trying to rob you of your voice in our democracy. And in doing so, lit the fuse that led to the horrific violence of Jan. 6, when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, sent by Donald Trump, to stop the transfer of power,” said Thompson at the beginning of day two of the hearings.
Although originally scheduled for June 15, the third day of hearings was postponed until June 16 due to technical issues. The focus was mostly on the pressure former Vice President Mike Pence felt to overturn the election and the danger that put him in.
“You will hear today that President Trump’s White House Counsel believed that Mike Pence did exactly the right thing on Jan. 6. As did others in the White House,” said Vice Chair Cheney. “Vice President Pence understood that his oath of office was more important than his loyalty to Donald Trump. He did his duty. President Trump unequivocally did not.”
The most recent hearing took place on June 21, where the committee related the pressure put on Pence by Trump to several other public servants, including his calls to Georgia officials, among other states.
“When state elections officials refused to stop the count, Donald Trump and his campaign tried to put pressure on them. When state executive officials refused to certify him the winner of states he lost, he applied more pressure. When state legislators refused to go back into session and appoint Trump electors, he amped up the pressure yet again,” said Representative Adam Schiff.
The fifth hearing was slated to take place on June 23, with two more taking place before the end of the month.
Committee hearings are available to watch live on the United States’ Capitol website. It is available only when committee hearings are in process, though past recordings can be accessed from the website and YouTube.
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