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  • Writer's pictureClaire Lee

Recapping the January 6th Hearings

What are the January 6th Hearings?

The January 6th Hearings are a series of hearings led by the House Select Committee, made up of state representatives, attorneys, and lawyers, to investigate former President Donald Trump’s actions after his loss in the 2020 Presidential Election. Mr. Trump is accused of attempting to overturn the election results through false allegations about the election, and stimulating the notorious Capitol Riot on January 6th, 2021.

June 9 - Hearing 1

In the first hearing, the House Committee framed the Jan. 6 event as an attempted coup. Testimonies were presented from witnesses such as Mr. Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and Mr. Trump’s Attorney General, and Bill Barr. Barr testified that he told Mr. Trump his allegations of election fraud were “Bull****”. Ivanka Trump agreed, saying, “I respect Attorney General Barr… so I accepted what he was saying.”

Officer Caroline Edwards, who was present during the riot, called the Jan. 6 event “a war scene” and “carnage”. About 140 officers present were injured, with two officers committing suicide after the riot, raising questions if the violence was unwarranted.

June 13 - Hearing 2

Barr testified Mr. Trump was “detached” from reality as the House Committee traced the timeline of what it described as Mr. Trump’s “big lie”: claiming that election fraud had been committed against him, thus losing him the election.

From this hearing, the committee showed how Mr. Trump ignored professional advice to admit defeat. Instead, he spun conspiracy theories, persistent to uncover flaws in the election. Barr described the moment as a game of “whack-a-mole”: when a theory was refuted, Mr. Trump would come up with another.

June 16 - Hearing 3

Conservative lawyer John Eastman testified that despite knowledge of its illegality, Mr. Trump pressured former Vice President Mike Pence to overturn the election results. Upon Pence’s refusal, the committee showed that Mr. Trump fuelled the Capitol Riot. His tweets condemning Mr. Pence were linked to the mob of Trump supporters yelling, “Hang Mike Pence!” in the Capitol, endangering Mr. Pence, who was inside the establishment.

June 21 - Hearing 4

The committee highlighted how between the 2020 election results and the Jan. 6th riots, Mr. Trump attempted to coerce state officials to nullify his defeat and was involved in a scheme to create fake voters.

Depositions showed that Mr. Trump and his allies threatened state lawmakers and election officials who refused to invalidate his loss— a threat to the administration of fair elections and the democratic system.

June 23 - Hearing 5

The committee presented evidence that at least six Republican members of Congress sought preemptive pardons in wake of their support for Mr. Trump to stay in power. Additionally, the committee demonstrated Mr. Trump’s illicit attempts to use the national law enforcement and the Justice Department to disseminate claims of election fraud. He was quoted to request of them, “Why don’t you guys just seize [the voting] machines?”.

It was further revealed that Mr. Trump only backed down after knowledge of a potential mass resignation in the Justice Department.

In the fifth hearing, the Committee portrayed the Justice Department as unyielding to a power-hungry President, saving the United States from a breakdown of its democracy.

June 28 - Hearing 6

A surprise appearance was made by a vital witness, Cassidy Hutchinson, who was present at key meetings and conversations as Mr. Trump clutched onto power. In her testimony, she claimed that White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows reported Mr. Trump’s approval to his supporters’ chants of “Hang Mike Pence!”, expressing Mr. Trump’s desire to join his supporters during the Capitol Riot.

Ms. Hutchinson provided invaluable details to the committee as Mr. Meadows refused to cooperate with the authorities to testify at the hearings.

July 12 - Hearing 7

The committee presented that Mr. Trump had planned the Capitol Riot, which was revealed through text messages by riot protestors.

“POTUS is going to have us march there [the Capitol],” Kylie Jane Kremer wrote on January 4th. She was an organiser of the Jan. 6 rallies.

Drafted Tweets obtained from documents in the National Archive showed Mr. Trump writing, “I will be making a Big Speech at 10AM on January 6th at the Ellipse (South of the White House). Please arrive early, massive crowds expected. March to the Capitol after. Stop the Steal!!”

July 21 - Hearing 8

The committee focused on the testimony of former administration officials. They revealed that 187 minutes of inaction was committed by Mr. Trump during the Capitol Riot, ignoring pleas to call off the mob, and denying the truth of the election on January 7th. Witnesses reported that the “president didn’t want anything to be done” about the riot. The New York Times called it a “complete dereliction” of a President’s duty to protect their people.

After Effects

In a Washington Post poll after the riot, one in three participants revealed that they believed violence against the government to be justified. Mr. Trump showed that dishonesty and violence are potential methods to usurp positions of power, threatening the peace and safety of citizens of the United States. Furthermore, the riot demonstrated an attempt to strip 81 million Biden supporters of their right to vote, silencing their voices.

Watch all of the congressional hearings about the Jan. 6 Capitol Riots:

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