Rep. Adam Kinzinger (Illinois), one of two Republicans on the House Jan. 6 Committee, recently released a letter sent to his home threatening to kill him, his wife and 5-month-old child.
The lingering threat of violence was at the heart of Tuesday’s select committee hearing, which explored the campaign of President Donald Trump and his attorneys to pressure state lawmakers and election officials to overturn the results. elections – and the harassment, intimidation and threats they have put in place. stopped.
Shaye Moss, a Georgia campaign worker who, along with her mother, was falsely accused by Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani of wrongdoing, testified about how Trump supporters broke into her grandmother’s house to carry out a “citizen’s arrest”, and how their constant threats and vile racist attacks caused her to become a recluse and gain 60 pounds. Her mother had to leave her home for two months at the request of the FBI.
Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers, a Republican, testified about the man with a gun who threatened his neighbor and people who came to his house with “vans with videos of me, proclaiming me pedophile, pervert and corrupt politician,” upsetting his wife and terminally ill daughter.
Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, also a Republican, testified about his email and cellphone doxing, ‘sexualized attacks’ on his wife of 40 years and the burglary of his dead son’s widow’s home .
Warned the vice-chairman of the panel, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.): “We can’t let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence.”
The democracy that America has cultivated for 230 years is fading away, leaving us in danger of becoming a system in which political differences and elections are not resolved by the rule of law but “decided in the streets”, as Greg Jacob, former Vice President Mike Pence’s chief counsel said so in his testimony about the January 6, 2021 insurrection.
We didn’t get to this precarious moment just because of Trump. Trump couldn’t have happened if Fox News and Republican elites hadn’t normalized his threats against Democratic traditions. Now they continue to do so with their flippant dismissal of the jaw-dropping revelations from the January 6 hearings.
Conservative elites surely know that we are headed for instability and violence. Yet, rather than fight the threat, they are once again excusing Trump’s anarchy by resorting to tribalism: there’s nothing new here. The needle does not move.
That’s been Fox News’ refrain since it began its January 6 hearings coverage. “It’s not going to move … the needle one bit,” Fox News contributor Joe Concha said on air before the hearings began. “Democrats are grilled midterm.”
Raymond Arroyo told Laura Ingraham of Fox News, “I don’t think that moves the needle for the American voter.”
“Did that move the needle?” asked Fox News host Shannon Bream.
“I kinda doubt it,” Fox News’ Martha MacCallum replied.
“When it comes to moving the needle,” curator Katie Pavlich told Fox News, those who revisit Jan. 6 “don’t win.”
The pendulum of history is swinging toward autocracy, at home and abroad, and Republican elites are chattering about the “needle” of short-term partisan gain.
It’s reductive and irresponsible. Trump’s top former advisers have detailed how the former president knew he lost the election but carried out an illegal coup attempt. As legendary conservative jurist J. Michael Luttig testified: “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy.
Now Trump claims the Jan. 6 investigation is “fake and bogus” and that his former advisers’ testimony is “falsified.” And Trump’s allies and supporters are helping him get away with it, again.
In doing so, they effectively guarantee more violence. And no side is safe from the growing threat, as revealed by the arrest of a man who planned to assassinate Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.
At Tuesday’s hearing, the commission also heard from Gabriel Sterling, the Georgia election official who, furious at threats against election officials, lashed out at Trump and other politicians in a December 2020 video. : “Someone is going to get shot. Someone is going to get killed. … All of you who haven’t said a goddamn word are complicit in it.
And all those who are silent now are complicit in ensuring that the horrors of January 6 will happen again.