Friday, July 30, 2021

The Start of the Jan. 6 Insurrection Inquiry Shows Its Stakes—And Its Shortcoming

 The insurrection was an act of political violence that grew from the conspiracy theories and lies promoted by the Trump campaign about the election outcome. “It’s not a secret that it was political. They literally were there to ‘stop the steal,’” said Officer Dunn. “When people say it shouldn’t be political, it was, and it is. There’s no getting around that.”

Outside the room, the GOP was proving Dunn’s point. In a press conference organized by GOP House leadership, Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, who replaced Cheney in that role thanks to her embrace of Trump’s election fictions, promoted a bizarre claim “that Nancy Pelosi bears responsibility, as Speaker of the House, for the tragedy that occurred on January 6.” This is false: the Speaker does not control Capitol security, and it was Trump, not Pelosi, who exhorted the mob to march on the building.

 Other Republicans spun different delusions. As the officers testified in Congress, GOP Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, Louie Gohmert and Paul Gosar held a competing press conference outside the Justice Department, demanding updates on so-called “political prisoners” arrested in the aftermath of the Capitol siege.

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