Washington: A year after Donald Trump’s supporters attacked the US Capitol and closed Congress, Americans are still waiting for calculations about the country’s unprecedented challenge to democracy. Did it change from a simple protest to a riot? Riot? A coup attempt planned by Trump? The January 6, 2021 video witnesses the violence caused in the name of the former president.
Attackers can be seen beating guards with iron rods and clubs. A policeman is crushed by the doorway and barks in pain. The mob was dressed in the assault chanting “Hang Mike Pence,” and the Vice President and Democratic and Republican lawmakers fled. A woman was fatally shot in the hallway of the Capitol. Americans were stunned by hours of assault, and much of the world was accustomed to seeing the United States as a model of stable democracy.
A year later, after winning the presidential election in November 2020, a brave attempt to prevent Democrat Joe Biden from taking office requires accounting. “Even during the Civil War, the rebels did not break our parliamentary building, our democratic fortress,” Biden said in July. “This did not disagree. It was chaotic. It brought an existential crisis and a test of whether our democracy could survive.”
A year later, more than 700 people involved in the January 6 attack were charged with assaulting law enforcement officers and invading and blaspheming parliamentary halls. The investigation showed a coordinated effort by Trump and his allies to prevent Pence from leading Congress in recognizing Biden as a legally elected president. The looming question is how the attack and Trump’s efforts are related.
A special committee in the House of Representatives is investigating, but the deeper it gets, the more sensitive it becomes. More turmoil by seeking unprecedented criminal charges from the former president if he finds evidence that Trump has deliberately instigated an attack or attempted to maintain power illegally. Should I take the risk? For the first anniversary of the attack on Thursday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi ordered “solemn compliance” in parliament.
Trump, who remains the Republican’s most powerful figure, says he is planning a January 6th memorial ceremony in Palm Beach, Florida, focusing on the 2020 “illegal” presidential election. According to fraudulent polls, about two-thirds of Republican voters believe in him. And Republican lawmakers are aware that Trump can achieve or defeat them politically, and they are lined up almost evenly. Even Pence does not oppose him. Instead, the party aims to regain power in the 2022 parliamentary elections and in 2024, when Trump may run for president again.
Coordinated efforts to invalidate elections
The sequence of events up to January 6, 2021 has become clearer. A few months before the vote, Trump declared it a scam and wouldn’t accept losing. He refused to make concessions on the night of the election when Biden’s victory was apparent. For six weeks, Trump and his supporters sought to reverse the number of votes cast in major states through proceedings and pressure on leaders.
When that effort failed, they set their goal on January 6, when Pence was to convene two houses in Congress to prove Biden’s victory. One point of the attack was to summon Trump supporters to Washington. “A big protest in Washington, DC on January 6th,” Trump tweeted. “Be there and be wild!” Another, based on questionable legal justification planned and circulated by Trump’s ally, his Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, and some Republican lawmakers. It was to put pressure on Pence to stop the certification.
These two efforts merged on January 6th. As Congress was preparing to meet, Trump told believers in the White House rally that the election was “illegal” and “never conceded.” He said Pence was the key. “If Mike Pence does the right thing, we win the election.” He urged the crowd to go down to Congress and “fight like hell.” Thousands of people marched to the Capitol, including members of radical groups called Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, many wearing combat-style bulletproof vests and helmets.
At a nearby hotel, Trump’s allies ran a “war room” to keep in touch with street people, the Oval Office of Trump, and Republicans in Congress. The next violent attack closed the Capitol and suspended certification. It fled lawmakers, killed five and injured the score. It took more than six hours for police and federal forces to regain control and eliminate the attackers. Finally, early in the morning of January 7, Pence officially recognized Biden as president-elect.
Hurry to complete the probe
Many believed that the impeachment of Trump over the next two weeks and Biden’s inauguration on January 20 would leave the entire episode to history. But Trump didn’t leave. He secured power over the Republicans, rejected all criticisms, and promised a comeback. Surprisingly, Democrats are demanding public calculations.
Democratic lawmaker Bennie Thompson, who heads the House of Representatives investigation, said: The Commission, which has already interviewed about 300 people, needs to complete its work before the November 2022 midterm elections, when Republicans can regain control of the House of Representatives and sniff out investigations.
In December, Commission Vice-Chairman Liz Cheney, one of the few Republicans to support the investigation, revealed that the panel’s line of sight was on Trump. “In the history of the United States, there has never been a more powerful case of Congressional investigation into the actions of the former president,” said Chaney. “We cannot give in to President Trump’s efforts to hide what happened.”
Experts say exposing the truth about January 6 poses a great political risk to the Biden administration. However, leaving them buried is also dangerous. “January 6 was a clear and present danger,” William Galston, a political scientist at the Brookings Institution, told AFP. “Efforts to nullify the outcome of democratic elections have failed,” he said. “Is that true three years from now? It’s not so clear, because those who decided to negate the impact of the 2020 elections learned a lot.” – AFP.
https://news.kuwaittimes.net/website/a-year-after-capitol-siege-us-democracy-still-faces-test/ A year after the siege of the Capitol, democracy in the United States is still facing challenges