Mass shootings, a pandemic, sky-high prices at the gas pump, toxic political and cultural debates. Americans are processing all of the above. And now this: Beginning in prime time on Thursday, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is setting out to establish the historical record of that day. After more than 100 subpoenas, 1,000 interviews, and 100,000 documents, the committee has a story to tell in hearings that open this week. A story for the ages, it's been said. The open question, per the AP: How much will the country care?
The committee's examination of the actions of then-President Donald Trump and all the president's men and women, more aggressive than any inquiry before it, has produced a multitude of plotlines that together will tell the tale of a violent uprising. Dozens of the insurrectionists have been brought to justice, many of them being convicted or pleading guilty to serious crimes. But the committee's goal is larger: Who in a position of power should also be held to account? In regard to Trump himself, the key questions are: What did the president do, and when did he do it?
One aim is to establish whether Trump's acts are criminal, as one judge has mused they may be, and whether that would prompt a politically fraught Justice Department prosecution of an ex-president. Multiple hearings will be conducted throughout the month, and the first begins at 8pm Eastern on Thursday, per the Washington Post. The hearings are expected to be livestreamed and should be easy to find at C-SPAN and elsewhere. Major networks plan to air at least part of Thursday's hearing as well.
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