Opinion: The question the GOP should answer about January 6th

To be clear, it is accurate to frame the question to include the word “terrorists”, given that FBI Director Christopher Wray described the Capitol riot as “domestic terrorism” in Senate testimony. The federal law defining domestic terrorism also supports this, as the January 6 events involved “acts dangerous to human life” intended to “influence government policy by threat or coercion”. Yet there are GOP elected officials who downplayed the rebellion and attempted to whitewash – for example, Rep. Andrew Clyde, surprisingly comparing the January 6 attack to “a typical tourist trip” at the Capitol.
Democratic Rep. Benny Thompson, chairman of the House committee investigating the Capitol riots, said Sunday on “Meet the Press” that the panel is working to determine whether any members of Congress have in any way been involved in the attack. of “help”. If any of the GOP representatives attempting to rewrite history are eventually forced to testify, the first question they should be asked is: “Are you with us or with the terrorists?”
In fact, when you look at the details surrounding the riots and how former President Donald Trump’s role came to be, I submit that anyone who supports Trump should be asked point blank whose side they are on. . That’s especially true when GOP Representative Liz Cheney confirmed on Sunday that the “first testimony” from the House committee investigating the attack was that Trump “was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office and watching the attack on television.” “And did nothing to end it. As Cheney explained, “his daughter Ivanka also went to at least twice to ask him to stop this violence,” yet she decided not to act.
As a reminder, Trump very publicly told his loyal fans to stay in Washington, D.C. on January 6, promising it would be “wild.” And on that fateful day when thousands of people gathered and chanted “Fight for Trump,” he told them, “We’re going down to the Capitol,” falsely promising that he would be with them. Trump worked the crowd into fever pitch with lines like, “You’ll have an illegitimate president. That’s what you’ll have. And we can’t let that happen,” a sentiment he echoed more than once in the speech. .
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After that we all saw the attack on our capitol. People wearing Trump campaign paraphernalia – some armed with bats and other weapons like pepper spray – surrounded our Capitol, attacking some police officers and seriously injuring them.
The DOJ has since indicted more than 725 people in connection with the rebellion. And despite lies from GOP elected officials such as Sen. Ron Johnson, who claimed that “overall it was a peaceful protest,” more than 75 individuals were charged with “using a deadly or dangerous weapon or causing grievous bodily injury to an officer.” has been applied. .” In addition, some of the January 6 attackers were carrying firearms with them when they were arrested – while prosecutors have alleged that others had guns.
But perhaps even more alarming than the distortions of some GOP leaders is a new CBS poll in which many Republicans view the January 6 attack in a positive light. While more than half of all Americans view the January 6 raiders’ actions as an attempt to “reverse the election,” the poll found, 56% of Republicans responded that the riot was a “defense of liberties.” And while only 26% of Americans overall said they see the attackers’ actions as “patriotic,” when broken up by the party, nearly 50% of Republicans said they do.
Think about that for a moment. Most Republicans watched the January 6 attack, which wounded more than 100 policemen, members of Congress hid in fear and desecrated our Capitol — all on Trump’s bald-lying 2020 election fraud. was prophesied about – as an act of ” patriotism” and “defense of liberty”.
Some Democratic officials are now debating whether it is sensible politics to talk about the January 6 attack and the threat to our democracy from this version of the GOP. Forget voting and political attitude. It’s about saving our republic. For that, it is time that Democrats put pressure on the GOP to tell our fellow Americans whether they are with us or the terrorists. We all deserve to know the answer to this question.
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