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A right-wing mob, fueled by then-President Donald Trump's lies about voter fraud, violently rioted at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., in an attempt to prevent lawmakers from certifying the 2020 presidential election results in a joint session of the 117th Congress on January 6, 2021. (Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Three Key Roles The Jan. 6 Committee Should Play In Its Upcoming Public Hearings

The 2022 congressional elections could serve as proving grounds for attempting to steal the 2024 presidential election.

Fred Wertheimer

 by Medium

As we head into the 2022 congressional elections, the implications of Trump's Big Lie, the January 6 violent insurrection at the Capitol, and the voter suppression and election sabotage laws that followed, are coming into major play.

The fact that no one to this day has produced even a shred of evidence that fraud impacted the election results is irrelevant to Trump as he continues to tell lie after lie that the election was stolen from him.

In early June, the House Jan. 6 Committee is expected to begin critically important public hearings to build the historical record of the circumstances and events surrounding the efforts to overturn the presidential election, and the January 6 attack on the Capitol.

There are three key roles that the House Jan. 6 Committee should play in carrying out its mission.

First, the Committee should present to the public the evidence it has found that former President Trump and others engaged in criminal conduct.

Federal District Court Judge David Carter recently issued an opinion stating, "[T]he Court finds it more likely than not that President Trump corruptly attempted to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress on January 6, 2021."

In other words: more likely than not, Trump engaged in criminal activity.

The Committee, according to CNN, has already collected nearly 10,000 documents and conducted more than 860 depositions and interviews, including with Trump family members and his close associates.

The upcoming public hearings present the venue to provide the public, Members of Congress, and the Justice Department with any evidence it has gathered that shows former President Trump engaged in criminal conduct in connection with the effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The Justice Department will determine whether to indict and prosecute Trump for committing crimes. The most important role for the Committee to play is to gather evidence and help build a case to the extent that the evidence shows criminal conduct occurred.

Second, the events leading up to and including January 6 represent an attempted political coup—the first in the 233-year history of our government—and the Committee must document the effort and the roles played by Trump and his associates in the attempt to overthrow a duly elected President.

The fact that no one to this day has produced even a shred of evidence that fraud impacted the election results is irrelevant to Trump as he continues to tell lie after lie that the election was stolen from him.

Third, the Committee should make legislative and policy recommendations that Congress can implement to help protect the integrity of our elections and to close legal loopholes that open the door to the presidential choice of the voters being negated. Congress must act to help ensure that an attempted coup in the future cannot succeed.

If past is prologue, as Shakespeare tells us, we must be ready to fight against efforts to steal the Fall's Senate and House elections.

The Trump-inspired election sabotage laws passed by GOP-controlled state legislatures provide various opportunities for Trump supporters to attempt to rig congressional election results. The 2022 congressional elections, furthermore, could serve as proving grounds for attempting to steal the 2024 presidential election.

There are many groups today organizing to protect the integrity of the 2022 congressional elections. The battles will take place in the states and local jurisdictions and will present a classic case where, in the words of Thomas Jefferson, eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

This year's elections are not just going to be a battle between Republicans and Democrats. The battle will also be between Trump acolytes and fair election supporters over protecting the integrity of our elections and our democracy.

© 2021 Medium
Fred Wertheimer

Fred Wertheimer

Fred Wertheimer is the founder and president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to promote government accountability and integrity.

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