It’s no secret that Donald Trump and the January 6 committee haven’t seen eye to eye. The committee was created to investigate the role of Trump and his administration in the riot at the US Capitol on January 6. Trump has consistently denied any responsibility for the riot and has even gone so far as to call the investigation a “witch hunt.”
After the rioters cleared the Capitol, Congress resumed the session and certified Joe Biden as the president. In the wake of the riot, many members of Congress called for an investigation into Donald Trump’s role in the events.
So, what exactly is the January 6 committee, and what has their investigation uncovered? And how is Trump responding to the impending vote?
Keep reading to discover all you need about the Donald Trump vs. January 6 committee showdown.
What Is the January 6 Committee?
The January 6 committee is a bipartisan group of 10 lawmakers tasked with investigating the riot at the US Capitol on January 6. Members of the January 6 committee are:
- Bennie Thompson, Chair, Mississippi
- Zoe Lofgren, California
- Adam Schiff, California
- Pete Aguilar, California
- Stephanie Murphy, Florida
- Jamie Raskin, Maryland
- Elaine Luria, Virginia
- Liz Cheney, Vice Chair, Wyoming
- Adam Kinzinger, Illinois
The committee got tasked with conducting a thorough investigation of the attack, including the planning and preparation for the attack, the execution of the attack, and the response to the attack. The committee will also recommend preventing future attacks on the Capitol and the democratic process.
Arguments for a January 6 Commission
Arguments for the January 6 commission include:
To Understand What Happened and To Prevent Future Attacks
Congress members calling for a January 6 commission argue that such a body must fully understand what happened that day and prevent future attacks.
They point to the fact that, although an investigation occurred following the September 11 attacks, there are still many unanswered queries about what happened and why.
Similarly, they believe that a January 6 commission would help shed light on what happened, why it happened, and how to prevent such an attack from happening again.
To Hold Trump Accountable
Another argument in favor of a January 6 commission is that it would help to hold Donald Trump accountable for his role in the riot.
Critics have long accused Trump of inciting the riot by repeatedly claiming that the election got rigged by him and calling on his supporters to “fight like hell” to stop the certification of Biden’s victory.
They believe that a commission would help investigate these claims and, if they are authentic, could lead to Trump getting held accountable for his actions.
To Unify the Country
Finally, some have argued that a January 6 commission could help unify the country by bringing Republicans and Democrats together to investigate the events of that day.
They believe that such a body could help bridge the partisan divide exacerbated by the riot and could help to build trust between the two parties.
Arguments against A January 6 Commission
Arguments against the January 6 commission include:
Critics of a January 6 commission argue that such a body is unnecessary and would serve as a means to further the political goals of Democrats.
They point out that there have already been several investigations into the riot, including by the FBI and the Justice Department.
Furthermore, they argue that Democrats are already using the riot to attack Trump and his supporters and that a commission would be an extension.
It’s a Waste of Time and Money
Another argument against a January 6 commission is that it would waste time and money.
Critics believe there is no need for another investigation into the riot, and the resources used to fund such a body would be better spent elsewhere.
It Would Get Used To Attacking Trump and His Supporters
Finally, some argue that a January 6 commission would get accustomed to attacking Trump and his supporters.
They believe that Democrats would use the body to try to discredit Trump and damage the Republican Party heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
What has the January 6 committee uncovered?
Throughout their investigation, the January 6 committee has uncovered several damning details about Trump’s role in the riot.
Perhaps the most damning testimony came from former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who testified that Trump had explicitly told him not to investigate the rioters. This directly contradicts Trump’s claim that he wanted the rioters to get probed and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Rosen wasn’t the only one to testify against Trump. Multiple law enforcement officials testified that Trump did nothing to stop the riot, even though he was fully aware of what was happening. Trump administration officials also testified that Trump told them to “stand back and stand by” when they asked for help stopping the riot.
Trump’s own words have also come back to haunt him. In the days after the riot, Trump released a series of statements in which he downplayed the violence and praised the rioters. He even said that the rioters were “very special” people in one statement.
All of this evidence paints an obvious picture: Trump is answerable for the riot at the US Capitol, and he should be held accountable for his actions.
How Is Trump Responding?
Trump has dubbed the investigation a “witch hunt” and has consistently denied any responsibility for the riot.
Trump has also publicly been attacking the members of the January 6 committee, Democrats and Republicans. He has accused the committee of being “one-sided” and claimed they are only interested in “score-settling.”
Despite Trump’s protests, it’s clear that the January 6 committee has uncovered a significant amount of evidence against him.
The big question that the January 6 committee is attempting to answer is what role Donald Trump played in the riot. Did he incite violence with his rhetoric? Or was he trying to protect the election results?
Trump has denied any wrongdoing, calling the investigation a “witch hunt.” He also said he did not know the rioters would storm the Capitol Building.
There is still a lot of evidence that needs to be gathered, and many witnesses need to be interviewed. It will likely be months before we have a clear picture of what happened and who is to blame.