The January 6 Committee continues to uncover extraordinarily valuable information. It is putting together a comprehensive picture of the disturbing events that led up to that day. And Liz Cheney has been exquisite. She has been clear that the attack on the Capitol was part of a larger effort by President Trump to overturn the election. She’s made the case that he was attempting to hinder Congress in carrying out its constitutional duties in an effort to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power. Watch her here. And here. She’s also clear-eyed that Trump’s elections lies continue to be a threat to the future of American democracy, and she is determined to meet the threat. I applaud all the work the commission is doing—and appreciate Cheney’s courage in particular.
But here’s the difficult part. Will it matter? It’s worth the effort. But on the most important points, this has all long been in the open. While we’re learning the details of various plots to keep him in power, we already knew the basics. Trump was consistent about this prior to the November 2020 election, just after the election, on January 6, and consistently since then. For forty-eight hours after the storming the Capitol, it looked like Republicans might actually begin to break with him. But those days are behind us. As Trump said in October: “The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” This has nearly become orthodoxy among Republicans. Maybe Cheney can help break that; it’s unlikely, but worth the fight.