It seems abundantly clear after the first day of the Jan. 6 committee hearings that GOP Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and the rest have one central goal: prevent Donald Trump from ever serving as president again.
We’ve gone through this drill before with the second impeachment of Trump — the one that concluded after he left office.
Cheney and the only other “Republican” on the Jan. 6 committee, Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, were among 10 members of the party who voted to impeach Trump then, and not surprisingly, their views haven’t changed.
On Thursday night, Cheney charged, “President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.”
“President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” Jan. 6 select committee Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney says of the U.S. Capitol attack. pic.twitter.com/KEK5wuuRnK
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 10, 2022
That old saw the congresswoman has used before isn’t accurate.
For one, it assumes Americans could not think for themselves and reach the conclusion there were problems with the 2020 election.
The attorneys general of these states identified the mass mail-out of ballot applications, the elimination of signature requirements, changing ballot submission deadlines and the use of a large number of unmanned drop boxes, among other issues that raised serious doubts about the integrity of their elections.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Texas and its co-plaintiffs did not have standing to sue other states concerning how they conducted their own elections.
The high court did not actually look at the other legal merits of the case, which was true of many other challenges brought.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll released on the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 incursion this year found only 20 percent of respondents said they are “very confident” in the integrity of the U.S. electoral system overall.
Another 39 percent said they are “somewhat confident,” 27 percent “not so confident,” and 14 percent “not confident at all.”
So 80 percent of those surveyed had at least some level of concern about integrity of our elections.
When asked whether Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election was legitimate or not legitimate, 33 percent responded they felt Biden’s victory was “not legitimate.”
Trump certainly had a big megaphone while serving as president, but people’s concerns have not faded, even as his chance to address the public has diminished considerably.
There were other reasons voters had their doubts.
The Wall Street Journal reported that 19 of the 20 bellwether counties nationwide that accurately predicted the winner of the presidential election from 1980 to 2016 voted for Trump, yet Democrat Joe Biden won.
Republicans gained 12 seats in the House of Representatives, even as the top of the ticket lost.
Save 1992, when independent Ross Perot and Republican George H.W. Bush split the right-of-center vote, allowing Democrat Bill Clinton to win with less than a majority, that has never happened.
In November 2020, dozens of “Stop the Steal” rallies were organized around the country, The New York Times reported at the time.
Trump did not take part in these events.
At the Stop the Steal rally he did attend on Jan. 6 in D.C., he called for peaceful protest — the opposite of inciting a mob.
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard,” Trump said.
Cheney seemed to undermine her own argument that Trump incited the mob, by saying the incursion was pre-planned by many.
“The attack on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot. Intelligence available before January 6th identified plans to quote, ‘invade the Capitol, occupy the Capitol,’ and take other steps to halt Congress’s count of electoral votes that day,” she said.
“The attack on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot.”
Vice Chair Liz Cheney outlines seditious conspiracy charges against some Jan. 6 attack participants and says the hearings will detail specifics. https://t.co/W2f3oCDYwh #January6thCommitteeHearings pic.twitter.com/cjkKX4UWUU
— ABC News (@ABC) June 10, 2022
So Liz, Trump did not incite a riot merely by questioning the integrity of the election.
Democrats did that in spades after his 2016 win.
The 45th president simply encouraged those present on Jan. 6 to exercise their constitutional right to peacefully petition their government for redress of grievances.
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