Mississippi Congressman Bennie Thompson, chairman of the House January 6 Committee, said on ABC News yesterday that last January’s insurrection at the Capitol wasn’t just a spontaneous riot; it was a “coordinated effort… to undermine the election“:
THOMPSON: Well — well, that it appeared to be a coordinated effort on the part of a number of people to undermine the election of November, last November.
The reason I say that is, it could be people in the executive branch. It could be people in the Department of Defense, some state characters, some nonprofits, and some very wealthy individuals who wanted to try to finance this undermining of our democracy.
And what people saw on January 6 with their own eyes was not just something created at one moment. It was clearly, what we believe, based on the information we have been able to gather, a coordinated activity on the part of a lot of people [Rep. Bennie Thompson, interview with George Stephanopoulus, transcript, ABC: This Week, 2022.01.02].
Wyoming Congresswoman Liz Cheney is also on the January 6 Committee and reviewing the thousands of pages of documents that have come to her and Thompson and their truth-seeking colleagues. She says the evidence shows Donald Trump watched the violence against Congress on TV and waited to see if it would work in his favor:
The committee has firsthand testimony now that he was sitting in the dining room next to the Oval Office watching the attack on television as the assault on the Capitol occurred.
We know, as you know well, that the briefing room at the White House is just a mere few steps from the Oval Office. The president could have at any moment, walked those very few steps into the briefing room, gone on live television, and told his supporters who were assaulting the Capitol to stop.
He could have told them to stand down. He could have told them to go home — and he failed to do so. It’s hard to imagine a more significant and more serious dereliction of duty than that.
…We know as he was sitting there in the dining room next to the Oval Office, members of his staff were pleading with him to go on television, to tell people to stop. We know Leader McCarthy was pleading with him to do that.
We know members of his family, we know his daughter. We have firsthand testimony that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to please stop this violence.
Any man who would not do so, any man who would provoke a violent assault on the Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes, any man who would watch television as police officers were being beaten, as his supporters were invading the Capitol of the United States, is clearly unfit for future office, clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again [Rep. Liz Cheney, transcript, ABC: This Week, 2022.01.02].
Cheney says she agrees with Hillary Clinton that allowing Trump to run again and win the Presidency [Clinton’s words] “could be the end of our democracy.” Cheney lays out the stark choice her party faces: defend the Constitution and real conservatism or bow to the cult of Trump:
But the Republican Party has to make a choice. We can either be loyal to our Constitution or loyal to Donald Trump, but we cannot be both. And the nation needs a Republican Party that is based on substance and values and principles, and — and we’ve got to get back to that if we want to get this nation back on track. But, fundamentally, at the end of the day, we can’t be a party that’s based on lies. We’ve got to be based on a foundation of truth and fidelity to the rule of law. And, in my view, the most conservative of conservative principles is fidelity to the Constitution [Cheney, 2022.01.02].
The Constitution or Trump: which do you choose, Republicans?