John Colson: Jan. 6 hearings predicted to be ‘explosive’

The Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., will begin holding its public hearing this week, and everyone who cares about the future of the U.S. experiment in representative democracy has a duty to tune in and pay attention.

The hearings, which open at 6 p.m. MST on Thursday, are intended to shed light on the planning and participation of politicians and others who contributed to the infamous Jan. 6 insurrection, which involved storming the U.S. Capitol, resulted in the deaths of police officers and insurrectionists alike, and represented the most heinous attack on the nation’s seat of power since the British invasion known as the War of 1812.

That war, which came less than 30 years after the United States of America won its independence from Britain, was fought for a variety of reasons, such as suppressive trade tactics against the U.S. by Britain, and Britain’s interest in recapturing the former American colonies or, at least, holding onto Canada in the face of U.S. interest in expanding its territory to the west and the north.

The insurrection on Jan. 6, of course, was nothing more than an attempt by the supporters of Donald J. Trump to overturn the 2000 election, which Trump clearly lost to our current president, Joe Biden.

Keeping Trump in power was the goal, as set by his Republican party acolytes, and was to be accomplished either by hook or by crook, as the saying goes (for an amusing etymological romp some rainy afternoon, look up the origin of that phrase).

The American electorate has a memory about as reliable as that of a hamster on an exercise wheel, which is unfortunate because the horror of that day appears to have receded in the months since it took place.

Oh, right, there is a huge swath of mentally challenged U.S. citizens for whom the only horror was in the fact that the insurrection failed, Trump was deservedly and summarily kicked out of the White House, and the Republican party was relegated to minority status by the voters (for now, at least).

The committee investigating that infamy of that day has been quietly gathering evidence, testimony and errant details over the course of the past year or so, and according to a summary by the CNN news team, what comes out at the hearings will be “explosive” and convincing to even our cynical, rather wildly uninformed electorate.

According to reporting by a CNN commentator, the news from the hearings will “blow the roof off the House,” according to a statement by Democrat Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who sits on the Jan. 6 committee.

As has been reported far and wide, the committee has done a pretty good job of keeping the lid on what it has learned in roughly 1,000 interviews, testimony behind closed doors and from other sources as it went through its deliberations.

In an advisory announcement released last week, the committee declared: “The committee will present previously unseen material documenting January 6th, receive witness testimony, preview additional hearings, and provide the American people a summary of its findings about the coordinated, multi-step effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent the transfer of power.”

Nothing terribly explosive there, but tension is sure to be high as the committee opens its first hearing and at subsequent hearings, in a schedule that reportedly is still being hammered out and which remains “a work in progress,” according to the CNN report.

And while the witness list is being kept under wraps, there have been reports that at least three people close to former Vice President Mike Pence are expected to testify, perhaps on opening day.

It was Pence, alert readers might recall, who on Jan. 6, 2001, declined to follow Trump’s orders to refuse to certify the 2020 election results (normally a rather minor happenstance in our electoral process), as Trump’s minions strove to convince several states to override Biden’s victory by various shady and illegal means and force a Trump victory either in the Electoral College or in Congress (which at the time was still firmly in Republican hands.)

So, dear readers and voters, get ready for a televised circus of unprecedented dimensions, try to set aside any time you can to keep up with the revelations, and pay attention.

The future of our representative democracy may well hings on the outcome of these hearings.