Jan. 6 hearing: what we learned and what it means

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FILE - In this file photo from Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021, Trump supporters beset a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

FILE - In this file photo from Wednesday Jan. 6, 2021, Trump supporters beset a police barrier at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

After over a year of a mostly closed-door investigation, the Jan. 6 House select committee televised the first in a series of public hearings Thursday evening. Since the Capitol attack, committee members have conducted over a thousand interviews and compiled over 100,000 documents, emails and text messages.  Chairman Bennie Thompson has said these hearings will be an opportunity to “uncover the facts, tell the American people the full story of January 6th and ensure that nothing like that day happens again.” U.S. Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was injured in the attack, and a British documentary filmmaker who was covering the Proud Boys were among those who testified.

This hour, what did we learned from Thursday’s hearing and what case is the committee trying to make? We’ll look at the question of coordination and culpability in interfering with the 2020 election certification among the former President, his aides, Stop the Steal activists, and extremist groups. We’ll also discuss comparisons to the Watergate hearings, and if these hearings could alter American opinion.

Guests

Ankush Khardori, a former federal prosecutor and contributing editor to Politico

Julian Zelizer, Princeton University professor of history and public affairs and editor of the new book, The Presidency of Donald Trump: A First Historical Assessment. @julianzelizer

We recommend

Politico, Opinion | 7 Big Questions for the Jan. 6 Committee – “Did White House or Trump campaign officials coordinate with militia leaders, and if so, what did they know about the possibility for violence?”

CNN, Opinion: History offers a surprising warning about January 6 hearing drama – “While the hearings might shock a nation that has become numb to Trumpian chaos, they are unlikely to change the basic political dynamics that have thus far protected many Trump officials and supporters from being held accountable for what happened that day.”

Just Security, Primer on the Hearings of the January 6th Select Committee – “Critically, “January 6th” has, like “Watergate,” become a useful shorthand. But as with Watergate, January 6th represents neither a single nor isolated event, but instead a much broader and more multifaceted effort to stop the transfer of power.

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