Who are the central characters in the January 6 committee sessions?
Testimony from a slew of witnesses has helped paint a picture of the efforts to overturn the 2020 election which led to the violent events on January 6.
The House panel investigating the attack on the US Capitol has interviewed over a thousand witnesses during its yearlong investigation. Their testimony, recorded and given publicly, has helped lay out in detail the efforts by Trump and his enablers to overturn the legitimate 2020 election results which handed Joe Biden the presidency.
The hearings have presented the American public to the people who in the open and behind closed doors schemed to prevent the peaceful transfer of power on 6 January 2021. Also the patriots that tried to stop those machinations or played a part in preventing the plot from succeeding.
Here’s a look at some of the central individuals in the January 6 committee hearings.
The January 6 House Select Committee members
The House panel investigating the attack on the US Capitol on 6 January 2021 and the events that led up to that infamous day is comprised of nine members. They include seven Democratic representatives and two Republicans. Despite the uneven makeup of the panel the hearings have been very bipartisan with the Chair Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson from Mississippi narrating events and Vice Chair Republican Rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming leading the charge against former President Donald Trump.
Cheney has not held her punches against fellow party members who have not come forward to help in the investigation, nor in making shocking revelations. Cheney, daughter of former-Vice President Dick Cheney, has also suggested that charges be brought against Trump. The committee has referred a potential case of witness tampering by the former president.
The other members of the committee include Republican Rep. Adam Kinzinger and Democrat Reps. Pete Aguilar, Zoe Lofgren, Elaine Luria, Stephanie Murphy, Jamie Raskin and Adam Schiff. The members have been taking turns leading the sessions, each of which focus on a different aspect of the seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 election results.
Witnesses that have stood out
Republicans have made up the majority of the witnesses that have testified. Some of the most damning testimony has come from people who were part of Trump’s inner circle or worked at the White House. Recorded testimony from former Attorney General William Barr made clear that Trump was aware that there was no voter fraud. Others testified that the former president was told he lost the election fair and square, yet he insisted on moving forward with the ‘Big Lie’.
The shocking testimony from former aide to Mark Meadows, Trump’s former chief of staff, Cassidy Hutchinson was a turning point in the hearings. The 25-year-old’s bravery inspired many more witnesses to come forward to tell the committee what they knew. It also triggered backlash from Trump and his lackeys, but she is not alone.
Voter fraud lies caused real-world danger for innocents
Rusty Bowers, a lifelong Republican and the speaker of the Arizona state House, gave moving testimony about the pressure campaign on state elected officials to overturn Biden’s win in GOP-led states. For refusing to declare the results fraudulent, he was subjected to a public smear campaign including a pistol-wielding man harassing his family and neighbors. Now the Arizona Republican Party executive committee formally censured Bowers for giving his testimony. “He is no longer a Republican in good standing,” they wrote in a statement.
Two witnesses that demonstrated Trump’s and his hacks’ total lack of regard for the consequences and the possibility that someone could get hurt or die from spreading false information about the election were Shaye Moss and her mother, Ruby Freeman. Moss worked as a poll worker in Fulton county, Georgia and asked her mother to help out for the 2020 election.
In related news: Steve Bannon and thoughts of a prison cell
Rudy Guiliani, Trump’s personal lawyer, and the former president himself put them at the center of their fake voter fraud conspiracy in Georgia. Their gut-wrenching testimony explained how their lives were upended when they began to receive death threats and experienced harassment at their homes, online, and in public, much of which was racist in nature, from rabid Trump supporters.