December 6, 2022
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Estrich: Jan. 6 probe about democracy, not politics

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The House Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol announced last week that it has taken the unprecedented move of issuing subpoenas to five House members who have refused to speak voluntarily to their colleagues on the committee.

The five are led by Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been caught playing both sides to the middle in former President Donald Trump’s personal war on democracy. That war will take center stage next month, when the committee, which has reportedly conducted over 1,000 interviews, begins public hearings.

There are many people who would have us forget what happened on that January day, who say it’s time to move along and not divide the country. Sorry, but that’s all wrong by my lights.

Jan. 6 should have nothing to do with who you voted for and everything to do with your belief in the sanctity of voting. It shouldn’t be about supporting Trump for president but supporting democracy. Or not.

The problem for Republicans is how many of them, then and now, went along with Trump’s efforts to subvert democracy for his own benefit. Former President Richard Nixon only wanted to bug the Democrats, to spy on the other side. Trump, lest we forget, wanted to steal the election. When it became plain, and it did rather quickly as court after court rebuked him, that the effort to install Trump for a second term was an effort to undermine the Constitution, Republican participation should have ended. That it did not, that some Republicans continued to plan and to plot, to lie and mislead, is wrong. That is what the committee wants to talk to these Republicans about.





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