‘Trump should be held accountable’: Guardian readers on the Capitol attack hearings
"The final public hearing has wrapped up – we asked our readers to give their thoughts on whether the evidence stacked up
The House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol ended its likely final public hearing last week by subpoenaing Donald Trump to give evidence.
Here, Guardian readers in the US share their views of the hearings, what they thought of the evidence given and if it had changed their mind.
‘The committee was convincing’
I think that hearings solidified what most people thought already: that Donald Trump and his allies coordinated to assault the foundations of democracy on January 6 because they were unhappy with the result of the 2020 election. The juxtaposing of previously aired and unaired video clips helped provide clearer and fuller picture of the chaos that unfolded that day.
I believe that anyone who tuned into the hearings with an open mind saw January 6 for what it was: a disgraceful attack on American democracy that amounts to treason. I believe the committee was convincing in their effort to show premeditation by the president and his followers.
I am worried that those who believe January 6 was justified will use this committee as an example as of how “the Democrats/liberals” are out to get the president and his followers. They demonstrate this belief daily as they continue to call for violence against elected officials and refuse to believe the truth that Joe Biden won the 2020 election.
It feels like that their position is: either we won, or we were cheated. I fear that the upcoming elections in November will only be a taste of what kinds of vitriol await during the 2024 election. Patrick, 29, public school teacher from Chicago
‘The hearings were preaching to the choir for me’
I work in DC, on one of the main arteries leading into the city. On the morning of the 6, my co-workers and I watched a steady stream of cars and trucks flying Trump flags heading into the city.The sight put everyone on edge – it felt like an assault even then.
Later, at home, I watched the assault on the Capitol in real-time with a mixture of horror, sadness and anger. Seeing the Trump flags again, now among the crowd attacking with impunity … there was no doubt where the responsibility for things lay.
All this to say the hearings were preaching to the choir for me. But I watched them all, and the images and videos never lost their power to upset and anger. And I always thought": surely this devastating video will sway people’s opinions about Trump and the danger he poses! But, sadly, that doesn’t seem to be the case. David, 53, retail buyer from Washington DC
‘The committee members are some of the very few politicians I still respect’
The January 6 committee is doing the only the honest, ethical, honorable, trustworthy political work that has gone on in Congress for a very long time. I support the committee 100%, and thank them for their courage in standing up to the lies of thugs and shameless traitors trying to undermine American democracy.
The committee members are some of the very few politicians that I still respect anywhere in this country. They belong proudly alongside other awesome patriots like Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Michelle Lujan Grisham, Stacy Abrams, and Gretchen Whitmer.
Too many other people in US politics today, most openly within the Republican party, are self-serving and destructive players interested only in amassing fortunes and power, and transforming America into an openly and irreparably racist, misogynist, gun-toting Christian nation.
The committee has done amazing and thorough investigative work. It has presented its findings in well-presented and publicly available hearings. But actions taken or not taken are clearly out of the committee’s control. Dr M Mathewson, 78, retiree from New Mexico
‘People saw what a sham it was’
Nothing of value was presented that wasn’t known, and I doubt really anyone changed their mind on it. I think many people saw what a sham it was. The other side didn’t get to present witnesses or cross-examine. Why wasn’t Pelosi called? Why haven’t we heard if FBI or other government agency had agents in the crowd?
My concern is for the future of this country. We are ruled by people controlled by special interest. We are sending billions overseas in the name of humanitarian aid when it is military equipment. We need that assistance here for our people. Los Angeles has a lot of homeless people. Crime is rocketing and people are killing each other in the streets.
Our leaders promote and push identity politics to further divide the country. Diverting the attention from the problems and making us hate our neighbors. The biggest threat to Democracy are our current “leaders”. Joe, 35, healthcare worker from Michigan
‘I’m worried about retaliation against witnesses’
I watched all the hearings, and I thought the committee did an excellent job. What they presented aligned with what I saw on January 6, and it let us see what was going on behind the scenes, namely the actions Trump took to aid and abet the insurrectionists.
The hearings also demonstrated just how close our government came to falling that day, and the need to strengthen the systems designed to protect the peaceful transfer of power.
I’m afraid that despite the evidence, Trump and his cronies may still escape unscathed. I’m worried about potential retaliation against January 6 witnesses if Republicans take the House and/or Senate in November. And I’m afraid of just how unhinged Trump will be if he is allowed to run again and, God forbid, wins – his entire focus will be on revenge against those who crossed him. Mitzi Hicks, 56, non-profit controller from Colorado
‘It was boring political theater’
The hearings came across as boring political theater to me, calling attention to the obvious guilt of Trump, his narcissism, the prevalence of fascism among men in the US who see little alternative. The Democrats have abandoned their natural and historical constituency in favor of embracing the current cause du mois to obscure their obeisance to corporations and corporate money.
Most folks I know are far more worried about the price of gasoline, food, and utilities than about Trump. In fact, they’re totally weary of him and think he’d go away if the media would stop advertising him.
Bill Clinton is far from my favorite president, but he got it right about voter motivation: “It’s the economy, stupid.” If the Republicans prevail next month it will be because of the Democrat failure to address economic problems meaningfully. Screaming that the narcissistic would-be dictator Trump is a narcissistic would-be dictator won’t help Democratic candidates. Tom Wells, 77, from Bloomington, Indiana
‘Trump is unfit to lead and should be held accountable’
The facts speak for themselves. The committee members certainly have their own political and personal ambitions, but they have presented a just narrative. Trump is certainly unfit to lead and should be held accountable for the betrayal of the people of the USA.
The support of fascism within the Republican party is pernicious. Unfortunately, it remains a possibility that through fear and anger the events of January 6 may foreshadow even greater violence and loss of the true guiding principles of our constitution, being the compromise of power to the will of the citizens.
Democracy has always been a hope in the USA and has been, is, and will be eroded by greedy, short-sighted minds. The question is obvious: if we do not demand accountability and regulation for violent politics and monied interests, what is the alternative? Brian, 37, unemployed from Cincinnati"
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