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What the January 6th Report Is Missing

The New Yorker $: “The investigative committee singles out Trump for his role in the Capitol attack. As prosecution, the report is thorough. But as historical explanation it’s a mess…Two years ago, the President of the United States attempted to overturn an election for no reason other than that he had lost. A mere handful of Republican officeholders denounced him; for months, nationally prominent members of the G.O.P. refused to acknowledge that Joseph Biden had won the Presidency. On January 6, 2021, at Trump’s urging, thousands of his supporters staged an armed, lethal, and yet somehow also inane insurrection at the Capitol, aimed at preventing a joint session of Congress from certifying the results of the election. They failed. Unless you count being temporarily banned from Twitter as punishment, the former President has suffered no consequences for his actions; Republicans have refused to hold him to account, not least because many Party leaders have been implicated in the attempted overthrow of the United States government. Days after the insurrection, the House voted to impeach the President, but the Senate then failed to convict him. Months later, the House voted to establish an independent, 9/11-style commission to investigate the insurrection, but the Senate blocked that by way of the filibuster. The House soon voted to hold its own investigation, under the aegis of a select committee composed of seven Democrats and six Republicans. Then Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Speaker of the House, refused to seat on the committee two Republicans who had supported the insurrection, whereupon Kevin McCarthy, the Republican Minority Leader, denounced the committee and pulled his members from it, after which the G.O.P., declaring the attack on the Capitol to have been “legitimate political discourse,” censured the two Republicans who did serve on the committee, Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, both of whom left office this month. (Cheney lost her bid for reëlection, and Kinzinger declined to run.)..”

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