Today, the January 6th committee held its final hearing and voted unanimously to issue four criminal referrals against former President Trump — among them, inciting an insurrection.
Based on the evidence meticulously laid out by the committee over the past six months, these recommendations are a justified and necessary call for accountability. But it’s important to recognize that they are only that — a recommendation. Whether or not the Justice Department decides to act is up to Merrick Garland’s appointed special counsel, Jack Smith.
So the inevitable question: Why did any of this matter?
Why televise these hearings? Why have them at all? What was the point of this entire process if the committee did not have the authority to bring charges against Trump and his insurrectionist allies?
For one thing, because truth-telling matters.
In the age of social media and 24-hour punditry, as a nation, we’ve occasionally lost the thread of how important investigating and uncovering objective truth is for the greater good of our nation.
The media cycle jumps so quickly from one subject to the next that any one story — even a story as important as the president and his followers trying to violently disrupt the transfer of power for the first time in our country’s history — can easily be overtaken by the latest manufactured controversy or piece of political intrigue.
And in the haze of a few intervening news cycles, collective memory can be warped by spin and misinformation.
The effort to rewrite the history of January 6th began just weeks after the armed mob laid siege to our Capitol. MAGA insurrectionists in Congress began describing the rioters as “peaceful patriots” and compared the attack to a “tourist visit.” GOP leader Kevin McCarthy went from blaming Trump to praising his actions on the day. Some elected leaders spread conspiracy theories that the rioters were antifa, while others, like incoming senator JD Vance, dubbed them “political prisoners” and raised money for those awaiting trial.
There are people so lost inside this alternate reality that no amount of evidence could shake them loose from the grip of the Big Lie. But there are others who were convinced by the methodical presentation of the facts by the committee. A few from within the former president’s base decided they’d had enough. And many more from the center of the electorate came to better understand the threat MAGA extremism poses to our democracy and cast their votes accordingly this November.
Seeing the truth so clearly laid out is healing. And here’s the truth:
- Donald Trump privately admitted he lost the election even while pushing the Big Lie.
- In a recorded call, Trump pressured Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to find enough votes to declare him the winner.
- When those efforts failed, Trump summoned a violent mob to overturn the election.
- MAGA Republicans requested blanket pardons for their roles in these crimes.
It’s all right there: lie, cheat, and steal.
Trump lied to the American people, telling them he believed he had won, while privately admitting he hadn’t. He attempted to pressure officials to find a way to cheat his way back into the Oval Office. MAGA Republicans were fully on board with this effort to steal an election, understood it was criminal, and therefore sought pardons for their part in the charade.
147 members of Congress voted to overturn the 2020 election. 43 Republican Senators voted to acquit Trump following the second impeachment trial after January 6th. And a lot of these same MAGA extremists are laying the groundwork for another coup in two years time.
And that gets to another major reason these hearings were so important. They helped reveal the inner-workings of a highly coordinated GOP effort to overturn the election in 2020, so that we can help prevent a repeat in 2024.
Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice will decide what they want to do with the referrals from the January 6 committee. We may not be able to influence the choices they make next, but what we can do is continue what we accomplished during the midterms: defend our democracy against the Republican Party’s attempts at election subversion, ensure that those responsible for promoting the Big Lie are exposed, and fight like hell to prevent them from holding office ever again.
That starts with Trump.
Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign on November 15, and he has continued to spread his lies about the 2020 election while his cronies do everything they can to install him right back in the White House in 2024.
We cannot allow that to happen.
We are already building our movement and gearing up to fight back with every tactic Indivisibles know to be effective — canvassing, phonebanking, textbanking, postcarding, birddogging, etc. — all while continuing to look for ways to innovate new strategies to defeat MAGA extremism.
We need your help to hold them accountable at the ballot box:
- Donate $21 today to ensure we can fully fund our fight to combat Trump and his insurrectionist toadies. The work of expanding our network and strengthening our coalition begins today. We know that defeating Trump is going to mean mobilizing historic numbers of voters. Help us lay the groundwork now to ensure we have the capacity to fight moving forward.
- Commit to re-engage in the new year! Make a commitment today to connect with your local Indivisible group (or start one if you don’t have one!) All of those tactics — canvassing, phonebanking, textbanking, postcarding, birddogging, etc. — involve people power. Our movement is driven by grassroots activists standing up and fighting back against MAGA extremism. Take some time over the holidays to rest and recuperate — you’ve earned it. But, make sure you’re prepared to fight anew come 2023. Pledge today to help fight for a better tomorrow.
No matter what happens next, we need to ensure that, come 2024, Trump and the rest of his insurrectionist friends are never in the position to attack our democracy again. With your help, we’ll make that happen.
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