Another perspective: Jan. 6 committee doing important work for country

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(Anderson) Herald Bulletin

Some see the investigation carried out by the select committee on Jan. 6 as a partisan exercise.

They note that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s selections for what would have been a bipartisan commission, thus leaving the committee hopelessly tilted in favor of one party.

Retired Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz has gone so far as to call the effort modern-day “McCarthyism,” a term that dates to the 1950s and a campaign by Wisconsin Sen. Joseph McCarthy to root out communists in the U.S. government and other institutions.

It’s a ridiculous comparison. The two committees are nothing alike. Many of those called before McCarthy’s committee were blacklisted or lost their jobs, even though they did not actually belong to the Communist Party. That committee’s proceedings were the definition of a witch hunt.

The Jan. 6 committee, on the other hand, has brought forward public servants, many of them members of the Trump administration, to testify about what they saw with their own eyes.

And many of the revelations are stunning, particularly those delivered by Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Mark Meadows, the former White House chief of staff.

In two hours of testimony, Hutchinson described the former president as being enraged by efforts to keep armed supporters from attending his speech. After all, he said, they weren’t after him.

Hutchinson described Meadows as tuned out, unwilling to confront Trump and staring unresponsively at his cellphone during key moments.

The 26-year-old Hutchinson, who spoke of shedding tears of joy upon learning she had won a White House internship, once told a college publication she wanted to be an “effective leader in the fight to secure the American dream for future generations.” She has already taken a huge step.

In her testimony, Hutchinson spoke of how she had grown disgusted by the former president’s refusal to stop the rioters.

“We were watching the Capitol building get defaced over a lie,” she told the committee.

It’s true that the committee has not featured the political backbiting so common in Washington these days. There has been no point and counterpoint, no cross-examination of witnesses, no partisan grandstanding for the crowd.

There has been no one in the room to question the committee’s plot line.

Members of the committee speak with one voice, and they seem earnest in their efforts to find the truth. What the committee and its witnesses are doing is important work.

Anyone who still thinks Jan. 6 was a tourist visit that got out of hand is ignoring reality. The committee hearings have made clear that for the first time in our nation’s history, a sitting president conspired to overturn the result of a free and fair election.

As witness after witness has testified, the 2020 election was not stolen. Donald Trump lost it fair and square.

The American people need to hear the truth about what happened that day. We owe a debt of gratitude to brave public servants like Cassidy Hutchinson for stepping forward.