The reaction to the public airing of the facts of the January 6, 2021, investigation into the attack on the United States Capitol has led to shocking differences between the two political camps, including here in Washington state.
Democrats are demanding accountability and believe there is enough provable information to impeach former President Donald Trump, who has continued to say the election was stolen from him and has kept his supporters in a state of readiness to react to his every provocation. Former Attorney General Bill Barr, among others, said there was no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) said it was a shame that many Republicans continue to promote the lie that the election was stolen.
Joe Kent, who is running for Congress as a Donald Trump supporter against Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington’s 3rd congressional district, said the attack was “not Trump’s thing.” Kent also said that if Republicans control the House in November, they would investigate federal involvement in the riots, and said there were many people who felt their voices weren’t being heard at the ballot box. Other Republicans have remained mostly silent or tried to change the subject.
The panel presented evidence showing the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol as a coup attempt instigated by Trump to prevent the election recount and stop the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden. The panel interviewed hundreds of people, including chief of staff Mark Meadows, Ivanka Trump and leaders of the Proud Boys, along with police officers who were overrun by the crowd.
There has been political infighting among Washington state Republicans over the positions of party colleagues on the US Capitol riot.
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp, who is challenging Republican Dan Newhouse in the 4th Congressional District, added to Trump’s ire when Newhouse joined Herrera Beutler in voting for an independent commission to investigate the events of the 6 January
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane) in the 5th Congressional District was the only member of the state delegation to vote against impeaching Trump. Republicans censured the Republicans who served on the committee and justified the events as “legitimate speech” even though much of what happened was violent. Additionally, Trump’s phone records show an eight-hour gap as some of his staffers tried to get him to call off the crowd at the US Capitol.
The committee’s investigation has focused on how Trump’s posts incited different groups. But the political message of each side is very different, giving the impression of a mixed message.
Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact email@example.com.