Across Parties, Public Invested in January 6 Hearings
Bi-Partisan Panel Addressed Impact of Hearings and Testimony to Date
WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bi-partisan panel of experts and advocates today discussed the impact of the hearings of the U.S. House January 6 Select Committee so far, and what we can expect from future hearings and with the release of the committee’s interim report in the coming weeks. The panel, organized by the Not Above the Law coalition, also included advocates participating in an upcoming mobilization planned nationwide for the day after the committee releases its interim report.
Panelists Sarah Longwell of the Republican Accountability Project and lawyer George Conway discussed how the hearings have impacted Republican voters, with both acknowledging the grip that former President Donald Trump continues to have on the party. Yet the hearings are “seeping in” with Republican voters, noted Longwell, who conducts weekly focus groups. While Trump’s base has rallied around him short term following the Mar-A-Lago search, the hearings have made independents and swing voters more likely to look towards other candidates for President in 2024, noted Longwell. Conway said “we are seeing some movement” thanks to the January 6 hearings, and he expects there will be a negative impact on Trump from the current scandal surrounding the FBI’s search.
Advocates also outlined efforts in their communities to organize around the hearings and democracy reform, including pursuing dozens of local resolutions to protect elections in light of the information coming out of the hearings. Helen Butler, executive director, Georgia Coalition for the People’s Alliance, said, “We’re here in the cradle of the civil rights movement. “We are a beneficiary of that movement and we will continue that legacy.”
“As veterans we have seen and fought against threats to our democracy abroad, and it is truly a sad day when we must also fight threats to our democracy here at home,” said Joanna Sweatt, national organizing director with Common Defense. “Those who stormed our capitol and helped plan an insurrection must be held accountable for attempting to overthrow our electoral process—the very cornerstone of our democratic republic. We must remain vigilant against this subversion of the rule of law, which includes holding Trump and his co-conspirators accountable for everything that led up to the insurrection and the tragic killing of D.C. officers.”
Ryan Goodman, the founding editor in chief of Just Security, and Jon Steinman with Protect Democracy discussed their new citizen’s guide to the hearings, a comprehensive account to date of the committee’s findings and other publicly available information on the seven-part scheme to overturn the 2020 election.
“The lies that led to Jan. 6, 2021 also fueled scores of state legislative bills aimed at politicizing future elections, while seeding a crop of political candidates bent on fixing future elections that don’t go their way,” said Steinman. “The seven-part scheme to overturn our democracy, outlined by the Select Committee, continues to pose grave challenges to American institutions. Preventing future attempts to subvert the will of the people requires that we fully appreciate the ongoing nature of the authoritarian threat we face.”
“The January 6th hearings have crystalized what many of us already knew. Our democracy is in serious trouble and requires defense and reform,” said Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen, who moderated the event. “The sheer magnitude of abuses of the executive branch by Donald Trump and his MAGA allies in the pursuit of a stolen election has demonstrated that we must shore up our democracy for it to survive. The public understands this and is calling for a solution. It is up to our elected officials to heed their cries and move ethics, elections, and rule of law reforms to ensure that this kind of abuse can never happen again.”