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What role did Hawley, Marshall play in the Jan. 6 DC insurrection? Watch the hearings

by Bradly Gill | June 21, 2022 at 5:00 a.m.

Kansas City Star

The House committee examining the riotous insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, has started its final series of hearings, with the goal of publishing its findings and recommendations later this year.

All Americans should watch the hearings, and read the findings, which are likely to illustrate how catastrophically close the nation came to losing self-government that day.

Then Congress should act to make sure a similar coup attempt is off the table in 2024.

Reports say the committee has hired television producers and other consultants in order to "dramatize" the hearings, and the events of Jan. 6. That's unfortunate. The facts are dramatic enough, and the existing video leaves no doubt about the violence and intimidation used by right-wing fanatics that day.

But the committee's desire to remind Americans of the brutal effects of the Jan. 6 disaster is understandable. Starting Jan. 7, 2021, and continuing to this day, Republicans -- led by Donald Trump -- have attempted to gloss over the insurrection, lie about it, mislead the public, excuse the riot, ignore it, tacitly endorse it.

The nation simply cannot let that happen, or it will happen again.

Let's take Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri as an example. Hawley, a Republican, was the first senator to promise an objection to a state's presidential returns on Jan. 6. He famously raised his fist in support of insurrectionists in the hours before the riot.

Following the pitched battle at the Capitol, he shrugged, in the best "what, me worry?" tradition. He said other lawmakers had objected to prior presidential results, and that his constituents had voiced concerns about "election integrity" in some states.

Hawley has yet to provide a single shred of evidence of illegal voting in Pennsylvania, or any other state. There is none.

His claim that Pennsylvania judges enabled improper voting in 2020 is equally absurd: If the state barred Black people from casting ballots, for example, or women, is Hawley claiming the courts would be powerless to intervene?

The answer may be yes, which should not be a surprise.

Sen. Hawley isn't interested in elections, or the Constitution. His objection -- and his fist -- were, and are, part of the Big Lie that the Jan. 6 committee must investigate, and the rest of us must understand.

Did Hawley discuss his positions with anyone in the White House? Did he discuss his objection with the president or his representatives? Why did he pursue the meritless claim after the riots? The final report should shed light on these issues.

Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas deserves scrutiny, too. He objected to presidential results in Arizona, without any basis to do so, even as the Capitol smoldered and its corridors were tainted with blood. It was a disgrace.

We hope the Jan. 6 committee lays out these facts, plainly, for all to see. The riot wasn't caused by disguised leftists storming the House and Senate. It wasn't caused by a few dead-enders and crazed conspiracy nuts. It was the end result of what appears to be an orchestrated effort to overturn the results of a free and fair election and reinstall Trump in the White House.

The riotous cabal included crackpot attorneys and private citizens. We deserve to know if Trump was aware of their efforts, encouraged them, or otherwise tried to illegally interfere with the transfer of power. The hearings should provide the answer.

Congress should then take up electoral reforms that are simple, but profound. All Americans should have equal access to the ballot. All valid votes should be counted. No state can overturn valid presidential votes cast by its residents.

Once the people have spoken, that's it.

The Jan. 6 committee hearings should lead America to that place. Self-government is delicate, and precious. It must be defended against those who would destroy it.

Print Headline: What role did Hawley, Marshall play in the Jan. 6 DC insurrection? Watch the hearings

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