August 10, 2022
For months, we have been discussing the heavy-handed, one-sided approach of the J6 Committee in the presentation of evidence and witnesses. Both sides blame each other for the absence of a single Republican-selected member. Yet, the Committee treated the lack of balance as a license to present a rigid and scripted account of events and actions, including editing out countervailing views or evidence. For those of us who welcomed the greater transparency on the events of that terrible day, it was a lost opportunity to have a truly historic investigation akin to Watergate or the Kennedy assassination. The result is now evident and unsurprising. A Monmouth University poll shows that almost 90 percent of respondents report that the hearings have made no change in how they view the J6 riot. Moreover, despite the overwhelming cooperation and support of the media with the Committee, the vast majority believe that the J6 Committee was a political rather than investigative exercise, focused on opposing Trump rather than disclosing the facts of January 6th.
Respondents were asked “Have the recent House January 6 Committee hearings changed your mind about what happened at the Capitol that day or who is responsible, or have the hearings not changed your mind?” Only eight percent answered in the affirmative while 89 percent said it made no change at all in their views.
What was really striking was the response to a prompt stating “Some say that the Jan. 6 committee’s main aim is to ensure President Trump can’t run in 2024.” Sixty percent agreed with that statement, including 62 percent of Democrats and 70 percent of Republicans. That view was reinforced by the baffling decision of Chairman Thompson, Vice Chair Cheney and other members to repeatedly end hearings with calls to oppose Trump in the coming election. It was hardly subtle.