The January 6 show

Yet, for all the problems in its design and operation, the committee has done important work. The January 6 Capitol riot and the associated “Stop the Steal” effort to prevent Joe Biden’s election from being certified is an important moment in our history, and there remains value in documenting it for posterity with evidence and testimony under oath. The subject of what the president did after the riot started, and why the Capitol was not secured more swiftly and decisively, was under-explored in the second impeachment, and has produced some revealing testimony.

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The public record of Trump’s conduct has been damning, and his inability even to this day to let go of his false claims about the 2020 election — claims by the official constitutionally sworn to uphold the laws, claims that deluded and enraged his supporters, inspiring the more unhinged among them to storm the Capitol — are further evidence that he shouldn’t hold any public office again. Trump was warned in no uncertain terms by people who had long been loyal to him that, in seeking to overturn Biden’s electors, he was pursuing an unlawful strategy based on lies. Too deeply invested in his own delusions, he ignored them all. Even his daughter Ivanka testified to Trump’s abusive tirades directed at his own vice president, drawing a rare public dismissal from her father. This is no way for the leader of a constitutional republic to behave.

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