EDITOR’S NOTE: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.
Fifty years ago this month, the American public was riveted by the Watergate hearings. This week, the House select committee investigating the January 6 sacking of the Capitol promises an equally riveting show as it releases “previously unseen material” and lays out facts that, in the words of Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), “will blow the roof off the House.”
Yet the chances that the January 6 hearings will exert the same kind of pull on the public as their Watergate precursors are slim, for all the wrong reasons.
The committee will necessarily focus on the January 6 assault on the Capitol, and the many-faceted conspiracy led by Donald Trump and his allies, from White House aides to Proud Boys street gangs, to discredit and overturn the results of the 2020 election. The evidence already in the public record is compelling. The problem is that the issue has already been litigated in the court of public opinion, and Trump and his “big lie” about the election have won the argument among Republican politicians and voters alike. The initial outrage expressed by corporate and deep-pocketed donors has also been shelved for business as usual.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.