OPINION: Does The Truth Matter?

I was a bit surprised and mildly disappointed at the response to the June 15 poll question asking if readers have been following the hearings held by the Jan. 6 Committee. 

There has been a lot of complaining about “fake news” and witch-hunts, especially regarding what happened at the nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. To get to the bottom of it, a bipartisan committee — created to investigate the attack — is airing its findings, something that every American should follow. Yet, 59 percent of the people who responded to the Times poll said they haven’t been paying attention to it.

Most interesting isn’t just what is being reported, but who is doing the reporting. It isn’t CNN or a bunch of Democrats shaking their fists at President Trump. These hearings consist of testimony from Republicans, people involved in Trump’s campaign and even family members. These are people who were behind closed doors, people who would not benefit from telling these stories.

I can’t even count how many letters and interactions I’ve had with people talking about how the election was rigged — something former Attorney General William Barr told the committee was “bullsh-t” and “complete nonsense.” Barr was far from alone, also testifying were his campaign experts, campaign lawyers, campaign manager, White House lawyers, family members and others Trump appointed to leadership positions. Republican Representative Liz Cheney, vice chair of the committee, said: “President Trump’s advisors knew what he was saying was false and they told him so directly and repeatedly.” 

Whether one agrees with Cheney’s assessment is a moot point in this context only because one would have to actually follow the hearings to know what she is talking about. Her statement was based on testimonies from the aforementioned Trump allies. 

Last week, it was revealed that the Chief of Staff from Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson’s office attempted to pass on “alternate electors” to Vice President Mike Pence. Johnson has denied involvement, but people should view the hearing and decide for themselves. (Note: You can read more about this in the Capitol Report column that appears on Page 7).

If one were to listen to the testimonies given and still determine that Trump is telling the truth, that’s their prerogative. However, I would expect that those who claim to want the truth would at least pay attention to what is being said by those close to the situation. 

After an emergency hearing called for Tuesday of this week, there are expected to be more held in July. Most of the hearings can still be found online, via YouTube and the January 6th Committee Twitter page. It isn’t too late to learn and, perhaps, your view of what happened on and leading up to that day will be altered.

Then again, maybe some people don’t want the truth. Maybe they want to live in their own reality where an attempt to overthrow the government was somehow just.

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