the investigation finally out in the open

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In the United States, the special committee of the House of Representatives on the assault on the Capitol on January 6, 2021, begins this Thursday, June 9, a series of public hearings. The first for almost a year. It is a much-awaited and highly-prepared moment.

From our correspondent in Washington, Guillaume Naudin

Since its establishment almost a year ago, the commission, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, has conducted almost a thousand interviews and collected more than 100,000 documents. But in the end, if we except the indictment for contempt of steve bannon, a former political adviser to Donald Trump, the findings and conclusions are still largely mysterious. The stated goal is to capture the attention of the general public with these auditions.

Premiering this Thursday night, will be at prime time, 8 p.m. East Coast. All major television networks, with the notable exception of the conservative news channel FoxNewswill broadcast this show live.

Capture the attention

The term emission is not usurped. So there is the broadcast time, but also the format. An hour and a half, maybe two hours. Video and audio documents hitherto kept secret will be revealed. Moreover, the commission is being helped by a former senior official of the ABC News television channel to prepare the thing.

After several days of suspense, we know the witnesses who will speak. There is the British documentarian Nick Quested, who shot exclusive images on January 6 at the Capitol, yet another image man. And also Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, the first member of law enforcement to be injured that day. She still hasn’t returned to work.


A conspiracy

It’s pretty clear that members of the commission, whether Democrats or Republicans, believe there was a concerted effort to overturn the outcome of the2020 US presidential election. It was the political and personal entourage of Donald Trump who was questioned by the commission. His advisors, his family. Republican representatives close to the former president, including the leader of the Republican minority, were called to testify and did not do so.

These are the White House documents that have been the subject of a long legal battle to be able to be consulted by the commission. And in the end, we know that the nine members think they have enough elements to demonstrate the responsibilities of each other. Liz Cheneyrepresenting Wyoming, and who is one of the two Republican members of the commissionsaid Sunday morning on the CBS television channel that yes, she believes that there was indeed a conspiracy: “ I’ll put it this way: I didn’t learn anything that made me feel less worried. The scale, the scope, how broad this multi-pronged effort was. It is extremely wide. It is extremely well organized. It’s cold in the back. And Liz Cheney adds that a veritable cult of personality has formed within the Republican Party around Donald Trump, whose lack of remorse she denounces. And she talks about an ongoing threat to American democracy.

► To read also: Capitol storming: Trump in Supreme Court to preserve confidential documents

An element of the political debate

That’s the whole question. The latest polls indicate that fewer and fewer Americans believe that Donald Trump was responsible for the attack on Capitol Hill. There are probably fewer and fewer of them who have not already formed an opinion.

The message is also inevitably political. The commission wants to present the result of its work before the mid-term elections to make it a subject of the ballot. For Liz Cheney, the only Republican member to represent herself, the stakes are also electoral. In his home state of Wyoming, the Republican Party is led by one of the January 6 protesters.

The judicial component

The US Department of Justice is conducting its own parallel investigation. Minister Merrick Garland, a former judge who saw his Supreme Court nomination blocked by Republicans at the end of Barack Obama’s term, has already said that the proceedings will come in due time and that it all depends on the facts. . Obviously, he feels that it is not time or that he does not have enough elements to prosecute the former president. And elected Democrats no longer hesitate to express their frustration. They are no doubt counting on these hearings to convince this man who is very attached to the independence of justice to act before the election period.

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