Conspiracy exposed to Americans for first time since Watergate – but will Trump loyalists bother to listen?

US

When the historians come to write this chapter of America’s history, they’ll find a good chunk of their work is being done for them over the next few weeks.

Last night we got the first glimpse of what these extraordinary hearings will look like.

For the first time since the Nixon’s Watergate scandal, a conspiracy is being exposed to the American public, if they choose to tune in.

From a committee room in a building just a block from where the chaos unfolded on that day last January, never-before-seen footage was beamed live on primetime TV.

We heard from one-time Donald Trump loyalists, and we listened to the former president’s own daughter.

It is all part of an attempt to persuade doubters across this country of one thing – that 6 January was not a random isolated riot or a legitimate expression of political discourse.

It was, the committee claims, an attempted coup, orchestrated from the White House.

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The committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans (Trump’s loyalist Republicans blocked an attempt to have an independent inquiry) has been sitting in private for months.

It has interviewed more than 1,000 people, subpoenaed nearly a hundred and accessed nearly 136,000 pages of records.

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Trump staged ‘attempted coup’

They say they will, over the next few weeks, show how Mr Trump had a sophisticated seven-point plan to overturn the 2020 presidential election and that 6 January was to be the culmination.

But in America’s echo chambers, who will listen?

A quick surf of the TV channels is a hint.

CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS all have blanket live coverage. But Trump’s loyal news channel – Fox? Well, they were dismissing it all even as it was live.

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Host Tucker Carlson was talking over the hearing. “We’re still talking about 6 January?” he asked sarcastically.

“It was a forgettable minor outbreak,” he said. “It was not even close to an insurrection.”

The challenge for the committee is to engage the many American doubters, loyal as they are to the former president.

Some say 6 January was just a dress rehearsal and not the end of this troubling chapter in American history.

Mr Trump controls the Republican Party and may well run for the presidency again in 2024.

The purpose of these hearings is to explore what happened and the thread to the top.

The committee wants to make sure 6 January was not a dress rehearsal but the final act of Donald Trump.

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