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Can US Elections Be Made Safe from Mob Violence?

Summary:
It has been a year since Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and the future of America's democratic system remains in question. All eyes are now on the US House select committee's investigation into the attack and the people behind it. WASHINGTON, DC – The first anniversary of the mob attack on the US Capitol by followers of Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, is coinciding with a new and dramatic phase of a congressional committee’s investigation of what happened and what measures might prevent such violence from happening again. January 6 and the

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It has been a year since Donald Trump's supporters stormed the US Capitol in an attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and the future of America's democratic system remains in question. All eyes are now on the US House select committee's investigation into the attack and the people behind it.

WASHINGTON, DC – The first anniversary of the mob attack on the US Capitol by followers of Donald Trump on January 6, 2021, in an attempt to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, is coinciding with a new and dramatic phase of a congressional committee’s investigation of what happened and what measures might prevent such violence from happening again.

In the days leading up to the anniversary, the US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, composed of seven Democrats and two Republicans (most Republicans opposed any inquiry), began to reveal the extraordinary amount of material it had gathered thus far. Unsurprisingly, Trump and his allies have adopted the strategy of attempting to drag out the committee’s proceedings, in the presumption that a Republican victory in the midterm elections this November will allow them to shut down the committee before it has completed its work.

But in a recent interview, the committee’s chair, Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, said that it will cut off its inquiry whenever that’s necessary in order to get its report written and distributed to the public. Obviously, they want that to be before the midterm elections.

Congressman Jamie Raskin of Maryland, who may have the most intellectual heft of anyone on the committee, recently told me: “The Committee’s central goals must be informational, educational and legislative. We need to tell a comprehensive and fine-grained story about the attack on America that will lead to our recommendations for fortifying American democracy.”

This suggests that the committee seeks to follow the model of the 9/11 Commission, which examined in minute detail the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and wrote a compelling narrative. Actually, the Capitol riot and the September 11...

Elizabeth Drew
Contributor to New Republic, Daily Beast, Project Syndicate, Nation (book reviews). Fifteen books, including reissue of Washington Journal, Nixon & Watergate.

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