Insurrection trial divides U.S. government

Ananya Thekkemelepatt, Social Media Manager

On Jan. 6, 2021, America witnessed an event that completely changed the effect politics had on the country and its citizens. A group of extremist supporters of former President Donald J. Trump stormed the Capitol Building in protest of the presidential election results. A riot as massive and violent as this one was severely instigated and extremely telling of the lack of maturity and sensibility those rioters and their supporters possess.

Back when the House of Representatives’ select committee was being formed, multiple Republican officials blamed the Democrats, especially Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, for siding with the “radical left” when Pelosi rejected two of the five Republicans House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy had chosen for the panel. The two that were rejected were Reps. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) and Jim Banks (R-Ind.), both being extremely close allies to the former President Trump. Pelosi’s decision was solely made to keep the integrity and validity of the investigation intact. By accepting Jordan and Banks, the committee would have been seriously biased, making impartial analysis of the riot close to impossible. Republicans making absurd accusations about Pelosi due to this decision, missed the historically known fact that the Speaker is authorized to “appoint all select, joint, and conference committees ordered by the House.” But supporters of the former president and the insurrectionists disregarded any rebuttal Democrats had. 

Currently investigations are still going on with new charges being brought forward. The January 6th committee has issued at least six additional subpoenas to the 20 that have already been signed by Mississippi Democrat, Rep. Bennie Thompson. These subpoenas are against people who were close to the former president and helped him instigate his supporters to “stop the steal.” 

There have been many criticisms of the ongoing investigations done by the House select committee, some comparing the investigation to a witch hunt and others saying it shows the Democratic party’s reluctance to move on from the past. Supporters of the former president and his political party have even seen this prolonged investigation as an attack on their rights and entire existence as Americans, despite the Republican party being the reason the investigation was seriously slowed down. But the investigation has been continued for good reason as this election is the first election since 1860 that did not have a peaceful transfer of power.

Many have used this incident to attack President Joseph Biden’s leadership. Although the current president has given Americans many reasons to question his position in office, his take on the insurrection investigation is not one of them. Continuing to thoroughly investigate the riot of Jan. 6, despite the former president’s multiple attempts to block evidence regarding it, has been a promise Biden has followed through on. But due to the former president and his lawyers trying to block scores of valuable White House records from the committee, further rifts and issues have stemmed from this investigation.

The former president previously sued the committee as well as the National Archives, the place that holds White House records from all past administrations, in order to stop the handing over of requested documents to the committee. He even tried to put in emergency requests to block the transfer of these documents. Though his requests were denied, Trump’s behavior throughout this case only goes to show that he has something to hide from the public, a public that is deserving of answers. Attempting to block necessary and requested evidence is not only immature and untruthful but is also a move that is entirely inappropriate of a political leader.

If the former president, his administration, and his exceedingly faithful supporters had accepted that no election fraud had taken place and that the electing of Biden as our president was a fair and democratic move, the transition could have been much more peaceful, allowing America and her people to look to the future. Instead, the violence and pain inflicted onto the country by those insurrectionists, with the additional lack of cooperation from multiple Republicans and supporters of the previous president throughout this investigation, have left Americans consistently looking back to the past in search of closure about the riot that nearly dismantled the democracy that every soul of this country seeks to enjoy.