Capitol attack inquiry: hearings begin

The hearings of the investigative committee on the storming of the Capitol on 6 January have been underway in the US since Tuesday. Security personnel on duty at the time were the first to testify, some of them in tears. The hearing aims to clarify to what extent ex-president Donald Trump bears responsibility for the attack by his supporters.

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Der Standard (AT) /

At war with rationality

Hard-core Trump supporters won't be swayed by the hearing, Der Standard predicts:

“The Trumpists, in their fake news bubble, decry this as a conspiracy by the Democrats aimed at discrediting their idol's narrative: that a 'loving crowd' peacefully protested against his election victory being stolen from them. ... The investigative committee will not be able to overcome the rift that divides the US. Who knows, perhaps it will only deepen it. But perhaps the tearful testimonies of the police officers along with everything else the committee brings to light will also bring some in the Republican camp to their senses.”

The Times (GB) /

This was not a coup

Democrats tend to exaggerate the danger from the right, The Times argues:

“The many prosecutions and legal proceedings so far fall somewhat short of upholding the claim of a cataclysmic assault on the constitutional republic. They suggest it was rather a rowdy political demonstration that got riotously out of control in the face of a shockingly underprepared police operation and an undefended Capitol building. ... But it is worth remembering that many dozens died, far more damage was done, and the political consequences arguably were far greater when Black Lives Matter activists and their allies took control of the streets of many American cities last year.”

La Libre Belgique (BE) /

As important as the 9/11 Commission

The Democrats had to set up the special committee on their own because the Republicans refused to collaborate, yet now they are facing accusations of partisanship, La Libre Belgique rails:

“The Republicans are using this as an argument to discredit the work of the members of Congress from the outset. ... In doing so, they have opposed the creation of a commission along the lines of the one set up after 9/11. However, this matter is just as important now as that was 20 years ago. Back then, the US was attacked by external enemies; this time it was threatened by an equally fanatical internal terrorism. ... The role of the committee is all the more important because of the Republicans' revolting revisionism.”