Poll: Trump should be charged for Jan. 6, about half of Americans say
July 21, 2022 05:00 AM EDT
About half of Americans think former President Donald Trump should face criminal charges for his role in the deadly insurrection that took place at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, according to the latest PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll. But far fewer – roughly a quarter – think Trump will actually be prosecuted.
Since hearings by the House committee investigating the attack began in June, new evidence and testimony have revealed how much Trump and members of his administration knew about the potential for violence, as well as the former president’s embrace of his armed supporters and his unwillingness to intervene when chaos overwhelmed the Capitol.
While a majority of Americans overall blame Trump for what happened that day, public opinion remains divided down party lines, according to this last poll. Nearly all Democrats – 92 percent – and a majority of independents but only about one in five Republicans agree.
The final scheduled Jan. 6 hearing is slated to start Thursday at 8 p.m. ET and is expected to offer a minute-by-minute account of what Trump did and didn’t do as the Capitol was overrun. In September, the committee is scheduled to release a report of its findings.
Meanwhile, federal prosecutors responsible for charging suspects related to the attack have also been watching the hearings. Unlike Congress, “We do not do our investigations in public,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said at the Justice Department Wednesday.
Garland’s staff is engaged in “the most wide-ranging investigation and the most important investigation that the Justice Department has ever entered into,” he said during a briefing, vowing to “hold accountable every person who is criminally responsible for trying to overturn a legitimate election, and we must do it in a way filled with integrity and professionalism.” So far, close to 900 people have been arrested in connection to the attack, according to Politico. Garland also said that they had to get it right because the probe “cuts at the fundamental of American democracy.”
Half of Americans say the events of Jan. 6, 2021 at the U.S. Capitol amounted to an insurrection and a threat to democracy. That includes 86 percent of Democrats, 52 percent of independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
In contrast, Republicans are more likely than any other group – at 40 percent – to view that day as an act of political speech protected by the First Amendment, along with 19 percent of Americans overall. Forty percent of Republicans also said it was an unfortunate event that should reside in the past, as did a quarter of all U.S. adults.
Trump’s survival after scandals
More than a year and a half since Trump left office, 58 percent of Americans hold an unfavorable view of him, according to this latest poll. That includes 89 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents. But 83 percent of Republicans say they still favor Trump, along with roughly a third of all Americans.
Trump’s favorability among the GOP outpaces that of a handful of other Republicans who are considered potential rivals for a White House bid in 2024:
62 percent of Republicans hold a favorable view of former Vice President Mike Pence, who refused to leave the Capitol before the Electoral College votes were counted, even as a mob chanted for his hanging. Witness testimony in the Jan. 6 hearings revealed that Trump had conveyed to his staff that he believed Pence deserved that peril because he defied Trump and continued to count 2020 presidential election results.
13 percent of Republicans hold a favorable view of Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., vice chair of the Jan. 6 committee, whose party stripped her of her leadership role when she refused to support Trump and his false accusations of widespread election fraud in 2020. Cheney finds her strongest support in the party across the aisle, as Democrats support her at 60 percent. Overall, 34 percent of Americans viewed Cheney favorably.
63 percent of Republicans hold a favorable view of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose political style and substance have invited comparison to Trump. Of the four, DeSantis had the highest percentage of Republicans say they were unsure or had never heard of him, at 27 percent.
According to GOP strategist and conservative pollster Whit Ayres, most Republicans are “also open to having a new candidate who carries less baggage than they believe Trump carries as their nominee in 2024.”
“It all depends on who the alternatives are,” Ayres said. “Most alternatives aren’t nationally known here.”
Trump’s political resilience is unlike anything else in U.S. presidential history, said Jeffrey Engel, who directs the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.
“As with everything with Donald Trump, history gives us no guide,” Engel said.
One comparison is tough to ignore, though today’s political dynamics are nearly opposite. In 1974, after an investigation uncovered that President Richard Nixon’s reelection campaign had bugged the phones at the Democratic National Committee headquarters, Nixon resigned in disgrace before he could be impeached. He retreated from public life and partially rebuilt his reputation in foreign policy during the decades that followed, Engel said.
From the Reagan administration onward, presidents sought Nixon’s advice on different policy matters, but they avoided sharing the limelight with him. If political campaign websites had existed, Engel said, no one would have promoted splashy photos of Nixon posing with their candidate. In today’s political environment, the same is not true for Trump and GOP hopefuls.
Following Nixon’s fall from power, Engel said, “There was no one in the Republican Party who said, ‘You know what would be good? Let’s make Nixon our standard bearer.’”
To understand Trump’s hold among Republicans, Ayres said the Jan. 6 hearings are “the wrong place to look,” and that a majority of Republicans would vote for Trump again if that meant getting rid of President Joe Biden.
Who is following the Jan. 6 hearings?
The hearings are unlikely to be a factor in shaping Republican views because most say they are paying little to no attention to the investigation. According to this latest poll, 58 percent of Americans said they were paying at least some attention to the hearings, while another 41 percent said they were paying little to no attention, including 56 percent of Republicans. Democrats are the most reliable audience for the Jan. 6 hearings, with 80 percent following along.
“It’s almost an article of faith for a Republican to say, ‘I’m not paying attention to this stuff,’” Ayres said.
No matter how earth-shattering these hearings are, there is also little to suggest they will inform the way people vote during the November midterms. In fact, only 9 percent of U.S. adults said it will be top of mind for them this fall, including 17 percent of Democrats and 2 percent of Republicans. A far larger share of Americans – 37 percent – said they care most about inflation, including 57 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of independents.
For Democrats, abortion ranked as the top concern. Following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade and the loss of federal protections for the medical procedure in June, 29 percent of Democrats and 18 percent of Americans overall picked abortion as what matters most to them.
So much can change between summer and November, but Neil Malhotra, a political economist at Stanford University, said people will vote for candidates who champion policies that make their “lives tangibly better.” The threat of American democracy unraveling is harder to grasp.
“People are struggling in this economy. They’re struggling with prices. It’s nice to care about democracy, but for most people, it’s these tangible issues” that matter most, Malhotra said. “It’s not that people have short memories — life gets in the way.”
At the same time, American confidence in the fate of democracy amid division and sedition remains about as fragile today as it was in the days after the insurrection, with 77 percent of U.S. adults saying they are concerned about the future.
Jan. 6 committee reveals new details about Secret Service deleting critical evidence – Raw Story – Celebrating 18 Years of Independent Journalism
4 min read
Someday It Will All Make Sense.
The thing about pain is that it teaches us more about life than happiness ever could.
When you’re in pain, you see everything with a filter of sadness. It doesn’t make sense because all of a sudden, you realize that the sun and the moon are always alone, and the vast sky has never been gloomier. The melody of rain is now just a static noise that brings too many thoughts to your head. As the memories hit harder, you fall deeper. And even though it seems like everything is different, nothing has really changed. With happiness gone, you go back to the most isolated and honest state of survival that makes you uneasy and scared.
Pain dances at the fingertips of change. It slowly creeps in. We know something is different but we don’t realize that something is changing. It’s only when we look back that we realize the difference between then and now. We don’t know that the moments we have just lived define us. We don’t know that the moments we are living right now are the ones we will miss one day. Maybe this is what it means to grow up. To know that as we grow, things will always keep changing and there will always be pain associated with that.
Maybe you asked for roses, but instead, you got thorns. Maybe you wanted paper, but what you got was torn. You wanted joy, but you got despair.
You don’t get what you want, but you get what you need.
Sometimes good things fall apart to make space for better things to come together. Every story has an end, but every end gives birth to a new beginning. It will all make sense.
Why you have to let go,
Why you have to fall and crash,
Why you have to wait,
Why some things need to come to an end,
Why no matter what you do, it will never be enough,
Why you have to go through what you’ve been through.
One day, it will all make sense. And you’ll realize, it happened for a reason. The nights when tears were shed like a stream of water crashing onto sharp rugged rocks will be the same nights that will make you a wiser person. Those would be the nights that will teach you not to settle for anything less than what you deserve.
One day, you will realize that you are grateful to all the people who let you go so that you could find that one person who wouldn’t. That pain will be the reason why you will fight for your happiness, for a better life, for answers, for closure, and for other things that you never dared to ask before.
One day, you will be thankful for the things that didn’t work out because when you’re old, sipping a cup of tea in your wheelchair, you’ll realize that everything that you’ve been through leads you to where you are meant to be and with the person you’re meant to be with. That it was pain that made you a better person and humbled you.
You will feel pain, you will lose. You will make mistakes. But someday, somehow, it will make sense. When it does, you will be at a completely different time than the one you were in when you were trying to figure things out. The pieces might make sense, but they will no longer hold the same meaning when you really needed to understand them. That “someday” may not be today or tomorrow; and “somehow” may not be the way we’d want it to be. However, it will come.
You shouldn’t see too far into the distance. Your life is not a single grand plan in motion. You are thousands of stories written together into a single book.
You will begin to see life without the filters of sadness again. It won’t be hard forever because nothing is forever. Somehow life will start seeming more beautiful than you can remember and the smell of rain in the air will excite you beyond measure, again. The world proves to us each day that happiness exists all around us and we just have to make sure we do not blind ourselves with our own filters.
It may look like autumn right now, but spring is coming and life will find a way. Give yourself time. It will make sense.
You can find Self-help and Personal Development content in my Podcast, Within 5 Minutes — https://linktr.ee/hacchuu
I have been writing quite a bit about our upcoming move. We are old pros at moving because we have done it so often, but this time is different. This move is one we hope that will be the penultimate one. Once we get established in our new apartment, we are going to find a realtor and start looking for a house over the next year to 18 months.
We have moved too often to stay ahead of the massive and obscene rent increases, but we have both decided that enough is enough and it is time to settle down.
Time will tell what will happen in the future, it always does. Kindness will make it all manageable. What might seem impossible to sone is no problem when you use Kindness.