At Tuesday’s hearing of the House committee investigating the January riot at the Capitol, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) directly outlined the dangers of former President Donald Trump’s behavior. Trump, of course, has spent months falsely claiming that last year’s presidential election was somehow rigged for Joe Biden, and the Trump supporters who attacked the Capitol building used this lie as an inspiration. Trump’s lies about the election represent an attack against democracy as it stands in the United States — Trump can claim whatever he wants to the contrary, but the fact of the matter is that he and his allies have been standing against the democratic process itself. That process unfolded as intended — and yet, Trump continues with his antics.
Tuesday’s hearing featured testimony from four officers who participated in the defense of the Capitol back on that fateful day, including Capitol Police officer Harry Dunn, who shared during the proceedings about how he faced racist harassment from Trump supporters as the Capitol attack unfolded. Directly addressing Dunn, Schiff commented as follows during the hearing:
‘I believe in this country, and I believe in it because of people like you, who understand what the flag means, and what our Constitution means, and have risked their lives to defend it. I’d like to think, as Amanda Gorman so eloquently said, that we’re not broken, we’re just unfinished. Because if we’re no longer committed to a peaceful transfer of power after our elections if our side doesn’t win, then God help us. If we deem elections illegitimate merely because they didn’t go our way rather than trying to do better the next time, then God help us. And if we’re so driven by bigotry and hate that we attack our fellow citizens as traitors if they were born in another country, or they don’t look like us — then God help us. But I have faith because of folks like you.’
Watch Schiff’s exchanges with the officers below:
Before the hearing, Dunn was publicly criticized by Fox host Tucker Carlson, who described the officer as an “angry left-wing political activist” — which is absolutely ridiculous. The mere fact that Dunn, like millions of other Americans, has opinions about social and political events in the United States does not somehow disqualify him from weighing in about an event that he himself experienced firsthand. That’s how democracy is supposed to work! Giving citizens a voice is the whole point — and that’s what Trump and his allies have gone against.