The House Jan. 6 committee began laying out its case that former president Donald Trump was behind an organized effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election Thursday night in prime time.
What I’m waiting for is the TV overnights from Nielsen to get a gauge on what kind of impact the two-hour-long civics lesson might have.
It was all over, except for Fox News, which, predictably, went with its standard run of prime-time flamethrowers, recast last night as America’s Pravda, the likes of Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity bloviating about things being said in a hearing that they weren’t listening to.
Funny how that works.
One person who obviously tuned in was Trump. You can tell because of how he’s taken to his fledgling social media site to blast his former attorney general, Bill Barr, and even his beloved Ivanka, for their testimony that was featured in last night’s hearing.
Troll level: genius there from the committee, by the way.
A lot of what was presented last night had already been out in the public sphere in bits and pieces, but there were some new bits.
For example, the testimony from a documentary filmmaker who was highlighting the efforts of a radical right-wing group that calls itself the Proud Boys noting that the group had been casing the U.S. Capitol hours before the attack.
Then there was the testimony from Barr relaying how he and others had informed Trump on multiple occasions that it was clear that he had lost the election, and that Trump had accepted this fact, and yet pressed on with his claims that the election had somehow been stolen from him.
The picture being painted is that what we saw on Jan. 6 was just the tip of the iceberg as to what was being done behind the scenes to subvert American democracy.
This was an organized effort on the part of the president, key members of his staff, members of Congress and state legislatures spread out across the country, the wife of a Supreme Court justice, perhaps the Secret Service, and then, yes, thousands of Trump patriots providing the muscle.
The committee has scheduled three hearings for next week – Monday and Wednesday at 10 a.m., and Thursday at 1 p.m.
Those no doubt will not get anywhere near the viewership that last night’s prime-time viewing will, when we get the numbers.
There is talk of at least one more prime-time hearing, which would sound good as a sort of closing statement.
The TV numbers are important here.
Story by Chris Graham