October 14, 2022

January 6th Committee Hearing Reactions

Russ Feingold President

The January 6th Select Committee held its last hearing before the midterms this week and concluded the hearing by voting unanimously to subpoena former President Donald Trump. The Select Committee has proven itself above partisan politics and committed to providing a thorough and factual accounting of what happened in the lead up to and on January 6th.  Such a complete, factual investigation that leaves no page unturned is essential in preventing January 6th from repeating and in countering ongoing and acute threats of election subversion. 

The Committee’s unanimous vote to subpoena former President Trump, who played the central role in instigating the January 6th insurrection, is an important step to ensure the record is thorough and complete. As Chairman Thompson said, “The Committee needs to do everything in [its] power to tell as complete a story as possible.” We are confronting our democracy’s moment of truth, and we applaud the Committee’s unwavering commitment to ensuring it has the most thorough account possible of January 6th and to safeguarding our democracy. 

In addition to detailing the events leading up to and on January 6th, the Committee’s work and hearings are also underscoring the ongoing and acute threat to our democracy from those still actively working to subvert our elections. As Representative Liz Cheney said at Thursday’s hearing, “Why would Americans assume that our Constitution, and the institutions of our Republic, are invulnerable to another attack? Why would we assume that those institutions will not falter next time?” There is no guarantee, as Rep. Cheney further noted, that people committed to the rule of law and to democracy, “regardless of political cost,” will be in positions of authority should an insurrection happen again, or in the event of more election subversion efforts.  

These comments were particularly prescient with the midterms just weeks away. Proponents of the “Big Lie” are on the ballot in many states, with some candidates talking openly of election subversion. The threat of future events inspired by January 6th is real. The Committee’s investigation is about ensuring a factual record and accountability for the attack on January 6th, yes. But, just as critically, it is also about the future, about safeguarding our democracy going forward and reinforcing the rule of law.  

As the Committee works to conclude its investigation in the coming weeks, we must remember that we have a critical opportunity to sure up our democracy with our vote. So many of the races on our ballots have a direct impact on our election security, on our civil rights, and on the endurance of our democracy. If you don’t already have a plan to vote, I urge you to make one and to mobilize your friends and family to do the same. On this, I also want to express my sincere appreciation to all of our members who signed up and have, are, or will be serving as poll workers this election cycle. You are providing an invaluable service to our election security and to our democracy. Our elections, our ability to exercise our constitutional right to vote, could not happen without election workers.  

I’ll say it again, we are experiencing our democracy’s moment of truth, and the outcome is not at all certain. Thank you for joining with ACS in meeting this moment and doing everything we can to ensure our democracy endures.    

Democracy and Elections, Democracy and Voting, Hearings, January 6th, Voting Rights