Hard to shake what was at stake if Jan. 6 coup had succeeded

Overturning the 2020 election results would have cracked the foundation on which our country's democracy rests

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Columnists

June 13, 2022 - 3:44 PM

A gallows hangs near the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021 storming of the building. “Hang Mike Pence” was a popular chant that day. WIKIMEDIA/TYLER MERBLER

It wasn’t until Sunday afternoon that I watched online at pbs.org Wednesday’s televised hearing on the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

The testimony and video footage were gripping. I frequently closed my eyes during the scenes of police officers being repeatedly assaulted by — there’s no other word for them — thugs. They certainly were not patriots.

What I didn’t realize at the time was the weeks-long orchestration behind the assault, having generally dismissed the chaotic predictions that “All hell is going to break loose,” according to rabble rouser Steve Bannon. I had assumed the gathering was called for President Donald Trump to present his swan song before he officially transferred the presidency to Joe Biden.

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