Podcast primer: prepping for the Jan. 6 hearings

Jamie Raskin, Timothy Snyder and more on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., third from top left, and security barricade the House chamber door as rioters disrupt the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Ga., third from top left, and security barricade the House chamber door as rioters disrupt the joint session of Congress to certify the Electoral College vote on January 6, 2021. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)
Jason Dick
Posted June 2, 2022 at 2:30pm

As the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol gets under way with its hearings this month, Political Theater reaches into our archives for episodes that we hope will provide some valuable context: conversations with members of Congress, influential historians and what our own colleagues experienced that day.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., a member of the Jan. 6 committee, and filmmaker Madeleine Carter discussed Carter’s documentary, “Love and the Constitution,” which is about Raskin dealing with the death of his son from suicide amid the attack on the Capitol and his subsequent role as lead impeachment manager at the trial of former President Donald Trump.

Historian Timothy Snyder has spent his career studying how democracies fail and why. The author of “On Tyranny, Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century,” said the Jan. 6 attack reminded him of Germany’s Beer Hall Putsch of 1923, a clumsy, failed attempt at a coup by Adolf Hitler and his supporters that provided the Nazi leader lessons for how to take power in a more sophisticated manner.

In addition to members of Congress and their staffs, reporters, photographers, editors, producers and other people who work in the media were present on Jan. 6 to witness what has typically been a peaceful transfer of presidential power. Journalists were not the story that day, but journalists told the story of that day.

Jan. 6, 2021 was a traumatic and tragic day. There have been numerous and ongoing attempts to minimize its importance and to move on without fully understanding what happened and why and holding those responsible for it accountable. However long it takes to process, so be it. We hope we have been able to contribute to understanding the story as it continues to unfold.

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