On January 6, 2021 in Washington, D.C., it was the confirmation hearing for Democrat Biden’s presidential election, when unrest sparked by pro-Trump demonstrators in Congress turned into violent clashes – first outside the building and then outside. The interior building, forcing members of Congress to barricade themselves inside the room—which shocked a world who was seeing a model in American democracy.
Only at dawn on January 7, with a curfew imposed in the US capital, did Congress certify Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election in November, the last step before being sworn in on January 20, under tight security before fear of attacks.
Because of his actions in the Capitol invasion, Trump will stand trial in his second impeachment trial in Congress, but the Republican majority has allowed him to acquit him of “inciting rebellion” charges. The Republican leadership has also refused to participate in a bipartisan investigation into dangerous developments on Capitol Hill, particularly Trump’s inflammatory role.
Thanks to recent European Thought, the IDEA International Survey on Global Democracy indicates the United States as a democracy in decline, using data collected between 2015 and the end of 2020. The report analyzes the attack on Capitol Hill on January 6, 2021, but this was true. Not the reason for the evaluation.
“The setback is mainly related to the erosion of the ability of the US Congress to efficiently verify and investigate the executive branch in power (…) and to investigate. A year on, Congress’s mainstream and ability to conduct investigations and hold people accountable is still incomplete.”
The expert believes that parties are more divided and reluctant to work together and that congressional rules of procedure are paralyzing the establishment.
“This is one of the reasons Congress has been less effective in recent years (…). We continue to see a situation where Congress fails to investigate and hold people accountable. There are people like Steve Bannon [ex-conselheiro de Trump] to refuse to cooperate with the investigation,” Hudson says.
In what Hudson calls the “big lie,” the theory that the presidential election was rigged, several opinion polls published over the past year have shown the allegations to be well-established among conservative voters.
In one of the most recent, conducted by NPR public radio, 68% of Republicans said they believed illegal or fraudulent activities altered the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. And they say they believe the 2024 election will be credible if the Democrat wins.
“We have a strong and persistent majority of GOP supporters who believe the election was rigged, which is clearly wrong,” Alexander Hudson said.
“It is striking and alarming that this has continued and will have consequences in the future,” he added.
After dropping shortly after the attack on the Capitol, Trump’s popularity among Republicans has recovered to more than 85%, according to a recent YouGov poll.
Trump had even planned to make remarks on the anniversary of the attack on Capitol Hill, where Joe Biden would speak, but on Tuesday retracted his intention, announcing he would speak at a rally on January 15.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Biden “will talk about the work that remains to be done to secure and strengthen democracy and institutions, and to reject the hate and lies we saw on January 6 to unite the country.”
The Republican was the first to announce a news conference from his Florida mansion, while Congress planned time to reflect on Washington.
Referring to the day of the presidential election, which the former president accused of fraud without providing reliable evidence, Trump had previously stated that “the mutiny occurred on November 3, 2020”.
“Trump’s uncontested behavior is unprecedented in American history,” Carl Tobias, a law professor at the University of Richmond, said this week.
“No former president has tried so hard to discredit his successor and the democratic process,” he said.
According to Alexander Hudson, the Supreme Court’s decision on whether Trump can reject the documents in the congressional investigation will be significant.
“These institutional problems in the US Congress seem to persist and this ‘big lie’ seems to have legs to go through,” the expert emphasized. “A year later, more than two-thirds of Republicans think the election was stolen.”
“It is worrying that the people who committed illegal acts and a violent attack on Capitol Hill see themselves as protecting democracy,” he stressed. “This is something Americans have to deal with.”
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