Are the Jan. 6 hearings having any impact?

The public hearings by the House committee investigating the Capitol riot aren’t over, they’re just taking a break until after July 4.

These hearings have already revealed that Trump was at the center of a wide-ranging conspiracy to overthrow our government that culminated in the violent attack on Congress on Jan. 6, 2021, and there’s more to come.

GOP officials across the board have lied about those dark events throughout while defending the perpetrators. Fox News has done its best to ignore the hearings, while Republican voters have closed their minds and ears.

So will the hearings make any difference?

One person following them closely is Trump. But then, he’s has always watched a lot of TV, especially segments about himself. Few people are more conscious of their TV image than he has. He built his career on it.

The televised hearings are infuriating Trump, according to the Guardian, a U.K.-based news source. What’s upsetting him is not just the committee’s skillful prosecution of its case against him, but the silence of those he expected to defend him (see story here).

“He is possibly aware that, while the hearings come too late to force his resignation and may or may not cause the justice department to press criminal charges, they seem to be inflicting greater political damage than anyone imagined,” the Guardian said, adding the committee’s work threatens Trump’s 2024 comeback hopes.

A person “close to Trump” told NBC News, “I look at this and say there is nobody in America who is watching this – even with all that’s going on in the world with Joe Biden – and saying, ‘Donald Trump should be the next president of the United States’. Nobody.” (See story here.) Which is, really, what Trump cares about.

Republican pollster Frank Luntz says, “I see people no longer drinking the Kool-Aid. I see people moving away from Trump for the first time… he does not control the Republican party any more … he’s losing control every day.”

So, whether it’s the Jan. 6 hearings, or something else, or just weariness setting in, it does sound like Trump’s once-iron grip on the party is loosening. And now he and other Republicans also have abortion backlash to worry about (see Rolling Stone article (here).

But the people really sweating now are the lawyers who tried to pull off Trump’s thwarted coup; while the Capitol rioters were first to be prosecuted, they’re probably second in line, and they could be looking at prison time and disbarment (see story here).

The lawyer at the center of the fake electors plot, John Eastman, is known to have sought (and not gotten) a presidential pardon before Trump left office (and lost the power to give it); see story here.

It’s clear the Jan. 6 hearings are having an impact. The only question is how much impact.

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