Editor, The Beacon:
One notable benefit of this New Year is that we can say goodbye and good riddance to the now-infamous Jan. 6 Committee. If properly constituted in a bipartisan fashion, this House committee could have gathered and presented evidence on all aspects of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot, so we can prevent it from ever happening again.
Instead, in arrogant defiance of long-honored precedent, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi prevented the minority-party Republicans from naming their own members to the committee. The only Republicans allowed were two notorious Never-Trumpers, who were hand-picked by Pelosi herself.
Thus, there was no cross-examination of witnesses and no contrary arguments or evidence to counter the sole focus of the hearings: vilifying President Trump.
The result wasn’t a hearing in any real sense, but a tightly orchestrated cavalcade of propaganda in the mold of a Soviet-era show trial. This was the stuff of banana republics, not the bastion of democracy that we claim to be.
The adversarial method lies at the very heart of our justice system. The right to confront and cross-examine witnesses, debate issues and present opposing arguments is fundamental to our sense of due process and fairness. It is the crucible through which we learn the truth.
As a consequence, vital questions remain unanswered, such as why wasn’t there greater security for the protest? Why did Pelosi reject Trump’s authorization for 20,000 National Guard troops to be on hand? And, were any government agents in the crowd that day, and what was their role in the events that transpired? All those issues and more should have been explored.
America deserves better than the embarrassing, hyperpartisan spectacle they were served.