Constitutional expert and George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has cited a Monmouth University poll in charging that the specially orchestrated television shows from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s committee to investigate the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol have had virtually no impact on the public’s view of that day.
But digging into the details, the shows actually are making a minor difference – a change that supports President Donald Trump.
The poll shows that from June to August, the percentage of Americans who believe Trump was directly responsible for the riot dropped from 42% to 38%, and the percentage who say he did “nothing wrong” rose from 30% to 32%.
The committee was set up by Pelosi and many of her critics point out she was using her congressional power to stage yet another attack on Trump. She facilitated two attempts to impeach and remove him from office, including one with scant evidence while he was in office. Her second failure came after he left office and had virtually no evidence.
Her committee, which is partisan because she rejected GOP nominees to the team and hand-picked two Republicans who are devoted to her anti-Trump agenda, repeatedly has interviewed witnesses, held hearings, staged television shows and issued reports – all of it one-sided, as members decided against doing an investigation that would include all the evidence.
In fact, they’ve gone so low as to edit out, when they are releasing video of Trump’s comments, his urging of his fans to protest peacefully.
The polling said Pelosi’s latest campaign against Trump “hasn’t moved the needle with the American public.”
In fact, it shows 40% of Americans already would back him in a comeback bid.
The director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, Patrick Murray, opted for a negative view of the results regarding Trump, stating, “This continues to give political cover to Republican leaders who avoid addressing the damage done to our democratic processes that day.”
The results show 57% of Republicans have a “very favorable” opinion of Trump, and another 20-plus percent view him favorably. And nearly one-third of the respondents said Joe Biden won in 2020 “due to voter fraud.”
Turley noted he’s long objected to the “heavy-handed, one-sided approach” by the committee.
Its members, he said, have edited out “countervailing views or evidence.”
The results show that its orchestrations have made virtually no different to the opinions of 90% of Americans. And most believe it was a political scheme, not a true investigation.
“The lack of impact of the hearings is, in my opinion, due to two threshold decisions of the Democrats. First, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others decided that the committee would focus on reinforcing ‘a narrative’ rather than follow prior investigatory commissions with an open and balanced inquiry.”
It presented the appearance of a “show trial,” and featured claims by Rep. Liz Cheney declaring that “Trump family and associates had come forward to ‘confess,'” and others should do the same.
“Second, the committee over promised the public. At the start of the hearings, committee members promised they had the long-sought smoking-gun evidence — new material that would close the circle on Trump. Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) indicated he thought there was now ‘credible evidence’ to support a variety of criminal charges. His colleague, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), said the committee would show that Trump organized a ‘coup’ on Jan. 6, 2021. That framing has led to glaring omissions. The committee has routinely edited videotapes and crafted presentations to eliminate alternative explanations or opposing viewpoints like repeatedly editing out Trump telling his supporters to go to the Capitol peacefully,” Turley explained.
He said what truth there has been in the committee would not have been lessened by having more evidence and more testimony.
“This committee could have been transformative for opinions on the riot. Instead, it was another Pelosi signature muscle play. As a witness in the first Trump impeachment, I was highly critical of her insistence that the House would impeach before Christmas rather than conduct the traditional impeachment investigation with witnesses. Instead of building a more convincing case, Pelosi preferred to impeach with virtually no record, for a certain defeat in the Senate. In the second impeachment, she went one better: She held no hearing at all and pushed through what I called the first ‘snap impeachment,'” he explained