Jan. 6 investigation fallout reaches Washington state politics | Roegner

The reaction to the public airing of the events of Jan. 6, 2021, from the investigation into the attack on the U.S. Capitol has drawn shocking differences from the two political camps — including here in Washington state.

Democrats demand accountability and believe that there is enough provable information to indict former President Donald Trump, who has continued to say the election was stolen from him and has kept his supporters in a state of willingness to react to his every provocation. Former Attorney General Bill Barr, among others, said there was no proof of widespread voter fraud.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington) said it was shameful that many Republicans continue to promote the lie that the election was stolen.

Joe Kent, who is running for Congress as a supporter of Donald Trump against Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District, said the attack was “not a Trump thing.” Kent also said if the Republicans control the House in November, they would investigate federal involvement in the riot, and said there were a lot of people there who felt like their voices were not heard at the election box. Other Republicans have mostly stayed silent or have tried to change the topic.

The panel presented evidence showing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as an attempted coup incited by Trump to head off the electoral count and stop the transfer of power to President-elect Joe Biden. The panel interviewed hundreds of people, including Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Ivanka Trump and Proud Boys leaders, along with police officers who were over-run by the crowd.

There has been political infighting among Washington state Republicans over fellow party members’ stances on the U.S. Capitol riot.

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Loren Culp, who is challenging Republican Dan Newhouse in the 4th Congressional District, added to Trump’s wrath when Newhouse joined Herrera Beutler and voted for an independent commission to investigate the events of Jan 6.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Spokane) in the 5th Congressional District was the only member of the state delegation to vote against impeaching Trump. The Republicans censured Republicans who served on the committee and justified the events as “legitimate discourse” even though much of what occurred was violent. Also, Trump’s phone records show an eight-hour gap as some of his staff tried to get him to call off the mob at the U.S. Capitol.

The committee’s investigation has focused on how Trump’s posts incited different groups. But the political message from each side is much different, which gives an impression of a mixed message.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.