The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Opinion Trump’s character is on full display

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol during a hearing on June 13. (Susan Walsh/AP)
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Gary Abernathy’s June 14 op-ed asked, “They proved Biden won, but is that the point?” I would respond “yes,” that is one of the points when a large number of citizens believe the 2020 election was stolen.

Mr. Abernathy then commented that “the committee’s strategy on proving that Trump knew he lost is a tactic fraught with peril.” Mr. Trump lies. He lied about Barack Obama’s citizenship, his Trump Foundation, his Trump University. He bragged about molesting women. He paid hush money to two women with whom he had extramarital affairs. He refused to pay people who did work for him. According to his niece, Mary L. Trump, he paid someone to take his SAT.

The Jan. 6 committee presents evidence of his “big lie,” which is the most destructive in his litany of lies. Of course he knows he lost. Of course he would lie because it serves him well. If I had any doubt about his mental status, the committee’s strategy has erased it. He is not detached from reality. He knew, and he knows.

Mr. Trump’s character is on display, and it is deeply flawed. We see it. Where is the peril? As for not having a bipartisan commission, Senate Republicans blocked the establishment of an independent commission. Sadly, it must serve their goals.

John Gualtieri, Alexandria

Regarding George F. Will’s (mostly) cogent June 12 op-ed, “Show us, don’t tell us, what happened”:

If the election of 1800 truly is “the most important election in world history,” so, too, is the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol the most selective — in the sense that it selected out members of the minority party.

As a result, the committee’s “select” composition has itself negated the principle, rooted in American history and tradition, that the validity of an investigatory body’s findings and the public’s confidence in them depend on the adversarial system being brought to bear on the process to winnow facts from fiction and bring the truth to light.

Mr. Will observes that “Republicans have almost entirely shunned the Jan. 6 committee.” But the reality is that some Republicans were shunned from committee participation, and that exclusion, undertaken for apparent partisan purposes, will cast a shadow over the committee’s ultimate findings.

Steven Sarfatti, Cabin John

The June 10 Metro article “911 Calls: Plan to kill was dropped” reported that law enforcement officials said Nicholas Roske arrived in Maryland with plans to kill Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh. It struck me as odd that, even though Mr. Roske quickly realized what he was doing was wrong, retreated from Justice Kavanaugh’s home, realized he needed mental help and turned himself in to the police, he has been charged with attempted murder.

However, the “patriots” who attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, arrived in Washington planning to overturn the election, chanted that Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi should be hanged, did not realize they were wrong, did not retreat from but entered the Capitol, and did not turn themselves in to the police but attacked the police. Yet they were not charged with attempted murder.

An attempted attack on the life of an individual is bad, but an attack on the very existence of our democratic government is much worse.

Tom Busby, Silver Spring