I have very little expectations for the January 6th hearings, no matter what production wizardry the committee pulls to make them more interesting. Committed Trump loyalists aren’t going to believe anything they say, even if the testimony came from Ivanka’s mouth. Ultimately the Justice Department isn’t (and shouldn’t) charging Trump with anything unless it’s a virtual lock he will be convicted- an acquittal would help the guy. The reality was always that 90% plus of the arrests for the terrorist attack on our Capitol would always be low level people, with the slim possibility some Trump aides got mixed in here too. The ultimate reality was that random “Proud Boys” and “Boogaloo” members were always taking the fall on this, because ultimately the actual “constitutional crisis” never came to pass- Biden was elected by the electoral college that night, regardless of how ugly it got. Yes, frankly it’s more important the ring leaders go to jail, but that was never likely.
So what exactly am I hoping for out of this? Not much. I don’t see many people moving politically because of these hearings. People watched the Capitol riots on live TV and still a third of the country either doesn’t think it’s a big deal or thinks it was fake. I’m not sure what question Liz Cheney is going to ask to change their mind. In the end I think the price of gas is going to matter a lot more to the upcoming elections than this. While some hope that like the Watergate hearings these hearings will simply stun people into demanding action, that’s overly hopeful.
My chief hope from this committee is that they can produce a report by January 3rd that offers the Justice Department a kind of “soft indictment” to guide their investigation. I don’t think this ever reaches Donald Trump himself, but you never know. If not, it is what it is at this point. Charging him with no chance at conviction is pointless.