Perspectives on the January 6th Committee

January 13, 2022

~ 4 minutes read

Since its formation in July 2021, the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol has been polarizing. As news of the investigation breaks, each side’s disparate reactions make more sense within the context of how the left and right views the investigation itself.

The bottom line: The left views the January 6th committee as a common sense next step after severe security negligence made way for the violence on that day. The right views the January 6th committee as a bad-faith, partisan play to make Republicans look bad ahead of the midterm elections.

Below, we break down how the left and right view the January 6th committee and how that leads each side to reach distinct, internally reasonable conclusions. Your opinion might not fit neatly into one side or the other — and that’s okay.

What is the January 6th committee?

A committee to uncover the facts about how the insurrection on January 6th could happen, and investigate the extent to which people in power were complicit or even supported the people who attacked the Capitol.

An extremely biased committee that serves only one purpose — to blame Republicans for the unfortunate violence on January 6th to score political points ahead of the midterm election.

Who is involved?

A bipartisan team of nine House members — seven Democrats and two Republicans.

Republicans were given ample opportunity to form a bipartisan committee and participate in the investigation, but offered no serious attempt at working together. The Republicans’ disinterest and apathy for such a critical investigation is suspicious at best, and a cover-up at worst.

Essentially all Democrats, since the Republicans on the committee are strongly anti-Trump. 

Nancy Pelosi rejected two Republican members suggested by Republican leadership, which proves Democrats aren’t interested in truth, just in confirming their narrative. Having no Trump allies on the committee means their findings will be clouded by blind hatred.

Why did the committee form?

To conduct due diligence and fact-finding about how the day could go so wrong and whether there was a sincere attempt to overturn Biden’s win.

As a political stunt to make Republicans look like criminals for holding sincere concerns about voter fraud.

What has the committee done so far?

The committee is conducting a thorough investigation of Republican leadership’s involvement in planning the events on January 6th. This necessitates the examination of their private communications to ensure all facts are on the table. As public officials, these communications are reasonably subject to investigation.

If Republican leadership has nothing to hide, they should comply with the subpoenas so we can verify their innocence and move on.

The committee is abusing their subpoena power to invade the privacy of Republicans in Congress and their allies.

Digging up private phone and email records in an attempt to smear the names of Republicans is anything but a good faith investigation.

What is the January 6th committee?

A committee to uncover the facts about how the insurrection on January 6th could happen, and investigate the extent to which people in power were complicit or even supported the people who attacked the Capitol.

An extremely biased committee that serves only one purpose — to blame Republicans for the unfortunate violence on January 6th to score political points ahead of the midterm election.

Who is involved?

A bipartisan team of nine House members — seven Democrats and two Republicans.

Republicans were given ample opportunity to form a bipartisan committee and participate in the investigation, but offered no serious attempt at working together. The Republicans’ disinterest and apathy for such a critical investigation is suspicious at best, and a cover-up at worst.

Essentially all Democrats, since the Republicans on the committee are strongly anti-Trump. 

Nancy Pelosi rejected two Republican members suggested by Republican leadership, which proves Democrats aren’t interested in truth, just in confirming their narrative. Having no Trump allies on the committee means their findings will be clouded by blind hatred.

Why did the committee form?

To conduct due diligence and fact-finding about how the day could go so wrong and whether there was a sincere attempt to overturn Biden’s win.

As a political stunt to make Republicans look like criminals for holding sincere concerns about voter fraud.

What has the committee done so far?

The committee is conducting a thorough investigation of Republican leadership’s involvement in planning the events on January 6th. This necessitates the examination of their private communications to ensure all facts are on the table. As public officials, these communications are reasonably subject to investigation.

If Republican leadership has nothing to hide, they should comply with the subpoenas so we can verify their innocence and move on.

The committee is abusing their subpoena power to invade the privacy of Republicans in Congress and their allies.

Digging up private phone and email records in an attempt to smear the names of Republicans is anything but a good faith investigation.

Note: The above summaries are how each side talks about the committee’s work, not necessarily reflective of the actual work being done. The Committee has published a detailed timeline of it’s activities on the Media Center page of its website, if you want to learn more about how the committee describes its own work.

How could a reasonable person come to hold these ideas about the January 6th committee?

The perspectives above paint two very different pictures of what the January 6th committee is and why it was formed. Much of the division stems from differences in how we perceive what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, which arise from differences in how we perceive the integrity of the 2020 presidential election. 


For more on what these differences are and how they came to be, check out our deep dive into the topic.

If you see January 6th as an unjustifiable attempt to overturn a valid, democratic election, then it’s natural to want to investigate the event to find out whether elected officials were involved. 

To many on the left, if we don’t investigate this event thoroughly and hold people accountable for their roles, then we open ourselves up to further attacks on our democracy in the future — attacks that might succeed next time.

If you see January 6th as an attempt to make people take concerns about fraud in the 2020 election seriously, then it’s natural to feel that others are sensationalizing the issue by conducting such an invasive investigation. 

To many on the right, such an investigation feels ripe for politicization and abuse of power, especially when no members on the committee represent your side.

Consider this...

Choose the tab that best fits your view of the January 6th investigation.

These hypothetical situations aren’t intended to change your mind about the January 6th committee — they are merely meant to clarify how and why the other side might be seeing things so differently from you.

Further reading

Confused about how the other side views January 6th itself? Check out our previous deep dive.

Notable Amplifiers

What do you think? Do you agree with one side, or do you fall somewhere in between? Give us feedback on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook, or by emailing info@narrativesproject.com.


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