The chairman of the January 6 committee had a dire warning about the current and future threat posed by Donald Trump’s effort to undermine faith in American elections at Tuesday’s hearing of the panel.
Bennie Thompson warned that Mr Trump’s “Big Lie” about the 2020 election could lead to a real breakdown of election processes around the country as Trump loyalists interfere with official protocols to advance their own agendas.
"The lie hasn't gone away. It's corrupting our democratic institutions. People who believe that lie are now seeking positions of public trust,” said Mr Thompson.
If they win, "We won't have close calls – we'll have catastrophe,” the chairman continued. Those Trump loyalists, he said, their oath to the people they serve will take a backseat to their commitment to the “Big Lie”.
The committee went on to reference the ongoing situation in New Mexico, where a county commissioner just sentenced for his role in the January 6 attack is refusing to certify the results of a local primary election due to baseless claims of voter fraud.
A wide breadth of legal experts have warned that Donald Trump is actively plotting to further undermine America’s election systems ahead of a potential bid for president in 2024. The ex-president has publicly thrown his support behind opponents to local officials who resisted his efforts to overturn the 2020 election, with little success so far.
Tuesday’s hearing of the committee focused on Mr Trump and his team’s efforts to pressure lawmakers and state officials in Georgia and Arizona to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory and appoint Trump-voting electors to flip their respective states’ Electoral College votes in his favour.
The unsuccessful bid by Mr Trump to pressure officials in Georgia is also concurrently being investigated by state authorities in the Peach State who convened a grand jury on the matter earlier this year.