WASHINGTON – Following the bipartisan House Jan. 6 Select Committee’s eighth public hearing last night, Margaret Huang, President and CEO of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) issued the following statement:
“Over the last month, the House Jan. 6 Select Committee has methodically documented concerted efforts by former president Trump and his supporters to overturn the 2020 election despite knowing they lost. The House Select Committee has presented substantial evidence of coordination between Trump, his supporters – including current members of Congress and two extremist groups the SPLC has tracked for years. These groups acted as a violent vanguard to direct the energy of other protesters in the deadly attack on our nation’s Capital.
“We are pleased the House Select Committee highlighted the key role these groups, particularly the Proud Boys – one of the most violent extremist groups in the U.S. at the time of the insurrection – and the antigovernment, heavily armed extremist Oath Keepers, played in attacking the Capitol, as well as highlighting the direct connection between them and former President Trump.
“Yet, these disturbing revelations are just the beginning. SPLC has documented that the threat of political violence has substantially increased since January 6th. The work of the House select committee to ensure transparency, accountability and real consequences for the planners and perpetrators of the Capitol assault – and those who inspired and funded their activities – is essential for addressing the ongoing threat to our democracy.
“Jan. 6 was a warning that cannot be ignored. The disinformation campaign contrived by leaders of the Jan. 6 attack has prompted efforts to sabotage future elections and our fundamental right to choose our leaders. These efforts include the enactment of dozens of discriminatory anti-voter laws that disproportionately disenfranchise voters of color and are designed to control election outcomes, as well as the harassment and intimidation of state and local election officials for doing their jobs and give partisan poll watchers the ability to harass and intimidate voters. The ongoing threat to our democracy is clear and underscores the urgent need to pass legislation to protect our democratic election procedures and combat hate, extremism and misinformation.
“Finally, the continuing work of the House Select Committee is a reminder that no one is above the law in a democracy. We are pleased the Justice Department has charged hundreds of planners and perpetrators of the deadly attack with serious criminal charges – including seditious conspiracy. The SPLC will continue to advocate that anyone responsible for the attempt to undo a democratic election must face the full range of consequences of their actions.“
For more information, visit www.splcenter.org.