My Turn, Karen Puckett: Jan. 6 coup attempt was leading us into authoritarianism

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 21, 2022

I was taken aback as I watched the first of six scheduled hearings regarding the Jan. 6 insurrection. I hope other Americans are as concerned as I am about the series of events that took place on Jan. 6, 2021.

According to the testimony and findings of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, the events of that day potentially led to the dismantling of our electoral process. Indeed, had the rioters been successful in their plans, we would have lost our republic as we know it.

Despite his loss in the 2020 election, Donald Trump intended to remain president. The story of Jan. 6 as presented at the hearing draws a detailed picture showing how he planned to do this. The committee presented previously unreleased footage from that infamous day as well as testimonies from people who were close to the president at that time.

Testimony and video presentations showed:

• There was no fraud in the 2020 presidential election that would change the results of the election. That fact was communicated to the president soon after the November election.

• Not able to accept his loss, Donald Trump participated in an attack on our democracy. According to the committee he “summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame” of an organized attack on the Capitol during the Jan. 6 coup attempt.

• The events of Jan. 6 were planned and the rioters came to the Capitol at Trump’s invitation. When Trump tweeted on Dec. 19, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” extremist groups such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys began organizing and planning a trip to Washington.

The attack on the Capitol was brutal. Rioters chanted “hang Mike Pence” and sought out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Congressmen and women from parties hid in terror in their offices as the mob broken in and desecrated the U.S. Capitol.

Capitol police were overwhelmed by the rioters and more than 140 were injured. They were attacked with tear gas and other chemicals by rioters while the president watched the event on television, refusing to stop the hours-long assault. One officer was so stricken by the attack that he died after having two strokes.

As an American who is grateful for the protections we enjoy through the U.S. Constitution, I believe that all of my fellow Americans will benefit from watching these hearings and learning the truth about how vulnerable our republic was to a hostile take-over.

To learn more, go to

To read an analysis of each day of the hearings, go to

Karen Puckett lives inSalisbury