The January 6th hearings, a series of five scheduled hearings investigating the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by the United States House Select Committee, is currently underway. In a Lawyer 2 Lawyer podcast on the Legal Talk Network, Professor of Law Emeritus William C. Banks discusses the hearings with host Craig Williams.
Williams and Banks consider the purpose of the hearings, the goals of the January 6th Select Committee, the potential criminal referrals to the DOJ by the committee, and whether there could be possible criminal prosecution due to the information revealed in these hearings.
During their discussion, Williams draws a parallel to the January 6th insurrection and the Watergate scandal.
“One of the starkest contracts between Watergate and January 6th is that the principal players in Watergate agreed to abide by the rule of law once their activities were exposed, and indeed it was the rule of law that caused many of them…to come clean,” Banks said. “And indeed for the president to concede once the Supreme Court had ruled that he had to turn over tape recordings of the cover-up, that he himself was culpable and needed to resign the presidency. So, a more humble president than Donald Trump to be sure, even though President Nixon clearly violated the law. He did so and then when he was caught red-handed so to speak, he said, ‘Okay, you got me. I can’t sustain the presidency in the face of having participated in a cover-up of Watergate.’ But it pales in comparison to the activities that were undertaken surrounding the 2020 election.”
Banks states that the main takeaway from the hearings is their contribution to history.
The vast compilation of multimedia shown by the video includes what Banks refers to as “incredible video footage, some of it deeply disturbing and all of it nearly illuminating that is going to be around to stand the test of time and to teach again our children, grandchildren and other generations about this threat to democracy. So I think that’s the value. That’s the takeaway from the hearings and whatever else happens there, a worthwhile endeavor for that reason.”