Stephen Ayres, who stormed the Capitol at the January 6 riots, on day seven of the committee hearings (Image: AAP/Rod Lamkey/CNP/Sipa USA)
Stephen Ayres, who stormed the Capitol at the January 6 riots, on day seven of the committee hearings (Image: AAP/Rod Lamkey/CNP/Sipa USA)

For more than two years into Donald Trump’s first and only term, American journalists and their commentariat were slow to recognise the terrifying implications of what was then called the former president’s “shredding” of “norms”. With news laden with euphemisms for the president’s lies, and official reports describing his daily assaults on democracy as “potential risks”, it was as if the entire country couldn’t see the forest for the trees.

Namely, that there was a tyrant in the White House, and they might not be able to get him out.

At yesterday’s seventh hearing of the January 6 Committee, no such blindness was evident. Led by chairman Bennie Thompson, the committee set forth the evidence for the sixth prong of Trump’s assault on fair elections, the rule of law and the peaceful transfer of power.