This evening, the opening statement of Representative Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, the chairman of the House committee investigating the Capitol riot, will include the following excerpt:
“We can’t sweep what happened under the rug. The American people deserve answers. So I come before you this evening not as a Democrat but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t protect just Democrats or just Republicans.
“It protects all of us: ‘We the People.’ And this scheme was an attempt to undermine the will of the people. So tonight, and over the next few weeks, we’re going to remind you of the reality of what happened that day.
“But our work must do much more than just look backwards. Because our democracy remains in danger. The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over. There are those in this country who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes America great: devotion to the Constitution, allegiance to the rule of law, our shared journey to build a more perfect Union.
“Jan. 6 and the lies that led to insurrection have put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk. The world is watching what we do here. America has long been expected to be a shining city on a hill. A beacon of hope and freedom. A model for others — when we’re at our best.
“How can we play that role when our own house is in such disorder? We must confront the truth with candor, resolve and determination. We need to show that we are worthy of the gifts that are the birthright of every American.”