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Democrats and Media Have Been Trying Hard to Pin Jan. 6 on Trump. A New Poll Shows It’s Not Working.

Despite an intense campaign by Democrats and the media to link Donald Trump to the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, fewer Americans than ever hold the former president responsible, according to a new poll.

SO WHAT

Congressional Democrats took a partisan approach to the Jan. 6 inquiry, and the public is seeing through it.

THE NUMBERS

An NBC News poll released Monday found just 45% of Americans think Trump is “solely” or “mainly” responsible for the Capitol attack.

That’s a seven percentage-point drop since NBC News first asked the question, days after the attack.

  • The decline was mostly driven by Democrats (91% to 87%), since Republicans were already skeptical (11% to 9%) of attempts to blame Trump.
  • A combined 55% of Americans say Trump is “somewhat” or “not really” responsible, per the NBC News poll.

THE POLITICS

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack is set to share its findings with the public this month in six public hearings starting Thursday.

  • The panel has enlisted “a renowned former network news executive to hone a mountain of explosive material into a captivating multimedia presentation” for Thursday’s primetime hearing, Axios reported Monday.
  • In the mainstream media, the Jan. 6 hearings have been framed as a moment of reckoning for Trump and the GOP, as well as a political opportunity for Democrats.
  • “With their control of Congress hanging in the balance, Democrats plan to use made-for-television moments and a carefully choreographed rollout of revelations over the course of six hearings to remind the public of the magnitude of Mr. Trump’s effort to overturn the election, and to persuade voters that the coming midterm elections are a chance to hold Republicans accountable for it,” New York Times reporters Annie Karni and Luke Broadwater wrote Tuesday.

The Jan. 6 committee said in a March court filing that Trump and his associates engaged in a “criminal conspiracy” to prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 election.

ON THE OTHER HAND

Even some of Trump’s critics have accused the Jan. 6 committee of taking an overly partisan approach to the Jan. 6 investigation.

  • David Axelrod, a former senior adviser to President Barack Obama, tweeted Tuesday that the Jan. 6 committee was being cast as a “political cudgel.”
  • Last month, No Labels, a centrist group that advocates for bipartisanship in Congress, argued that the Jan. 6 inquiry had become a “partisan exercise about which the public is skeptical.”
  • In a February appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fl., called the Jan. 6 committee “a complete partisan scam.”

Early on, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s rejection of the GOP’s nominees to the committee helped scuttle any hopes that the inquiry would be genuinely bipartisan.

  • The final makeup of the panel was seven Democrats and two Republicans.

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