Today marks the one-year anniversary of the day an angry mob stormed the U.S. Capitol.

Over the past six months, a select committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has interviewed more than 300 people, issued more than 50 subpoenas and obtained tens of thousands of records.

The committee’s co-chair, Liz Cheney, has an important message for her fellow Republicans.

“The Republican Party has to make a choice,” she said. “We can either be loyal to our Constitution or loyal to Donald Trump, but we cannot be both.”

Cheney, one of two Republicans on the committee, has been an outspoken critic of the former president.

“He crossed lines no American president has ever crossed before,” she said in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos. “When a president refuses to tell the mob to stop, when he refuses to defend any of the coordinate branches of government, he cannot be trusted.”

Cheney called the prospect of Trump’s return to the White House a threat to democracy. The party has an obligation, she said, to make sure he never again gets close to the Oval Office.

So far, though, her view has found little support among members of her party. A recent poll conducted by Ipsos and National Public Radio found two-thirds of Republicans still believe the big lie that “voter fraud helped Joe Biden win the 2020 election.”

Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, is unapologetically conservative. She comes from a long line of conservatives. Still, she finds common ground with fellow members of the select committee.

“This committee gives me hope,” she said. “It is very much one that brings together a group of us who have very different policy views, but who come together when the issues have to do with the defense of the Constitution. So, that does give me hope.”

That NPR survey supports a more pessimistic view. Nearly two-thirds of respondents found the U.S. democracy to be “more at risk” now than a year ago. Among Republicans, that number climbed to 4 in 5.

Only 6% of respondents would describe what happened Jan. 6 as “a reasonable protest,” but the two parties had little agreement beyond that. More than half of Democrats described it as an “attempted coup or insurrection,” while Republicans were more likely to call it a “riot that got out of control.”

Some Republicans still blame antifa or the Democrats.

They see what happened as a false flag operation aimed at making their party look bad.

Sometime soon, Cheney and her fellow committee members will release their findings. For the sake of our democracy, leaders of both parties should pay attention to what they have to say.

America must learn the lessons of Jan. 6.
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