Banks claims Americans are ‘tuning out’ Jan. 6 hearings. The ratings prove otherwise.

Banks claims Americans don't care about the Jan. 6 hearings. Ratings have been strong.
Banks claims Americans don't care about the Jan. 6 hearings. Ratings have been strong.
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 10:03 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - The Jan. 6 committee focused on former President Donald Trump and the pressure committee members say he put on the Justice Department, during its latest hearing Thursday afternoon.

ABC21 spoke with Indiana Republican Congressman Jim Banks earlier in the day for the first time since the hearings began.

Banks argues Americans are “by and large tuning it out.”

According to Nielson, at least 20 million people watched the first hearing in prime time. That’s a bigger audience than the Game of Thrones finale attracted. While ratings have dropped since then, they still pull numbers in the millions, which is considerable for a congressional hearing. The television ratings don’t take into account the additional reach of social media and other digital viewings.

Congressman Jim Banks, dodging questions about Trump's involvement in Jan. 6 insurrection, insists Americans don't care about the hearings.

But Banks and many of his Republican colleagues, eager to draw attention away from the hearings, insist constituents don’t care. “The shameful part of it is that every single day my phones are ringing off the hook about gas prices, about inflation, about the drug epidemic that’s crippling so many families and communities in Northeast Indiana,” he said.

ABC21 asked Congressman Banks if he believes President Trump bears any responsibility for what happened on Jan. 6.  “I can’t get past the fact that President Trump told his supporters on Jan. 7 to go to the Capitol, peacefully patriotically have your voices heard,” he responded.

A legion of Mr. Trump’s supporters stormed the Capitol a short time later and could be seen and heard on video shouting “hang Mike Pence” as they searched for the Vice President in the marbled halls of the building. Pence refused to acquiesce to then-President Trump’s desire to halt the certification of Electoral College votes, which Mr. Trump claimed were the result of a “rigged” election. That assertion was proven false by numerous courts and the Department of Justice.

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