What you might learn from the Jan. 6 hearings -- according to ​journalists ​who covered the Capitol riot

In an interview published this in The New Yorker, journalists Andrea Bernstein and Ilya Marritz talked about their reporting on the Jan. 6 Capitol riot and what to expect from the House Committee tasked with investigating it.

Bernstein was asked her writing that says “polls show that the proportion of Americans who believe that violent attacks against the government can be justified is rising," saying that one thing that has fueled violent conspiracism is the COVID-19 pandemic. One thing she sees as parallel between right-wing extremists and terror groups in the Middle East are individuals who have few resources to deal with social stressors being subject to radicalization. "...the pandemic made people lose their bearings and increasingly open to online misinformation and disinformation," Bernstein said.

Bernstein went to describe some misunderstandings Americans may have in regards to the Capitol riot.

"For example, there were quite a few Trump allies who conveyed some version, after the election, of, 'This is Trump just dealing with the drama of losing.' But we now know that Trump tried to block the peaceful transfer of power, including by trying to get the Justice Department to investigate 'fraud' and to stop the electoral-vote count; trying to change the vote count in Georgia; trying to influence state elected officials to reject the results; pondering having D.H.S. and/or the Department of Defense seize voting machines, etc. So that’s one misunderstanding: that this was anything less than an almost-coup," Bernstein said.

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Another thing Americans may not realize, according to Bernstein, is that the threat of right-wing extremists carrying out attacks in the government didn't end with the Capitol riot. "As our reporting shows, January 6th was the beginning of a consolidation of extremist views," she said. "As John Cohen, the former acting chief of intelligence for the D.H.S., told us for our story, 'I am really f***ing concerned about where we are.'"

Marritz said that she's doubtful the Jan. 6 hearings will significantly move the opinions of Republicans.

"Everyone has pretty much settled on the story they believe about why this happened and what it means," Marritz said, adding that the committee's work "is the only holistic, official government report we’re likely to get about the riot."

"It’s different from the 9/11 Commission in lots of ways, but, similarly, the committee has the opportunity to set down a record through testimony and documents," Marritz said. "I will watch it closely as a journalist, and just as a citizen, because I want to understand the causes of this colossal failure."

Read the full interview over at The New Yorker.