Trump's election lies pose 'existential threat to our survival' that Bin Laden never did: 9/11 investigator
Supporters of then-US president Donald Trump fought with police during the deadly January 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol

On Wednesday, Greg Sargent of The Washington Post released an interview with former 9/11 investigator Richard Ben-Veniste, who argued that the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was actually more dangerous for the country, in some ways, than the devastating terrorist attack that brought down the Twin Towers 20 years ago.

"As grievous as was the blow we suffered on 9/11 in immediate loss of life and longer-term repercussions, [Osama] bin Laden and his cohort of foreign enemies never posed an existential threat to our survival as a constitutional democracy," said Ben-Veniste, a lawyer who served on the 9/11 Commission. "When viewed in the context of the motives of its perpetrators, the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, fomented and executed by Americans, poses a potentially more sinister threat than we faced on 9/11."

Trump supporters in Congress helped to kill a bipartisan commission in the style of the one Ben-Veniste served on to investigate the Capitol attack — which has paradoxically resulted in Democrats having more control of the investigation than they would otherwise.

Speaking to Sargent, Ben-Veniste argued that the committee needs to look closely into the origins of the attack, and how Trump and his followers in government pushed the "big lie" that motivated it.

"The select committee must probe the origins of the 'Stop the Steal' disinformation campaign," said Ben Veniste. "Certainly the select committee has to look not only to the acts themselves but to the intentions behind them. For example, the committee must investigate the president's attempt to persuade Vice President [Mike] Pence to violate his duty to certify the electoral college vote ... There are a variety of different aspects of the attempt to influence the Department of Justice that would be appropriate areas of inquiry."

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