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Houston Newsmakers: Conspiracy, lies lead to Capitol insurrection

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: A protester holds a Trump flag inside the US Capitol Building near the Senate Chamber on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) (2021 Getty Images)

Words to know in the weeks ahead:

  • Sedition: “The act of inciting revolt or violence against a lawful authority with the goal of destroying or overthrowing it.”
  • Impeachment:” A charge of misconduct made against the holder of a public office.”
  • Inauguration: “A ceremony marking the beginning of something.”
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 06: U.S. Capitol police officers point their guns at a door that was vandalized in the House Chamber during a joint session of Congress on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Congress held a joint session today to ratify President-elect Joe Biden's 306-232 Electoral College win over President Donald Trump. A group of Republican senators said they would reject the Electoral College votes of several states unless Congress appointed a commission to audit the election results. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)1 (2021 Getty Images)

What drove thousands of Trump supporters to Washington, D.C. on January 6th? Thousands of them rioted and attacked the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress, upset with election results that showed former Vice President Joe Biden beating President Trump. Many of the rioting Trump supporters chanted “stop the steal” as they charged the Capitol.

This week’s guest on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall says many of those rioting and millions more in the country fell victim lies and conspiracy theories about the election.

“A conspiracy theory is an alternate reality that’s generated when people don’t want to turn loose of deeply held beliefs, said Dr. Thomas Kolditz, the Founder & Director of the Doerr Institute for New Leaders at Rice University. “They’re confronted with reality like an election result and they can’t accept that reality in their belief system and they have to create something else, another idea to make it palatable.”

Kolditz is a retired U.S. Army Brigadier General who is an expert in leadership and psychology. He says blame for the Capitol riot starts at the top but was helped along by politicians looking for an advantage.

“An elected official embraces a conspiracy theory because it’s instrumental for them because it can help them get ahead when they know it’s not true,” he said. “I mean you know a senator who’s a Harvard educated lawyer believing this? NO! But they do it for instrumental reasons and it lacks integrity.”

See much more on this week’s program and Newsmakers EXTRA.

IMPEACHMENT PROCESS IS UNDER WAY

Attorney Brian Wice, the KPRC Legal Analyst weighs in this week on the 2nd Impeachment of President Trump and says don’t expect the much speculated self-pardon coming from the White House.

“The consensus is that if this President attempts to engage in a self-pardon, that will be challenged in federal court,” he said. “This notion that any man can sit in his or her own jury, which again going all the way back to the magna carta, has certainly not been permitted.”

UPHILL BATTLE CONTINUES AGAINST CORONAVIRUS IN THE UNITED STATES

As President-Elect Biden has said this week, things will get worse before they get better in the battle against coronavirus. Dr. Peter Hotez does not mince words on this week’s Houston Newsmakers when talking about the uphill battle still ahead as the number of United States deaths approaches 400,000.

“That’s the number of Americans GI’s who sacrificed their lives during World War II,” he said. “We’re getting upwards of those kinds of numbers maybe 500-thousand Americans will lose their lives by April so this is just horrible and now we’ve got to vaccinate the American people as quickly as we can.”

Watch this week’s Newsmakers EXTRA with Dr. Peter Hotez.

More Information:

Tom Kolditz, Ph.D., Director, Ann & John Doerr Institute for New Leaders, Rice University

· Website: https://doerr.rice.edu/faculty/tom-kolditz

· Twitter: @RiceUniversity

Brian Wice, KPRC Legal Analyst

· Website: https://www.click2houston.com/team/brianwice/

· Twitter: @KPRC2

· Twitter: @bran_wice_law

Dr. Peter Hotez, Dean, National School of Tropical Medicine

· Website: https://www.bcm.edu/people-search/peter-hotez-23229

· Twitter: @PeterHotez


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