This past week, just before the officers began to deliver anguished testimony about the brutality they had endured, Mr. McCarthy repeatedly laid blame not with Mr. Trump, the rioters or those who had fueled doubts about the election outcome, but with Ms. Pelosi, one of the invading mob’s chief targets.
“If there is a responsibility for this Capitol, on this side, it rests with the speaker,” Mr. McCarthy said.
Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the recently selected House conference chairwoman, went even further, saying Ms. Pelosi “bears responsibility” as speaker “for the tragedy that occurred on Jan. 6” and deriding her as “an authoritarian who has broken the people’s house.”
Ms. Pelosi is not responsible for the security of Congress; that job falls to the Capitol Police, a force that the speaker only indirectly influences. Republicans have made no similar attempt to blame Mr. McConnell, who shared control of the Capitol at the time.
Outside the Justice Department, meanwhile, a group of conservative lawmakers gathered to accuse prosecutors of mistreating the more than 500 people accused in the Jan. 6 riot.
Encouraged by Mr. Trump, they also echoed far-right portrayals of Ashli Babbitt, a rioter who was shot trying to break into the House chamber, as a patriotic martyr whose killing by the police was premeditated.
As if to show how anti-democratic episodes are ping-ponging around the globe, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in June seized on Ms. Babbitt’s killing — calling it an “assassination” — to deflect questions about his own country’s jailing of political prisoners.
Some senior Republicans insist that warnings of a whitewash are overwrought.
“I don’t think anybody’s going to be successful erasing what happened,” said Senator John Cornyn, Republican of Texas. “Everybody saw it with their own eyes and the nation saw it on television.”
For Mr. Cornyn and other lawmakers, continuing to talk about the attack is clearly an electoral loser at a time when they are trying to retake majorities in Congress and avoid Mr. Trump’s ire.
Most Republican lawmakers instead simply try to say nothing at all, declining even to recount the day’s events, let alone rebuke members of their party for spreading falsehoods or muddying the waters.
Asked how he would describe the riot, in which a hostile crowd demanded the hanging of Vice President Mike Pence, his brother, Representative Greg Pence of Indiana, responded curtly, “I don’t describe it.”
Yet the silence of party stalwarts, including nearly all of the House Republicans who voted to impeach Mr. Trump for his role in the attack and the Republican senators who voted to convict him, has created an information void that hard-right allies of Mr. Trump have readily filled. And they have found receptive audiences in a media environment replete with echo chambers and amplifying algorithms.
In a July poll by CBS News, narrow majorities of Trump voters said they would describe the attack as an example of “patriotism” or “defending freedom.”
That silence follows a familiar pattern: Rather than refute false allegations about a stolen election and rampant voter fraud, many leading Republicans have simply tolerated extremist misinformation.
Nearly half of Republican voters believe there will come a time when the so-called "American patriots" will "have take the law into their own hands," the findings of a new survey reveal.
The new survey, conducted by GW Politics Poll, analyzed the belief systems of Democrats and Republicans. Based on the survey's findings, there are stark differences between Democratic and Republican voters' perspectives of the law and their trust and confidence in the government.
Republican voters in states former President Donald Trump won during the 2020 election have a higher level of trust in their state and local officials than Republicans residing in blue states won by President Joe Biden. While the same trend is evident where Democratic voters are concerned, the survey indicates it is far "less profound."
Danny Hayes, a George Washington University political science professor and co-director of the GW Politics Poll weighed in with more details about the survey findings.
"Most of the state and local officials who run our elections are long-time public servants whose goal is simply to help our democracy operate smoothly," Hayes said. "But if we've gotten to a place where voters trust the electoral system only when their side wins, then that undermines the idea of non-partisan election administration, which is essential for democracy."
The survey highlighted the following:
"Support for fundamental principles such as free and fair elections, free speech, and peaceful protest are nearly unanimous among both Democrats and Republicans. Their views on other democratic values, however, differ dramatically. Over half of Republicans (55%) supported the possible use of force to preserve the "traditional American way of life," compared to 15% of Democrats. When asked if a time will come when "patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands," 47% of Republicans agreed, as opposed to just 9% of Democrats."