U.S. Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards

U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards testifies as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a yearlong investigation, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 9, 2022.

Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

The panel:

Charlie Hayslett — Writer, Trouble in God's Country

Jim Galloway — Former political columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Margaret Coker — Editor, The Current

Tia Mitchell — Washington correspondent, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


The breakdown:

1. The Jan. 6 committee hearings rely on pivotal information from Georgia.

  • The committee presented testimony from a few key Trump administration officials, including former Attorney General William Barr and Ivanka Trump.

    • Margaret Coker called it a "national reckoning" for Republicans as Liz Cheney reproached members of her own party, saying "There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain."
  • The state of Georgia remains central to the committee's narrative.
    • 'It was carnage': Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, a Georgia native, gave testimony regarding her injuries suffered as she defended the Capitol building.
    • Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is expected to appear in the committee's fifth hearing in regards to former President Trump's statewide actions in the days after the election.
    • David Shafer, the Chairman of the Georgia Republican Party, sent a slate of false electors to Washington, citing pending lawsuits in the state.

Margaret Coker on Republican scrutiny.


2. How will gubernatorial candidates address issues facing rural Georgians?

  • Stacey Abrams recently gave the Kemp campaign ammunition after she called Georgia "the worst state to live in" in reference to socioeconomic issues facing its poorest residents. 

    • In his blog Trouble in God's Country, Charlie Hayslett said he hopes this media gaffe will center rural Georgians' plight in the upcoming gubernatorial election. 
    • According to Hayslett, Georgia's 105 rural counties have an average per capita income of $39,027, which is 65.6% of the national average.
  • Gov. Brian Kemp has a firm grasp on rural Georgia as he won 71% of the vote in 2018. 


3. Federal gun legislation is doomed in the Senate and Georgia Democrats are similarly stymied by Gov. Kemp.

  • U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath of Georgia sponsored a 'red flag' gun law that allows for someone's right to own a firearm to be temporarily suspended if a court deems them a danger to themselves or someone else. 

    • The bill would need Republican support to pass the Senate, which is unlikely. However, Senate negotiators hope to draft a proposal which would include a 'red flag' law and secure storage requirements. 
  • In Georgia, state Democratic lawmakers are pushing Kemp to call a special session to address gun safety, but that seems unlikely.


Monday on Political Rewind:

The AJC's Patricia Murphy joins our panel.