Ruth Ben-Ghiat: Coups are fast, violent & take planning. That’s what happened on Jan. 6th

One goal of the House Committee Investigating January 6th is to prevent future risks to American democracy. Ruth Ben-Ghiat, professor of history at NYU, was interviewed several times by the committee as an expert on protecting democracy. She says what happened on January 6th was a self-coup, designed by someone in power intending to remain so. “Coups are very fast and violent, but they are the product of months and years of planning, and that’s what happened in this case.” But she adds that the fact that this investigation is even happening, “testifies to the existence of our democracy.” Authoritarianism, says Ben-Ghiat, “is about escaping accountability – about getting away with it.”