Thursday, September 29, 2022

Capital riot panel blames Trump for 1/6 ‘coup attempt’

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – A House panel probing the January 6 uprising at the US Capitol on Thursday night strongly accused Donald Trump, saying the attack was hardly spontaneous, but an “attempt to coup” and an attempt by a defeated president. was a direct result. Reverse the 2020 election.

With never-before-seen 12-minute videos of extremist groups leading up to deadly sieges and shocking testimony from Trump’s innermost circle, the 1/6 committee provided amusing details arguing that Trump’s bar -Barr lies about election fraud and his public effort to stop Joe Biden’s victory under attack and endanger American democracy

“Democracy is at risk,” Representative Benny Thompson, D-Miss., the panel’s chairman, said during the hearing, given time for prime time to reach as many Americans as possible.

“January 6 was the culmination of a coup attempt, a brazen attempt, as one put by rioters to overthrow the government shortly after January 6,” Thompson said. “The violence was not an accident.”

The hearing may not change Americans’ views on the Capitol attack, but the panel’s investigation aims to stand as its public record. Ahead of the midterm elections this fall, and with Trump considering another White House run, the committee’s final report aims to account for the most violent attack on the Capitol since 1814, and ensure that such Never attack again.

Testimony Thursday showed how Trump stubbornly stuck to his false claims of election fraud, calling supporters to the Capitol on January 6, when Congress will certify the results, with those around him insisting that Biden won the election. had won.

In a previously unseen video clip, the panel quipped former Attorney General Bill Barr, who testified that he had told Trump that claims of a rigged election were “bull–“.

In another, the former president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, testified to the committee that she respected Barr’s view that there was no election fraud. “I obeyed him.”

Others showed extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys leaders preparing to storm the Capitol to stand up for Trump. One by one the rioters told the committee that they had come to the Capitol because Trump had told them to do so.

“President Trump called for a violent mob,” said Representative Liz Cheney, R-Vyo, the panel’s vice chairman, which led for most of the hearing. “When a president fails to take the necessary steps to preserve our union—or worse, cause a constitutional crisis—we are in a moment of maximum danger to our republic.”

There was an audible gasp in the hearing room when Cheney read an account that called for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged when Trump was told that Capitol crowds refused to block election results. Was being Trump replied that perhaps he was right, that he “deserved it.”

At another point it was revealed that Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a leader of efforts to object to the election results, had apologized to Trump, which would protect him from prosecution.

When asked by White House lawyers about threatening to resign over what was happening in the administration, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner mocked him.

Police officers fighting the mob consoled each other as they sat in the committee room and confronted the violence that took place on 6 January. Officer Harry Dunn burst into tears as bodycam footage showed rioters thrashing their colleagues with flags and baseball bats.

In horrifying testimony, US Capitol Police Officer Carolyn Edwards told the panel that she slipped in other people’s blood as rioters pushed her into the Capitol. He suffered brain injuries in the scuffle.

“It was genocide. It was chaos,” she said.

The riot injured more than 100 police officers, many beaten and covered in blood, as a crowd of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol. At least nine people present there died during and after the riots, including a woman who was shot by police.

In Los Angeles for the America Summit, Biden said many viewers were “going to see a lot of details for the first time.”

Trump, unapproved, dismissed the investigation anew — and even declared on social media that January 6 “represents the largest movement in the history of our nation.”

Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee tweeted: “All. old. news.”

Emotions are still raw at the Capitol, and security was tight. Law enforcement officials are reporting an increase in violent threats against members of Congress.

Against this background the committee was talking to a divided America. Most TV networks carried the hearing live, but Fox News Channel did not.

The committee’s chairman, civil rights leader Thompson, began the hearing with a broad overview of American history. He said that he heard the harsh reality of January 6 among those in denial that his own experience was moving to a time and place “where people justified the actions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, and lynchings.”

Republican Rep. Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, outlined what the committee learned about the events of that fiery January day when Trump sent his supporters to Congress to “fight like hell” for his presidency was.

Among those testifying was documentary producer Nick Quest, who filmed the Proud Boys attacking the Capitol—as well as the group’s then-president Henry “Enrique” Tario and another extremist group, the Oath Keepers, a key figure in a nearby parking garage. with the meeting. , Quested said the Proud Boys later went to get the tacos.

Court documents show that members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were discussing the need to fight to keep Trump in office in early November. Leaders and some members of both groups have since been indicted on rare treason charges over the military-style attack.

In the coming weeks, the panel is expected to “stop piracy” Trump’s public campaign and put private pressure on the Justice Department to reverse his election loss – despite dozens of failed court cases showing that there was no fraud on the scale. . The results could have turned in their favor.

The panel faced hurdles right from the start. Republicans blocked the creation of an independent body that could investigate the January 6 attack in the same way that the 9/11 Commission investigated the 2001 terrorist attack.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi began building a 1/6 panel through Congress and dismissed Republican-appointed lawmakers who had voted on January 6 against certifying the election results, eventually leading to seven Democrats and seven Democrats. Named two Republicans.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been implicated in the investigation and defied the committee’s summons to an interview, called the panel a “scam.”

There were several MLAs in the audience who were stuck together in the House gallery during the attack.

“We want to remind people, we were there, we saw what happened,” said Representative Dean Phillips, D-Min. “We know how close we came to the first non-peaceful transition of power in this country.”

The Justice Department has arrested and charged more than 800 people for that day’s violence, the biggest trap in its history.

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Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Boston and Michael Balsamo and Alana Durkin Richer contributed to this report.

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For full coverage of the January 6 hearing, visit https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege.

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