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 video of deadly violence and shocking testimony from Trump’s innermost circle, the House 1/6 committee provided amusing detail in arguing that Trump’s repeated election fraud His public effort to stop the lies and Joe Biden victory led the attack and put American democracy at risk
“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.
Thompson said, “January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as was done by rioters to overthrow the government soon after January 6. “The violence was not an accident.”
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. Testifying in person was one of the offices, Carolyn Edwards, who suffered serious injuries while fighting a crowd that pushed into the Capitol.
“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 said that when Trump was told that the Capitol crowd was chanting for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged, Trump responded that perhaps He was right, that he “deserved it.”
Trump was furious that Pence, who presides over the House chamber, had turned down his order to deny certification of Biden’s victory.
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 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.”
The results of the coming weeks of public hearings may not change hearts or minds in a politically polarized America. But the committee’s investigation, with 1,000 interviews, aims to stand as the public record of history. A Final Report is intended to provide an account of the most violent attack on the Capitol since the British set it on fire in 1814, and to ensure such an attack never happened again.
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.
Emotions are still raw at the Capitol, and security will be tight-lipped for a hearing. 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 ahead of the midterm elections, when voters decide which party controls Congress. Most TV networks carried the hearing live, but Fox News Channel did not.
There were also several MPs in the audience who were trapped 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 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 It was because the MPs acted. Usually the routine task of validating last November’s results.
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. ,
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 plagiarizing” Trump’s public campaign and put private pressure on the Justice Department to reverse its election losses — despite dozens of failed court cases and those by their own attorney general. was certified. No fraud on a scale that could have brought results in his favour.
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 over the objections of Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. It rejected Republican-appointed lawmakers who voted on January 6 against certifying the election results, eventually naming seven Democrats and two Republicans.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been implicated in the investigation and defied the committee’s summons for an interview, echoed Trump on Thursday. He called the panel a “scam” and dubbed the investigation a political “smokescreen” for the priorities of Democrats.
The hearing is expected to introduce Americans to a cast of characters, some famous, others elusive, and what they said and did as Trump and his allies try to reverse the election result.
The public will learn about the actions of the president’s chief of staff Mark Meadows, whose more than 2,000 text messages provided the committee a snapshot of the real-time scramble to keep Trump in office. John Eastman Kay, a conservative law professor who was the architect of an unsuccessful plan to persuade Vice President Pence to stop certification on January 6. Among Justice Department officials who threatened to resign rather than go along with Trump’s proposals.
The Justice Department has arrested and charged more than 800 people for that day’s violence, the biggest trap in its history.
Associated Press writers Kevin Freking in Boston and Michael Balsamo and Alana Durkin Richer contributed to this report.
For full coverage of the January 6 hearing, visit https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege.