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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Panel investigates Trump’s ‘siren song’ against extremists

WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The legislative committee investigating the attack on the United States Capitol is expected to highlight how violent far-right extremists responded to then-President Donald Trump’s “siren call” to come to Washington for a massive rally. Some of them now face unusual sedition charges for the deadly attack on the Capitol and his actions in his attempt to overturn the 2020 presidential election results.

The investigative panel meets on Tuesday for a public hearing on the final phase of Trump’s multifaceted effort to stop Joe Biden from winning the election. As dozens of lawsuits and false allegations of election fraud floundered, Trump tweeted the invitation to the rally, a pivotal moment, the commission said. The Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and other far-right groups now facing criminal charges responded immediately.

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“We will present the body of evidence that we have that speaks to how the president’s tweet in the early hours of December 19 of ‘Go Go Crazy’ was a siren song for these people,” said one panelist, Congresswoman Stephanie. Murphy, a Democrat from Florida, during an interview on “Meet the Press” this past weekend. In fact, Trump tweeted, “Being there will be insane!”

Among those expected to testify is Stephen Ayres, who last month pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and disruptive conduct in a restricted building. He admitted that on January 2, 2021, he posted an image claiming that Trump “was asking us to come back to Washington on January 6 for a big protest.” Another witness is Jason Van Tatenhove, an ally of Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes. The witnesses were confirmed by someone familiar with the testimony who spoke on condition of anonymity as the witnesses had not yet been named.

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This is the seventh hearing in a series that featured numerous revelations from the January 6 commission. Last month, the panel presented a stark narrative of a defeated Trump “out of touch with reality”, clinging to his false allegations of electoral fraud and feverishly working to reverse his electoral defeat. It all culminated in the deadly attack on the Capitol, according to the commission.

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