WASHINGTON ( Associated Press) – The final report from a legislative committee investigating the attack on the Capitol alleges that Donald Trump criminally participated in a “multilateral conspiracy” to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and prevent it from happening. No action taken for Followers stormed the Congress headquarters at the conclusion of an 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent insurgency two years earlier.
Trump “lit that fire,” wrote the committee’s chairman, Benny Thompson, a Mississippi lawmaker.
The 814-page report released Thursday night is the product of more than 1,000 interviews, 10 hearings and more than one million pages of documents. Witnesses – including close Trump aides, security agents and some rebels – detailed Trump’s “premeditated” actions in the weeks leading up to the attack and the direct impact of his efforts to undo his defeat on those who killed him. Brutally broke the police line. And on January 6, 2021 broke the doors and windows of the capitol.
The report said the central cause was “one man”: Trump.
The insurgency seriously jeopardized democracy and “endangered the lives of US lawmakers”, the nine-member bipartisan panel concluded in its definitive account of a dark chapter in modern American history. It is not only a collection of the most dramatic testimonies in months, but also a document that should serve as a warning to generations to come.
In a series of recommendations, the committee’s seven Democrats and two Republicans suggest that Congress consider permanently disqualifying Trump from public service. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the findings “should be a wake-up call to all Americans: to keep an eye on our democracy and vote only for those who do their duty in protecting our Constitution.”
The report’s eight chapters tell essentially the same story as the panel’s hearing earlier this year: They describe various aspects of a plan put together by Trump and his advisers to try to overturn Democrat Joe Biden’s victory. We do. They detail how the then-president pressured states, federal officials, lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to ride the system or break the law.
In the two months between the election and the insurrection, the report says, “President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 overt acts of public or private contact, pressure, or denunciation, whether with state legislators or state or against local election officials to overturn state election results.”
Trump’s repeated false accusations of widespread voter fraud resonated with his supporters, amplified by social media, taking advantage of the distrust of government he had built up during his four years in office. He did little to stop them when they resorted to violence, storming the Capitol to block the certification of Biden’s victory.
The devastating report comes as Trump is running for president again as he faces multiple federal investigations into his role in the insurrection and the presence of secret documents at a Florida property. This week has been particularly stressful for him, as a legislative committee vows to release his tax returns, which he has tried to hide for years. At the same time, many Republicans are blaming Trump for the worse than expected results in the midterm elections. His political position is at its weakest since his election in 2016.
Going forward, the commission suggested a number of measures, including a comprehensive reform of the Electoral Recount Act, which Trump tried to sidestep. A bipartisan bill that would make it more difficult for lawmakers to challenge presidential election results and the vice president’s intervention is about to pass and be sent to Biden for his signature.
The panel notes that under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution and then participates in a rebellion or insurrection can be disqualified from public office.
Trump is “disabled from public service,” wrote Republican Congressman Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair.