WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has laid the blame firmly on Donald Trump, saying the assault was not spontaneous but an “attempted coup” and a direct result of the defeated president’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.
With a never-before-seen 12-minute video of extremist groups leading the deadly siege and startling testimony from Trump’s most inner circle, the 1/6 committee provided gripping detail Thursday night in contending that Trump’s repeated lies about election fraud and his public effort to stop Joe Biden’s victory led to the attack and imperiled American democracy
“Jan. 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after Jan. 6, to overthrow the government,” Thompson said. “The violence was no accident.”
Testimony on Thursday showed how Trump desperately clung to his own false claims of election fraud, beckoning supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, when Congress would certify the results, despite those around him insisting Biden had won the election.
In another clip, the former president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, testified to the committee that she respected Barr’s view that there was no election fraud. “I accepted what he said.”
“President Trump summoned a violent mob,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the panel’s vice chair who took the lead for much of the hearing. “When a president fails to take the steps necessary to preserve our union — or worse, causes a constitutional crisis — we’re in a moment of maximum danger for our republic.”
The riot left more than 100 police officers injured, many beaten and bloodied, as the crowd of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol. At least nine people who were there died during and after the rioting, including a woman who was shot and killed by police.