Politics

Capitol riot hearing: Committee declares Jan. 6 riot an ‘attempted coup’

The chairman of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and Donald Trump's effort to overturn the 2020 election declared at Thursday's prime-time hearing that the attack was an “attempted coup” that put “two and half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said “the world is watching” the U.S. response to the panel's yearlong investigation into the Capitol riot and the defeated president's extraordinary effort to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden's election victory. He called it a “brazen attempt” to overturn the election

“Democracy remains in danger,” Thompson said. “We must confront the truth with candor, resolve and determination.”

MOBILE APP USERS: Click here for live blog

The committee presented never-before-seen 12 minutes of video of the deadly violence that day and also of Trump administration officials in the chilling backstory as the defeated president, tried to overturn Biden's election victory.

In one clip, the panel played a quip from former Attorney General Bill Barr who testified that he told Trump the 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 accepted what he said.”

Thursday night's hearing aimed to lay out in gripping detail that the deadly 1/6 violence was no accident. Instead, the panel declared it was the result of Trump's repeated lies about election fraud and public call for supporters to come to Washington and his private campaign at the highest levels of government to block Congress from certifying Biden's election victory.

There was an audible gasp in the hearing room, when Cheney read an account that said when Trump was told the Capitol mob was chanting for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged, Trump responded that maybe they were right, that he “deserves it.”

Biden, in Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas, said many viewers were “going to be seeing for the first time a lot of the detail that occurred.”Trump, unapologetic, dismissed the investigation anew — and even declared on social media that Jan. 6 “represented the greatest movement in the history of our country.”

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been caught up in the probe and has defied the committee's subpoena for an interview, echoed Trump on Thursday. He called the panel a “scam” and labeled the investigation a political “smokescreen” for Democrats' priorities.

The hearings are expected to introduce Americans to a cast of characters, some well known, others elusive, and to what they said and did as Trump and his allies tried to reverse the election outcome.

RELATED: Man blaming Trump's ‘orders' for riot actions found guilty

The public will learn about the actions of Mark Meadows, the president’s chief of staff, whose 2,000-plus text messages provided the committee with a snapshot of the real-time scramble to keep Trump in office. Of John Eastman, the conservative law professor who was the architect of the unsuccessful scheme to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to halt the certification on Jan. 6. Of the 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 the violence that day, the biggest dragnet in its history.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button