Trump “ignited the fire” of the riot in the Capitol

The January 6 House Committee final report confirms this donald trump criminally implicated in a “multiple conspiracy” to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol, completing an extraordinary 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent uprising two years ago.

Trump “started that fire,” said the committee’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Benny Thompsonwrites.

That 814-page report released late Thursday comes after the panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, held 10 hearings and received more than a million pages of documents. The witnesses — from many of Trump’s closest law enforcement aides to some rioters themselves — described Trump’s “premeditated” actions in the weeks leading up to the attack and how his wide-ranging efforts to reverse his defeat directly impacted those who cracked down on the crackdown Police passed and smashed through the windows and doors of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The central cause is “a man,” says the report: Trump.

The riot seriously threatened democracy and “put the lives of American lawmakers at risk,” the nine-member bipartisan panel concluded, providing the most comprehensive account yet of a dark chapter in modern American history. It functions not only as a compendium of the most dramatic testimonies from months of interrogation, but also as a document to be preserved for future generations.

In a foreword to the report, outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi says the findings should be a “call of alarm to all Americans: to be vigilant in protecting our democracy and to give our voice only to those who have a dutiful voice in their defense of our Constitution.” “.

In the two months between the election and the riot, the report states: “President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 apparent acts of public or private publicity, pressure, or condemnation directed against either state legislatures or state… or local election officials were directed to overturn the results of state elections.”

Trump’s repeated, false claims of widespread voter fraud resonated with his supporters, the committee said, and was reinforced on social media, building on the mistrust of the government he fostered during his four-year tenure. And he did little to stop them as they resorted to violence and stormed the Capitol, disrupting confirmation of Biden’s victory.

The powerful, damning report comes as Trump is running again for the presidency and also faces several federal investigations, including investigations into his role in the riot and the presence of classified documents at his Florida estate. This week is particularly tense for him, a House of Representatives committee has announced submit your tax return after years of fighting to keep them private. And Trump has been blamed by Republicans for a worse-than-expected midterm election performance, leaving him in his most politically vulnerable state since his 2016 election.

In a series of policy recommendations, the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the committee suggest that Trump should be barred from future office, noting that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution provides that anyone who takes an oath to abide by of the Constitution may be barred from office for involvement in sedition or rebellion.

“He is unfit for office,” writes the committee’s vice chair, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming.

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On his social media page, Trump posted the report as “highly partisan” and falsely claimed it did not include his Jan. 6 statement that his supporters should protest “peacefully and patriotically.” However, the committee picked up this statement and noted that he followed up that comment with electoral untruths and charged language admonishing the crowd to “fight like hell.”

The report details a variety of law enforcement and intelligence agency failings, noting that many of the rioters came armed and had openly planned violence online. “Failure to adequately share and act on this information put the lives of law enforcement officers defending the Capitol and all within it at risk,” the report said.

At the same time, the committee insists that security deficiencies are not the root cause of the uprising.

“For the President of the United States to incite a mob to march on the Capitol and obstruct the work of Congress is not a scenario our intelligence and law enforcement agencies envisioned for this country,” Thompson wrote.

“Donald Trump started that fire,” Thompson writes. “But in the weeks leading up to that, the kindling that he ultimately lit was being piled up in front of everyone.”

The report details Trump’s inaction when his supporters stormed the building and details the hours he watched the violence on TV but did nothing to stop it.

A White House photographer snapped a picture of Trump at 1:21 p.m. as he learned of the riot from the clerk after he returned to the White House after his speech – and after his own security officials confirmed his efforts to go to the Capitol himself , had rejected. “By then, if not earlier, he had become aware of the violent riots,” the report said.

A total of 187 minutes elapsed between the end of his Ellipse speech and his first attempt to disperse the rioters through an eventual video message urging his supporters to go home while assuring them: “We love you, you are something special.”

That inaction was a “deremotion of duty,” the report said, noting that Trump, as the nation’s commander-in-chief, held more power than any other person. “He deliberately remained inactive even as others, including his own vice president, acted.”

During those hours, Pence huddled in the Capitol and begged security officials for a faster National Guard response as rioters outside called for his hanging for not illegally trying to thwart Biden’s victory. And at the White House, dozens of staff and associates asked Trump to make a forceful statement.

But he hasn’t.

“We all look like domestic terrorists now,” longtime adviser hope hicks written Julia Radfordwho served as Ivanka Trumps Chief of Staff, in the episode.

The report says that “virtually all of the White House staffers” interviewed by the committee condemned a tweet by Trump at 2:24 p.m. that day — just as rioters first broke into the Capitol — that Vice President Mike Pence “didn’t have”. the courage to do what should be done to protect our country and our Constitution.”

“Attack on the VP? Wtf wrong with him,” Hicks wrote to another colleague that evening.

The release of the probe is a final act for House Democrats, who are ceding power to the Republicans in less than two weeks and have spent much of their four years in power investigating Trump. Democrats have impeached Trump twice, the second time a week after the riot. Both times he was acquitted by the Senate. Other inquiries run by Democrats looked into his finances, business, foreign ties and family.

On Monday, the panel formally turned its investigation over to the Justice Department, recommending that the department investigate the former president for four crimes, including aiding and abetting a riot. While the criminal references have no legal authority, they are a final statement from the committee following its extensive year-and-a-half investigation.

The committee has also begun publishing hundreds of transcripts of its interviews. On Thursday, the panel released transcripts of two behind-closed-doors interviews with former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinsonwho personally attested at one of the televised hearings over the summer and detailed Trump’s actions and inactions in the White House.

In the two interviews, both conducted after her June appearance at the hearing, Hutchinson described how many of Trump’s allies, including her attorney, pressured her not to say too much in her committee interviews.

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Republished with permission from The Associated Press.

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Callan Tansill

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