By LISA MASCARO, MARY CLARE JALONICK and FARNOUSH AMIRI
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 riot on the U.S. Capitol laid the blame firmly on Donald Trump Thursday night time, saying the assault was hardly spontaneous however an “attempted coup” and a direct results of the defeated president’s effort to overturn the 2020 election.
With a never-before-seen 12-minute video of extremist teams main the lethal siege and startling testimony from Trump’s most inside circle, the 1/6 committee offered gripping element in contending that Trump’s repeated lies about election fraud and his public effort to cease Joe Biden’s victory led to the assault and imperiled American democracy
“Democracy remains in danger,” mentioned Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the panel, throughout the listening to, timed for prime time to achieve as many Americans as potential.
“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 mentioned. “The violence was no accident.”
The hearings might not change Americans’ views on the Capitol assault, however the panel’s investigation is meant to face as its public report. Ahead of this fall’s midterm elections, and with Trump contemplating one other White House run, the committee’s last report goals to account for probably the most violent assault on the Capitol since 1814, and to make sure such an assault by no means occurs once more.
Testimony confirmed Thursday how Trump desperately clung to his personal false claims of election fraud, beckoning supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6 when Congress would certify the outcomes, regardless of these round him insisting Biden had received the election.
In a beforehand unseen video clip, the panel performed a quip from former Attorney General Bill Barr who testified that he informed Trump the claims of a rigged election have been “bull—.”
In one other, the previous president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, testified to the committee that she revered Barr’s view that there was no election fraud. “I accepted what he said.”
Others confirmed leaders of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys getting ready to storm the Capitol to face up for Trump. One rioter after one other informed the committee they got here to the Capitol as a result of Trump requested them to.
“President Trump summoned a violent mob,” mentioned Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the panel’s vice chair who took the lead for a lot of the listening to. “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.”
There was an audible gasp within the listening to room when Cheney learn an account that mentioned when Trump was informed the Capitol mob was chanting for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged for refusing to dam the election outcomes. Trump responded that perhaps they have been proper, that he “deserves it.”
At one other level it was disclosed that Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a pacesetter of efforts to object to the election outcomes, had sought a pardon from Trump, which might defend him from prosecution.
When requested concerning the White House legal professionals threatening to resign over what was taking place within the administration, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner scoffed they have been “whining.”
Police officers who had fought off the mob consoled each other as they sat within the committee room reliving the violence they confronted on Jan. 6. Officer Harry Dunn teared up as bodycam footage confirmed rioters bludgeoning his colleagues with flagpoles and baseball bats.
In wrenching testimony U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards informed the panel that she slipped in different folks’s blood as rioters pushed previous her into the Capitol. She suffered mind accidents within the melee.
“It was carnage. It was chaos,” she mentioned.
The riot left greater than 100 cops injured, many overwhelmed and bloodied, as the group of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol. At least 9 individuals who have been there died throughout and after the rioting, together with a lady who was shot and killed by police.
Biden, in Los Angeles for the Summit of the Americas, mentioned many viewers have been “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.”
Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee tweeted: “All. Old. News.”
Emotions are nonetheless uncooked on the Capitol, and safety was tight. Law enforcement officers are reporting a spike in violent threats towards members of Congress.
Against this backdrop, the committee was chatting with a divided America. Most TV networks carried the listening to stay, however Fox News Channel didn’t.
The committee chairman, civil rights chief Thompson, opened the listening to with the sweep of American historical past. saying he heard in these denying the stark actuality of Jan. 6 his personal expertise rising up in a time and place “where people justified the action of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan and lynching.”
Republican Rep. Cheney, the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, outlined what the committee has realized concerning the occasions main as much as that brisk January day when Trump despatched his supporters to Congress to “fight like hell” for his presidency.
Among these testifying was documentary maker Nick Quested, who filmed the Proud Boys storming the Capitol — together with a pivotal assembly between the group’s then-chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and one other extremist group, the Oath Keepers, the night time earlier than in close by parking storage. Quested mentioned the Proud Boys later went to get tacos.
Court paperwork present that members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers have been discussing as early as November a have to battle to maintain Trump in workplace. Leaders each teams and a few members have since been indicted on uncommon sedition expenses over the military-style assault.
In the weeks forward, the panel is predicted to element Trump’s public marketing campaign to “Stop the Steal” and the non-public stress he placed on the Justice Department to reverse his election loss — regardless of dozens of failed courtroom circumstances testifying there was no fraud on a scale that might have tipped the leads to his favor.
The panel confronted obstacles from its begin. Republicans blocked the formation of an unbiased physique that might have investigated the Jan. 6 assault the best way the 9/11 Commission probed the 2001 terror assault.
Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ushered the creation of the 1/6 panel via Congress and rejected Republican-appointed lawmakers who had voted on Jan. 6 towards certifying the election outcomes, finally naming seven Democrats and two Republicans.
House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been caught up within the probe and has defied the committee’s subpoena for an interview, referred to as the panel a “scam.”
In the viewers have been a number of lawmakers who have been trapped collectively within the House gallery throughout the assault.
“We want to remind people, we were there, we saw what happened,” mentioned Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn. ”We know the way shut we got here to the primary non-peaceful transition of energy on this nation.”
The Justice Department has arrested and charged greater than 800 folks for the violence that day, the most important dragnet in its historical past.
Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Michael Balsamo and Alanna Durkin Richer in Boston contributed to this report.
For full protection of the Jan. 6 hearings, go to https://www.apnews.com/capitol-siege.