Trump “at the center” of an “attempted coup”: the findings of the investigation into the Capitol robbery

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The capture of the Capitol was the “culmination of a coup attempt”: A year and a half after the events of January 6, 2021 that shocked the world, a parliamentary inquiry on Thursday put Donald Trump at the center. of a “conspiracy” to keep him in power.

An angry mob in the corridors of the US Congress, elected officials crawling on the floor with gas masks… Protesters stormed Parliament House this day after “encouragement” from the former president, said Bennie Thompson, head of the commission, at the beginning of a series of hearings that were supposed to prove the existence of a deliberate campaign to overturn the result of the 2020 presidential election, won by Joe Biden.

“January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup,” Bennie Thompson said during the nearly two-hour hearing. “Donald Trump was at the center of this plot.”

For nearly a year, this group of elected officials – seven Democrats and two Republicans – heard more than 1,000 witnesses, including two of the former president’s sons, and reviewed 140,000 documents to clarify Donald Trump’s facts and gestures before, during and after this event that shook American democracy.

“President Trump convened the crowd, rallied the crowd and lit the fuse for this attack,” said Liz Cheney, one of the few elected Republicans who agreed to serve on this commission.

war zone»

To support its conclusions, the “January 6” commission broadcast unprecedented and extremely violent footage of this cold winter day during which thousands of Donald Trump supporters gathered in Washington to denounce the result of the 2020 elections.

These videos show a flurry of people storming Congressional headquarters, attacking police officers, calling to “hang” Vice President Mike Pence and a protester reading Donald Trump’s tweets through a megaphone in the midst of a raving crowd.

“It was by no means a tourist visit to the Capitol,” said Bennie Thompson, alluding to Republicans making that argument.

Superimposed on some of these images is a montage of Donald Trump calling his protesters “peaceful” and assuring that there is “love in the air”.

The commission also received testimony from a police officer, Caroline Edwards, the first member of the police force to be wounded by the rioters on January 6, comparing the Capitol’s surroundings to “a war zone”.

“It was slipping in people’s blood”, “it was carnage, it was chaos”, confided the police officer.

Documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, whose team followed the far-right ‘Proud Boys’ militia during the attack, says he was shocked by the ‘anger’ he saw among the group’s members.

Images of this hearing were broadcast live by many news outlets but shunned by the more conservative media, a fresh illustration of the deep political divide dividing the United States.

Democracy in danger»

Because a year and a half after the Capitol Hill attack, millions of Donald Trump supporters remain firmly convinced that the 2020 election was marked by fraud. And this despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

The main stakeholder, Donald Trump, praised this day again on Thursday, assuring that the Capitol robbery was the “biggest move in history to make America great again”.

Anyone who qualifies this investigation as a “witch hunt” accused on its social network Truth Social, after the hearing on Thursday, the parliamentary committee of being biased and reiterated its allegations of electoral fraud.

According to him, the commission “refuses to present some of the many witnesses and positive statements”.

The congressional committee considers its investigation essential to ensure that one of the darkest episodes in American history is never repeated, despite very real threats.

“Our democracy is still in danger. The plot to go against the will of the people is not over,” warned Bennie Thompson.

Most Republicans reject his work, House Conservative leader Kevin McCarthy denounces the commission as “the most political and least legitimate in the history of the United States”.

His party has already promised to bury the work of this commission if it takes control of the House during legislative elections in November.

Conservative-elect Liz Cheney, who became the ex-president’s pet peeve for being one of the rare voices in the Great Old Party to dare to openly criticize him, directly rebuked her fellow Republicans: “The day will come when Donald Trump leaves , but your dishonor will remain”.

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