Capitol riot panel blames Trump for 1/6 ‘attempted coup’

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol laid the blame firmly on Donald Trump Thursday night, saying the assault was hardly 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 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

“Democracy remains in danger,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the panel, during the hearing, timed for prime time to reach as many Americans as possible.

“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.”

The hearings may not change Americans’ views on the Capitol attack, but the panel’s investigation is intended to stand as its public record.

Ahead of this fall’s midterm elections, and with Trump considering another White House run, the committee’s final report aims to account for the most violent attack on the Capitol since 1814, and to ensure such an attack never happens again.

Testimony showed Thursday how Trump desperately clung to his own false claims of election fraud, beckoning supporters to the Capitol on Jan. 6 when Congress would certify the results, despite those around him insisting Biden had won the election.

In a previously unseen video 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.”

Others showed leaders of the extremist Oath Keepers and Proud Boys preparing to storm the Capitol to stand up for Trump. One rioter after another told the committee they came to the Capitol because Trump asked them to.

“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.”

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 for refusing to block the election results. Trump responded that maybe they were right, that he “deserves it.”

At another point it was disclosed that Rep. Scott Perry, R-Pa., a leader of efforts to object to the election results, had sought a pardon from Trump, which would protect him from prosecution.

When asked about the White House lawyers threatening to resign over what was happening in the administration, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner scoffed they were “whining.”

Police officers who had fought off the mob consoled one another as they sat in the committee room reliving the violence they faced on Jan. 6. Officer Harry Dunn teared up as bodycam footage showed rioters bludgeoning his colleagues with flagpoles and baseball bats.

In wrenching testimony U.S. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards told the panel that she slipped in other people’s blood as rioters pushed past her into the Capitol. She suffered brain injuries in the melee.

“It was carnage. It was chaos,” she said.

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.

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 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 still raw at the Capitol, and security was tight. Law enforcement officials are reporting a spike in violent threats against members of Congress.

Against this backdrop, the committee was speaking to a divided America. Most TV networks carried the hearing live, but Fox News Channel did not.

The committee chairman, civil rights leader Thompson, opened the hearing with the sweep of American history. saying he heard in those denying the stark reality of Jan. 6 his own experience growing 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 learned about the events leading up to that brisk January day when Trump sent his supporters to Congress to “fight like hell” for his presidency.

Among those testifying was documentary maker Nick Quested, who filmed the Proud Boys storming the Capitol — along with a pivotal meeting between the group’s then-chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio and another extremist group, the Oath Keepers, the night before in nearby parking garage. Quested said the Proud Boys later went to get tacos.

Court documents show that members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers were discussing as early as November a need to fight to keep Trump in office. Leaders both groups and some members have since been indicted on rare sedition charges over the military-style attack.

In the weeks ahead, the panel is expected to detail Trump’s public campaign to “Stop the Steal” and the private pressure he put on the Justice Department to reverse his election loss — despite dozens of failed court cases attesting there was no fraud on a scale that could have tipped the results in his favor.

The panel faced obstacles from its start. Republicans blocked the formation of an independent body that could have investigated the Jan. 6 assault the way the 9/11 Commission probed the 2001 terror attack.

Instead, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ushered the creation of the 1/6 panel through Congress and rejected Republican-appointed lawmakers who had voted on Jan. 6 against certifying the election results, eventually naming seven Democrats and two Republicans.

House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy, who has been caught up in the probe and has defied the committee’s subpoena for an interview, called the panel a “scam.”

In the audience were several lawmakers who were trapped together in the House gallery during the attack.

“We want to remind people, we were there, we saw what happened,” said Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn. “We know how close we came to the first non-peaceful transition of power in this country.”

The Justice Department has arrested and charged more than 800 people for the violence that day, the biggest dragnet in its history.

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16 thoughts on “Capitol riot panel blames Trump for 1/6 ‘attempted coup’

  1. So the Third impeachment if Pres Trump has begun. I sure it will have the same impact as #1 and #2. November elections can’t arrive soon enouh, going to be fun.

    1. So true!

      In other news, I decided to go to downtown Indy for dinner last night with my wife. Haven’t been in several months. Dodged 1,000 potholes on the way there. Was hit up no less than 8 times by panhandlers walking to dinner and saw trash laying around everywhere. Haven’t read the awesome “local” newspaper this morning but I’m pretty sure there at least 2 murders last night. But let’s continue with TDS! Forget the fact that our once great city that was destroyed by “peaceful protests” is continuing down the toilet, lead by the worst mayor in our city’s history. Great article, IBJ. Keep pushing this stuff, we can see right through it.

    1. Because they know he has tapped into a nerve that has been long ignored and disrespected by red-blooded Americans, Fred.

  2. Quote: 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 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.

    Baloney. But, really, did anyone expect anything less from this commission and their political theater?

    1. Truth hurts, Bob. There’s a reason a reason these Republicans In Name Only don’t want you to pay attention and are slandering this thing. There’s a reason Tucker went commercial-free last night. They don’t want you to see the truth for a second, especially the part where all of those same Fox late night hosts were texting folks like Mark Meadows and telling him that Trump had to do something to stop what was going on that day.

      It was all fun and games until those media losers encouraged an actual insurrection. Now they’re just hoping the problem will go away and we forgive them their little insurrection. It ain’t that simple anymore.

      So far on the wrong side of history that you can’t even see it. Republicans have a democracy problem, they don’t believe in it any longer. Sad!

  3. People are so engrained in their positions on this topic that nothing said or shown is likely to change any opinions. There are people who believe the world is flat and those that believe it is round. No amount of additional evidence will change their minds either.

    I’ll simply dream of the day when our politicians decide to work in unity to build solutions for real problems, solutions that actually take into account all Americans. I know the dream appears to be a fantasy at this point, but one can continue to dream.

    1. It won’t change any minds but it has to be in the public record. This accomplishes that.

      And how you’re expecting both sides to come up with solutions for all Americans when one side believes that certain Americans have more rights than the others … will continue to be difficult.

    2. @JoeB: Very good words — IBJ screwed up…royally – when they designed their new commenting system, they must have had their most technical people design it, hence the poor feature set – such as a “Vote Up (+)” and “Vote Down” (-)
      In the case of the people with their collective heads buried in the sand (there’s a better word but IBJ would delete this), they forget Acton (“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely”). Donald T. Rump got a taste of near-absolute power and revealed his lack of character and morality. Those who fell into an orbit around him revealed their character as well. Our forefathers almost screwed up when they architected our governmental structure – they gave serious condition to electing a POTUS who would serve for life.

    3. I have many things I’m wrong about, but I nailed it on Trump. Trump was the exact same man in 2015 that he was the entire presidency. Those of us who were never Trump and never sold ourselves out, never refused to compromise our morals, look better by the day.

      Unfit to be elected president, unfit to be re-elected. He proved the worthlessness of the Electoral College and has destroyed the Republican Party. Everything Trump touches dies, and it remains to be seen if “America” as a democratic experiment will be among them.

    4. Joe B. – we’ll see how well the Dems do in November.
      — High inflation
      — High gas prices
      — High crime shootings and murders
      —. Wokeism and racial identity politics that have come to define the Dem Party,
      Not a good record to run on.

    5. If you’re willing to toss democracy for someone who claims they alone can fix all that, then will just blame everyone else when he’s unable to fix it, I guess that’s your call.

      That’s what is so infuriating about the current state. My options are the Democrats, for all their many, many, MANY flaws, and Republican Party that wants us all to just pretend that their party leader isn’t a wannabe fascist, that they don’t believe in free and fair elections or the peaceful transfer of power. I’m just supposed to forget about that because of inflation and gas prices? Sorry, no can do.

      I mean, how many people here in Indiana are going to cheer on the Republicans for their latest tax giveback … which will likely cause more inflation in Indiana. Who will be blamed for that inflation? Isn’t going to be the Indiana Republicans who dumped $1 billion into the economy, that’s for sure…

  4. Joe B; The proposed tax refund to Hoosiers is just that; a refund of taxes already paid. The giveaways Biden & Company exercise that promote inflation are adding to the national debt because they are printing new money out of thin air and adding it to the onerous debt the country already has. There’s an enormous difference, so pay attention.

    1. If the issue is the excess supply of money in the economy, the source doesn’t matter. The outcome is the same – more inflation.

      I’m inclined to listen to an economist over you, thanks. Given the recent numbers that show how poorly we are doing at getting our kids to go to college, and the crumbling infrastructure in the state of Indiana, I’m inclined to agree with Hicks and think we’re betting off investing the $1 billion in the future of Indiana than something that will just contribute to inflation.

      “Bottom line is that two tax refunds totaling over $1.5 billion will add more than a percentage point to the increase in general price level (inflation) in Indiana through next summer. This is how much higher prices will be than they would have been otherwise.”

    2. Bob, much of the $6 billion in cash sitting in the state’s coffers came from federal stimulus dollars during the pandemic from both the Trump and Biden administrations. It was not the result of a booming economy in Hoosierland, nor due to the creativity of the Republican control of the state.

      As for the opening night of the 1/6 Select Committee, you might want to keep your powder dry. It was, as we say in politics, the “table setter.” Subsequent days of the public hearing will peel back the layers and reveal in a deep dive the details of the conspiracy by the ex-president to stay in office despite the will of the majority of voters who decided in both the popular and electoral college tallies to toss Trump.

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