Lesson 6: From Trump’s lies to the ‘unthinkable’
HO CHI MINH CITY –
The House of Representatives January 6 committee released its final report on Thursday on the “unthinkable” attack on the US Capitol in 2021, an attack by mobs of supporters. The defeated president, Donald Trump, has shaken the country and exposed the fragility of American democracy.
The 814-page account provides a compelling account of Trump’s months-long effort to overturn the 2020 presidential election, and offers 11 recommendations for Congress and others to consider to strengthen strengthen the nation’s institutions against any future attempts to incite an uprising.
The council began to document the history. Along with the report, it is releasing dozens of witness transcripts from more than 1,000 interviews with startling new details. This week, it brought an unprecedented criminal case against a former US president for prosecution.
President Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., wrote the introduction, saying the “what if” question remains.
“The President of the United States inciting a mob to march on the Capitol and obstructing the work of Congress is not a scenario that our intelligence and law enforcement communities envisioned,” he said. for this country. “Before January 6, it was unthinkable.”
From the “Big Lie” in Trump’s claim of a stolen election on November 2020 election night to the bloody siege of January 6, 2021, the report states when it began and ended the mob attack that took place for the whole world to see.
It details how Trump and his allies engaged in a “multipart” plan to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential election victory — first through court litigation. , then, when those lawsuits fail, by compiling lists of electors to challenge Joe Biden’s victory.
As Congress prepared to convene on January 6 to confirm the election, Trump summoned a crowd to Washington to participate in his “Stop Theft” rally at the White House.
Thompson wrote: “When Donald Trump pointed them at the Capitol and told them to ‘fight like hell,’ that’s exactly what they did.” “Donald Trump lit that fire. But in the weeks before that, the final flame he kindled was clearly accumulated.”
DETAILS, NEW PRESSURE
After blockbuster public hearings, the report and accompanying documents are providing more detailed accounts of key aspects of the Trump team’s plan to overturn the election, joining the crowd. at the Capitol and, as the commission began its investigation, pressured those who would testify against him.
Among dozens of new witness records, on Thursday, a previously unpublished account by former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson detailed an impressive campaign by Trump allies to encourage her maintained a “loyalty” attitude as she testified before the panel.
The report said the committee estimated that in the two months between the November election and the January 6 attacks, “Trump or his clique committed at least 200 acts that are clearly outreach, pressure or condemn publicly or privately, against State legislators, or State or local election administrators, to overturn the results of a State election.”
BEHIND THE SCENE
The report also detailed Trump’s inaction when his loyalists stormed the building violently.
A Secret Service agent testified before the committee that Trump’s determination to go to the Capitol put agents on high alert.
“(We) both know…that one thing will change if he actually walks to the Capitol,” said one employee, who asked not to be named. “I don’t know if you want to use the words ‘insurrection’, ‘coup’. We all know that this is going to move from an ordinary…democratic public event to something. is different.”
When the president returned to the White House after addressing his supporters, he asked a staff member if they had seen his remarks on television.
“Sir, they cut it off because they were rioting at the Capitol,” the employee said, according to the report.
Trump asked what that meant and got the same answer. “Oh yeah?” Trump then asked. “Okay, let’s go see.”
PROTECTION OF DEMOCRACY
The report makes 11 recommendations to Congress and other agencies to protect American democracy and the tradition of peaceful transition of presidential power from one leader to the next.
First, an overhaul of the Voter Count Act, which is on track to become law in the year-end spending bill, is headed for final passage this week in Congress.
The committee also made recommendations for the Justice Department to indict Trump and others on charges of conspiracy to defraud the public and other potential charges. It also indicted the former president for “supporting and providing aid and consolation to an uprising.”
Other changes may be within reach or more elusive. Among them, the report recommends increasing security around key congressional events, overhauling Metropolitan Police surveillance, and beefing up federal penalties for certain types of anti-theft threats. election staff.
One recommendation is that Congress create a formal mechanism to consider barring individuals from public office if they participate in Fourteenth Amendment insurrection or rebellion. It argued that people who had sworn in support of the Constitution could be disenfranchised from holding future federal or state office if they supported an uprising.
The January 6 committee was created after Congress rejected an attempt to create an independent 9/11-style commission to investigate the Capitol attack. Republicans have blocked the idea.
Instead, Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the House of Representatives to form the committee. In her introduction to the report, she said it “must be a clear call to all Americans: defend our Democracy with caution.”
Led by Thompson and Vice President Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., the council’s work aims to document the history of what happened during the deadliest attack on the Capitol since the War of the Year. 1812.
Five people died in the riot and its aftermath, including Ashli Babbitt, a Trump supporter shot dead by police, and Brian Sicknick, a police officer who died a day after fighting with crowd.
Cheney noted that the committee decided that most of its witnesses needed to be Republicans — the group of the president and his allies. In the opening of the report, she wrote that history will remember “the bravery of a few Americans” and those who have withstood Trump’s “corrupt pressure”.
To all of them, the committee and the report carry individual weight.
Thompson, a Black leader in Congress, noted that the iconic U.S. Capitol, built with slave labor, “is in itself a fixture in our nation’s history.” me, both good and bad… a symbol of our journey towards a more perfect union.”
Associated Press writers Farnoush Amiri, Mary Clare Jalonick, Eric Tucker, and Nomaan Merchant contributed to this report.