An investigation into the US Capitol riots has heard that close allies of former president Donald Trump – and even his daughter – have denied his false accusations of fraud. elections, with one calling them “the bulls”.
On the first day of six days of public hearings before the House select committee, an unprecedented 12-minute graphic video of the uprising was shown.
In it, rioters can be seen storming the Capitol building in Washington DC’s National Mall, following a violent speech by then-President Trump in which he repeated statements his claim that he was denied a second term due to voter fraud.
While the Capitol was in session, overseeing congressional endorsement of Joe Biden’s victory.
Five people died and more than 100 policemen were injured in the melee.
The hearing saw public statements from key Trump administration figures including daughter Ivanka Trump and husband Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence and his chief of staff, Attorney General William Barr and General Mark Milley.
At one point, there was a gasp when the committee was told that when Mr. Trump heard the Capitol crowd chanting for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged, he replied that they might be right. , that he “deserve it”.
Mr. Trump was angry that Mr. Pence, who chairs the chamber of the House, had refused an order to deny Mr. Biden’s confirmation of victory.
While the facts of the January 6, 2021 attack are well known, the committee is trying to compile the story of how it happened to prevent a repeat.
The former boss of the far-right Proud Boys faces 20 years in prison for being accused of plotting to overthrow the US government.
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The televised hearings – shown on US network channels at prime time – included videos of beaten policemen and right-wing extremists leading crowds into the iconic building.
‘A constitutional crisis’
Republican Representative Liz Cheney, the vice chairman of the panel who led much of the hearing, said Mr Trump had “convened a violent mob”.
“When a president fails to take the steps necessary to sustain our union – or worse, causes a constitutional crisis – we are at a time of maximum danger to our republic. we.”
The committee’s poll comes as some have tried to downplay the violence.
“We can’t sweep everything under the rug,” said committee chair Bennie Thompson, “the American people deserve answers.”
He Thompson described the attack as a “coup plot” that put “two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk”.
In a video testimony, former US Attorney General Barr called the election fraud claims “bullshit”, an argument that also seems to have convinced Mr. Trump’s daughter.
“I respect Attorney General Barr. So I accept what he is saying,” Ivanka Trump said in her videotaped statement.
Testifying live, was one of the US Capitol police, Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury while fighting a mob.
She described the insults hurled at her by rioters during the melee but said she was proud to have fought against them, even after
“I’ve slipped in everyone’s blood,” she said. “It was carnage. It was chaos.”
“What I saw was just a war scene.”