Jan. 6 committee hearing outlines Trump-led ‘attempted coup’
Former President donald trump spurred a “mob of domestic enemies” into a “coup attempt” that was an attack on the US Capitol, the Jan. 6 committee said at the start of its first hearings.
The chairman of the committee Benny Thompson (D-Miss.) opened his remarks by citing his background as a Democratic congressman from Mississippi, a part of the country where he witnessed many justified slavery, the Ku Klux Klan and lynchings.
“I’m hearing voices today trying to justify the actions of the insurgents on January 6, 2021,” Thompson said.
Referring to the Committee’s Co-Chairman, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) As a patriot, Thompson denounced what he called misrepresentation of the investigation as political and not bipartisan. Cheney noted that Trump said he thinks his supporters had the “right idea” to challenge the then-vice president Mike Pences hanging.
“You will hear testimony, live and on video, from more than half a dozen former White House staffers in the Trump administration, all of whom were in the West Wing of the White House on January 6,” Cheney said.
Both agreed on the need to reconsider in the rearview mirror an attack on the US Capitol some 17 months ago.
“We can’t sweep under the rug what happened,” Thompson said. “The American people deserve answers. So I come before you tonight not as a Democrat, but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t just protect Democrats or just Republicans. It protects us all: “We the People”. And this scheme was an attempt to undermine the will of the people.”
However, Thompson noted that “our democracy remains in jeopardy.”
“The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over,” Thompson said. “There are people in this country who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes America great: devotion to the Constitution, loyalty to the rule of law, our common journey to building a more perfect union.”
Ahead of the hearing, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) told reporters that the committee’s findings would put Trump “at the center” of a conspiracy to try to block the presidential election Joe Bidens election victory. The committee’s aide repeated that narrative in a call with reporters, describing a “coordinated, multi-stage effort” by dangerous extremists to overthrow the election.
US Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, the first female police officer to be injured during the attack that day, is expected to testify about her sustained injuries. She suffered concussion and traumatic brain injury after rioters toppled a barrier guarding her, knocking her over and prompting ongoing prosecution of her accused attacker Ryan Samsel. The committee stated that she had not returned to the force since that time.
British documentary filmmaker Nick asked, the second witness expected, an unwound videotape adding to an already tremendous visual record of the Jan. 6 attack. As of the end of March this year, Capitol Police have reportedly turned over an estimated 14,000 hours of footage. A burgeoning file of more than 840 cases made liberal use of tape on social media, YouTube, various surveillance and closed-circuit surveillance. The Justice Department regularly releases videos that are presented to the press and the public as exhibits in the federal courtroom.
And yet, the full visual story had not yet been fully released.
Quested – the filmmaker behind the documentary about the Afghan war restrepo and a series of rap videos – following the movements on the floor.
Following its primetime debut, the January 6th committee will attempt to reach morning audiences next week on Mondays and Wednesdays. Both hearings are scheduled for 10 a.m. Eastern time. Supposedly a bipartisan body, the Jan. 6 committee includes only two Republicans: Cheney and Rep. Adam Kinzinger from Illinois. But they have become virtual outcasts from the party for their vocal criticism of Trump, who polls say is the GOP’s runaway favorite in the 2024 polls.
House and Senate Republicans opposed efforts to create a bipartisan commission structured like the 9/11 Commission, and party leadership has fought to delegitimize the committee’s work. Fox News, the conservative broadcaster, controversially stood alone among the mainstream networks not to air the proceedings in full.
This is an evolving story.
(Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP)
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