US House January 6 Report: Trump ‘Lit That Fire’ of Capitol Insurrection
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Washington: The House January 6 committee's final report asserts that Donald Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol, concluding an extraordinary 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent insurrection two years ago.
Trump “lit that fire,” the committee's chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, writes.
The 814-page report released late on Thursday comes after the panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, held 10 hearings and obtained more than a million pages of documents.
The witnesses — ranging from many of Trump's closest aides to law enforcement to some of the rioters themselves — detailed Trump's “premeditated” actions in the weeks ahead of the attack and how his wide-ranging efforts to overturn his defeat directly influenced those who brutally pushed past the police and smashed through the windows and doors of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
The central cause was “one man,” the report says: Trump.
The insurrection gravely threatened democracy and “put the lives of American lawmakers at risk,” the bipartisan nine-member panel concluded, offering so far the most definitive account of a dark chapter in modern American history. It functions not only as a compendium of the most dramatic moments of testimony from months of hearings, but also as a document meant to be preserved for future generations.
In a foreword to the report, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the findings should be a “clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our Democracy and to give our vote only to those dutiful in their defense of our Constitution."
The report's eight chapters tell the story largely as the panel's hearings did this summer — describing the many facets of the remarkable plan that Trump and his advisers devised to try and void President Joe Biden's victory.
The lawmakers describe the former president's pressure on states, federal officials, lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to game the system or break the law.
In the two months between the election and the insurrection, the report says, “President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 apparent acts of public or private outreach, pressure, or condemnation, targeting either State legislators or State or local election administrators, to overturn State election results.”
Trump's repeated, false claims of widespread voter fraud resonated with his supporters, the committee said, and were amplified on social media, building on the distrust of government he had fostered for his four years in office.
And he did little to stop them when they resorted to violence and stormed the Capitol, interrupting the certification of Joe Biden's victory.
The massive, damning report comes as Trump is running again for the presidency and also facing multiple federal investigations, including probes of his role in the insurrection and the presence of classified documents at his Florida estate.
This week is particularly fraught for him, as a House committee said it will release his tax returns after he has fought for years to keep them private.
And Trump has been blamed by Republicans for a worse-than-expected showing in the midterm elections, leaving him in his most politically vulnerable state since he was elected in 2016.
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