Donald Trump accused of 'attempted coup' in 2021 Capitol riot

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

Associated PressUpdated: Friday, June 10, 2022, 11:05 PM IST
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Donald Trump | AP

Washington: The House panel investigating the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol Hill laid the blame firmly on Donald Trump, 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 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 imperilled American democracy

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

"January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after January 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 on Thursday how Trump desperately clung to his own false claims of election fraud, beckoning supporters to the Capitol on January 6, despite those around him insisting Biden had won the election.

There was an audible gasp in the hearing room when an account was read which said when Trump was told the mob was chanting for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged for refusing to block the election results. Trump responded saying that maybe they were right, that he “deserves it”.

Police officers who had fought off the mob consoled one another as they sat in the committee room reliving the violence they faced

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