Key takeaways from US Congress hearing on January 6 Capitol riot | Politics News

Former President Donald Trump was a continuing theme within the much-anticipated prime time congressional listening to on the January 6, 2021 US Capitol riots.

The occasion on Thursday night – greater than 18 months after the assault – captured the eye of Washington, DC because the committee tasked with investigating the riots continues its probe.

Main Republicans had dismissed the listening to as a “witch hunt”, questioning the legitimacy of the January 6 panel.

Thursday’s listening to largely targeted on Trump’s position within the riots, which have been carried out by his supporters who wished to halt the certification of President Joe Biden’s election victory primarily based on false allegations of widespread election fraud.

Here’s a take a look at 5 key takeaways from the listening to:

Trump’s position takes centre stage

From the outset of the listening to till its conclusion, one title saved developing: Donald Trump.

At each flip, the committee’s leaders highlighted the previous president’s position within the riots.

Liz Cheney, vice chair of the panel and considered one of two Republicans on it, mentioned Trump “summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this assault”.

“On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to stay president of the USA regardless of the lawful final result of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish energy,” she mentioned.

For his half, committee chair Bennie Thompson accused Trump of trying to cease the switch of energy, calling the January 6 rioters “home enemies of the Structure”.

“It was home enemies of the Structure, who stormed the Capitol and occupied the Capitol, who sought to thwart the desire of the individuals to cease the switch of energy,” he mentioned. “And so they did so on the encouragement of the president of the USA – the president of the USA, making an attempt to cease the switch of energy.”

The panel highlighted Trump’s public statements claiming that the election was illegitimate, in addition to his efforts inside the administration to overturn the 2020 vote.

Assault was deliberate, committee says

Lawmakers pressured all through the listening to that the assault on the Capitol was deliberate prematurely, not an impromptu riot after a Trump rally close to the White Home.

“The assault on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot,” Cheney mentioned. “Intelligence accessible earlier than January 6 recognized plans to invade the Capitol, occupy the Capitol, and take different steps to halt Congress’ rely of electoral votes that day. In our hearings to return, we’ll establish components of these plans, and we’ll present particularly how a bunch of Proud Boys led a mob into the Capitol constructing on January 6.”

Thompson additionally underscored the position of far-right teams in planning the assault.

“Two violent extremist teams have been charged with seditious conspiracy in reference to the January 6 assault,” Committee Chair Bennie Thompson mentioned, naming the teams because the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys.

Extra hearings will additional scrutinise Trump

Cheney outlined some of what’s to be anticipated in future hearings. Thursday’s occasion was the primary of seven hearings by the panel.

Cheney mentioned future hearings will look into Trump’s actions within the run-up to the riots and the way officers in his administration informed the previous president that allegations of election fraud have been false.

“As you will note in nice element in our hearings, President Trump ignored the rulings of our nation’s courts, ignored his personal marketing campaign management, his White Home employees, many Republican state officers, ignored the Division of Justice and the Division of Homeland Safety,” Cheney mentioned.

There can even be witnesses “on how the day performed out contained in the White Home”, she mentioned.

Cheney added that future testimonies will spotlight discussions inside Trump’s cupboard to invoke the twenty fifth Modification to take away him from workplace.

Al Jazeera’s Heidi Zhou-Castro, reporting from the US Capitol, mentioned it seems that every of the longer term hearings “analyses a portion of what the committee says is Trump’s culpability in all of this”.

Former Trump-appointed legal professional basic says there was no election fraud

William Barr, former US legal professional basic who resigned after the 2020 elections, dismissed allegations of election fraud, saying that he didn’t wish to be a part of that marketing campaign.

“I made it clear I didn’t agree with the concept of claiming the election was stolen and placing out these items, which I informed the president was bull***t,” Barr says in a video from a sworn statement performed on the listening to.

In one other video, the previous legal professional basic additionally rebukes allegations superior by Trump’s allies that voting machines have been rigged, describing the idea as “full nonsense” and “loopy stuff”.

In a separate video, Trump’s daughter and former White Home adviser Ivanka Trump mentioned she accepted Barr’s evaluation that there was no election fraud.

“It affected my perspective,” she says of Barr’s testimony in a video performed on the listening to. “I respect Lawyer Basic Barr, so I accepted what he mentioned.”

Ivanka Trump testified on the committee behind closed doorways in April.

Riots put US democracy in danger, committee leaders say

As some Republicans downplay the severity of the riots, the January 6 panel argued on Thursday that the assault on the Capitol endangered the American governing system.

“January 6 and the lies that led to riot have put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy in danger,” Thompson mentioned in his opening testimony.

He added that the “conspiracy to thwart the desire of the individuals is just not over”.

“There are these on this viewers who thirst for energy however don’t have any love or respect for what makes America nice: devotion to the Structure, allegiance to the rule of legislation, our shared journey to construct a extra good union,” Thompson mentioned.

He referred to as the riots the “fruits of an tried coup“.

‘It was carnage; it was chaos,’ says Capitol officer

A big a part of the listening to was devoted to highlighting how violent the assault on the Capitol was.

The committee confirmed new videos of the assault that it mentioned have been by no means proven earlier than.

The footage confirmed indignant Trump supporters marching on the Capitol and breaching the barricades surrounding the constructing as legislation enforcement officers struggled to include them.

Most of the rioters wore tactical gear and waved Trump flags.

Caroline Edwards, a Capitol police officer who was injured in the course of the assault and considered one of Thursday’s two witnesses, described how she and different officers tried to include rioters making an attempt to breach the constructing.

“It was carnage; it was chaos,” she mentioned. “I can’t even describe what I noticed. I by no means in my wildest desires did I believe that as a police officer, as a legislation enforcement officer, I’d discover myself in the course of a battle.”

Edwards mentioned she witnessed her fellow officer Brian Sicknick, who would die later after the riots, along with his “head in his fingers” in the course of the assault.

“He was ghostly pale, which I figured at that time that he had been sprayed, and I used to be involved,” she informed the committee. “My cop alarm bells went off as a result of if you happen to get sprayed with pepper spray, you’re going to show crimson. He turned nearly as pale as this sheet of paper.”

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