5 takeaways from the first hearing on January 6

The House opening hearing on the events surrounding the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol lasted two compact and controlled hours, d...

The House opening hearing on the events surrounding the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol lasted two compact and controlled hours, designed as a preview of what was described as a methodical plot, directed and coordinated by President Donald J. Trump, thwart the peaceful transfer of power and democracy itself.

It was also an incentive for the American people to watch the next five scheduled hearings.

Here are some takeaways:

The committee’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi, and vice-chairman, Rep. Liz Cheney, Republican of Wyoming, began laying out what they described as an elaborate and intentional plan by Mr. Trump to stay in power, an unprecedented in American history. and with dangerous implications for democracy.

“Jan. 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup,” Mr. Thompson said.

Both leaders had scathing words for Mr. Trump and the threat he poses to American democracy. They made it clear that for all his bluster about the stolen election, Mr. Trump knowingly spread allegations of voter fraud that those close to him knew to be false, attempted to use the machinery of government and the courts to cling to power , and then, when all that failed, he sat approvingly in the White House as a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, threatening to hang his vice president.

The hearing used videotaped testimony from some of Mr. Trump’s closest aides and allies to show that the Trump campaign and his White House — and perhaps the president himself — were well aware that Joseph R. Biden Jr. had won the 2020 election. It showed how Mr. Trump and his loyalists had used a calculated campaign of lies to bind his supporters and build support for his bid to stay in power, through extralegal means and violence.

The committee released excerpts from videotaped interviews with former Attorney General William P. Barr, who said he told Mr. Trump that the talk of widespread fraud in the 2020 election was “bullshit.” There was a clip of his daughter Ivanka Trump saying she accepted the findings of Mr Barr and a campaign lawyer, Alex Cannon, who told Mark Meadows, the White House chief of staff, that the Trump allies had found no electoral issues that could reverse the outcome in key states. “So there’s no there?” Mr. Meadows responded, according to Mr. Cannon’s account.

At one point, in one of the most potentially damaging moments in the videotaped interviews, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is shown dismissing then-White House attorney Pat A. Cipollone’s threats to resign over Mr Trump’s machinations by calling them “groans”.

Caroline Edwards, a Capitol police officer who was reportedly the first injured in the riot, testified in chilling detail about the first breach of police lines, during which she was crushed under bike racks that were pushed on her and a handful of other officers who had no chance of holding back the crowd.

“The back of my head clipped the concrete stairs behind me,” she testified, recounting the moment before she lost consciousness. His testimony of continuing to fight rioters in efforts to protect the Capitol provided a stark contrast to the account of the committee of Mr. Trump sitting in the White House watching with apparent sympathy as the crowd ransacked the building, shouting for aides. who implored him to call off the violence and say at some point, “Maybe our supporters have the right idea.”

Once she came and saw the scene behind police lines, Officer Edwards said, her breath was taken away. She slipped in blood, saw her fellow officers writhing in pain and suffering from bear spray and tear gas, and watched what she described as a scene of war unfolding outside the Capitol.

“It was carnage,” she said. “It was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw.

One of the witnesses, a British documentary filmmaker named Nick Quested, who was embedded in the proud extremist boystestified that the group’s leadership had conspired with another extremist organization, the Oath Keepers, long before the riot to plan an attack that would breach the Capitol.

Mr Quested showed footage he shot of Proud Boys leader Enrique Tarrio clandestinely meeting Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers on January 5, and he said the group had escaped from an early morning gathering behind the White House on January 5. 6 to spot the police defenses around the Capitol.

“I am not allowed to say what is going to happen today because everyone is going to have to watch,” a woman said on video the morning of January 6, when no traces of an attack were evident. .

The hearing ended with a hint of what was to come in the upcoming hearings, which committee members hope will show how Mr. Trump was personally responsible for the worst attack on the Capitol since the British ransacked in 1814 and remains a threat to the American democratic experiment.

The committee concluded with videos of the rioters themselves saying they believed they had been invited to Washington that day by their president, who had asked them to fight for him.

“He lit the fuse that ultimately led to the violence of January 6,” Mr. Thompson, chairman of the committee, said of Mr. Trump.

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Newsrust - US Top News: 5 takeaways from the first hearing on January 6
5 takeaways from the first hearing on January 6
Newsrust - US Top News
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