Trump planned ‘well in advance’ to declare presidential victory
During a new public hearing on Thursday, perhaps the last before its final investigative report, the House Committee investigating Donald Trump’s role in the assault on the Capitol focused on his « state of ‘spirit’, ‘his intentions and motivations’.
The commission then voted unanimously to subpoena the Republican. Donald Trump “is the person at the center of the story of what happened on January 6th. So we want to hear it,” said panel leader Bennie Thompson.
The ex-president lost to Democrat Joe Biden but continued to argue against all evidence that the ballot had been “stolen” from him. A rhetoric that he had planned « well in advance », even before the results were known.
« A Premeditated Plan »
On January 6, 2021, supporters of Donald Trump stormed the seat of Congress to try to prevent elected officials from certifying the victory of Joe Biden.
The elements collected by the commission “showed us that the central cause of January 6 is one man, Donald Trump, whom many others followed. None of this would have happened without him. He was personally and consistently involved in all of this, ”said Republican Liz Cheney, billionaire pet peeve and vice-chair of the commission.
The elected democrat Zoe Lofgren evoked “a premeditated plan of the president to declare his victory, whatever was the true result”. Her victory speech « was planned well in advance, before the votes were counted », she added.
“His intention was clear, ignore the rule of law and stay in power,” insisted Republican Adam Kinzinger.
In support of their statements, the elected officials projected several videos of the ex-president, some of his relatives or former employees of the White House.
In images shot just before the 2020 presidential election by a Danish team for a documentary, we can hear Roger Stone, a longtime ally of the former Republican president, say that he doesn’t care about the vote.
« Fuck the vote, let’s go straight to violence, » he said.
Mr Stone, who has not been charged in connection with January 6, disputed the authenticity of the videos, saying they had been manipulated.
The commission also replayed a recording of a call from Donald Trump to Brad Raffensperger, Georgia’s secretary of state, in which the ex-president said he « needed » some 11,000 ballots in his name – a number enough to beat his rival Joe Biden in this southern state.
The commission also unveiled elements from hundreds of thousands of pages provided by the Secret Service, the elite police responsible for the close protection of high state officials. The elected officials want to understand why certain SMS from agents sent on the day of the assault have been deleted.
The documents confirm evidence presented at previous hearings that Mr. Trump inflamed the crowd of his supporters despite being told of the potential for violence, lawmaker Adam Schiff said.
The panel’s mission is to shed light on the president’s behavior before, during and after the attack on Capitol Hill, which shocked the world.
Since its creation, the commission has questioned more than a thousand witnesses, including two children of Donald Trump, and peeled tens of thousands of documents.
The investigative report is due to be made public by the end of the year, but likely not before the November 8 parliamentary elections that will determine which party will control Congress for the remainder of President Biden’s term.
Members of the panel have openly suggested that Justice Secretary Merrick Garland should indict Donald Trump in connection with the attack on the Capitol. The commission itself has not officially said whether it will recommend referrals to justice.