The much-anticipated prime-time hearing of the committee on Jan 6 began Thursday night with a mix of opening speeches from lawmakers, excerpts of evidence from important players, videos of the attack, and live appearances by two witnesses.
The committee released footage of the incident that had never been seen before. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, testified that hearing that former President Donald Trump’s then-attorney general, William Barr, didn’t believe there was proof of widespread voter fraud “changed my perspective.” Because I respect Attorney General Barr, I believed what he said.”
Trump Remains The Focus Of The Jan 6 Committee
Rather than delivering shocking disclosures, the committee’s presentation aimed to connect previously known evidence regarding Mr. Trump’s behavior before and after the riot.
If there was any dispute, Mr. Trump is the focus of the committee’s inquiry, as evidenced by Thursday’s session. Donald Trump was at the core of that plot, according to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson. Mr. Trump, according to Ms. Cheney, is also to blame. She described how Mr. Trump defied his staff, family, and many of his other advisers for hours, refusing to do what his staff, family, and many of his other advisers implored him to do: order his followers to stand down and vacate the Capitol.
Mr. Trump has denied any involvement or guilt in the incident. Mr. Trump referred to the Jan 6 panel as an “Unselect Committee of political Thugs” in a series of posts to his Truth Social service on Thursday.
While most congressional hearings allow both sides to speak, the Jan 6 select committee is unique in that it does not include any Trump supporters among its members. There was no one in the hearing room Thursday night, unlike during the two sets of House impeachment proceedings against Mr. Trump.
Investigators found a link between Mr. Trump’s words and the reaction of far-right organizations. Mr. Trump, for example, tweeted on December 19, 2020, “Be there, it’ll be wild!” Far-right groups were galvanized, according to committee investigators.
According to authorities, dozens of individuals charged on Jan 6 were members of the far-right organizations the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers. Officials have stated that the majority of those charged with offenses relating to Jan 6 was not affiliated with any terrorist groups. Law enforcement has a difficult task in preventing future assaults because of the widespread activity and possible dangers.
The Oath Keepers’ counsel previously informed the Journal that there were no plans to invade the Capitol.
Police officers, lawmakers, and Hill staffers who were present suffered long-term consequences as a result of the attack, including stress from having their workplace attacked. According to a bipartisan Senate investigation issued last year, over 140 law enforcement officers were hurt during the incident. After the riot, some cops claim they were physically and mentally traumatized for months.
During the assault, one Capitol Police officer suffered a stroke. According to the medical examiner’s office in Washington, D.C., he died of natural causes a day after the disturbance. At least four more officers—three from the Metropolitan Police Department and one from the Capitol Police—died by suicide after reacting to the incident, days or months later.
Over the next two weeks, the committee will hold five additional sessions, with the final one on June 23. The focus of the second hearing, according to Ms. Cheney, will be on what Mr. Trump and his advisers knew at the time. She stated that the committee has proof that Mr. Trump and his advisers were aware that he had lost the election.
Mr. Trump’s efforts to persuade then-Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory during the joint session of Congress on Jan 6 are expected to be the subject of the next two sessions, according to Ms. Cheney. Mr. Trump’s conduct on January 6 will likely be the focus of the final two June hearings.