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Trump used ‘lawlessness and corruption’ to try to overthrow 2020 election: investigative chief

#Trump #lawlessness #corruption #overthrow #election #investigative #chief

President Donald Trump has “embarked on a path of “lawlessness and corruption” in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 US election, the chairman of the House committee investigating last year’s attack on the Capitol said Thursday.

Bennie Thompson said at the televised finale of a series of public hearings on the prime-time attack that there must be “accountability” for what he called an attack on democracy.

“For the past month and a half, the select committee has told the story of a president who did everything in his power to overthrow an election,” Thompson said. “He lied, he bullied, he broke his oath.

“He has sought to destroy our democratic institutions,” Thompson said, and “he has ruthlessly blazed a trail of lawlessness and corruption.”

“There has to be accountability,” he said, “all the way up to the Oval Office.”

The panel, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the Jan. 6, 2021 violent uprising, is holding its eighth public hearing on the attack on the Capitol. Thompson, who has Covid, addressed the session remotely.

Lawmakers are examining Trump’s actions that day, beginning with a fiery speech to his supporters near the White House in which he claimed the November 2020 election was stolen and stretching to the moment he told the rioters eventually said they were “very special” but needed to go home.

Adam Kinzinger, a Republican member of the committee, tweeted excerpts of testimonies from several White House staffers who said the president spent nearly three hours watching the attack on television in a private dining room.

“It is obvious that the President has neglected his duty,” said Kinzinger.

The panel has subpoenaed numerous Trump advisers and aides to determine whether he or his associates were involved in planning or promoting his supporters’ bid to prevent the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s election victory.

The prime time hearing is the eighth and final in this series. Committee members said there would be further hearings in September.

The committee’s opening hearing also took place during prime time, when television audiences are at their busiest.

Two witnesses are scheduled to testify live Thursday: former White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger, who was a member of the National Security Council.

Matthews and Pottinger both resigned on Jan. 6 as Trump supporters stormed the Capitol.

– “wild” –

Previous committee hearings have focused on Trump’s attempt to sway election officials in swing states, which Biden narrowly won, and Vice President Mike Pence’s failure to confirm Electoral College findings.

During its seventh hearing last week, the committee examined the implications of a tweet Trump sent on Dec. 19, 2020, urging his supporters to come to the nation’s capital on Jan. 6 to hold a rally , which he promised would go “wild.”

Members of the right-wing Proud Boys militias, the Oath Keepers and other Trump supporters saw the president’s tweet as a “call to arms,” ​​lawmakers said.

More than 850 people were arrested in connection with the attack on Congress, which killed at least five people and injured 140 police officers.

Trump, 76, who has repeatedly hinted he could run for the White House again in 2024, was indicted for the second time in House history after the Capitol riots – he was accused of inciting a riot – but was acquitted by the Senate, where only a handful of Republicans voted to convict him.

The House of Representatives committee is scheduled to submit a report to Congress in the fall with its findings.

The committee can issue criminal referrals to the Justice Department and leave it up to Attorney General Merrick Garland to decide whether to prosecute Trump or others for attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

Garland told reporters Wednesday that the Jan. 6 investigation was the “most important” investigation the Justice Department has ever conducted, stressing that “no one in this country is above the law.”

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#Trump #lawlessness #corruption #overthrow #election #investigative #chief

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