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January 6 committee report details scope of Trump’s pressure campaign to void election

WASHINGTON — The House Jan. 6 Committee on Thursday released its official report, the final product of its landmark 18-month investigation into the deadly attack on the Capitol and former President Donald Trump’s efforts to nullify the US Capitol election. 2020.

“[A]fter a year and a half of investigation, I fear the peril facing our democracy. Specifically, I think about what this mob was there to do: block the peaceful transfer of power from one president to another based on a lie that the election was rigged and tainted with widespread fraud,” said Jan. 6 committee chairman Bennie Thompson, D.-Ms., wrote in the foreword to the report.

“The rioters were inside the halls of Congress because the head of the executive branch of our government, the former president of the United States, told them to attack,” Thompson continued. “Donald Trump summoned this crowd to Washington, DC. Then he sent them to the Capitol to try to prevent my colleagues and I from doing our constitutional duty to certify the election.”

“They put our very democracy to the test,” he added.

The committee released the 845-page report days after a final committee meeting in which its nine members — seven Democrats and two Republicans — voted to recommend that the Justice Department pursue criminal charges against Trump as he makes another bid for the White House in 2024.

It was the first time in history that a congressional committee made criminal referrals for a US president. The Jan. 6 panel, led by Thompson and Vice President Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., finding there is enough evidence for the Justice Department to prosecute Trump on four specific counts, including the obstructing official process – Congressional certification of electoral votes – and inciting or aiding others in an insurrection.

Among the nearly a dozen committee recommendations listed at the end of the report: Urge Congress to create a means to assess whether Trump and others who participated in the 2020 election conspiracy should be barred from holding future functions.

In line with the committee’s series of summer hearings and its executive summary, the full report – divided into eight chapters – largely blames the January 6 attack at the feet of the 45th president and downplays security lapses. and intelligence.

Chapter 1 is titled “THE BIG LIE,” a nod to Trump’s widespread efforts to delegitimize the 2020 election and falsely claim it was stolen, while Chapter 2, titled “I JUST WANT FINDING 11,780 VOTES,” focuses on Trump’s attempt to pressure state and election officials in Georgia and elsewhere to nullify the election results.

A video of former President Donald Trump is released Monday during the final House committee meeting on Jan. 6. J. Scott Applewhite/AP File

Witnesses, almost all Republicans, said Trump and his entourage worked hard to cast doubt on Joe Biden’s legitimate election victory; launched a multipronged campaign to pressure state officials, top Justice Department officials, and then-Vice President Mike Pence to help annul the election; ordered a crowd of thousands of his supporters to march on the Capitol to disrupt lawmakers’ counting of electoral votes that would certify the election results; and refused to call out his supporters as they brutally assaulted police officers and stormed the Capitol.

“One of the most disgraceful findings of this committee was that President Trump was sitting in the dining room of the Oval Office watching the violent riot in the Capitol on television. … No man who would behave that way in that time can never serve in any position of authority in our country,” Cheney said at Monday’s meeting, a phrase she repeated in her own foreword. “He is unfit for any function.”

Trump responded overnight with a series of inflammatory posts on his Truth Social network, repeating many of the same false claims about a stolen election and attacking the committee, the FBI and others.

“The government of the United States has changed our election results, and it can’t get any worse than that,” he wrote on Friday, falsely claiming he was the true winner of the 2020 election. to look at the damage that has been done to our country and the world over the past two years – it’s incalculable. TRUMP WON!!!”

The committee’s report alleges that Trump and his entourage conducted at least 200 public or private acts of “education, pressure or condemnation” targeting state and local election officials, as well as state lawmakers, to undo the results between the loss of Trump in November and January 6.

There were 68 meetings, phone calls or text messages to state or local officials; 18 public remarks targeting them; and 125 social media posts, according to the committee.

The report also revealed more details about the fake election plan, which the committee alleges Trump adopted when it became clear that state officials in Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and other fields of key battle would not overturn the results in their states or replace Biden voters with Trump voters. .

January 6 committee report details scope of Trump's pressure campaign to void election

As the committee fired conservative attorney John Eastman to the Justice Department on Monday for his role in the scheme to pressure Pence to reject state election votes on Jan. 6, the report identifies the lawyer Trump ally Kenneth Chesebro as central to conceptualizing the conspiracy.

Some of the committee’s findings are included in the appendices to the report. For example, previous reports and January 6 hearings found that Pentagon bureaucrats, including Lt. Gen. Walter Piatt and Gen. Charles Flynn, delayed sending National Guard troops while police were overwhelmed. by rioters.

But the committee found that there had been no deliberate attempt to block the troops: “Although the delay seems unnecessary and unacceptable, it was the by-product of military processes, institutional prudence and a revised deployment approval process,” the committee wrote in Appendix 2.

“We have no evidence that the delay was intentional.”

As instructed, the committee also issued a number of recommendations to Congress and federal agencies. The panel urged congressional committees to consider creating a “formal mechanism” to determine whether to bar Trump and others identified in the report from holding future federal or state office under the Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which targets those who have “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or aided or comforted its enemies.”

The Jan. 6 committee also called for reforms to the Electoral Count Act of 1887 to clarify that the vice president does not have the power to unilaterally throw out electoral votes, an update that is already in the works. Congress will pass such a recommendation this week as part of its omnibus spending agenda.

In addition, the Jan. 6 committee recommended that federal agencies undertake a “whole of government strategy” to root out and counter violent extremism, including white nationalists. And he urged law enforcement to designate future presidential election certifications as a “special national security event.” This would require increased planning, coordination and security for future January 6 certification events at the Capitol.

“Inspired by our investigative findings, these recommendations will help strengthen the guardrails of our democracy,” Thompson wrote.

The report marks the culmination of an extensive congressional investigation that included 11 public hearings, more than 100 subpoenas, more than 1,200 witness interviews, and the collection of hundreds of thousands of text messages, emails, and other documents.

The committee has already begun releasing dozens of transcripts from witnesses who invoked their Fifth Amendment rights, including Trump associates Eastman, Roger Stone, Michael Flynn and Jeffrey Clark.

On Thursday, the Jan. 6 panel released the transcripts of testimony from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who said Trump knew the crowd was armed when he sent it to Capitol Hill and that he had attempted to join his followers there.

In the coming days, the committee also plans to release further transcripts of interviews and depositions, as well as videos and other documents and recordings.

Because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., created it as a “select” committee, the panel expires at the end of the year. The Republicans, who will take control of the House in January, do not plan to renew it.

In her final press conference as a speaker on Thursday, Pelosi praised Thompson, Cheney and the other January 6 members for their “persistent and patriotic leadership.”

“The 117th Congress began with a violent assault on our democracy, and now we hear its conclusions,” she said. “We have a vital roadmap ensuring that justice will be served…and this will not happen again.”

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