The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot has finally released its report, outlining what it describes as a “multi-part plot” by Donald Trump and his entourage to overturn the results. of the 2020 presidential election.
The damning 845-page report is the result of a year-and-a-half-long investigation by the House panel into the events surrounding January 6, 2021, when a mob of Trump supporters took storming the US Capitol in an attempt to stop certification of Electoral College votes in favor of President Joe Biden.
In it, the panel places the blame for the riot on the shoulders of “one man”: the former president, Mr. Trump.
At its final public hearing earlier this week, the committee announced it was making criminal referrals to the DOJ.
Among the referrals, the committee said Mr. Trump could potentially face four criminal charges: obstruction of official United States government process, conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to make a false statement and incitement, assist or aid and console an insurrection.
The panel also recommended charges against some key figures in Mr. Trump’s inner circle.
It is now up to the Department of Justice to decide whether or not to prosecute.
Here are some of the key findings of the report:
Trump and his inner circle engaged in 200 acts to try to nullify the election
The report found that in the two months between Election Day and Jan. 6, Mr. Trump and his allies took at least 200 acts in an attempt to nullify the 2020 presidential election.
“The Select Committee estimates that in the two months between the November election and the January 6 insurrection, President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 apparent acts of public education, pressure or condemnation or private, targeting either state legislators or the state. or local election administrators, to nullify national election results,” the report said.
This included 68 meetings, attempted phone calls or text messages, and 125 social media posts by the then president or his top aides.
One of the most publicized examples was Mr Trump’s attempt to “harass” Georgian Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – whom the then President pressed in a now infamous phone call to “find “11,000 votes to overthrow the state in his favor.
As of Jan. 2, 2021 — the day of that phone call — Mr. Trump had already attempted to speak by phone with Mr. Raffensperger at least 18 times, according to the report.
Kenneth Chesebro is named the architect of a fake election plot
The report also revealed the identity of Mr. Trump’s ally accused of being the architect of the fake election plot: Kenneth Chesebro.
Mr Chesebro, a little-known lawyer, is believed to have led the plot – not Mr Trump’s lawyer John Eastman, who notoriously created a step-by-step guide explaining how he claimed the then-Vice President, Mike Pence, could cancel the election.
“The bogus election plan emerged from a series of legal memoranda written by legal counsel outside the Trump campaign: Kenneth Chesebro,” the report said.
“Although John Eastman played a larger role advising President Trump in the days immediately leading up to January 6, Chesebro – a Boston and New York-based lawyer recruited to help the Trump campaign as a pro bono legal adviser — played a pivotal role in creating the plan.”
The report said Mr Trump “oversaw” attempts to run fake voters to certify results in his favor in seven states Mr Biden won.
The panel describes how Mr. Trump “led outreach targeting many officials in states he lost but had GOP-led legislatures, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona.”
Trump should be banned from taking office again
Following the former president’s actions, the panel recommends that Mr Trump – who just announced his 2024 White House run last month – may never take office again.
The report points to a portion of the U.S. Constitution which states that an individual who has sworn an oath to uphold the Constitution but has “engaged in insurrection” or rendered “aid or comfort to enemies of the Constitution” may be disqualified to take office. .
The panel issued a stark warning about America’s future if Mr. Trump and his entourage are not held accountable for their role in the insurgency.
“In the judgment of the Committee, on the basis of all evidence developed, President Trump believed then, and continues to believe now, that he is above the law, unbound by our Constitution and its explicit controls over the “presidential authority. This recent statement by Trump only heightens our concern about accountability,” the report said.
“If President Trump and the associates who helped him overturn the legal outcome of the 2020 election are ultimately not held accountable under the law, their behavior could become a precedent and an invitation to danger in future elections.
“A failure to hold them accountable now could ultimately lead to future illegal efforts to nullify our elections, thereby threatening the security and viability of our Republic. »
DC’s National Guard commander considered sending troops to Capitol as Trump remained silent
Along with the actions of Mr. Trump and his entourage in the run-up to Jan. 6, the report also provides new details about the day itself – and the former president’s refusal to try to stop the insurgency. .
When his supporters stormed into the Capitol, Mr. Trump watched him on television and “did not contact a single senior national security official during the day.”
“Not at the Pentagon, or the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Capitol Police Department, or the DC Mayor’s office,” the report said, adding that it didn’t even tried to contact Mr. Pence. to see if he was safe.
With no action from the head of state, the report found that the commander of the DC National Guard was ‘strongly’ considering moving forward and sending troops to the US Capitol without waiting for approval.
Major General William Walker was aware this would mean he might have to resign from his post but, after waiting for hours without orders from the authorities, he considered doing so anyway, according to the report.
“Major General Walker himself understood that he had to wait for Secretary (Ryan) McCarthy’s approval to deploy his forces. But since he waited for this video call for hours, he seriously considered sending them anyway,” the report said.
“He turned to his lawyer and said, ‘Hey, you know what? You know, we’re going to go, and I’m just going to take responsibility.'”
The Independent Gt