January 6 Committee: Trump knew overturning the election was illegal, he tried to do it anyway

Not a pretty sight
Fueling the flames
The plan, the man
Not taking part of it
Connecting the dots
A lie repeated a thousand times
Social media insults
'Hang Mike Pence'
A profile in courage
Borderline criminal
June 13: Second round
Ignoring the voice of reason
The big lie
'Detached from reality'
A White House divided
Rudy's team
What a hangover
Et tu, Ivanka?
Standing for her
The truth (almost)
June 9: The House investigates
'The culmination of an attempted coup'
A presidential conspiracy
Power, at any cost
The adults in the room
So full of it
The president's daughter
Disagreeing with dad
Doing her duty
'It was chaos'
Proud Boys
Planned
'The attack on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot'
Assaulting the Capitol
Live from Washington
'Hollywood production'
'We're not playing along'
You don't need Oliver Stone to uncover this
Not a pretty sight

Day 3 of the January 6 House Committee hearings continued, painting a picture of the events at the White House that led to rioters assaulting the Capitol. The image? Not a flattering one for former US President Donald Trump.

Fueling the flames

The congressional panel argued that Trump’s pressure campaign to remain in power, with the help of conservative lawyer John Eastman (pictured), incited the president’s supporters to storm the Congress.

The plan, the man

CNN highlights that at the heart of Trump’s campaign was the idea, pushed by Eastman, that Vice President Mike Pence could block the Electoral College certification taking place in the US Congress.

Not taking part of it

Pence’s top White House attorney, Greg Jacob, gave an eyewitness account that Eastman had admitted to Trump that the plan violated the law. The Vice President’s team and most of the White House staff refused to do it, writes the New York Times.

Connecting the dots

The congressional panel also connected the former US President pushing Pence to overturn the election to the violence.

A lie repeated a thousand times

Trump had repeated many times in front of his followers that Mike Pence had the power to declare the election illegitimate while presiding over the Electoral College certification.

Social media insults

When the assault on the Capitol was underway, Trump shared on social media that the Vice President “didn't have the courage to do what should have been done”.

'Hang Mike Pence'

The mob chanted “hang Mike Pence” while the Vice President fled the US Congress. NPR reports that an informant for the Proud Boys that the extreme right-wing group had orders to kill Pence if given the chance.

A profile in courage

“We are fortunate for Mr. Pence’s courage on Jan. 6”, said Representative Bennie Thompson, Democrat of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, as quoted by The New York Times. “Our democracy came dangerously close to catastrophe”.

Borderline criminal

According to the New York Times, the committee portrays Donald Trump’s actions as putting the country on the brink of a constitutional crisis. However, the question remains how far it went from borderline criminal to breaking the law.

June 13: Second round

June 13 was day two of the January 6 House Committee hearings. The New York Times reports that a big theme surrounding this second round of testimonies was people from Donald Trump's inner circle trying to warn him that his election fraud claim was baseless.

Ignoring the voice of reason

The most damning testimony came from former General Attorney William Barr, who told on video how he repeatedly informed the former US President that the accusations of fraudulent elections had no basis in reality. Yet, Trump continued to support them anyway.

The big lie

However, while the congressional panel investigates to make the case that Trump knew he was telling “a big lie” with the allegations of voting fraud, Barr argues that the former US President really believed his claims.

'Detached from reality'

“I thought, boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has, you know, lost contact with, with — he’s become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff,” Barr told the committee.

A White House divided

The hearings, according to CNN, paint a post-election White House divided into two teams: One was 'Team Normal', which was trying to convince Trump that the fraud claims were false.

Rudy's team

Their rivals? Rudy's team. Named after Donald Trump's personal lawyer and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien describes them as fueling the paranoia of the former US President in regard to elections.

What a hangover

Giuliani was characterized by committee vice chairwoman Liz Cheney as “inebriated” on election night and convincing Trump to just “claim that he won” and insist that the vote count should stop.

Et tu, Ivanka?

Trump, meanwhile, expressed on the social media platform Truth Social his thoughts about the comments his daughter made during the first day of January 6 Committee hearings.

Standing for her

“Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results. She had long since checked out and was, in my opinion, only trying to be respectful to Bill Barr and his position as Attorney General (he sucked!),” Trump wrote on his social media platform, Truth Social.

The truth (almost)

Ironically, Truth Social has been denounced for deleting posts and blocking accounts that share videos from the congressional panel hearings.

June 9: The House investigates

The bipartisan House Select Committee to inquire on the January 6 Capitol attack began its opening hearings on June 9 and things are not looking great for Donald Trump and his followers.

'The culmination of an attempted coup'

“January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup,” declared Mississippi Representative Bennie Thompson, as quoted by The New York Times. Thompson, who is a Democrat, serves as the committee chairman.

A presidential conspiracy

Thompson is aided by Republican Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, who serves as the committee vice chairwoman. The New York Times reports that both have outlined a conspiracy with the goal of maintaining Donald Trump in power, at all costs.

Power, at any cost

“On the morning of January 6, President Donald Trump’s intention was to remain President of the United States despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power”, Cheney declared, per Al Jazeera.

The adults in the room

The Guardian highlighted that the committee argued that people within the inner circle of the 45th President of the United States were skeptical about the claims of fraud.

So full of it

The committee showed a recorded interview with former Attorney General William Barr, who expressed his disbelief at Trump’s allegations of a stolen election with a bovine-based swearword.

The president's daughter

Even Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter, and White House adviser, told the congressional panel investigating the insurrection that she didn’t believe her father’s claims.

Disagreeing with dad

“I respect Attorney General Barr. So I accepted what he was saying,” Ivanka Trump told congressional investigators, as quoted by The Guardian.

Doing her duty

Not everyone who testified at the congressional hearing was part of the higher echelons of power. Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, believed to be the first injured by the January 6 riot, gave her account of the events.

'It was chaos'

“The back of my head clipped the concrete stairs behind me,” she testified, per The New York Times, just before losing consciousness. “It was chaos. I can’t even describe what I saw”.

Proud Boys

British documentary filmmaker Nick Quested was also there on January 6. He declared that hundreds of members of the Proud Boys, a far-right Neo-fascist organization, left Trump’s rally and headed towards the Capitol well before the assault.

Planned

Thompson and Cheney singled out the Proud Boys and far-right anti-government militia the Oath Keepers as planning an attack on the Capitol before the riot. The New York Times reports that Quested showed footage where the leaders of the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers met the day before.

Pictured: Proud Boys rally in Washington, D.C. on December 12, 2020.

'The attack on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot'

“The attack on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot,” Cheney said, according to Al Jazeera. “Intelligence available before January 6 identified plans to invade the Capitol, occupy the Capitol, and take other steps to halt Congress’ count of electoral votes that day”.

Assaulting the Capitol

“In our hearings to come, we will identify elements of those plans, and we will show specifically how a group of Proud Boys led a mob into the Capitol building on January 6”, declared the Republican Representative from Wyoming.

Live from Washington

The first night of the congressional panel hearings was broadcast in prime time on all the three major television networks, plus news channels CNN and MSNBC.

'Hollywood production'

Fox News and other conservative voices, meanwhile, kept repeating how unimportant the committee was. Sean Hannity called them a “Hollywood production” masquerading as a congressional hearing and “another smear campaign against President Trump”.

'We're not playing along'

Tucker Carlson, host of the most-watched program on Fox News, didn’t have any commercial breaks. “We’re not playing along”, Carlson declared, after describing the hearings as propaganda.

You don't need Oliver Stone to uncover this

What is true is that there's still a lot to uncover about what happened on that January morning in Washington, D.C.

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