Jan. 6 hearing puts Trump at center of attempted coup4 min read
‘A brazen attempt to overthrow the government’
[00:00:00] John Q: The committee investigating the armed assault on the U.S. Capitol shared its findings in prime time Thursday night.
[00:00:06] Rep. Bennie Thompson: January 6th was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt as one rioter put it shortly after January 6th, to overthrow the government. The violence was no accident.
[00:00:24] Rep. Bennie Thompson: I’m Bennie Thompson, chairman of the January 6, 2021 Committee. I was born, raised, and still live in Bolton, Mississippi, a town with a population of 521, which is midway between Jackson and Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the Mississippi River.
[00:00:45] I’m from a part of the country where people justified the actions of slavery, the Ku Klux Klan, and lynching. I’m reminded of that dark history as I hear voices today try and justify the actions of the insurrectionists on January 6, 2021…
[00:01:07] Throughout our history, the United States has fought against foreign enemies to preserve our democracy, electoral system, and country. When the United States Capitol was stormed and burned in 1814, foreign enemies were responsible. Afterward in 1862, when American citizens had taken up arms against this country, Congress adopted a new oath to help make sure no person who had supported the rebellion could hold a position of public trust.
[00:01:44] Therefore, Congresspersons and United States federal government employees were required for the first time to swear an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That oath was put to test on January 6, 2021…
[00:02:06] But unlike in 1814, it was domestic enemies of the Constitution who stormed the Capitol and occupied the Capitol, who sought to thwart the will of the people, to stop the transfer of power. And so they did so at the encouragement of the President of the United States. The President of the United States trying to stop the transfer of power, a precedent that had stood for 220 years, even as our democracy had faced its most difficult tests…
[00:02:45] Donald Trump lost the presidential election in 2020. The American people voted him out of office. It was not because of a rigged system. It was not because of voter fraud. Don’t believe me? Hear what his former Attorney General had to say about it.
[00:03:05] I warn those who (are) watching that this contains strong language.
[00:03:13] John Q: KEPW asks us not to air the word that Attorney General Bill Barr used, but here’s a hint: It refers to a large steaming pile of barnyard manure.
[00:03:22] Bill Barr: I had three discussions with the president that I can recall. One was on November 23. one was on December 1, and one was on December 14 ,and I’ve been through sort of the give and take of those discussions. And in that context, I made it clear: I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I told the president was bull****, and, you know, I didn’t want to be a part of it. And that’s one of the reasons that went into me deciding to leave when I did.
[00:03:53] I observed—I think it was on December 1—that, you know, how can we, you can’t live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific evidence, that the election, that there was fraud in the election.
[00:04:13] Rep. Liz Cheney: At 6:01 p.m. on January 6, after he spent hours watching a violent mob besiege, attack, and invade our capital, Donald Trump tweeted. But he did not condemn the attack. Instead, he justified it. ‘These are the things and events that happen.’ he said, ‘when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously and viciously stripped away from great patriots, who’ve been badly and unfairly treated for so long.’
[00:04:46] President Trump believed his supporters at the Capitol (and I quote) ‘were doing what they should be doing.’
[00:04:54] This is what he told his staff as they pleaded with him to call off the mob, to instruct his supporters to leave.
[00:05:02] You will hear testimony that ‘the president did not really want to put anything out calling off the riot or asking his supporters to leave.’ You will hear that President Trump was yelling and ‘really angry’ at advisors who told him he needed to be doing something more. And aware of the rioters’ chants to hang (Vice-President) Mike Pence, the president responded with this sentiment: ‘Maybe our supporters have the right idea.’ Mike Pence ‘deserves it.’
[00:05:36] Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them, that the election was stolen and that he was the rightful president. President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack.
[00:05:56] John Q: The committee convenes again on Monday June 13 at 7 a.m. Pacific Time.