Parliamentary inquiry into Capitol storming calls Trump tweet a ‘call to arms’

Posted in: 13/07/2022 – 21:05

The parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the January 6, 2021 congressional riots resumed sessions as investigators sought to shed light on links between Donald Trump and far-right groups after coordinating the attack on the Capitol. The committee’s last session dealt with Trump’s tweet, which the committee considered a “call to arms”, especially with its re-publishing on violent far-right websites.

US lawmakers on Tuesday described the ex-president’s tweet Donald Trump as a “call to arms” for members of right-wing groups and other supporters They stormed the Congress building On January 6, 2021.

Meanwhile, Representative Liz Cheney, deputy chair of the House Committee to Investigate the Attack on Congress, said Trump, 76, recently tried to contact one of the committee’s witnesses.

Cheney said that the unidentified witness did not respond to Trump’s call and informed his lawyer, stressing that the committee “provided this information to the Department of Justice.”

During the seventh public hearing, televised live, the House committee of seven Democrats and two Republicans examined the impact of Trump’s December 19, 2020 tweet urging his supporters to come to Washington January 06 for a rally. The crowd promised to be “unruly”.

The tweet was sent more than an hour after Trump met at the White House with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani, former General Mike Flynn and lawyer Sydney Powell, in a strategic meeting that one aide described as “mentally dysfunctional.”

Far-right incitement

“Trump’s 01:42 am tweet was loud and incited by his supporters, particularly dangerous extremists in the Oath Keepers, Proud Boys and other white racist and nationalist groups who want to fight against the government,” said committee member Jimmy Raskin.

Members of the aforementioned groups stormed Congress on January 06 with thousands of Trump loyalists in an attempt to prevent the endorsement of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the presidential election that Trump falsely said was marred by fraud.

Representative Stephanie Murphy, who also sits on the committee, said the tweet “was a call to action and, in some cases, a call to arms for many of President Trump’s most loyal supporters.”

For its part, the committee said that two of Trump’s closest supporters, Flynn and political advisor Roger Stone, have links to the “Oath Keepers” group.

“Paid members”

Cassidy Hutchinson, an aide to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, confirmed in an earlier hearing that the president had intended to go to the Capitol himself but that Secret Service agents prevented him from doing so.

More than 850 people were arrested after Trump supporters stormed Congress. Five members of the “Proud Boys” group were formally indicted in June on charges of conspiracy to sow discord, while 11 members of “Outkeepers” face the same charges that can carry a prison sentence. for 20 years.

The attack on the Capitol killed at least five people and wounded 140 police officers. Trump was impeached for the second time by the House of Representatives after the riots and was charged with sedition, but the Senate acquitted him.

In a statement published Tuesday on Truth Social, Trump, who has been alluding to running for the White House again in 2024, denounced the commission and called its members “political hacks and thugs.”

“Have you seen them before? (…) Yes. They are basically the same lunatics who have driven the country crazy with their lies and stories,” he wrote.

deliberate strategy

The committee also said that the march to the Capitol was planned in advance, but that Trump decided not to announce it until his speech to his supporters on the morning of January 6 near the White House.

“The evidence confirms that this was not a spontaneous call to action, but a deliberate strategy predetermined by the president,” Murphy said.

The commission is trying to determine whether Trump or his associates had a role in planning or encouraging the violent insurgency. It has summoned a large number of advisers and assistants of the former president to testify.

On Tuesday, it showed the first videotapes of testimony given in a closed session last week by former White House adviser Pat Cipollone.

In this testimony, he said he admitted that there was no evidence of significant election fraud and that Trump should have ceded to Biden.

The commission also heard two witnesses, Jason van Tattenhoff, a former “guardian of the oath” spokesman, and Stephen Ayres, an Ohio man who joined the crowd that stormed the Capitol.

Van Tattenhof said the Oaths of War are a “dangerous organization” that believes its loyalty to Trump will give it “legitimacy” as a paramilitary group.

Ayres told the committee that he came to Washington because “the president outraged everyone” but no longer believed his assertions that the elections were “stolen.”

FRANCE 24/AFP

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