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    Trump watched ‘Fox News’ for hours and “decided not to act,” committee says

    Former President Donald Trump’s response, or lack thereof, during his supporters’ three-hour storming of the US Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, was in the spotlight Thursday as the latest in a series began. series of summer hearings on the attack.

    The hearing, expected to be the last for many weeks, was to detail both the violence that ensued as Trump supporters forced their way onto Capitol Hill and Trump’s actions in the 187 minutes between his speech, in the which urged the crowd to “fight like hell”, and the final posting of a video urging his fans to come home.

    But the president did not ask the crowd to go home until more than three hours after the attack caused several deaths, injured more than 140 police officers and delayed the certification of Democratic President Joe Biden’s election.

    According to what the Committee put forward, Trump assaulted the Capitol in real time on the ‘Fox News’ channel from the White House, and did nothing to try to stop it.

    “For the past month and a half, the Select Committee has told the story of a president who did everything in his power to nullify an election. He lied, he bullied and he betrayed his oath of office,” said the Committee’s Democratic chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, via remote video transmission after being diagnosed with Covid-19. “He Tried To Destroy Our Democratic Institutions. He Summoned A Mob In Washington.”

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    Thompson described how Trump did not get up from the dining room table to send his supporters home, despite pleas from some of his closest aides, including his daughter Ivanka and son Jr. Trump.

    The tycoon remains hugely popular with Republican voters and continues to flirt with the possibility of running for president again in 2024.

    But a Reuters/Ipsos poll completed Thursday found his standing among Republicans has weakened slightly since hearings began early last month.

    Some 40% of Republicans now say they are at least partially to blame for the unrest, up from 33% in a poll taken six weeks ago, just as congressional hearings were underway.

    Scheduled overnight to reach a wide television audience, the public hearing is expected to be the last of eight to be held this summer by the House Oversight Committee. Another round of hearings will begin in September, said the panel’s Republican vice chair, Rep. Liz Cheney.

    The witnesses in the room were Matthew Pottinger, deputy national security adviser under Trump; and Sarah Matthews, deputy press secretary at his White House. Both resigned after the capture of the Capitol.

    The panel, made up of seven House Democrats and two House Republicans, has been investigating the attack for the past year, interviewing more than 1,000 witnesses and amassing tens of thousands of documents.

    He has used the hearings to build a case that Trump’s efforts to overturn his loss to Biden in 2020 constitute illegal conduct, well beyond ordinary politics.

    Pence, the militias and the accusations of fraud

    The questioning of witnesses will be led by Kinzinger and Democratic Rep. Elaine Luria.

    Previous hearings have focused on the lead-up to the riots, Trump’s pressure on Vice President Mike Pence to deny Biden victory, the militant groups whose members participated in the attack on Capitol Hill, and Trump’s interactions with close advisers who question his false accusations of massive electoral fraud.

    Committee members said Trump incited the riots by refusing to admit he had lost the election and through comments including a December Twitter post calling supporters to Washington for a “major protest” on January 6. , saying: “Be there, it will be wild.”

    Donald Trump is accused of inciting the deadly violence unleashed by his supporters at the US Capitol on January 6. © Alex Edelman, AFP

    Trump denies any wrongdoing and continues to falsely claim that he lost due to widespread fraud.

    Trump and his supporters — including many Republicans in Congress — dismiss the Jan. 6 panel as a political witch hunt, but the committee’s supporters say it is a vital investigation into a violent threat to democracy.

    The attack on the Capitol injured more than 140 police officers and caused several deaths. More than 850 people have been charged with involvement in the riots, with more than 325 guilty pleas so far.

    *With Reuters and EFE; adapted from its original English version

    Source: France 24

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