From our correspondent in the United States,
1,000 witnesses interviewed, 140,000 documents examined, and finally like an air of déjà vu. 18 months after one assault on the Capitol which shocked the world and shattered American democracy, the parliamentary inquiry commission has begun to present its conclusions in prime time, Thursday night. At the first of six public hearings scheduled for the end of June, the seven Democrats and two House Republicans accused Donald Trump of being “at the heart of a conspiracy” to overturn the ballot verdict. With an attack on January 6, 2021, which represented the “culmination of an attempted coup.” It remains to be seen whether what looks very much like a repeat of the former US president’s 2nd impeachment will lead to the recommendation of criminal charges. A scenario that would force Joe Biden’s Department of Justice to decide whether there is anything to blame and prosecute Donald Trump. In the meantime, here are the main lessons from this first day.
Donald Trump probably knew he had lost
In two hours calibrated for television, the committee aired numerous excerpts from hearings of relatives of Donald Trump. Former Justice Minister Bill Barr told the former president that the allegations of fraud were “bullshit,” and Ivanka Trump even admitted to being “convinced” by Barr. According to Jason Miller, a former Trump adviser, the campaign’s Mr Data warned Donald Trump a few days after the election “in very direct terms” that he would lose. And one of his campaign lawyers, Alex Cannon, told Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that there was “nothing enough” to change the results as early as mid-November. That didn’t stop Donald Trump from shouting fraud and then putting pressure on elected officials, officials and then Mike Pence to short-circuit the confirmation of the results.
A premeditated attack on the Capitol
It is now clear that the far-right group Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers paramilitary militia have meticulously prepared their attack on the Capitol two weeks in advance – some 20 members have been charged. for “seditious conspiracy”. According to new footage, about 300 members of the Proud Boys positioned themselves near the Capitol more than two hours before Donald Trump’s call to march on Congress. One question remains unanswered for now: was the former White House tenant aware of their plans, and some of his relatives like Roger Stone, who was in regular contact with the Proud Boys, or Steve Bannon, who had promised a “hell” on January 5, coordinated with them.
Trump to subscribers absent during the assault
What did Donald Trump do as his supporters roamed the Capitol for more than three hours? Liz Cheney is known for failing to do so: “He did not mobilize the National Guard and did not try to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate law enforcement response. . Army Chief of Staff General Milley testified that it was Vice President Mike Pence who called for the National Guard to be sent.
New images of chaos
“I was slipping on people’s blood,” “it was carnage, it was chaos,” said Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards, the first to be seriously injured. The committee showed a 10-minute timeline clip that included many unreleased images. In parallel, a montage by Donald Trump calling his protesters “peaceful” and assuring that there is “love in the air.” On Thursday, the former US president had moreover insured that January 6 represented “one of the greatest movements in history to make America great.”