January 6 panel unveils report, describes Trump ‘conspiracy’

Jan 6 committee’s final report asserts Donald Trump engaged in a ‘multi-part conspiracy’ to overturn 2020 election.

The House of Representatives January 6 committee’s final report asserts that former United States President Donald Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol.

The 845-page report (PDF) released on Thursday concludes an extraordinary 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent insurrection two years ago.

It comes after the panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, held 10 hearings and obtained millions of pages of documents.

The witnesses – ranging from many of Trump’s closest aides to law enforcement to some of the rioters themselves – detailed Trump’s actions in the weeks ahead of the insurrection and how his wide-ranging pressure campaign to overturn his defeat directly influenced those who brutally pushed past the police and smashed through the windows and doors of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

The central cause was “one man”, the report says: Trump.

The insurrection gravely threatened democracy and “put the lives of American lawmakers at risk”, the nine-member panel concluded.

In a foreword to the report, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the findings should be a “clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our Democracy and to give our vote only to those dutiful in their defense of our Constitution”.

The report’s eight chapters of findings tell the story largely as the panel’s hearings did earlier this year – describing the many facets of the remarkable plan Trump and his advisers devised to try and void President Joe Biden’s election victory.

The final report on theJanuary 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, photographed on December 22, 2022
The final report on theJanuary 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol, photographed on December 22, 2022 [Jon Elswick/AP Photo]

The legislators describe Trump’s pressure on states, federal officials, lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to game the system or break the law.

Trump’s repeated, false claims of widespread voter fraud resonated with his supporters, the committee said, and were amplified on social media, building on the distrust of government he had fostered during his four years in office. He did little, also, to stop the attackers when they resorted to violence and stormed the Capitol.

“It’s the all-encompassing summary of the 18 months of work and hearings, the over 1,000 witnesses, the over one million pages, we’re told, of documents,” said Al Jazeera’s Shihab Rattansi, reporting from Washington.

“It follows the same narrative structure that we saw during the committee hearings, which wove that story of how Donald Trump, even as votes were being counted on election night, hatched a plan to try and steal the election, Rattansi said.

“He did not want to appear a loser. He knowingly disseminated false information, he pressured the vice president, members of Congress, local state officials for extra votes, to fudge what constitutional process is, and he ultimately failed,” he said.

Rattansi noted the congressional committee can’t launch criminal proceedings, but said the report could prove irresistible to prosecutors.

The enormous, damning report comes as Trump is running again for the presidency and facing multiple federal investigations, including probes of his role in the insurrection and the presence of classified documents at his Florida estate.

This week is particularly fraught for the former president, as a House committee is expected to release his tax returns after he has fought for years to keep them private.

Some Republicans have also blamed Trump for a worse-than-expected showing in the midterm elections, leaving him in his most politically vulnerable state since he won the 2016 election.

The report is a final act for House Democrats who are ceding power to Republicans in less than two weeks and have spent much of their four years in power investigating Trump.

Democrats impeached Trump twice, the second time a week after the insurrection. He was acquitted by the Senate both times. Other Democratic-led probes investigated his finances, businesses, foreign ties and his family.

Source: Al Jazeera, The Associated Press