5 Key Moments From the Capitol Storming Inquiry

5 Key Moments From the Commission of Inquiry into the Capitol Assault

Parliamentary Committee Chairman and Deputy Chairman Bennie Thompson and Liz Cheney.

For more than a year, the parliamentary commission of inquiry, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans, has heard from more than 1,000 witnesses to shed light on the role played by Donald Trump before, during and after the x27;January 6 attack. Public, televised hearings have been taking place since June 9.

A look back at some key moments with Christophe Cloutier-Roy, acting director of the Observatory on the United States of Raoul-Dandurand Chair.

Chairman of the Congressional Commission of Inquiry into the events of January 6, 2021, Bennie Thompson.

January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup. A brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after January 6, to overthrow the government. The violence was no accident. It was the last and most desperate attempt by Trump to stop the transfer of power.

It was with a peremptory speech that the chairman of the commission of inquiry, Democrat Bennie Thompson opened the televised hearing.

He claimed outright that Donald Trump had conspired against the state, claims Christophe Cloutier-Roy. It showed us how far the commission was willing to go and what it was going to try to demonstrate in its work. This set the tone for the hearings to follow.

“Donald Trump was at the center of this conspiracy. And ultimately, Donald Trump, the President of the United States, incited a host of enemies of the Constitution to march on Capitol Hill and overthrow American democracy.

—Bennie Thompson, Chairman of the Board of Inquiry

Testimony of the former United States Attorney General, recorded during the closed hearings, was broadcast during public hearings.

The former United States Attorney General under Donald Trump did not testify in the open hearings, but several videos recorded during the closed hearings have been released.

In the recording released on June 13, William Barr notably claimed that the ex-president was detached from reality with his theory of massive fraud and stolen elections.

On several occasions, he said, the two men together examined the alleged electoral fraud advanced by Donald Trump. Mr. Barr claims to have questioned the sanity of the former president.

“I was a bit demoralized, because I thought to myself, 'Well, if he really believes in this stuff, he's, you know, lost touch with… He's detached from reality if he really believes in this stuff.”

—William Barr, former United States Attorney General

It's really interesting how Bill Barr ridicules all efforts by the White House to overturn the election results by claiming there was no legal basis behind it all, says Christophe Cloutier-Roy. Especially, he believes, that Mr. Barr was seen as a kind of White House bulldog, ready to defend the ex-president against all odds. According to him, this reversal therefore illustrates the conflict within Trumpism.

Russell Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives.

Arizona House of Representatives Speaker Russell Bowers detailed the pressure he faced from Donald Trump's entourage to overturn his state's election results .

Donald Trump's lawyers were asking him to convene the local assembly to invalidate the ballot, then replace the electors elected, responsible for certifying the result of the vote, by supporters of Mr. Trump.

M. Bowers told the commission that he knew the request was unconstitutional and therefore refused, despite receiving 20,000 emails and the harassment he suffered.

“It is a tenet of my faith that the Constitution is divinely inspired, it is my most fundamental belief. So, for me to do this because someone asks me to, it's completely foreign to me; I will not do it.

—Russell Bowers, Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives

It showed us the extent of pressure being exerted on Republican Party officials to try to overturn the results, despite the fact that there was no legal basis to do so, Mr. Cloutier-Roy.

Surprisingly, Bowers said he would vote for Donald Trump in 2024, the researcher claims. It's a bizarre situation in which members of the Republican Party are willing to claim that Trump has potentially committed major crimes, yet still remain loyal enough to the party to be willing to support him again.

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Rusty Bowers also reported the words of Rudy Giuliani, former mayor of New York and Donald Trump's personal attorney, who allegedly told him, regarding the alleged mass vote of illegal immigrants and deaths in favor of Joe Biden: We have a lot of theories, we have no proof.

It exposed how little this whole maneuver of claiming the election was fraudulent was based on much, Cloutier-Roy notes. We suspected it, but here it came from the mouth of Rudy Giuliani.

Shaye Moss was an election worker in Georgia during the November 2020 election.

The Atlanta-area election worker, who helped count ballots on election night with her mother, said she was the target of racist messages and death threats after Donald Trump accused them namely, being professional hustlers.

Furthermore, Rudy Giuliani alleged that they had observers kicked out of the arena where the vote count was being held and that 'they had brought suitcases full of fraudulent ballots for Joe Biden.

As a result of these allegations, Shaye Moss and her mother had to go into hiding and change their appearance to no longer face threats. Ms. Moss also quit her job.

“I question everything I do. It affected my life in a major way, in every way. All because of lies.

—Shaye Moss, former election worker

This reminds us that this whole conspiracy, beyond January 6, has made victims in the ordinary population, people who simply wanted to serve the nation by working for the elections, believes Christophe Cloutier-Roy. The victims go beyond those who suffered the violence of January 6.

Cassidy Hutchinson was the assistant to Mr. Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows.

Assistant to Mr. Trump's former chief of staff, Mark Meadows, recounted what happened at the White House on January 6 and how the ex-president tried to take the wheel of his company car after being told that he could not go to the Capitol site.

Reporting to her as told by another aide, Ms Hutchinson said Donald Trump physically attacked members of the protective services who wanted to stop him. He allegedly tried to grab an officer who wanted to arrest him by the throat.

Furthermore, according to his testimony, Mr. Trump was fully aware that some of his supporters were armed, but he didn't mind, since it wasn't him they were after.

“I don't give a fuck if they have guns, they're not here to hurt me. They won't hurt me. Take out the damn metal detectors. Let my supporters in. »

— Comments by Donald Trump reported by Cassidy Hutchinson

This is the biggest testimony we have had, believes Mr. Cloutier-Roy. She was very close to what was happening in the lead up to January 6 and showed us the dysfunction inside the White House, the fact that Donald Trump was totally out of control and wanted to lead his troops to overturn the election results.

Eight public hearings have been held so far. The commission will take a break during the month of August, before resuming hearings in the fall. It should present its report in September. Its findings could include a recommendation to initiate legal action against the former president.

With information from Agence France-Presse, and Associated Press

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