By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – Members of a Democratic-led congressional committee have accused former U.S. President Donald Trump of orchestrating last year’s attack on the Capitol in an “attempted coup.”
Liz Cheney, the Republican vice-chair of the committee, said Trump had “lit the flame of this attack.” Bennie Thompson, a Democrat, said the riot endangered American democracy.
Thursday’s first hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives select committee, comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans, presented a video of testimony from notable Trump administration figures.
Among them were his daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner, Attorney General William Barr, campaign spokesperson Jason Miller, and General Mark Milley.
Video footage showed part of Trump’s speech before the attack in which he repeated election fraud claims and directed his supporters’ anger at Vice President Mike Pence.
The Vice President was at the Capitol overseeing the congressional certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s declared election win – a process the riot failed to prevent. A view blocks away, Trump was watching events unfold on television.
Footage was aired of testimony by former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr, saying the former president’s claims that the election was stolen were baseless.
Barr, in videotaped testimony, said: “I made it clear I did not agree with the idea of saying the election was stolen and putting out this stuff, which I call the bullshit. And, you know, I didn’t want to be a part of it.”
Trump’s daughter reflected Barr’s view.”I respect Attorney General Barr. So I accepted what he was saying,” Ivanka Trump said in videotaped testimony.
The hearing also showed graphic footage of thousands of rioters attacking police and smashing their way into the Capitol.
“Aware of the rioters’ chants to ‘hang Mike Pence,’ the president responded with this sentiment: ‘Well, maybe our supporters have the right idea,'” claimed Representative Cheney.
Trump, who is publicly considering another White House run in 2024, called the committee “political Thugs” before the hearing began.
Some congressional Republicans in the days after the deadly attack condemned Trump, but most supported him in saying the day’s violence was a riot, not a coup attempt.
Trump himself has gone after Republicans who voted to impeach him for his actions, backing primary challengers to them ahead of the November 8 midterm elections.
With massive inflation and concerns about rising food and energy prices, U.S. President Joe Biden’s popularity has plunged, and Trump-backed Republicans hope to take back Congress.
However, Democrats appeared to hope that Thursday’s and subsequent hearings would change perceptions. Democratic committee chair Bennie Thompson said Trump was at the center of a conspiracy to thwart American democracy and block the peaceful transfer of power.
“January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one writer put it shortly after January 6, to overthrow the government,” Thompson said. “The violence was no accident. It was Trump’s last stand.”
However, critics questioned the fairness of the hearing, and America’s largest conservative-leaning news channel, Fox News, did not carry the hearing live.
Despite not broadcasting the procedures, Fox News’s Tucker Carlson said the event “was not an insurrection.”
Carlson described the attack as mere “vandalism” and denied it was an insurrection or coup attempt. “You know what will get you to insurrection?” he asked. “If you ignore the legitimate concerns of a population if you brush them aside as if they don’t matter.”
Carlson and Sean Hannity, who took over the broadcast at 9 p.m., boasted about Fox News’s decision not to air the hearing live. Carlson said his show was “the only hour on American television that is not broadcasting unfiltered propaganda into the homes of unsuspecting viewers.”
While Carlson spent his program dismissing the threat the rioters posed that day, Hannity wondered why United States Capitol Police and Speaker Nancy Pelosi did very little to prevent the clashes. “Why didn’t they lift a finger,” Mr. Hannity asked, “to protect the Capitol?”
And Hannity declared in his opening monologue: “Unlike this committee and their cheerleaders in the media mob, we will actually be telling you the truth.”
With more hearings due, the American debate about the truth was to continue.
If you are interested in articles produced by Worthy News, please check out our FREE sydication service available to churches or online Christian ministries. To find out more, visit Worthy Plugins.