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Donald Trump dismissed pleas from aid workers to cancel the Capitol mob during the Jan. 6 riots

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Despite desperate pleas from aides, allies, a Republican congressional leader and even his family, Donald Trump refused to call off the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol.

Instead, he “put gas on the fire” by aggressively tweeting his bogus claims about a stolen election and hailing his constituency as “very special,” the House Inquiry Committee revealed Thursday night.

The next day he declared again: “I don’t want to say that the election is over.”

That was in a previously unaired clip of an address to the nation he was scheduled to deliver, shown at the committee’s prime-time hearing.

The panel documented that for about 187 minutes, from the time Trump exited a rally stage and sent his supporters to the Capitol, until he finally arrived at the Rose Garden, nothing could compel the defeated President to act. video popped up. Instead, he watched the violence on television.

“President Trump has not failed to act,” said Rep. Adam Kinzinger, also a Republican but frequent Trump critic who has flown combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. “He chose not to act.”

After months of work and weeks of hearings, the prime-time session began as the committee began — blaming Trump himself for the deadly attack for calling the mob to Washington and sending it to Capitol Hill.

The defeated president “turned his supporters’ love of the country into a weapon,” said Republican vice chair Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

Far from completing its work after Thursday’s hearing, likely the last of the summer, the panel will begin again in September if more witnesses and information emerge.

Cheney said “the dam has started to burst” as he revealed what happened that fateful day, both at the White House and in the violence at the Capitol.

“Donald Trump made a conscious decision to break his oath of office,” Cheney said.

“Every American needs to consider this: Can a president who is willing to make the decisions that Donald Trump made during the January 6 violence ever be trusted in any position of authority in our great nation?” she asked.

Trump, who is considering another White House run, dismissed the committee as a “kangaroo court” and berated the panel and witnesses for “many lies and misrepresentations.”

The committee plunged into its second prime-time hearing on the Capitol attack, wanting to show a “minute-by-minute” recording of Trump’s actions with new testimony, including from two White House staffers, never-before-heard security radio transmissions from Secret Service officers, who fear for their lives, and behind-the-scenes discussions at the White House.

As the Capitol siege raged, Trump gave his supporters the “green light” by tweeting Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to agree to his plan to halt the certification of Joe Biden’s victory, a former White House aide told the committee.

Two helpers resigned on the spot.

“I thought January 6, 2021 was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history,” Sarah Matthews told the panel. “And President Trump treated it as a solemn occasion. It only cemented my decision to step down further.”

The committee played audio of General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who reacted with surprise at the president’s inaction during the attack.

“You are the supreme commander. They have an attack underway on the United States Capitol. And there is nothing? No call? Nothing, Zero?” he said.

On Jan. 6, an enraged Trump demanded to be taken to the Capitol after his supporters stormed the building, knowing full well of the deadly attack, but his security team refused.

“Within 15 minutes of leaving the stage, President Trump knew the Capitol was under siege and under attack,” said Rep Elaine Luria, D-Va.

In the Capitol, the mob chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” said Matt Pottinger, the former deputy national security adviser, as Trump tweeted his condemnation of his vice president.

Pottinger, who testified Thursday, said when he saw Trump’s tweet he immediately made up his mind to resign, as did Matthews, who said she was a lifelong Republican but couldn’t go along with what was going on.

She was the witness who called the tweet a “green light” and “putting gas on the fire.”

Meanwhile, recordings of Secret Service radio transmissions showed agents at the Capitol trying to get Pence to safety amid the chaos and asking for messages saying goodbye to their own families.

The panel featured previously unseen testimony from the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., with a text message to his father’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, urging the president to call off the mob.

Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner also testified in recorded video of a “terrified” GOP leader Kevin McCarthy calling out to him for help.

And in a gripping moment, the panel showed Trump refusing to give a speech the next day declaring the election was over, despite his daughter Ivanka hearing Trump offscreen and encouraging him to read the script .

“The president’s words count,” said Luria, D-Va, a former naval officer on the panel. “We know many of the rioters listened to President Trump.”

Luria said the panel received testimony corroborating former White House staffer Cassidy Hutchinson’s powerful earlier account of an altercation with Trump when he insisted the Secret Service drive him to the Capitol.

Among the witnesses who testified in recorded video Thursday was retired District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Mark Robinson, who told the committee Trump was aware of the number of guns in his supporters’ crowd but was going anyway wool.

“The only description I got was that the President was upset and that he was adamant about going to the Capitol and there was a heated discussion about it,” Robinson said.

Chairman Bennie Thompson, appearing virtually as he was self-isolating with Covid-19, opened Thursday’s hearing and said Trump as president “did everything in his power to overthrow the election” he was running against Joe Biden, including before and during the deadly attack on the Capitol.

“He lied, he bullied, he broke his oath,” accused Thompson, D-Miss.

“Our investigation is progressing,” Thompson said. “Responsibility must be”

The hearing room was packed, including several police officers who fought off the mob that day and the family of a police officer who died the day after the attack.

While the committee cannot bring charges, the Justice Department oversees its work.

So far, more than 840 people have been charged with federal crimes related to the Capitol riots. Over 330 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanors. About 100 of the more than 200 defendants to be sentenced received prison sentences.

No past president has ever been indicted by the Justice Department at the federal level.

Attorney General Merrick Garland said Wednesday Jan. 6 was “the most comprehensive investigation and the most important investigation the Justice Department has ever entered.”

Five people died that day as Trump supporters fought police in a bloody hand-to-hand combat to storm the Capitol. An officer has testified that she “slid into other people’s blood” as they tried to hold the mob back. A Trump supporter was shot dead by police.

https://www.independent.ie/news/donald-trump-spurned-aides-pleas-to-call-off-capitol-mob-during-january-6-riots-41859622.html Donald Trump dismissed pleas from aid workers to cancel the Capitol mob during the Jan. 6 riots

Fry Electronics Team

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