Capitol riot panel’s final report sets out case to try Trump

“Rather than honour his constitutional obligation to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed’, President Trump instead plotted to overturn the election outcome,” the House panel had said earlier in a 160-page summary of its report.

In comments posted on his Truth Social network after the final report’s release, Trump called it “highly partisan” and a “witch hunt”. He said it failed to “study the reason for the (Jan 6) protest, election fraud”.

The request by the Democratic-led panel to the Justice Department does not compel federal prosecutors to act, but marked the first time in history that Congress had referred a former president for criminal prosecution. Trump announced in November that he would run for president again.

Among the transcripts released on Wednesday and Thursday was one that showed a former lawyer for ex-White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson told her to “downplay” her knowledge of events leading to the Capitol riot, telling her “the less you remember, the better”.

Attorney Stefan Passantino advised Hutchinson in preparing for a February deposition before the panel to say that she could not recall certain events, she told the committee in September, according to the transcript of her testimony.

Trump gave a fiery speech to his supporters near the White House the morning of Jan 6, and publicly chastised his vice president, Mike Pence, for not going along with his plan to reject ballots cast for Democrat Joe Biden.

The former president then waited hours to make a public statement as thousands of his supporters raged through the Capitol, assaulting police and threatening to hang Pence.

The 2020 election results were being certified by Pence and lawmakers when the Capitol was attacked after weeks of false claims by Trump that he had won that election.


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