President Donald Trump “blazed a path of lawless-ness and corruption” as he sought to overturn the results of the 2020 US election, the chairman of the House committee investigating last year’s attack on the Capitol said Thursday.
Bennie Thompson, speaking at the televised prime-time finale of a series of public hearings into the attack, said there must be “accountability” for what he called an attack on democracy.
“Over the last month and a half, the select committee has told a story of a president who did everything in his power to overturn an election,” Thompson said. “He lied, he bullied, he betrayed his oath.
“He tried to destroy our democratic institutions,” Thompson said, and “recklessly blazed a path of lawlessness and corruption.”
“There needs to be accountability,” he said, “all the way up to the Oval Office.” The panel, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after the violent January 6, 2021 insurrection, is holding its eighth public hearing into the attack on the Capitol. Thompson, who has Covid, addressed the session remotely.
Lawmakers are examining Trump’s actions on the day, starting with a fiery speech to his supporters near the White House claiming the November 2020 election was stolen and extending until the moment when he finally told the rioters they were “very special” but needed to go home.
Adam Kinzinger, a Republican member of the committee, released excerpts on Twitter of testimony from several White House aides who said the president spent nearly three hours watching the attack unfold on television in a private dining room.
“It’s obvious the president was derelict in his duty,” Kinzinger said.—AFP