Donald Trump should be held legally responsible for a shameful breach of his presidential duties, said the congressional committee looking into the January 6 assault on the US Capitol Hill on Thursday. The panel, comprised of seven Democrats and two Republicans who had also voted for Trump’s impeachment following the bloody uprising, is holding its eighth public hearing into the Capitol incident. As per an AFP report, at the televised finish of a series of public hearings on the attack, committee chairman Bennie Thompson claimed Trump “recklessly blazed a path of lawlessness and corruption” as he worked to invalidate the results of the 2020 US election.
Thompson, who had tested positive for COVID-19, addressed the committee virtually, and said there needed to be “accountability” for what he called an assault on democracy.
According to Thompson, “the select committee has told a story of a president who did everything in his power to overturn an election.” He broke his oath, lied, and used intimidation.
“He lied, he bullied, he betrayed his oath.”
“He tried to destroy our democratic institutions,” said Thompson adding, “there needs to be accountability… all the way up to the Oval Office.”
Several White House employees have also revealed that the former president watched the attack unfold on television for about three hours in a private dining room. Republican committee member Adam Kinzinger shared snippets of their testimony on Twitter.
Lawmakers are looking into Trump’s conduct that day. From his fiery speech to his supporters outside the White House, in which he claimed the upcoming election in November 2020 was rigged, to the point when he told the rioters they were “very special” but needed to go home.
AFP reports that a damning revelation by the chief lawyer for the White House Pat Cipollone disclosed to the committee that the president was even urged by advisers to release a statement ordering people out of the Capitol.
“I think I was pretty clear there needed to be an immediate and forceful response statement, public statement that people need to leave the Capitol.”
Further hearings into the horrific assault, according to committee members, will take place in September.