Independent- Donald Trump has reacted furiously to the release of the full report from the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot, which found that he engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the 2020 presidential election and called for him to never be allowed to take office again.
After a 17-months-long investigation and public hearings with bombshell testimony from those in the former president’s inner circle, the bombshell 845-page report was finally released late on Thursday night.
In it, the panel placed the blame for the Capitol riot – a violent insurrection that left five people dead and dozens of law enforcement officers injured – squarely on the shoulders of “one man”: Mr Trump.
The former president took to his platform Truth Social almost as soon as the report dropped, where he once again peddled his lies about “election fraud” and fumed that the investigation was a “witch hunt”.
“The highly partisan Unselect Committee Report purposely fails to mention the failure of Pelosi to heed my recommendation for troops to be used in D.C., show the “Peacefully and Patrioticly” words I used, or study the reason for the protest, Election Fraud. WITCH HUNT!” he wrote.
His outrage comes as the panel has called for Mr Trump not only to be blocked from holding office in future but for him to face criminal charges for his role in the insurrection.
At its final public hearing earlier this week, the committee announced it was making criminal referrals to the DOJ.
Among the referrals, the committee said that Mr Trump should potentially face four criminal charges of: obstruction of an official proceeding of the United States government, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., conspiracy to make a false statement, and inciting, assisting, or aid and comforting an insurrection.
While it falls to the DOJ to decide whether or not to bring any criminal charges, the highly-anticipated report reveals several new allegations about the role Mr Trump and his inner circle played in the insurrection.
The report – based on more than 1,000 interviews and reams of documents including emails, texts, phone records – marks the culmination of a 17-months-long investigation into the events leading up to and including January 6 2021, when a mob of Mr Trump’s supporters stormed the US Capitol to try to overturn the election.
In it, the House panel details how Mr Trump and his allies took part in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the election results – a conspiracy that culminated in the events of that day.
“That evidence has led to an overriding and straight forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, whom many others followed,” the report states.
“None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”
One of the most damning findings of the report was the extent that Mr Trump and his inner circle targeted election officials to try to get them to overturn the election results in his favour.
In the two months between election day and January 6, the group engaged in at least 200 acts attempting to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
“The Select Committee estimates that in the two months between the November election and the January 6th insurrection, President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 apparent acts of public or private outreach, pressure, or condemnation, targeting either State legislators or State or local election administrators, to overturn State election results,” the report says.
This included 68 meetings, attempted or connected phone calls or text messages and 125 social media posts by the then-president or his senior aides.
One of the most high-profile examples was Mr Trump’s attempt to “badger” Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger – who the then-president pressed in a now-infamous phone call to “find” 11,000 votes to flip the state in his favour.
By 2 January 2021 – the day of that phone call – Mr Trump had already tried to speak by phone with Mr Raffensperger at least 18 times, the report finds.
As part of his “multi-part conspiracy,” Mr Trump also “oversaw” the attempts to put forward fake electors to certify the results in his favour in seven states that President Joe Biden won, according to the report.
The panel describes how Mr Trump “spearheaded outreach aimed at numerous officials in States he lost but that had GOP-led legislatures, including in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, and Arizona”.
The report also revealed the identity of the Mr Trump ally who is accused of being the architect of this fake elector plot: Kenneth Chesebro.
Mr Chesebro, a little known attorney, allegedly led the plot – not Mr Trump’s attorney John Eastman who infamously created a step-by-step guide for how he claimed then-vice president Mike Pence could overturn the election.
“The fake elector plan emerged from a series of legal memoranda written by an outside legal advisor to the Trump Campaign: Kenneth Chesebro,” the report says.
As well as the actions of Mr Trump and his inner circle in the lead-up to January 6, the report also provides new details about the day itself – and the former president’s refusal to try to stop the insurrection.
When his supporters broke into the Capitol, Mr Trump watched it on TV and “did not contact a single top national security official during the day”.
“Not at the Pentagon, nor at the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, the F.B.I., the Capitol Police Department, or the D.C. Mayor’s office,” the report states, adding that he didn’t even try to contact Mr Pence to see if he was safe.
With no action coming from the head of state, the report revealed that the commander of the DC National Guard “strongly” considered going ahead and sending troops to the US Capitol without waiting for approval.
As a result of the former president’s actions, the panel recommends that Mr Trump – who just last month announced his 2024 White House run – is barred from being able to enter office ever again.
The report points to part of the US Constitution which states that an individual who has taken an oath to support the Constitution but has “engaged in an insurrection” or given “aid or comfort to the enemies of the Constitution” can be disqualified from taking office.
The panel also issues a grave warning about America’s future if Mr Trump and his inner circle are not held to account for their role in the insurrection.
“In the Committee’s judgment, based on all the evidence developed, President Trump believed then, and continues to believe now, that he is above the law, not bound by our Constitution and its explicit checks on Presidential authority. This recent Trump statement only heightens our concern about accountability,” the report states.
“If President Trump and the associates who assisted him in an effort to overturn the lawful outcome of the 2020 election are not ultimately held accountable under the law, their behavior may become a precedent and invitation to danger for future elections.
“A failure to hold them accountable now may ultimately lead to future unlawful efforts to overturn our elections, thereby threatening the security and viability of our Republic.”