The House committee probing the Jan. 6, 2021 attack on the U.S. Capitol kicked off a prime-time hearing Thursday with charges against Donald Trump, painting a portrait of the former president at the center of a conspiracy to overturn the 2020 election.
Trump, charged with Rep. Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who leads the Jan. 6 panel, has been charged with a multi-step conspiracy aimed at overturning the presidential election and replacing Americans votes with his will to remain in power after his term ends. Thompson said that Donald Trump was at the center of the conspiracy. The prime-time hearing will be the start of sessions revealing new details about the insurrection, according to lawmakers leading the probe. The panel, led by Thompson and Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, showed a videotaped deposition by former Attorney General Bill Barr, in which he told Trump that the election was stolen was a bullshit. Trump's daughter Ivanka said she accepted Barr's statement about lack of election fraud in a separate video. Trump denied any wrongdoing related to the Jan. 6 attack. Trump, said Cheney, summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of the attack. Five more hearings are expected to take place over the next two weeks, with the next scheduled for June 13 at 10 a.m. Eastern. The final hearing is scheduled for June 23 and is scheduled for prime time. The Jan. 6 panel plans to release more reports on its findings, so the hearings are not the final word of the committee. The committee can refer its findings to the Justice Department, but the panel can't charge anyone, including Trump. House Republicans have announced plans to release their own report on the riot, saying they d focus on inadequate security preparations and the law enforcement response. The committee was called the most political and least legitimate one in American history, according to House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican. Now see: Proud Boys ex-leader, 4 others charged with seditious conspiracy in Capitol riot.