Washington, 10 June 2022 (tca/dpa/MIA) — As rioters battered police and stormed inside the US Capitol building on January 6, 2021, then-president Donald Trump grew angry with advisers pleading with him to do something, Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney said Thursday in the first hearing by the House select committee investigating the attack.
Aware of the rioters’ chants to “hang Mike Pence,” the president responded with this sentiment, Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, said: “Well, maybe our supporters have the right idea. Mike Pence, quote, ‘deserves it.’ ”
The revelation was just one of the bombshell allegations that Cheney said the committee will corroborate during subsequent hearings to prove a coordinated effort to stop certification of the 2020 presidential election and keep Trump in office.
Cheney said the panel will also reveal evidence that Representative Scott Perry, R-Pennsylvania, and multiple Republican members of Congress sought pardons after January 6 for their roles leading to that day and that the president’s Cabinet secretaries considered invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office.
“January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup,” said Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, who placed Trump at the center of the effort.
“We can’t sweep what happened under the rug,” Thompson said in his opening remarks.
“The American people deserve answers. So I come before you this evening not as a Democrat, but as an American who swore an oath to defend the Constitution. The Constitution doesn’t protect just Democrats or just Republicans. It protects all of us: ‘We the People.’ And this scheme was an attempt to undermine the will of the people.”
Thompson and others on the panel have stressed that the hearings will not only cover the insurrection at the Capitol a year and a half ago, but also address what can be done to keep similar events from happening again.
“Our democracy remains in danger. The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over. There are those in this country who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes America great: devotion to the Constitution, allegiance to the rule of law, our shared journey to build a more perfect union,” Thompson said in his opening remarks.
The hearing, which took place in prime time after more than 10 months of investigation behind closed doors, marks the committee’s initial report to the American public, and is expected to be followed by at least five more hearings this month.