The final report of the commission of January 6 of the House of Representatives claims that donald trump criminally participated in a “multi-party conspiracy” to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to prevent his supporters from attacking the Capitolthus concluding an extraordinary 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent insurrection of two years ago.
The 814-page report released Thursday came after the panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, held 10 hearings and obtained millions of pages of documents. Witnesses — ranging from close Trump advisers to some of the insurgents themselves — detailed Trump’s actions in the weeks leading up to the insurrection and how his lobbying campaign to undo his defeat directly influenced those who brutally pushed police officers. and smashed the windows and doors of the Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“The central cause of January 6 was one man: former President Donald Trump, who was followed by many others,” the report states. “None of the events of January 6 would have happened without him.”
The insurrection seriously threatened democracy and “endangered the lives of US lawmakers,” the nine-member panel concluded.
The report’s eight concluding chapters tell the story much as the hearings held before the panel this summer did, outlining the many facets of the remarkable plan that Trump and his advisers devised to try to undo President Joe Biden’s victory. . The lawmakers describe the then-president’s pressure on states, federal officials, lawmakers and Vice President Mike Pence to circumvent the system or break the law.
Trump’s repeated and false claims of widespread voter fraud resonated with his supporters, the commission said, and were amplified on social media, tapping into mistrust in the government he had fostered during his four years in office. And he did very little to stop them when they resorted to violence and stormed the Capitol.
The huge and damning report was released as Trump is running for president again and facing multiple federal investigations, including inquiries into his role in the insurrection and into the presence of confidential documents at his Florida estate. This week is especially tense for him, as a House committee is expected to make his tax returns public, after he has fought for years to keep them private. In addition, Republicans have blamed Trump for a worse-than-expected result in the midterm elections, leaving him in his most politically vulnerable state since he won the 2016 election.
The report is also a final act for House Democrats, who cede control of the legislature to Republicans in less than two weeks, and who have spent much of their four years in power investigating Trump. Democrats impeached Trump twice, the second time a week after the insurrection. On both occasions he was acquitted by the Senate. Other Democratic-led inquiries looked into his finances, his business, his foreign ties and his family.
On Monday, the panel of seven Democrats and two Republicans officially transferred its investigation to the Justice Department, recommending that it investigate the former president for four crimes, including aiding an insurrection. Although the criminal justice recommendations have no legal force, they are a final statement by the commission following its extensive year-and-a-half investigation.
Trump has tried to discredit the report, branding the commission members “rogues and scoundrels,” and has continued to falsely dispute his defeat in 2020.
“These people don’t understand that when they come for me, people who love freedom close ranks with me. That makes me stronger,” Trump said in response to the commission’s recommendations for charges.
Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Farnoush Amiri, Lisa Mascaro, Jill Colvin, Nomaan Merchant and Michael Balsamo contributed to this report.