Donald Trump ignited the flame of the attempted coup on January 6. In its first public hearing, the commission of inquiry into the assault on the Capitol reminds the Americans of what happened on that day in 2021. It does so with new unpublished images collected in a video of over 10 minutes and it does so with the testimony of one of the agents wounded. But also by presenting clips of the testimonies collected behind closed doors. The two-hour live TV opens with the chair of the investigative commission on January 6, Bennie Thompson. “January 6 and the lies that led to the insurrection put two and a half centuries of democracy at risk. Our democracy remains in danger. The plot” at the origin of the January 6 assault “is not fake,” he says. Thompson describing January 6 as an “attempted coup”. In 1814 the Capitol was attacked by a foreign force, “remembers Thompson.

On January 6 he was attacked by “internal enemies” at Trump’s encouragement, he adds before introducing the “patriot” and “friend” Liz Cheney, the sworn enemy of the former president. The Republican congresswoman explains that Trump had a “sophisticated seven-point plan” to overturn the vote and stay in power. “You will see evidence on every point of the plan,” she says, recalling the former president’s pressure on Mike Pence to refuse the electoral vote count. Cheney presents clips of testimony from Trump’s former Justice Minister to the Americans William Barr and daughter Ivanka. “I had three discussions with President Trump and I made it clear that I didn’t believe the election was stolen,” Barr told the commission, stating that he “repeatedly told” the tycoon that he saw no evidence of fraud. “I respect Barr and I accepted” what he said about the elections, namely that there was no evidence of Fraud and that Trump had lost, Ivanka pointed out. Describing those horrific hours in addition to the new images was Caroline Edwards, one of the injured officers. She recounted “war scenes”, the “faces of those Americans like her” who insulted her. Her testimony closed the first public hearing that lasted nearly two hours. And branded by Donald Trump’s spokesperson Taylor Budowich as a “circus” unable to capture public attention. The Democrats are well aware that the hearings are likely to backfire on them in the November elections but have chosen to go ahead and take risks all the same.

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