Donald Trump will be ordered to give evidence into deadly US Capitol riots

US News

The congressional panel investigating the deadly attack on the US Capitol last year has voted to subpoena Donald Trump.

It was a unanimous vote and the former president will now be compelled to give evidence to the committee about the events of 6 January 2021 which saw five people killed and more than 140 police officers injured.

The committee said he is “required to answer for his actions”.

It has been arguing in its hearings so far that Mr Trump was directly involved in the bid to overturn the 2020 US election result after inciting his supporters on the day to storm the Capitol building – the seat of US power in Washington DC.

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He denies the accusations, and on Truth Social described the committee as “a total bust”.

Tear gas is released into a crowd of protesters during clashes with Capitol police at a rally to contest the certification of the 2020 U.S. presidential election results by the U.S. Congress, at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, U.S, January 6, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo
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Police were forced to use tear gas during the riots, which stunned America – and the world

The panel cannot bring legal charges against Mr Trump, but it can decide to make a criminal referral to the Justice Department, should members choose.

Its series of hearings, which began in June this year, has been trying to establish his exact involvement.

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On Thursday, it was told Mr Trump orchestrated a multi-part plan to nullify the election result, and had behaved in a way that was a “staggering betrayal of his oath”.

The vote came as extraordinary new footage emerged of both Republican and Democrat lawmakers huddled in a secure location in the Capitol building as the riot unfolded around them.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is seen in the video telling the group: “There has to be some way we can maintain the sense that there is some security, some confidence, that government can function… and that you can elect the president of the United States.

“We have to get to finish the proceedings.”

She is then left stunned when an aide replies: “Apparently everybody on the floor is putting on their tear gas masks to prepare for a breach.”

Storming the Capitol: How four hours of mayhem unfolded in Washington

On the morning of 6 January, thousands of Trump supporters – inspired by an incendiary speech he had just given near the White House in which he repeated claims he had been denied a second term due to voter fraud – marched to the Capitol.

It was in session at the time, overseeing the congressional certification of Joe Biden‘s presidential election win.

House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack led by Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., swears in the witnesses during during the seventh public hearing by the House Select Committee to investigate the January 6th attack on the US Capitol, in Washington, DC, U.S., July 12, 2022. Doug Mills/Pool via REUTERS

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Officer attacked by mob describes ‘medieval battle scene’ ahead of final hearing
US Attorney General hints at prosecuting Trump over Capitol riot

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 file photo, supporters of President Donald Trump, including Jacob Chansley, right with fur hat, are confronted by U.S. Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber inside the Capitol in Washington. More than 800 people across the U.S. have been charged in the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol that left officers bloodied and sent lawmakers running in fear, and federal authorities continue to make new arrests practically every week. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta, File)
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Picture: Associated Press

A large group, including armed members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys, the Oath Keepers and QAnon, breached barriers at pedestrian entrances to the building’s grounds. Several also entered the Capitol building itself after a mob smashed windows and forced open doors.

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The hearing has been told former president Trump refused to call off the mob

Debunked

Having lost the electoral vote on 3 November 2020 to his Democratic opponent, Mr Trump began to insist the contest had been “rigged,” triggering his opponents to claim a conspiracy against him.

His accusations of voting malpractice have been continually debunked by election authorities.

The former president, a Republican, has so far refused to appear before the committee, which is made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans.

He may reject the subpoena, although he is legally bound to respond positively to it.

Steve Bannon, his former aide, was also subpoenaed to the panel but failed to turn up and has since been convicted of contempt of congress for doing so. He will be sentenced later this month and could be jailed for up to two years.

U.S. President Donald Trump talks to senior staff Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner during a swearing in ceremony for senior staff at the White House in Washington, DC
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Steve Bannon (R) with Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner at the White House

Hundreds of witnesses have been interviewed by the panel and more than 50 subpoenaed.

More than 900 people were charged with offences relating to the 6 January insurrection.

Mr Trump has vowed to pardon them if he wins a second term as president, though he has yet to officially announce he is standing for re-election.

Earlier on Thursday, the US Supreme Court rejected Mr Trump’s plea to step into the legal fight over the FBI search of his Florida estate.

He had asked the justices to overturn a lower court ruling and permit an independent arbiter to review the roughly 100 documents with classified markings that were taken in the 8 August search of Mar-a-Lago, but his request was denied.

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