By Richard Cowan and Katanga Johnson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congressional investigators into the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol anticipate this week to attract connections between militant teams that took half within the riot and authorities officers, probably together with then-President Donald Trump, a panel member stated on Sunday.
“We’re going to be connecting the dots throughout these hearings between these teams and people who have been attempting in authorities circles to overturn the election,” Democratic Consultant Zoe Lofgren stated on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Requested if Trump was conscious members of those teams attended a rally he led outdoors the White Home when he urged them to march on the Capitol, Lofgren stated: “It’s a must to attain your individual conclusions however based mostly on the occasions main as much as the day, I feel that might be a logical conclusion.”
Trump, a Republican, has falsely claimed Democrat Joe Biden defeated him within the 2020 presidential election by way of large fraud – assertions rejected in U.S. courts, by Trump’s personal Justice Division and even Republican-led audits.
After Trump spoke outdoors the White Home, his supporters marched to the Capitol in a failed bid to stop Congress from certifying Biden’s victory in a session the place then-Vice President Mike Pence was presiding.
Two teams, the self-described Oath Keepers and Proud Boys, might be below the highlight in hearings this week, scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday.
Federal prosecutors have alleged that Jeremy Brown, a member of the Oath Keepers, introduced explosives to the Washington space on Jan. 6. Brown, in a press release, known as the fees a “disgusting lie.”
Throughout a September 2020 debate between Trump and Biden earlier than the November election, Trump was requested whether or not he would condemn white supremacist and militia teams for violent actions throughout his presidency.
Trump responded, “Proud Boys, stand again and stand by.” He added, “Someone’s obtained to do one thing about antifa and the left. … this can be a left-wing drawback.”
On Friday, former White Home counsel Pat Cipollone testified to committee investigators behind closed doorways.
One in every of 9 members on a bipartisan Home of Representatives panel that started the general public hearings final month, Lofgren stated videotaped excerpts of that testimony might be introduced at Tuesday’s listening to.
“He was capable of present info on mainly the entire important points we’re taking a look at, together with the president’s what-I-would-call dereliction of responsibility on the day of Jan. 6,” Lofgren stated.
The committee has but to say whether or not Thursday’s listening to, on account of happen in night prime time when U.S. tv audiences are at their peak, would be the closing one earlier than a panel report is issued, probably in September.
Consultant Adam Kinzinger, one in every of two Republicans on the panel, is anticipated to guide witness questioning that evening, together with Democratic Consultant Elaine Luria.
“We will actually give attention to what was the president doing from in essence the second the rebellion began till he lastly, hours later, put out a tweet that stated, ‘We should not do something like this,'” Kinzinger advised ABC’s “This Week.”
He added, “Consider in the midst of that was the tweet that stated in essence that is what occurs whenever you steal an election; that Vice President Pence deserved this.”
In earlier committee testimony, witnesses stated Trump signaled assist for rioters calling for Pence to be hanged.
Lofgren additionally stated the committee had acquired a letter from Trump adviser Steve Bannon saying he can be prepared to testify. Bannon was charged final 12 months with two counts of contempt of Congress for defying a committee subpoena.
(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Katanga Johnson; Further reporting by Tyler Clifford; Modifying by Mary Milliken and Howard Goller)
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