Remember when armed, pro-Donald Trump supporters stormed the US seat of government in 2020 after the then famously orange president lost the election to Joe Biden?
Protestors hoped to intimidate Trump’s deputy Mike Pence into refusing to certify the results of the election.
The riots, which some have referred to as an insurrection, led to five deaths, 138 injured cops and more than 850 criminal charges. False claims of the election being thrown are still being circulated by Trump and his allies, despite a complete lack of evidence.
That day has become known as the January 6 attacks and has been the subject of an ongoing inquiry by the US equivalent to our parliament.
The ongoing testimony, especially by those inside Trump’s camp, was damning and revealed Trump’s hand in inciting the violence.
Here are the biggest revelations so far:
- Trump asked Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, to “find 11,780 [more] votes”, in a line straight out of a dictator’s playbook. 👀
- Even Trump’s own daughter, Ivanka Trump, agreed with former Attorney-General, Bill Barr, that the election was not stolen.
- Several members of congress asked for presidential pardons for the roles they played in the attempt to overturn the election.
- After hearing about the “hang Mike Pence” chants by protestors, Trump said at the time, “he deserves it.”
- Trump wanted to join the mob as they stormed the Capitol according to Cassidy Hutchinson, a former White House aide. She said Trump tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle and lunged at his head of security after he was told he couldn’t go to the Capitol.
- Once he had returned to the White House, Trump watched footage of the attacks on Fox News but refused to call on a mob of his supporters to stand down.
- Conspiracies about the election were used to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for pro-Trump political organisations.
The next round of hearings are expected to begin in September. Trump could be found guilty of major crimes, including treason. But prosecutors may be hesitant to charge a former president who may run for office again.
That’s because if Trump is convicted of any charges and barred from running for office, it will set a tough legal precedent that could be used as a political weapon to stifle opposition. Alternatively, if Trump is found to have incited an insurrection and gets away with it, it would undermine democracy and create a grave injustice.
The real danger is the return of power by a Republican party enthralled with Trump and his divisive and dangerous politics. The US, more divided than ever politically, is not out of the woods on that score.