6 Takeaways From Jan. 6 Panel's Final Report

Trump 'is loving this,' aide said during attack
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 23, 2022 8:38 AM CST
Key Takeaways From the Jan. 6 Report
Trump supporters riot outside the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.   (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol attack released its final report Thursday, saying the main cause of the attack was "one man." They wrote that former President Donald Trump "put the lives of American lawmakers at risk" and threatened American democracy by trying to overturn his 2020 election loss and encouraging his most extreme supporters to march on the Capitol. Some key takeaways:

  • Trump spread claims he had been told were untrue. The report found that Trump's false declaration of victory on election night was "premeditated" and in the months afterward, he continued to spread fraud claims that his top advisers had told him were untrue, the BBC reports. Former aide Hope Hicks testified that Trump himself mocked some of the "crazy" claims made by lawyer Sidney Powell, reports the New York Times. The committee found that Trump's claims and his Dec. 19 "Be there, will be wild" tweet brought extremists to Washington, DC, on Jan. 6.

  • Far-right groups led the attack. The report found that the first wave of rioters to enter the Capitol was "disproportionately comprised of members of the Proud Boys, Three Percenters, QAnon fanatics and so-called 'Groypers' loyal to Nick Fuentes" per Politico. The report said that calling the attack a riot was "partly true." "Some of those who trespassed on the Capitol’s grounds or entered the building did not plan to do so beforehand" the report said. “But it is also true that extremists, conspiracy theorists and others were prepared to fight. That is an insurrection.”
  • Trump failed to act and seemed to approve of riot. The report documented how Trump watched the attack unfold on television, resisting calls to urge his supporters to stop the violence and failing to instruct federal law enforcement agencies to assist besieged officers from the Capitol Police and DC Metropolitan Police. "Potus im sure is loving this," Trump aide Robert Gabriel said in a text message during the attack, per the Washington Post.
  • Trump corruptly sought to overturn election. The panel set out details of Trump's plot to overturn the election results, including how he pressured then-Vice President Pence to refuse to count electoral results and sought to corrupt the Department of Justice by trying to goad DOJ officials into making false statements in support of his effort, the Guardian reports.

  • "Should we just deploy now and resign tomorrow?” The report details how law enforcement failed to share or act on warnings of potential violence ahead of the riot and describes the frustration of the DC National Guard as the riot unfolded and they were not called in. It said the guard's commander, Maj. Gen. William J. Walker, said at one point, "Shall we just deploy now and resign tomorrow?" per the New York Times.
  • Key recommendations. Beyond criminal charges for Trump, the panel recommended banning the former president from holding public office in the future, the Hill reports. It also called for tougher oversight of the Capitol Police, greater subpoena powers for Congress, and for the joint session of Congress to count electoral votes to be declared a national security special event. The report said Congress should investigate the "policies of media companies that have had the effect of radicalizing their consumers, including by provoking people to attack their own country."
(More Jan. 6 hearings stories.)

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