Jan. 6 Committee Frames Attack As Result Of Months-Long Plot, Says Danger Is Ongoing

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Vice Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) arrive for a hearing on ... WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: U.S. Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol, and Vice Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) arrive for a hearing on the January 6th investigation on June 09, 2022 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The bipartisan committee, which has been gathering evidence related to the January 6 attack at the U.S. Capitol for almost a year, will present its findings in a series of televised hearings. On January 6, 2021, supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the U.S. Capitol Building during an attempt to disrupt a congressional vote to confirm the electoral college win for Joe Biden. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images) MORE LESS

The leaders of the Jan. 6 Committee are making clear at the top of Thursday’s hearing that the committee viewed the Capitol attack not as a one-day event but as the climax of a months-long attempt to subvert the democratic will of the American people — an attempt that they said was ongoing. 

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the committee’s chair, described how Trump’s legal losses preceded “what became a sprawling, multi-step conspiracy aimed at overturning the presidential election, aimed at throwing out the votes of millions of Americans.” 

Trump was at the center of a conspiracy to steal the election, Thompson said — an “attempted coup” that culminated with Jan. 6. 

He added later that the danger represented by the insurrection was still active, and that “the cause of our democracy remains in danger.”

“The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over,” he said. “There are those in this audience who thirst for power but have no love or respect for what makes America great.”

Speaking after him, Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney (R-WY) promised details of what she called Trump’s “seven-part plan to steal the election.”

“Over multiple months, Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power,” Cheney said. 

Cheney said evidence collected by the committee demonstrated that the then-President knew he’d lost the election, and that he nonetheless attempted to stay in power — including by filing frivolous lawsuits, scheming to replace the attorney general, pressuring Mike Pence to steal the election, and, ultimately, calling a mob to Washington, D.C.

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