Cape Town - Following 11 months of investigation on the 6 January 2021 attack on Capitol Hill, former US President Donald Trump has been accused of an ‘attempted coup’ during the first public hearing to announce the findings.
According to Xinhua news agency, two panel members delivered opening remarks on Thursday night’s hearing which included previously unseen material documenting the event.
A panel made up of seven House Democrats and two Republicans called on two witnesses, including Caroline Edwards who was the first police officer injured in the attack.
The hearing was the first of a series of hearings which is scheduled to be televised throughout the month in order to show the public what has been uncovered.
“January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one writer put it shortly after January 6, to overthrow the government,” Democrat Bennie Thompson, the select committee's chairman, told the hearing.
“The violence was no accident. It was Trump's last stand,” he said.
Officer Edwards further testified that she was called a “traitor” and a “dog” by the rioters before she was knocked unconscious.
Furthermore, the BBC reported that Republican vice-chair of the committee Liz Cheney believed Trump had “lit the flame of this attack”.
“Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them: that the election was stolen and that he was the rightful President,” said Cheney.
“President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” she said.
Approximately 140 police officers made up of 80 US Capitol Police and 60 from the Metropolitan Police Department were assaulted during the attack, with authorities linking five deaths to the mayhem.