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House Committee report says Donald Trump "lit the fire" of Capitol riots

Capitol riots on January 6 2021
Capitol riots on January 6 2021 Copyright AP Photo/John Minchillo
Copyright AP Photo/John Minchillo
By Thomas Hill with AP
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Bipartisan House committee report blames Donald Trump for sparking Capitol riots and recommends he be barred from holding office pending criminal investigations.

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The long-awaited House Committee report on last year's January 6 Capitol Hill riots lays the blame for the insurrection on one man: Donald Trump.

The committee’s chairman, Bennie Thompson, writes Trump “lit that fire”.

The report also concluded the insurrection gravely threatened democracy and “put the lives of American lawmakers at risk”. It was produced after months of witness testimony heard by a bipartisan nine-member panel.

The document alleges, “President Trump or his inner circle engaged in at least 200 apparent acts of public or private outreach, pressure, or condemnation, targeting either State legislators or State or local election administrators, to overturn State election results” in the two months between the election and the Capital riots.

In a foreword to the publication, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls the findings, “a clarion call to all Americans”.

The massive, damning report comes as Trump is running again for the presidency and also facing multiple federal investigations, including probes of his role in the insurrection and the presence of classified documents at his Florida estate.

In a series of policy recommendations, the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the committee suggest that Trump should be barred from future office, noting that the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution holds that anyone who has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution can be prevented from holding office for engaging in insurrection or rebellion.

Posting on his social media site, Trump called the report “highly partisan” and falsely claimed it didn’t include his statement on January 6 that his supporters should protest “peacefully and patriotically.” The committee did include that statement, though, and noted that he followed that comment with election falsehoods and charged language exhorting the crowd to “fight like hell.”

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