Jan 6 report: Trump ‘lit that fire’ of Capitol insurrection
Select Committee report says that the President 'lit the fire' of Capitol insurrection. Dec. 23, 2022

The central cause was 'one man,' the report says: Trump.

The House Jan. 6 committee’s final report asserts that Donald Trump criminally engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the lawful results of the 2020 presidential election and failed to act to stop his supporters from attacking the Capitol, concluding an extraordinary 18-month investigation into the former president and the violent insurrection two years ago.

Trump “lit that fire,” the committee’s chairman, Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson, writes.

The 814-page report released late Thursday comes after the panel interviewed more than 1,000 witnesses, held 10 hearings and obtained more than a million pages of documents. The witnesses — ranging from many of Trump’s closest aides to law enforcement to some of the rioters themselves — detailed Trump’s “premeditated” actions in the weeks ahead of the attack and how his wide-ranging efforts to overturn his defeat directly influenced those who brutally pushed past the police and smashed through the windows and doors of the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The central cause was “one man,” the report says: Trump.

The insurrection gravely threatened democracy and “put the lives of American lawmakers at risk,” the bipartisan nine-member panel concluded, offering so far the most definitive account of a dark chapter in modern American history. It functions not only as a compendium of the most dramatic moments of testimony from months of hearings, but also as a document meant to be preserved for future generations.

In a foreword to the report, outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says the findings should be a “clarion call to all Americans: to vigilantly guard our Democracy and to give our vote only to those dutiful in their defense of our Constitution.”

In the two months between the election and the insurrection, the report says, “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.”

Trump’s repeated, false claims of widespread voter fraud resonated with his supporters, the committee said, and were amplified on social media, building on the distrust of government he had fostered for his four years in office. And he did little to stop them when they resorted to violence and stormed the Capitol, interrupting the certification of Biden’s victory.

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. This week is particularly fraught for him, as a House committee said it will release his tax returns after he has fought for years to keep them private. And Trump has been blamed by Republicans for a worse-than-expected showing in the midterm elections, leaving him in his most politically vulnerable state since he was elected in 2016.

“He is unfit for any office,” writes the committee’s vice chairwoman, Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming.

Posting on his social media site, Trump called the report “highly partisan” and falsely claimed it didn’t include his statement on Jan. 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.”

The report details a multitude of failings by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, noting that many of the rioters came with weapons and had openly planned for violence online. “The failure to sufficiently share and act upon that intelligence jeopardized the lives of the police officers defending the Capitol and everyone in it,” the report says.

At the same time, the committee makes an emphatic point that security failures are not the primary cause for the insurrection.

“The President of the United States inciting a mob to march on the Capitol and impede the work of Congress is not a scenario our intelligence and law enforcement communities envisioned for this country,” Thompson wrote.

“Donald Trump lit that fire,” Thompson writes. “But in the weeks beforehand, the kindling he ultimately ignited was amassed in plain sight.”

The report details Trump’s inaction as his loyalists were storming the building, detailing the hours when he watched the violence on television but did nothing to stop it.

A White House photographer snapped a picture of Trump at 1:21 p.m., learning of the riot from the employee after he returned to the White House after his speech — and after his own security officials had rebuffed his efforts to go to the Capitol himself. “By that time, if not sooner, he had been made aware of the violent riot,” the report states.

In total, 187 minutes elapsed between the time Trump finished his speech at the Ellipse and his first effort to get the rioters to disperse, through an eventual video message in which he asked his supporters to go home even as he reassured them, “We love you, you’re very special.”

That inaction was a “dereliction of duty,” the report says, noting that Trump had more power than any other person as the nation’s commander-in-chief. “He willfully remained idle even as others, including his own Vice President, acted.”

During those hours, Pence huddled in the Capitol, begging security officials for a quicker National Guard response as rioters outside called for his hanging because he would not illegally try to thwart Biden’s win. And inside the White House, dozens of staffers and associates pleaded with Trump to make a forceful statement.

But he did not.

“We all look like domestic terrorists now,” longtime aide Hope Hicks texted Julie Radford, who served as Ivanka Trump’s chief of staff, in the aftermath.

“Attacking the VP? Wtf is wrong with him,” Hicks texted another colleague that evening.

The investigation’s release is a final act for House Democrats who are ceding power to Republicans in less than two weeks, and have spent much of their four years in power investigating Trump. Democrats impeached Trump twice, the second time a week after the insurrection. He was acquitted by the Senate both times. Other Democratic-led probes investigated his finances, his businesses, his foreign ties and his family.

On Monday, the panel officially passed their investigation to the Justice Department, recommending the department investigate the former president on four crimes, including aiding an insurrection. While the criminal referrals have no legal standing, they are a final statement from the committee after its extensive, year-and-a-half-long probe.

The committee has also begun to release hundreds of transcripts of its interviews. On Thursday, the panel released transcripts of two closed-door interviews with former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson, who testified in person at one of the televised hearings over the summer and described in vivid detail Trump’s actions and inaction inside the White House.

In the two interviews, both conducted after her June appearance at the hearing, Hutchinson described how many of Trump’s allies, including her lawyer, pressured her not to say too much in her committee interviews.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Paul Passarelli

    December 23, 2022 at 10:23 am

    Yeah, when the Kangaroo Court issues a verdict is there really anything a sane person can say to get those that were drawn to the drumhead will listen to?

    • Joe Corsin

      December 23, 2022 at 3:32 pm

      Trump was a POS and anyone who still supports his phoney baloney regime is a disgrace.

  • John Fred Masterhoff

    December 23, 2022 at 11:05 am

    Burlesque, political style. I can’t help but compare the last year to the first few minutes of “Cabaret.” “Every day we have to battle to keep the committee members from taking off all their clothes. Today we may lose the battle!” (With apologies to the wonderful Joel Gray).

  • James R. Miles

    December 23, 2022 at 1:27 pm

    Trump, a festered boil on the butt of America belongs in jail where he should stay until death. At the very least, he should not be permitted to ever run for public office again!! If anyone else had committed the crimes this looser had committed, they would be in jail. Justice is not equal in America and the world’s biggest liar is living proof. A pox om ALL of his followers!!

    • Paul Passarelli

      December 23, 2022 at 3:16 pm

      Democrats borrowing from Machiavelli & Goebbels: “Accuse your enemies of the crimes you are committing.”

      • Elliott Offen

        December 23, 2022 at 3:30 pm

        “I just need you to find 11,780 votes, WHICH IS ONE MORE THAN WE HAVE! Basically I’m admitting that I know I don’t have the votes but I expect them anyway! If I don’t get them, you could be in legal trouble.” – DJT

  • PeterH

    December 23, 2022 at 9:49 pm

    “Every American knows who led the riots on January 6th!”

    Mitch McConnell 2022

    • Paul Passarelli

      December 24, 2022 at 1:23 pm

      Every American knew that Sleepy Joe was unqualified to lead the country too. Buy according to Democrat propagandists 81 million Useful Idiots voted for him.

      So the ‘absolutists’ language proves nothing. The point is that if the Democrats hadn’t cheated & stole the election there would have been no riots. Oh wait, there were riots in 2016 when the Democrats actually burned cars, and committed really destructive acts. But they weren’t called insurrectionists, or even rioters. They were “mostly peaceful protesters”.

      As for “The Turtle” nobody cares.

      • PeterH

        December 26, 2022 at 2:34 pm

        Except MOST illegal voting points to Republicans who perpetrated the criminal activity.

        2020 saw most Florida voting criminality occurring in The Villages.

        Secondly, the most egregious voting criminality in recent history occurred in North Carolina where Republicans went door to door harvesting mail-in ballots and changing the votes.

        If you have PROOF of additional widespread voting irregularities bring them to court. So far Republicans have lost every single election fraud case that they brought to court. Kari Lake is the latest to face the trash heap.

        Basically, ….. you’re like most Republicans…..whining about irrelevant stuff that no one cares about. Any more Durham reports? Any more fake stories about a non elected Biden son’s laptop?

        Cleaning up messes created by Republican administrations takes time. Biden is doing a fine job cleaning up the 10% unemployment he inherited from Trump. When Trump imposed trade tariffs on our trading partners every economist in 2018 made the prediction that Trump’s irrational action would cause inflation. So if you want facts ….. since you voted for Trump….. inflation IS YOUR FAULT

Comments are closed.


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