“High point of an attempted coup”: The dismantling of President Donald Trump

“Climax of an Attempted Coup”
The dismantling of President Donald Trump

By Roland Peters

Trump’s opponents have long floated their views on the rationale for the January 6, 2021 uprising, with little success. The public hearings in the US Congress have new momentum. They let the ex-president’s family and allies speak. But the “smoking gun” is missing.

The ex-president’s alternative facts ran for an hour – on Fox News. Tucker Carlson, a Donald Trump sympathizer and the most well-known TV face of his party wing, talked himself into a rage for an hour without commercial breaks. He will reveal the truth about Jan. 6, 2021, he claimed, about what “wasn’t a riot.” Those involved in the storming of the Capitol used “not to mention little” violence. That was vandalism, nothing more.

In fact, several people had died in Washington DC that chaotic day. Hundreds of participants in the storming of the Capitol have already been charged and some have already been convicted. “I slipped in people’s blood,” a police officer told the investigative committee into the incident. The body in the US Congress and the judiciary see it completely differently than Fox News and are therefore also decisively closer to what is already known. The United States will now hear and see the committee’s version in several public hearings. The first Thursday evening local time, the next already on Monday.

Some of Trump’s companions and even family members, such as his own daughter Ivanka, obviously do not put their loyalty to the ex-president above all else (anymore). Because at the same time as Carlson’s statements, they were broadcast on almost all other US channels as witnesses. In video recordings, they also said that even they knew that the allegations of fraud were only a means to an end. So blatant lies by Trump to stay in power despite being voted out.

Just say the opposite

The original idea of ​​simply declaring victory regardless of the facts came from Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani. According to several witnesses, he had drunk his thirst on election night, and when the results from key states like Michigan didn’t turn out as hoped, Giuliani told Trump to just say he won the election. Trump did just that.

“January 6 was the climax of an attempted coup,” said one of the two committee chairmen. The active hub of all this is Trump. The committee has been working on the uprising and the storming of the Capitol for some time; what conditions favored him, who had planned what, and what was implemented. How this came about has often been told in fragments. The committee wants to show a panorama. He is likely to sow new doubts among Republican voters away from Trump’s loyal base. One could also say: Trump could become unelectable for more people than he was before as a result of the statements.

The committee includes Democrats and two of Trump’s opponents within the party because the top Republicans did not want to agree to a neutral investigation. In the public hearing, the ex-president has now been dismantled as a potential future autocrat; as someone who talked about a stolen election and spread allegations of voter fraud, as well as trying to exploit every government agency and court at his disposal. Trump roused the people and watched them storm the Capitol for him as his defeat was to be sealed with the counting of the voters’ votes inside the building.

Trump Attorney General William Barr told the committee he had called the allegations of widespread election fraud “bullshit” to Trump and wanted nothing to do with it. A lawyer on Trump’s campaign team told White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows they hadn’t spotted any issues that would change the outcome of elections in key states. “So there aren’t any?” Meadows replied, according to the attorney. Other members of Trump’s campaign team made similar statements.

The statement made by his daughter Ivanka should have been particularly painful for Trump’s supporters and the ex-president himself. She believed Barr, she said on TV visible to the whole US. So she also thought that her father lost the election and there was no cheating.

The first hearing was also about who organized the uprising. The two best-known militias, Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, had therefore conspired with each other. The storming of the Capitol was apparently planned, so the two leaders Enrique Tarrio and Stewart Rhodes met the day before for a meeting.

The US media had previously reported a great deal on communication between the leaders and their militiamen and affine supporters. As such, there was no concrete plan by the militias to take power themselves, but rather to act as a sort of escort through whatever Trump might do to stay in power. There is also nothing known of any instruction or direct communication by the militias with Trump. This would be a possible “smoking gun”, the gun still smoking after the crime, which would undoubtedly convict him of the coup attempt.

“He called the mob”

But the committee doesn’t need the ultimate proof yet. “He called the mob, he rallied the mob, and lit the flame for this attack,” Co-Chair Liz Cheney stated at the first hearing. Since January 6, 2021, the Republican has become one of the main critics of the ex-president in her own party. For her, there is a “cult of personality” in it, which she wants to end. And for that she would have to damage the image of Trump as president like everyone else in a way that everyone can understand. This is what the Committee’s findings could do.

Even if Cheney and the committee don’t put a smoking gun on the table, they will deduce that Trump was responsible. That he didn’t care about the democratic rules and thus the constitution, that he deliberately wanted to seize power without democratic legitimacy. Five further public hearings are planned for this in the course of June.

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