Capitol riot: Trump ignored pleas to condemn attack, hearing told

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Ex-US President Donald Trump watched last year’s Capitol riot on TV at the White House, ignoring his children and aides who “begged him” to rebuke the mob, a congressional inquiry has heard.

“He chose not to act,” said Adam Kinzinger, one of two Republicans on the Democratic-led committee.

The prime-time hearing was told Mr Trump did not make a single call to law enforcement or national security staff.

He was motivated by “his selfish desire to stay in power”, the inquiry alleged.

On Thursday night, the House of Representatives select committee used its eighth hearing of the summer to draw a timeline of Mr Trump’s activities over 187 minutes on 6 January 2021 as a mob of his supporters raided Congress.

The panel is seeking to build a case that Mr Trump, a Republican, acted illegally in a bid to overturn his defeat by Joe Biden, a Democrat, in the November 2020 presidential election.

Members of the committee have suggested there might be enough evidence to charge Mr Trump with such counts as obstructing an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to defraud the American people or witness tampering.

Any potential prosecution of Mr Trump would be led by the Department of Justice. But some commentators have suggested that advice issued by Attorney General Merrick Garland requiring prosecutors to obtain approval before embarking on politically sensitive investigations means it is unlikely Mr Trump will ever face trial.

Mr Trump, who has been hinting he may run again for president in 2024, has dismissed the inquiry as a “kangaroo court” designed to distract Americans from the “disaster” of Democratic governance.

The hearing was told that former President Trump had watched coverage of the riot on Fox News in the private dining room at the White House for more than two-and-a-half hours.

Agencies

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