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Former US President Donald Trump has been accused of orchestrating last year's Capitol riot in an 'attempted coup', a congressional inquiry has heard.
The US House of Representatives' Select Committee opened on Thursday (9 June) after a year of investigation and aired footage from interviews it conducted with several of Trump's closest aides at the time.
The committee watched former US Attorney General Bill Barr’s testimony in which he said Trump’s claims that the election was stolen were 'unsupported by specific evidence'.
He said: "We can't live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific evidence, that there was fraud in the election."
The hearing also saw the former president’s daughter Ivanka Trump testify and admit she 'accepted' Barr's comments about her father's conspiracy theory.
Lawmakers have also sought to provide a comprehensive account of the former president's movements during the riot.
Notably, there was an 'audible gasp' during the hearing when Cheney read an account that claimed Trump, when told the rioters were chanting for Vice President Mike Pence to be hanged for refusing to block the election results, suggested that he 'deserves it'.
The congressional committee is led by Democrats, who formed the panel after Republicans blocked attempts to set up a full independent inquiry, while two Republicans Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney are also involved.
The committee’s aim is to give a comprehensive account of the 6 January riot and show there was a 'coordinated, multi-step effort' to 'overturn' the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Speaking at the hearing, the committee's chairman, Bennie Thompson, said: "Jan 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt, as one writer put it shortly after Jan 6, to overthrow the government.
"The violence was no accident. It was Trump's last stand."
Cheney, a Wyoming lawmaker, added: "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.
"President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack."
Four people died on the day of the US Capitol riot while more than 100 police officers were injured.
Sadly, four other officers later died by suicide following the event.
Before the inquiry, which is the first of six hearings expected this month, former president Trump branded the hearing as a 'political hoax'.
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