Donald Trump defended the storming of the 2021 US Capitol and on Thursday reiterated his false claims of voter fraud after lawmakers accused him of a “criminal conspiracy” to undo the 2020 election.
The former president responded to a legal bomb threat Wednesday by the House selection committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, which alleged Trump had fraudulently attempted to obstruct Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
“The real conspiracy to defraud the United States was that the Democrats were rigging the election, and the fake news media and the unelected committee covering it up,” Trump said in a statement reiterating a litany of baseless claims about the vote.
“There are few things more fraudulent or more irregular than the 2020 election.”
The commission’s filing has increased pressure on Attorney General Merrick Garland, who has been accused by critics of being reluctant to investigate Trump, to announce a federal inquiry into the charges.
As part of an effort to obtain emails from right-wing attorney John Eastman, who is accused of helping Trump orchestrate the plot, the filing is the panel’s clearest statement yet about what it sees as possible crimes by Trump.
Eastman advised the twice-indicted ex-president on the alleged legal justification for blocking congressional certification of Biden’s victory, the action at the heart of the uprising.
Trump echoed much of the voter fraud misinformation he’s been spreading before the 2020 election, labeling the select committee, led by a Democrat and a Republican, as “partisan hacks.”
He accused the nine Supreme Court justices – three of whom he has appointed – of being “afraid” to consider his false claims of voting irregularities, which have been rejected by dozens of courts.
He called his Attorney General Bill Barr, who resigned weeks after the election, “virtually a broken man” who was intimidated by Democrats to allow the “systemic violation of election laws.”
“The reason for Jan. 6 was because millions of people in our country know that the election has been rigged and stolen,” Trump insisted, as he tried to justify an attack that injured dozens of police officers and $1.5 million in damage to the Capitol. was created.
He said the select committee was only trying to prevent him from running for president again and accused its members of “destroying democracy as we know it”.
No former US president has ever been charged, although members of the House have already indicated they could make a criminal justice reference to Trump depending on what they discover.
None of his top employees have been charged with crimes related to the attack, although officials have charged more than 750 people who took part in the riot.
The select committee hopes to begin public hearings in April, with interim findings in June and a final report later in the fall, before the mid-term elections in November.