Jan. 6 panel chair: ‘How dare Trump show his face’ on Capitol Hill?

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), who chaired the committee tasked with investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, sharply rebuked former President Trump for returning to Capitol Hill on Thursday — the first time since that infamous day.

“After inciting a deadly insurrection that defiled the halls of Congress, how dare Trump show his face on these grounds? Congressional Republicans allow him to waltz in here when it’s known he has no regard for democracy,” Thompson said in a statement about Trump’s visit to D.C.

Trump met with House Republicans at the Capitol Hill Club in the morning and joined Senate Republicans at the National Republican Senatorial Committee’s headquarters for a lunch.

The visit marked Trump’s first return to Capitol Hill since a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, many with the stated goal of preventing the transfer of power from Trump to President Biden.

It also comes just two weeks after a 12-person jury in New York found Trump guilty on 34 felony counts of falsifying business records in a conspiracy to shield the American public from potentially damaging information ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

Trump faces three other felony indictments: one federal case related to his efforts to keep classified documents after leaving office and obstruct the federal government’s efforts to retrieve the sensitive material; and two other cases related to his efforts to stay in power after losing the 2020 presidential election, one in federal court and one in Georgia.

Thompson, in his statement, said Trump has continued to flout the rule of law since the Capitol attack.

“Since January 6th, Donald Trump, a twice-impeached convicted felon, has repeatedly doubled down on his disrespect for the rule of law and continues to sow hate and division,” Thompson said. “He still presents the same dire threat to our democracy that he did three years ago — and he’d be wise to head back to Mar-a-Lago and await his sentencing.”

The Jan. 6 select committee, led by Thompson and then-Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), ended its 18-month probe by recommending criminal charges against the former president and releasing an 845-page final report including much of the testimony and evidence gathered in the process.

The committee found Trump was “directly responsible” for summoning a mob of his supporters to Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, encouraging them to march to the Capitol, and “further provoking the already violent and lawless crowd” by posting on social media that then-Vice President Mike Pence should stop the election certification, according to the executive summary the committee released.

The committee also noted Trump’s inaction on the day of the riot — despite numerous requests from staff and family to tell his supporters to go home — and his disinclination to send security assistance to the Capitol amid the violence.

The committee’s probe led to two of Trump’s former aides, Steve Bannon and Peter Navarro, getting prison sentences after refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas.

Last week, when Bannon was ordered to report to prison, Trump called for the Jan. 6 committee members to be indicted, making false claims that they destroyed all their evidence, when in fact, the testimony and evidence they gathered is available to the public online.

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