'Trump seemed to sense danger’ after Jan. 6 committee successfully amplified its major allegations: analysis
Gage Skidmore.

Donald Trump realizes the danger posed by Thursday's prime-time public hearing of the House Select Committee Investigating the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol, according to a new analysis by Bloomberg.

"In an age when viral memes and social media conversations shape perceptions, two highlights of Thursday’s session may prove the most durable: Trump Attorney General William Barr and the former president’s daughter Ivanka saying they didn’t believe his claims of a stolen election, and the live testimony of a Capitol Police officer. The officer, who was injured in the melee, described a 'war scene' in which she and her fellow officers were pummeled by rioters and slipping in blood," Mike Dorning and Bill House reported Friday.

"The moments, along with chilling video of Trump supporters clashing with police and a rioter reading a Trump tweet from a bullhorn as insurrectionists charged up the Capitol steps, directly discredit continuing claims the presidential election outcome was illegitimate and efforts by Republican political figures to dismiss the significance of the Jan. 6, 2021, attack," the added.

The hearings were broadcast on all the major networks except Fox News.

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"President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack," the Republican vice chair of the panel, Liz Cheney, said in her opening remarks at the first in a series of hotly anticipated summer hearings.

Minutes earlier, Democratic committee chief Bennie Thompson accused Trump of being "at the center of this conspiracy."

"January 6 was the culmination of an attempted coup -- a brazen attempt, as one rioter put it shortly after January 6 -- to overthrow the government. The violence was no accident."

Rioters acted "at the encouragement of the president of the United States," to march on Congress and block the formal transfer of power by lawmakers to Biden, he added.

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The panel's carefully produced presentation made use of testimony given behind closed doors by some of Trump's most senior and trusted advisors, including former attorney general Bill Barr and even his daughter Ivanka Trump.

"Trump seemed to sense danger, posting statements on social media [after] the hearing disparaging his daughter as 'checked out' and his former attorney general as 'a coward,'" Dorning and House wrote.

"Bill Barr was a weak and frightened Attorney General who was always being 'played' and threatened by the Democrats and was scared stiff of being Impeached," Trump posted early Friday morning. "The Democrats hit pay dirt with Barr, he was stupid, ridiculously said there was no problem with the Election, & they left him alone. It worked for him, but not for our Country!

"Ivanka Trump was not involved in looking at, or studying, Election results. She had long since checked out and was, in my opinion, only trying to be respectful to Bill Barr and his position as Attorney General (he sucked!)," Trump posted later Friday morning.

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The panel aims to demonstrate that the violence was part of a broader -- and ongoing -- drive by Trump and his inner circle to illegitimately cling to or regain power, tearing up the Constitution and more than two centuries of peaceful transitions from one administration to the next.

Thursday's session and five subsequent hearings over the coming weeks will focus on Trump's role in the multi-pronged effort to return him to the Oval Office by disenfranchising millions of voters.

Trump has defiantly dismissed the probe as a baseless "witch hunt" -- but the public hearings were uppermost in his mind Thursday as he fired off a largely false tirade on his social media platform, defending the insurrection as "the greatest movement in the history of our Country to Make America Great Again."

With additional reporting by AFP