The parliamentary committee of inquiry into the storming of the US Capitol holds ex-President Donald Trump responsible for the events of January 6, 2021. Trump “incited the demonstrators to riot,” said committee chairman Bennie Thompson when presenting the first investigation results on Thursday. The storming of the Capitol was “the culmination of an attempted coup, a brazen attempt to overthrow the government.”

“Donald Trump was at the center of this conspiracy,” Thompson continued. “The violence was no accident”. The then-outgoing president “summoned the mob, gathered the mob, and lit the flame of this attack,” said committee vice chair Republican Liz Cheney.

January 6, 2021 is considered a black day in the history of US democracy: Hundreds of radical Trump supporters stormed the Capitol when Democrat Joe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 presidential election was to be certified there. The riots that left five dead caused horror around the world. Biden’s Democrats in particular believe there was a coordinated campaign to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election.

The nine members of the committee – seven Democrats and two Republicans – had started their work almost a year ago. Since then they have viewed around 140,000 documents and interviewed more than a thousand witnesses.

The panel’s carefully crafted presentation drew on testimonies made behind closed doors by some of Trump’s top advisers, including former Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.

At the start of a series of hearings, the investigative committee now showed several unpublished recordings of the riots. The videos, which aired Thursday night’s prime time on various US networks, show crowds storming the US Congress and calling for Vice President Mike Pence to be “hanged.” One sequence shows a protester reading Donald Trump tweets with a megaphone.

The hearing was broadcast live by many news channels. However, the country’s most conservative media boycotted her. A year and a half after the storming of the Capitol, millions of Trump supporters remain adamant that the 2020 election was marred by voter fraud. Evidence of this has not yet been presented.

Just before the public hearings began, Trump repeated these allegations. “It was about an election that was rigged and stolen and a country that was about to go to hell,” the Republican said on his new online platform, Truth Social. In this context, he justified the storming of the Capitol as “the greatest movement” in US history.