Right-wing operative Roger Stone called for violence and suggested Donald Trump should prematurely declare victory before the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to video evidence aired by the House select committee investigating the attack on the US Capitol fueled by those same claims.
The committee shared footage of Mr Stone saying of the 2020 election that “I suspect it will be very much up in the air” and that “the key thing to do then is declare victory”.
“Possession is nine-tenths of the law,” he said in footage aired by the committee during a hearing on 13 October. “We won. F*** you.”
He also is shown telling supporters “f*** the voting” and “let’s get right to the violence.”
The committee then showed footage of Mr Stone during a separate testimony refusing to answer committee questions about whether he believed violence on 6 January, 2021 was justified.
US Rep Zoe Lofgren also presented evidence that Mr Stone was in regular contact with members of the far-right anti-government group the Oath Keepers, including members who are currently facing charges of seditious conspiracy for their roles in the Capitol attack, with a trial underway in Washington DC while the panel is holding its Thursday hearing.
Joshua James, an Oath Keeper from Alabama, served as Mr Stone’s security detail on January 6.
He pleaded guilty in March to seditious conspiracy and obstruction of an official proceeding. At least seven members of the group have pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the attack.
Ms Lofgren also mentioned Kelly Meggs, among Oath Keepers members (including leader Stewart Rhodes) who are curerntly on trial.
Mr Stone also is linked to the far-right nationalist gang the Proud Boys, including its now-former leader Enrique Tarrio, who claimed “we did that” as a mob of Mr Trump’s supporters stormed the halls of Congress to reject the outcome of the 2020 election.
The clips shared by the committee were pulled from a documentary from Danish filmmakers Christoffer Guldbrandsen and Frederik Marbell.
Thursday’s hearing, the first following a summer of blockbuster hearings and revelations from witness testimony, is likely the final from the panel before midterm elections this fall.
After underscoring his links to the attack and his steadfast plans to reject the outcome of the election, the former president also has been subpoenaed by the committee.
The hearing also outlined multiple statements from courts responding to Mr Trump’s spurious lawsuits to reject election results, as well as testimony from former Attorney General William Barr and deputy attorney general Richard Donoghue, dismissing the former president’s baseless conspiracy theories and other arguments to overturn the election.
US Rep Elaine Luria said Mr Trump’s failed attempts informed his decision to make a “coordinated, multi-part plan to ensure he stayed in power,” and that he was the “driver” and “personally, directly involved” in executing his attempt to subvert the will of the American people.
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