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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WGHP) – Four days before the primetime hearings of the Jan. 6 committee, the Brookings Institution has published an exhaustive analysis of what we know about the issues of election fraud and the Capitol insurrection with one principal finding: Former President Donald Trump knew he had lost and did everything he could to stay in power.

The cover of the report (BROOKINGS)

Titled “Trump on Trial: A Guide to the January 6 Hearings and the Question of Criminality,”  this analysis by five fellows of Brookings sifts through the lens of the law the evidence from before, during and after both the election and the insurrection, and its authors determine that Trump knew he had lost, that there was no evidence of fraud and that he and his attorney John Eastman and administration attorney Jeffrey Clark contrived plans to keep him in power.

In the executive summary of the report, the authors conclude:

“The statute criminalizes, among other things, a conspiracy that uses dishonest means to obstruct or impede the lawful function of the U.S. government. We believe the law and facts suggest that this is what Trump and Eastman may have done by conspiring to obstruct the congressional count on January 6. There is similarly strong evidence that Trump and Clark may have violated § 371 by conspiring to subvert the DOJ’s election protection function, seeking to weaponize the DOJ to help Trump retain power. We also consider [Chief of Staff] Mark Meadows’ possible exposure under this statute and explain the importance of further developing the evidence about his conduct. Together with questions like what exactly transpired during Trump’s 187-minute silence on January 6 and the issue of intent, it is one of the most important tasks for the Committee.”

The Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol was established by Congress to be a bipartisan inspection of the thousands of Trump supporters who broke through police barricades and invaded the House and Senate chambers, chasing away members of Congress who had gathered for their constitutional process of validating the election in which President Joe Biden had amassed about 7 million more votes than Trump and controlled of 306 of 538 votes in the Electoral College.

Those events led to seven deaths during and after the insurrection, with nearly 900 charged – including some 20 from North Carolina – hundreds have been arrested and about 70 have been sentenced for their roles that day.

Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. (John McDonnell/The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

The committee, chaired by Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, consists of seven Democrats and two Republicans, co-chair Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois.

But House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) pulled his support – and many Republicans now denounce the committee – when several nominated Republicans were declined as members because some of them were seen as allies of Trump and in fact have been called as witnesses.

Created in 1916 the Brookings Institution is a nonpartisan and nonprofit public policy organization that produces in-depth research on issues and problems facing society. Its credibility rating has been high among members of Congress.

Its report is 104 pages written in an academic format, breaking down testimony findings and analyses with dozens of links to documents and detailed footnotes to source material.

The report uses as its legal filter the two federal crimes that U.S. District Court Judge David Carter, in a decision from March regarding Eastman’s effort to avoid a subpoena, suggested that Trump likely committed. Carter wrote that Trump “more likely than not” committed felony obstruction of justice.

Brookings’ report focuses on how Trump was told many times that he had lost the election and that there was no evidence on federal or state levels to change that outcome. The report says that Trump’s pre-election statements that he only could lose by fraud showed his intent.

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The report concludes that its analysis does not include all the testimony or information that may be at the disposal of the Jan. 6 Committee and that the committee’s work across the board is especially important to establishing what happened and why.

Rioters supporting President Donald Trump storm the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)

The summary includes this assertion about what it perceives as an attack on democracy and the danger of that attack going unchecked:

“It is difficult to imagine a more serious offense, in long-term consequences, than plotting to overturn a presidential election. It is also hard to imagine any way to deter Trump other than criminal prosecution. After all, he has survived an unprecedented two impeachments. The political system no longer offers any consequences that he needs to fear. The Big Lie and its consequences are still with us, posing the very real risk that Trump and his supporters will be back with more schemes aimed at disrupting and overturning our elections. And, if the evidence — once it is all in — is sufficient to make the case beyond a reasonable doubt, it is difficult to imagine anyone more culpable than a public official who so blatantly betrays the public trust.”