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U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet wearing a protective face mask gestures prior to a press conference on December 9, 2020 in Geneva.

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet wearing a protective face mask gestures prior to a press conference on December 9, 2020 in Geneva. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/ via Getty Images)

UN Rights Chief Says US Coup Effort Result of 'Deliberate Distortion of Facts, and Incitement to Violence' by Trump and GOP

The new statement comes amid demands for President Donald Trump's impeachment or removal from office under the 25th Amendment.

Andrea Germanos

The United Nations human rights office has suggested that Wednesday's violence at the U.S. Capitol stemmed at least in part from President Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers' fomenting of violence and continued "deliberate distortion of facts" regarding the outcome of November's presidential election.

Thursday's statement from U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet came amid growing calls for Trump's impeachment or removal from office under the 25th Amendment, broader calls that the president—who's repeated baseless accusations of a "stolen" election—face full accountability for his role in the coup attempt, and accusations that scores of Republicans who voted Thursday to object to President-elect Joe Biden's clear election win are "co-conspirators in sedition."

Bachelet said that the failed coup attempt "demonstrated clearly the destructive impact of sustained, deliberate distortion of facts, and incitement to violence and hatred by political leaders. Allegations of electoral fraud have been invoked to try to undermine the right to political participation."

She further called on all lawmakers and Trump "to disavow false and dangerous narratives" and tell their supporters to do so as well.

Drawing attention to the pro-Trump mob's targeting of journalists covering the Capitol assault, Bachelet said, "We note with dismay the serious threats and destruction of property faced by media professionals yesterday."

A poll released Thursday backs up Bachelet's comments.

Conducted by YouGov Wednesday following the violence, 45% of Republicans said they actively support the storming of the Capitol compared to 43% who opposed it. Just  27% of Republicans saw it as a threat to democracy.

And while 90% of Democrats and 51% of Independents said "a great deal of the blame" lies with Trump, 52% of GOP voters said some degree of blame sits with Biden compared to 28% who attributed the chaos to Trump.


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