Analysis: Jan. 6 committee rebukes election that some GOP candidates keep running

It’s a dizzying reality unfolding on split-screen as the House Select Committee investigating the January 6, 2021, uprising warns of the dangers of voter fraud lies as Holocaust deniers seize on political appointments across the country.

Asset allegedly pounced on Secret Service agents after Ellipse’s speech. Hutchinson testified that a White House official, Tony Ornato, said Trump yelled, “I’m the fucking president. Take me to the Capitol now”, after his January 6 speech. trump then “stretched out his hand towards the front of the vehicle to grab the steering wheel”, Hutchinson remembered the apprenticeship.

She added that, according to Ornato, Trump used his other hand to “slotto Robert Engel, who was the Secret Service agent in charge that day.

After the testimony, a Secret Service official with knowledge of the matter told CNN that Ornato denies telling Hutchinson that the former president seized the steering wheel or an agent on his detail.

The Secret Service, through the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Legislative Affairs, advised the committee Tuesday afternoon that it would make the officers involved available to testify under oath, the official said. Officers are prepared to say under oath that the incident itself did not happen.

Apathy towards armed supporters. “I heard the president say something like, ‘I don’t care if they have guns. They’re not here to hurt me” Hutchinson said in previously recorded testimony that aired on Tuesday. She said she heard Trump ask that the metal detectors be removed.

“Take the f**king mags out. Let my people in, they can walk to the Capitol from here. Let the people in, take out the F-ing mags.”

The White House anticipated the chaos. On January 2, 2021, Hutchinson said that Meadows scrolls through her phone; I remember leaning against the door and saying, ‘I just had an interesting conversation with Rudy, Mark. Looks like we’re going to the Capitol. He didn’t look up from his phone and said something like, ‘There’s a lot going on, Cass, but I don’t know, things could get really bad on January 6.'”

She added: “Tonight was the first moment I remember being scared and nervous about what might happen on January 6.”

A few days before the riot, Rudy Giuliani previewed the plans. “Cass, are you excited for the 6th? It’s going to be a great day. … We’re going to the Capitol. It’s going to be great. The President is going to be there, it’s going to look powerful.” Giuliani said, according to Hutchinson.

Now consider the 2022 primaries so far

State after state, Republican candidates are running in general elections with campaigns rooted in election lies. If enough of them win in November, the GOP will be in a much better position to attack the results of the 2024 presidential election if it doesn’t go their way. What’s even more embarrassing is that some of these Republicans are running to be the top election administrators in their states, potentially giving them great scrutiny of the 2024 election.
This month, for example, Republican Jim Marchant, who said he would not have certified Joe Biden winning his state, won his party’s nomination for secretary of state in Nevada, a key presidential battleground.
In Texas, the state’s Republican Party passed a resolution rejecting Biden as the winner of the 2020 election. And in New Mexico, a Republican-led county commission earlier this month refused to certify the results. of the county’s June 7 primary election, citing concerns about Dominion voting machines and questions about a handful of individual votes in this month’s primary. (The majority of the commission has since voted to certify the results, ending a standoff with state officials after the Democratic secretary of state sought an order from the state Supreme Court to force certification. .)
Last month, Pennsylvania state Sen. Doug Mastriano, a prominent voice advancing Trump lies about voter fraud, won the crowded Republican gubernatorial primary.

The next critical measure of Republican tolerance for election denial came on Tuesday night.

Indicted Mesa County Clerk Tina Peters, Colorado’s most prominent election denier, lost the GOP nomination in the state primary to become secretary of state. Pam Anderson, a former Jefferson County clerk, will win the Republican nomination, CNN projects.

Anderson, who will face Democratic incumbent Jena Griswold in November, has the endorsement of current and former lawmakers, including three former secretaries of state.

Even in the illogical world of election denial, Peters has been a remarkable figure.

She and her deputy principal were charged in March after local authorities investigated a security breach that led to the publication of confidential logins to voting machines and forensic images of their hard drives on a Telegram channel affiliated with QAnon in early August 2021.
In May, a district judge removed Peters from overseeing this year’s Mesa County election. She pleaded not guilty.

Peters has also repeatedly aligned herself with far-right figures who have advanced Trump’s lies about widespread voter fraud. She appeared at the “Cyber ​​Symposium,” a gathering of Holocaust deniers last year where a host of debunked conspiracy theories about the 2020 election were promoted, and in Colorado with MyPillow chief executive Mike Lindell .

Even when they don’t win, candidates like Peters — and there are many — only add pressure on the Jan. 6 committee to try to reach the same voters that election deniers are targeting. .

Can anything break through the noise of election denial?

The task is daunting. But if there’s anything this far back from the Jan. 6 hearings that might resonate with Trump loyalists who buy into his campaign lies, it might be testimony like Hutchinson’s.

Far from being a critic of Trump, Hutchinson worked in the White House in close proximity to the then-president when he was contesting the 2020 election – giving his story unique credibility.

Trump on Tuesday tried to frame Hutchinson’s testimony as revenge, saying she was “very upset and angry that I don’t want her” joining his post-presidency team at his Palm Beach residence. But those around the former president had very different takeaways.

Read this report from CNN’s Gabby Orr and Pamela Brown. The former president’s aides were left speechless at Tuesday’s hearing.
  • “It paints a picture of Trump being completely unbalanced and completely out of control, which for his base sees him as someone in command at all times. It goes completely against that,said a Trump adviser.
  • “This is basically a campaign ad for (Florida Gov.) Ron DeSantis 2024,” another Trump ally told CNN.
  • “Anyone who downplays Cassidy Hutchinson’s role or his access to the West Wing also fails to understand how the Trump [White House] worked or tries to discredit her because they are afraid to see how damning this testimony is”, former White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews tweeted.
Additionally, a GOP lawmaker told CNN they weren’t able to attend the entire hearing, but it was “enough to make me throw my lunch against the wall” — a reference to how Trump, according to Hutchinson’s testimony on Tuesday, threw his lunch at the wall in anger after then-Attorney General William Barr told The Associated Press in December 2020 that there was no evidence. widespread fraud in the 2020 election.

Whether Republican voters have a similar reaction remains to be seen. But it’s hard to imagine a more compelling rebuke of election denial than the one presented Tuesday by the Jan. 6 commission.

This story was updated with additional reports on Tuesday.

CNN’s Josh Campbell, Gabby Orr and Eric Bradner contributed to this report.

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