Trump attacks January 6 committee with his usual 2020 election lie

Supporters of former President Donald Trump take part in a rally in Washington, DC, near the White House on January 6, 2021. (John Minchillo/AP/File)

As public hearings begin today, the House Select Committee investigating Jan. 6 is focusing on former President Donald Trump and preparing to use its platform to claim he was responsible for serious abuses of power that almost upended American democracy.

Here’s a breakdown of what the panel — and the press — uncovered about Trump’s leadership role in the anti-Democracy scheme, and how it all fits into the ongoing criminal investigations:

Trump’s election subversion before January 6, 2021: The committee interviewed officials in Michigan and Georgia, among other states, where Trump tried unsuccessfully to persuade local officials to nullify Biden’s votes and name him the winner. Trump has also tried to recruit senior Justice Department officials to help with these efforts.

Lawmakers also looked into the “fake voters” conspiracy, which was spearheaded by Trump campaign officials and was an attempt to undermine the Electoral College process in December 2020.

Congressional investigators obtained hundreds of emails from right-wing attorney John Eastman, who directly advised Trump to pursue legally questionable methods to stay in office. That included a plan for then-Vice President Mike Pence to kick off the election for Trump on Jan. 6 while presiding over a joint session of Congress to certify victory for Biden’s Electoral College.

In another victory for the committee, the judge in Eastman’s civil case said Tuesday that the potentially criminal scheme between Trump and Eastman to obstruct Electoral College proceedings was formed in December 2020, weeks earlier than expected. . The ruling clears the way for the panel to obtain additional emails that Eastman has tried to keep secret.

Trump and his allies continued these efforts and promoted the “big lie,” even after senior officials, including then-Attorney General Bill Barr, told him the election results were legitimate and that he had lost. Even Eastman admitted in emails at the time that his plans were not legally sound. Lawmakers said that suggested Trump had a corrupt mindset.

“The data is going to be compelling from the committee,” former Rep. Denver Riggleman, who was a Republican adviser to the committee, said on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” last week. “I think it’s up to the American people, after this is presented, to make up their minds — using facts, not fantasies or opinions — on the culpability of the president and those around him.”

Trump, Eastman and the other GOP figures involved have denied wrongdoing. Trump spokespersons did not respond to a request for comment on this story.

Trump’s Dereliction of Duty During Capitol Riot: After Trump failed to stop states from certifying their results, he began to focus on Jan. 6, 2021, as his last chance to cling to power. The facts of that tragic day are well known, but the panel will attempt to drive home a clear narrative of the chaos: Trump knew his supporters could get violent, but encouraged them anyway, and was let down when he didn’t. did not. try to stop the violence.

“They’ve been warned that Jan. 6 could get violent,” Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the panel’s Republican vice chair, said during a committee hearing in March.

Pence employees were so worried before Jan. 6, 2021, that they warned the US Secret Service that Trump might stir up violence against him because he was unwilling to void the election, according to The New York Times. (The Secret Service has since claimed it had “no knowledge” of that conversation.) Some of Pence’s senior advisers, who cooperated with the committee’s investigation, could potentially be called to testify at the public hearings.

Prominent Republican officials and right-wing media personalities knew in real time that only Trump could call the mob and end the deadly carnage on Capitol Hill, according to text messages these Trump allies sent to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows. January 6th. CNN obtained his texts after partially complying with a subpoena to deliver the messages.

Despite those pleas, according to committee members, Trump spent 187 minutes during the riot watching TV and working on the phone, apparently content with how his supporters were fighting for him on Capitol Hill. He reacted with approval when he learned that some of the rioters were chanting “hang Mike Pence,” according to testimony the panel obtained from a Meadows aide.

To focus on those crucial hours inside the White House, the panel interviewed people who were there with Trump that day, including his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Excerpts from their videotaped depositions will likely be played for the first time in public hearings — which are just some of the never-before-seen details lawmakers have teased.

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