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Jan. 6 hearing alleged Trump election conspiracy; here’s what’s next


The House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th hearing listen to a video of President Donald Trump in the Cannon House Office Building on Thursday, June 9, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Kent Nishimura | Los Angeles Times | Getty Images

In its first public hearing, the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot delivered an unambiguous message: There was a calculated effort to overturn the 2020 election results and former President Donald Trump is to blame.

“Donald Trump was at the center of that conspiracy,” the committee’s chair, Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said bluntly in his opening statement. “Ultimately, Donald Trump — the president of the United States — spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march down the Capitol and subvert American democracy.”

The tightly scripted two-hour hearing, which aired live in prime time Thursday night, was interspersed with new video and audio clips from investigators’ interviews with witnesses, such as former Attorney General William Barr, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump.

Two other witnesses, a U.S. Capitol Police officer and a documentary filmmaker, spoke in person to recount the “carnage” they saw firsthand during the riot. And the committee played a harrowing montage of new footage from the riot itself, showing perspectives on the pro-Trump mob as it rushed toward the Capitol, swarmed police officers and attacked them with weapons.

The nine-member panel also made clear that it has much more to share from the more than 1,000 witness interviews and 140,000 documents amassed over the course of the investigation so far. It emphasized that the probe is ongoing and that the Justice Department has even more evidence, including encrypted materials, it hasn’t yet reviewed.

Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the committee’s vice chair and one of its two Republican members, laid out a framework for how the next six hearings will unfold. Her opening statement Thursday night suggested each hearing will focus on a separate piece of what she called “a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power.”

Trump himself oversaw and coordinated that multi-pronged plan, Cheney said.

“As you will see in the hearings to come, President Trump believed his supporters at the Capitol, and I quote, ‘were doing what they should be doing,’ ” Cheney said. “This is what he told his staff as they pleaded with him to call off the mob, to instruct his supporters to leave.”

Trump on Thursday night and Friday morning railed against the committee in a series of posts on conservative social media platform Truth Social, accusing the lawmakers of not showing “the many positive witnesses and statements” and playing “only negative footage.”

The first hearing served to set the table for the subsequent presentations, which are expected to take place over the coming weeks. At least three more days of hearings, on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, have been officially scheduled.

Hearing 2

Evidence during Monday’s hearing will show that Trump and his advisors knew full well that he lost the 2020 election to President Joe Biden, Cheney said. “But, despite this, President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information, to convince huge portions of the U.S. population that fraud had stolen the election from him. This was not true,” Cheney said.

She then played a clip from a witness interview in which former Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller described Trump being told “in pretty blunt terms” by a campaign data expert shortly after Election Day that he would lose to Biden.

She also played a snippet from an interview with Trump campaign lawyer Alex Cannon, who recalled telling then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows in mid-to-late November that he was unable to find any evidence of election fraud “that would be sufficient to um change the results in any of the key states.”

Meadows’ reaction was to conclude that “there’s no there there,” Cannon testified.

After playing a clip of Barr calling one particular election-fraud conspiracy “complete nonsense,” Cheney played a clip of Ivanka Trump telling the committee that she “accepted” Barr’s conclusion that the Department of Justice found no evidence of widespread fraud.

The hearing, which is set for Monday at 10 a.m. ET, will also feature testimony from Chris Stirewalt, the former Fox News political editor who came under fire from Trump’s supporters after Fox called Arizona for Biden before other outlets on Election Day 2020. Stirewalt, who was fired from Fox in January 2021, revealed his plan to testify Friday morning on the NewsNation cable network.

Hearing 3

Hearing 4

Hearing 5



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Jan. 6 hearing alleged Trump election conspiracy; here’s what’s next

2022-06-10 16:19:31

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