On the other hand I hear tell that Jill Biden mispronounced “bodega.”
Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, laid out the foundation for the panel’s seventh public hearing, saying evidence will show how former President Donald Trump “summoned a mob” in a “last-ditch effort” to overturn the 2020 election.
Thompson said by Dec. 14, 2020, Joe Biden had been elected President but, “by that point, many of Donald Trump supporters were already convinced that the election had been stolen because that’s what Donald Trump had been telling them.”
Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone’s testimony to the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol “met our expectations,” said Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the committee.
Clips from Cipollone’s testimony last week have been played during the hearing.
If you’re just reading in, here are some of the key moments from the hearing so far:
- Cheney: Trump is “not an impressionable child,” he is responsible for his actions: Rep. Cheney said that the new strategy of Trump’s allies in defending him appears to be that Trump was “manipulated by others outside the administration” like attorneys John Eastman or Sidney Powell or Rep. Scott Perry. “The strategy is to blame people his advisers called, quote, the crazies, for what Donald Trump did. This, of course, is nonsense,” Cheney said, adding that Trump is a 76-year-old man and “not an impressionable child.” She added: “Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices.
- Trump tweet was a “call to action” to his supporters: Rep. Stephanie Murphy, a member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said that one of former President Trump’s tweets in the lead-up to the Capitol attack was a “call to action and in some cases, as a call to arms for many of President Trump’s most loyal supporters.” On Dec. 19, 2020, Trump tweeted encouragement for his supporters to travel to Washington, DC, on Jan. 6, 2021. “Be there, will be wild,” it read, according to Murphy.
- White House meeting with Trump and advisers described as “unhinged”: Rep. Jamie Raskin referenced a meeting that took place on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, at the White House that he says has been called “unhinged,” “not normal,” and “the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency.” Raskin said that a team of outside advisers to Trump visited him in the White House on that date. “The outside lawyers who had been involved in dozens of failed lawsuits had lots of theories supporting the big lie, but no evidence to support it.”
- Former White House counsel told committee Trump should’ve conceded election: Former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, in the first aired footage of the 8-hour interview he had with members of the Jan. 6 select committee, said he agreed with other Trump officials that there was not sufficient evidence of election fraud. Cipollone specifically testified that he believed Trump should’ve conceded the election. “I was the White House counsel. Some of those decisions were political. … If your questions is did I believe he should concede the election at a point in time? Yes I did,” he said in video footage shown in the hearing.
- Giuliani’s legal team knew there wasn’t evidence to support election fraud claims: Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin cited emails from Rudy Giuliani’s legal team, which shows that they did not have sufficient evidence of widespread voter fraud ahead of Jan. 6, 2021. “Even Rudy Giuliani’s own legal team admitted that they did not have any real evidence of fraud sufficient to change the election results,” Raskin said. Several officials, including those who were working on the Trump campaign, said they never saw evidence that backed up Rudy Giuliani’s claims that there was election fraud.
- Former attorney general said Trump asked to seize voting machines: A clip of former Attorney General Bill Barr’s testimony played today by the committee revealed Trump asked Barr to seize voting machines after the 2020 election. “My recollection is the President said something like, well, some people say we could get, you know, to the bottom of this if the department sees the machines. It was a typical way of raising a point,” Barr said. The former AG said he responded, “Absolutely not, there is no probable cause and I’m not going to seize any machines.”
Former President Trump’s Dec. 19, 2020, tweet calling his supporters to the capital on Jan. 6 united violent groups, according to Donell Harvin, the former chief of homeland security for Washington, DC.
“These nonaligned groups were aligning,” he told the Jan. 6 House select committee.
“All the red flags went up at that point. When you have armed militia collaborating with white supremacy groups collaborating with conspiracy theory groups online, all towards the common goal, you started seeing what we call in terrorism a blended ideology,” Harvin said.
“And that’s a very, very bad sign,” he added.