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After an explosive meeting on Tuesday morning, the January 6th Committee will resume its hearings on the Capitol attack Thursday. The committee, which postponed Wednesday’s hearing due to scheduling conflicts, has already released damning evidence against former president Donald Trump.
In the first two meetings, Capitol attack survivors and former Trump allies have laid out stunning details about Trump’s involvement.
William Barr, Trump’s former Attorney General, resigned after Election Day in 2020. In his testimony, Barr said it became clear that Trump “wasn’t listening” to him and described the former president as “detached from reality”.
An article from the New Yorker recapping Monday’s hearing outlines President Trump’s concerning and dangerous mental decline. The article captures how Barr described the toxic fraud claims pumped into the public from the White House:
“Among [Barr’s] choice words about various claims by the Trump legal team: “bullshit,” “completely bullshit,” “absolute rubbish,” “idiotic,” “bogus,” “stupid,” “crazy,” “crazy stuff,” “complete nonsense,” and “a great, great disservice to the country.”
Trump loyalists claim Trump knowingly pushed false information to overturn 2020 election
In each deposition played by the committee, members of the Trump campaign and administration repeatedly shot down Trump’s fraud claims.
Trump claims the election was stolen, but former White House attorney Eric Herschmann testified otherwise. “I never saw any evidence whatsoever to sustain those allegations,” Herschmann testified.
The president repeatedly pushed lies leading up to January 6th, while his campaign General Counsel, Matt Morgan, attempted to push back. Morgan testified he told Trump the possible number of any invalid ballots “was not sufficient to be outcome-determinant”.
When Trump falsely claimed victory on election night, his own campaign manager, Bill Stepien, even testified he told the former President as the votes her counted he only had a “five to ten percent chance of winning”.
Barr also concludes the former president had no interest in being truthful to the American people.
“There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were,” Barr told the committee in his deposition.
Former president continues to push election lies as hearings continue
Trump is continuing false claims about the election, even as his own staff testifies against those claims.
The twice-impeached president issued a rambling, 12 page statement Monday evening calling the hearings “a sham”.
“Democrats created the narrative of January 6th to detract from the much larger and more important truth that the 2020 Election was Rigged and Stolen,” Trump wrote. “Politicians from both parties, but mostly the Democrats, worked in conjunction with corporate elitists to strip Americans of our right to elect our own leaders”
The “narrative” the president is referring to is the attack and attempted coup on the US Capitol in 2021. The domestic terror attack left several police officers dead, the Capitol building damaged and American democracy at risk. However, Trump and his allies continue to downplay the attack.
Despite this, members of Congress and the January 6th committee have concluded President Trump’s lies and rhetoric incited the assault on the Capitol. Evidence indicates Trump even approved of reports that his supporters wanted to hang Mike Pence.
On Tuesday, Rep. Liz Cheney tweeted that the committee is still weighing recommending charges to the Department of Justice.
“The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals,” she wrote. “We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time.”