the January 6th The committee plans to use its Thursday night hearing to denounce pro-insurgency lawmakers who chickened out during the attack on Capitol Hill but have since downplayed the severity of the insurgency, according to two sources familiar with the committee’s planning.
“They have plans to paint a really shocking picture of how some of Trump’s biggest enablers of his coup plot were, no matter what they say today, shaking in their boots and doing their best not to scream for their mothers,” said one font. He says Rolling Stone. “If any of [these lawmakers] were capable of being ashamed, they would be humiliated.”
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Throughout its hearings, the committee has made extensive use of photographic and video evidence, including, at times, footage of lawmakers reacting to a crowd of donald trump supporters who fought through a police line to get into the Capitol.
At times, the committee has changed plans at the last minute, and it’s unclear which specific lawmakers the committee might call. But at least some Republicans have already foiled his attempts to downplay or justify the coup attempt with footage from the day of the attack. When Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga) claimed the insurrection was “a normal tourist visit,” social media users were quick to locate the photos of the Georgia Republican. gasping in terror and hiding behind an armed Capitol police officer pointing a gun at a barricaded entrance to the Senate floor.
In the 18 months since the insurrection, Republican lawmakers have tried to whitewash insurrection through series of conflicting talking points. Republicans have alternately downplayed the attack by calling it “a peaceful protest”, he stated that it was violent but that the violence was carried out solely by non-existent “antifa” at the capitol or federal informantsor that the Democrats were to blame for not having adequately defend on Capitol Hill against protesters who claim they were non-violent and non-threatening.
Republicans like Reps. Matt Gaetz, Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Paul Gosar have gone so far as to wrongfully accuse alleged rioters held before trial. political prisoners.
Most of Thursday night’s hearing is expected to focus on Trump’s actions during the insurrection, including whether he took any action to quell the unrest at a time when lawmakers were under attack. But the use of photos and videos to debunk MAGA lawmakers’ claims of a “tourist visit” by “peaceful patriots” is part of a broader effort to bring reality into a fictional, pro-Trump reimagining of January 6. .
That mythology, spread widely in the conservative media, claims that Trump and his allies planned a peaceful rally to highlight credible reports of systemic voter fraud, exercising his First Amendment rights in an effort to protect democracy. In that distorted narrative, the peaceful demonstrations were hijacked by a small number of violent extremists with no connection to Trump or his team. And, as the lie goes, since then the Democrats have vastly exaggerated the violence as a political ploy.
Through interviews with more than 1,000 people and reviews of over 125,000 records, the January 6 committee has debunked every part of that narrative. Instead, the committee has shown that Trump tried to steal an election that he was repeatedly told he had lost. And that his efforts to steal it included running a grossly unconstitutional sham-voter scheme and setting up his supporters for an attack on Capitol Hill.
As Trump spoke at his pre-planned rally near the White House, he called for a march on the US Capitol, bolstering a crowd of people who violently clashed with law enforcement. Testimony given to the committee indicated that Trump and members of the administration were aware of the potential for violence, and witnesses have alleged that Trump went so far as to ask for security to be loosened at your Ellipse rally so that armed people could enter the crowd. The Trump team has tried to distance itself from any of the events on Capitol Hill, but the committee has revealed that the former presidents’ call for their supporters’ march was premeditated.
The committee obtained a draft of an unsent tweet in which Trump advanced a march on Capitol Hill after his Ellipse speech. “I will deliver a grand speech at 10 a.m. on January 6 at the Ellipse (south of the White House),” read the draft of the tweet, preserved by the National Archives. “Get there early, massive crowds are expected. March to the Capitol afterwards. Stop the robbery!”
The committee also showed a January 4 text exchange between White House Ellipse rally organizer Kylie Kremer and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, in which the two discussed a secret plan for Trump to convene protesters to march to a second venue, either the Supreme Court or Capitol, on January 6. In the exchange, Kremer urged Lindell to keep the plans secret since they did not have permits for the march.
A second text message from Ali Alexander written on January 5 outlined that plan for the following day. “Tomorrow: Ellipse and then US Capitol. Trump is supposed to order us to the capitol at the end of his speech, but we’ll see.”
Rolling Stone this spring reported that the top Trump officials made a phone call with Kremer in which they actively planned the march.
The Trump team has also tried to portray Trump as opposed to the violence on Capitol Hill, but the committee revealed that he actively resisted efforts to quell the violence, including refusing to call his actions “illegal” when asked. To do it.
In its bombshell testimony before the committee, former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson revealed that she had drafted a statement for President Trump calling on protesters who had “illegally” entered the Capitol to leave. According to Hutchinson, former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows took the draft statement to Trump, who removed the word “illegally” and refused to issue it. Hutchinson was told there would be “no further action on that statement.”
Stephanie Grisham, first lady Melania Trump’s former chief of staff and press secretary, later tweeted a screenshot of a text exchange between her and the first lady on January 6, in which Melania declined to issue a statement. condemning “anarchy and violence”. ” by the protesters. Grisham resigned from her position that same day.
Indeed, since then Trump has continually considered ways to lessen the legal consequences for rioters on Capitol Hill.. Hutchinson also revealed that Trump wanted to include language in his January 7 speech about pardoning his supporters who stormed the Capitol, and that Meadows agreed to the inclusion of such language. According to earlier testimony given by Hutchinson, the pardon offer was eventually removed from the speech on the advice of the White House counsel’s office.
The possibility of pardons has was in the president’s mind since he left office. At a January rally in Houston, he told his supporters: “If I run and win, we will treat those people on January 6 fairly. And if they require pardons, we will give them pardons, because they are being treated so unfairly.”
The January 6 insurrection was the most high-profile part of a broader effort to steal the 2020 election, but it was far from the only way Trump and his team tried to overturn the results. The committee has revealed that Trump took a “direct and personal role” in efforts to pressure states to change their results or name bogus electors who would mislead voters by throwing their support behind Trump.
At the committee’s fourth hearing, lawmakers described Trump pushing individual state lawmakers to come back into session and declare him the true winner of the 2020 election. The former president told Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia secretary of state, that “seek” the necessary votes to give the state.
Trump’s attorney, John Eastman, concocted a separate scheme to send two lists of alternate electors, declaring Trump the winner, to congressional certification of the electoral college vote and having Vice President Pence use the fake electors in the vote. Eastman knew the plan was illegal and he admitted it in front of Trump days before the certification of the electoral college. The committee revealed on June 21 that this scheme culminated in an attempt by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis) to hand over false voters to Pence on January 6.
None of this was in response to credible information about systemic voter fraud, and Trump knew it, or at least would have known it, had he listened to several high-level members of his administration.
During its first hearing, the committee played taped testimony from former Trump Attorney General Bill Barr. In his testimony, Barr told the committee that he had been clear with the former president that his claims that the 2020 election had been stolen from him were “bullshit.” Barr would go on to testify that attempts by him and other advisers to convince Trump that the 2020 election was legitimate were futile, describing Trump as “detached from reality”.
Former Acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue also testified before the committee that tried unsuccessfully to contact President Trump:: “I tried, again, to put this in perspective and try to put it in very clear terms to the president. I said something to the effect of, ‘Sir, we’ve done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews. The main accusations are not supported by the evidence developed.’”
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