Monday’s Jan. 6 committee hearings will focus on Donald Trump’s inaction and ‘dereliction of duty’ during the attack on the Capitol

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correction

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) would lead Monday’s hearing. Luria is scheduled to conduct the June 23 hearing. An earlier version also misspelled the “Fox News Sunday” host’s name. He’s Bret Baier, not Brett.

The House Select Committee’s second public hearing investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection will focus on then-President Donald Trump’s baseless claims that the 2020 election was stolen — dubbed the “big lie” – and how those false allegations were linked to the pro-Trump mob that attacked the U.S. Capitol that day in a bid to prevent the certification of Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory, lawmakers said Sunday. bipartisan panel.

In a briefing with reporters Sunday evening, a select committee aide said Monday’s hearing, led by Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) with the assistance of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., will also be dissecting the fundraising apparatus that was built around the “big lie” to drive up the post-election money supply.

“We will reveal information about how the former president’s political apparatus used these lies about fraud, about a stolen election, to drive fundraising, raising hundreds of millions of dollars between Election Day 2020 and January 6,” said a committee aide.

“And we will show that some of those individuals responsible for the violence of the 6th echoed those same lies that the president peddled as the insurgency approached,” the aide added.

The Post previously reported that investigators sought to trace every dollar raised and spent on Trump’s false claims that the election was stolen, interviewing low-level Trump campaign officials who drafted fundraising arguments. funds and grilled advisers on who personally profited from raising large sums of money. following Trump’s defeat.

Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien will testify before the committee on Monday; Chris Stirewalt, former Fox News political editor; Benjamin Ginsberg, a Republican election lawyer; former U.S. attorney BJ “BJay” Pak; and Al Schmidt, a former Philadelphia city commissioner.

The witnesses are likely to bolster the committee’s claim that Trump had a “seven-part plan” to overturn the 2020 election results, as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), Vice-President, said Thursday. chairman of the committee.

Full coverage of the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the hearings

Efforts by Trump and his allies to pull “every lever of government” to try to keep him in power would become clear through the compilation of the committee’s findings, said Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.), a member of the committee. Sunday on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.”

“If it hadn’t been for people in the right places at the right time doing the right thing, it could have turned out very differently – and that includes at the Justice Department, the former vice president,” Luria said, referring to then-Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to overturn the election results. “This pressure campaign was widespread.

The select committee will hold three public hearings this week as its members continue to present the findings of their year-long investigation. Nearly 19 million viewers watched the first prime-time audience on Thursday. The committee’s third public hearing on Wednesday will focus on the campaign to pressure Trump and his Justice Department allies to overturn the presidential election results.

On June 12, members of the Jan. 6 select committee declined to say whether former President Donald Trump should be prosecuted for the Jan. 6 Capitol attack. (Video: JM Rieger/The Washington Post)

Luria said the bipartisan panel interviewed 1,000 witnesses and pieced together “a very comprehensive timeline” of what Trump did as the attack on the Capitol unfolded. Luria will lead a hearing later this month to find out if and how the actions — and inaction — of then-President Donald Trump may have encouraged his supporters to attack the Capitol that day.

“I think it would be clearer to describe it as what it didn’t do,” Luria said. “[For] 187 minutes, you know, this man had the microphone; he could talk to the whole country. His duty was to stand up and say something and try to stop it. So we’re going to talk about that and what I consider to be his dereliction of duty, and he had a duty to act.

Other members of the Jan. 6 committee said Sunday that upcoming hearings would continue to prove Trump was responsible for the attack on the Capitol. On ABC News’ “This Week,” Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-California) said there was credible evidence that Trump had committed multiple federal crimes and would belong to the Justice Department. to decide whether he could prove it to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt.

“The evidence is very powerful that Donald Trump started telling this big lie even before the election that he was saying that all ballots counted after Election Day would be inherently suspect,” Schiff said, referring to the baseless claims of Trump that widespread voter fraud would cost. him the 2020 election. “This lie continued after the election and ultimately led to this mob gathering and attacking the Capitol.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) acknowledged there was no specific legal provision to simply refer a former president’s crimes to the Justice Department. He also distanced himself from weighing in on whether the department should indict Trump, saying he wanted to respect his independence.

“I guess our whole investigation is a referral of crimes, both to the Department of Justice and to the American people, because this is a massive assault on the apparatus of American democracy, when you have a president incumbent who is trying to overthrow the majority in his opponent’s Electoral College, which defeated him by more than 7 million votes,” Raskin said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Trump “absolutely knew” he had lost the election, Raskin added, which he thought the committee could prove to “any reasonable and open-minded person” during its hearings.

“[Trump] heard it from the White House attorney. He heard it from all the lawyers who threatened to quit if he staged his little mini-coup against the Justice Department by installing someone to accompany his fairy tale about voter fraud and corruption. Raskin said. “So, yes, I think any reasonable person in America will tell you that he must have known he was spreading a big lie. And he continues to spread it to this day. He continues to force this propaganda on his followers .

Both Raskin and Schiff said this week’s hearings would also provide evidence that several House Republicans had apologized to the Trump White House for trying to nullify the election, dismissing denials from some of those lawmakers in the GOP, including Representative Scott Perry (Pennsylvania). , whose office called the allegation a “soulless lie”.

“We will show the evidence we have that members of Congress were asking for pardons,” Schiff said. “To me, I think this is one of the most compelling evidences of a conscience of guilt. Why would the members do this if they felt that their involvement in this conspiracy to nullify the election was in some way appropriate kind?”

The select committee’s first public hearing on Thursday was covered by all major cable media except Fox News Channel.

During an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) attempted to puncture the partisan news bubble by making remarks about the committee in a segment that was otherwise dominated by questions about inflation and threats to Supreme Court justices.

“I think the point here has been to take a hard and lucid look at what happened on January 6, and new evidence that they uncovered about the role of the former president’s close advisers in how how they shaped the events leading up to this truly critical moment in our modern American history,” Coons told host Bret Baier. “We’ve never seen our Capitol stormed by Americans. We have never attempted by an insurrection, by a riot to try to interrupt the peaceful transfer of power.

Shortly after, Baier redirected the interview to questions about whether Biden would seek re-election in 2024.

Nick Quested, a filmmaker who was embedded with the Proud Boys during the Jan. 6 attack and testified at Thursday’s hearing, said he originally made a very different documentary about why the America is so divided, asking broader questions about the far-right group’s opinion on health care and immigration.

“In retrospect, if I had known what I know now, I would have changed my line of questioning a lot,” Quested said on “Meet the Press,” adding that it took his crew months to process — mentally and physically—what he had witnessed. “My camera was broken. I had been shot at with pepper balls and had various scuffles just the [Capitol] stages, which was particularly shocking because we weren’t prepared for this.

Aaron Gregg and Caroline Kitchener contributed to this report.


Washington

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