“We are not in a situation where former President Trump has expressed remorse over what happened,” said Cheney, vice chairman of the House Select Committee investigating the 6 January, to Robert Costa of CBS News.
“We are, in fact, in a situation where he continues to use even more extreme language, frankly, than the language that provoked the attack,” she added. “And so, people have to be careful. People need to watch, and they need to understand how easily our democratic system can crumble if we don’t stand up for it.
Cheney’s remarks, which aired on Sunday, come days before the committee begins prime-time television hearings throughout June that will feature live witnesses, pre-recorded interviews with key figures, including members of the Trump family, and previously unseen video footage. The hearings mark the culmination of an investigation that involved more than 1,000 interviews and reviews of more than 125,000 case files.
Cheney said she was certain the evidence presented at the hearings would compel Americans to pay attention, even as she suggested that many of her fellow Republicans had “pledged their allegiance” to Trump over the country.
“I think there’s absolutely a cult of personality around Donald Trump,” Cheney told Costa. “And I think, you know, the majority of Republicans across the country don’t want to see our system fall apart. They understand how important it is to protect and defend the Constitution.
Rep. Liz Cheney, vice chair of the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, said in an interview with @costareports that there “absolutely is a cult of personality around Donald Trump” within the Republican Party pic.twitter.com/u0XAmZRzCJ
— CBS Sunday morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) June 3, 2022
Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-California), another member of the Jan. 6 select committee, said the committee hopes the hearings thwart Trump’s continued spread of the baseless claim — something some of his critics call the “big lie” – that widespread voter fraud cost him the 2020 election. Schiff also said there’s a lot the American public has yet to see about the 6 attack. January.
“But perhaps most importantly the public didn’t see it woven together, how one thing led to another, how one line of effort to overturn the election led to another and ultimately led to terrible violence, the first non-peaceful transfer of power in our history,” Schiff said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “So we want to tell that full story, and we aim to [an audience]frankly, who still has an open mind about these facts.
It’s unclear who remains open-minded about the events of Jan. 6, with polls showing little bipartisan agreement on the insurgency. Several top Republicans have refused to cooperate with the committee, with varying consequences. The Justice Department announced on Friday that it had indicted former Trump adviser Peter Navarro, but would not pursue charges against former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows and the former chief of staff. communications, Daniel Scavino Jr.
Jan. 6 panel member Rep. Schiff on what’s important about this week’s hearing: “The public didn’t see it woven together, how one thing led to another, how one line of efforts to cancel the election led to another, and ultimately led to terrible violence. pic.twitter.com/SPnIpwTNDN
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) June 5, 2022
Schiff said on Sunday he could not confirm or deny which witnesses would appear before the committee at the public hearings and called the Justice Department’s decision not to prosecute Meadows and Scavino a “serious disappointment” that could hamper the work. of the panel.
“I can say that definitely one of the themes that we’re going to flesh out is the fact that before the sixth, that there was an understanding of the propensity for violence that day, the involvement of white nationalist groups, of the effect that the continued spread of this ‘big lie’ to agitate the country and agitate the president’s base was likely to lead to violence,” he said.
For the few Republicans who tried to hold Trump accountable for his role in the Jan. 6 attack, their party’s backlash was swift. Of the 10 Republicans who voted to impeach Trump after Jan. 6, four are leaving Congress rather than seeking re-election. Others face difficult primary challenges.
EXCLUSIVE: Rep. Tom Rice was one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach the former president. Trump for instigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) June 5, 2022
Rep. Tom Rice (SC), who was one of 10 Republican lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump, acknowledged on Sunday he could lose his seat after the vote but said it was still worth it. Only if Trump apologized, Rice said, would he consider backing the former president again.
Rice said her impeachment vote “wasn’t that tough” after thinking about Trump’s inactivity on the day of the uprising, including endangering the life of then-Vice President Mike Pence and members of Pence’s family and watching police defend the Capitol being beaten for hours.
“The more I read about it, the more I learned – it was clear to me what I needed to do,” Rice said. “I was livid. I am livid today about this. Now I took an oath to protect the Constitution, and I did it then and I will do it again tomorrow.
Jacqueline Alemany, Josh Dawsey and Amy Gardner contributed to this report.