search
Sections List
American Journal News

Jan. 6 hearings: What we've learned, and what's next

The House panel will examine Donald Trump’s ‘relentless effort on Jan. 6, and in the days beforehand, to pressure Vice President Pence to refuse to count lawful electoral votes,’ Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) said.

By Associated Press - June 15, 2022
Share
January 6 House committee hearing
Former Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt is sworn in as Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va., watch from the daisas the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, June 13, 2022. (Jabin Botsford//The Washington Post via AP, Pool)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House investigators are trying to make a methodical case that President Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election led directly to his supporters’ insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.

The House panel investigating the attack has held the first two in a series of hearings providing its initial findings after a yearlong probe and more than 1,000 interviews. The committee has shown clips not only from the violent attack on the Capitol, but also from its own closed-door interviews with Trump aides and associates who were trying to dissuade him from spreading falsehoods about an election he lost.

A rundown of what we’ve learned so far from the public hearings of the select Jan. 6 committee — and what’s next:

Rebuffed on election night

One after one, video excerpts have been played of Trump’s aides describing their conversations with the just-defeated president as returns came in on election night and in the days afterward, as it became increasingly obvious that he had lost to Democrat Joe Biden. The committee is trying to establish that Trump pushed lies about widespread election fraud despite hearing clear evidence that it didn’t happen.

As the aides tried to be realistic with the president, Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani took the opposite approach, telling him on election night that he should declare victory right away, according to the testimony. It was four more days until Biden was declared the winner.

Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, said she knew it was clear that the results would not be final on election night. Campaign aide Jason Miller said a better sense of the numbers was needed before making any declarations. Campaign manager Bill Stepien said he advised Trump to tell reporters that the race was too early to call, that he was proud of the campaign he ran and that he was in a good position to win.

But Trump didn’t listen. Miller said that Trump told the room that anyone who didn’t agree with Giuliani was being “weak.” He went out and publicly declared the election “a fraud on the American public.”

“Frankly, we did win this election,” Trump said.

Fraud investigations come up empty

In the weeks after the election, the Department of Justice investigated Trump’s claims of widespread fraud. States and localities that had counted the votes did their own checks. None found evidence to support the claims that Trump and Giuliani were pushing.

Attorney General Bill Barr, who resigned from office after publicly declaring there was no evidence of widespread fraud, described his interactions with the president as he tried to convince him of the facts. Not only was Trump angry, but he was becoming “detached from reality,” Barr said in a videotaped deposition.

Barr said that when he would tell Trump “how crazy some of these allegations were, there was never, there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.”

Two in-person witnesses at the committee’s hearing on Monday talked about Trump and Giuliani’s pressure to try and overturn the results in their states. BJay Pak, a former U.S. attorney in Atlanta who resigned as Trump pressured Georgia officials, said his office investigated Giuliani’s “reckless” claims about fraud in the state and found them to be “simply untrue.”

Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, the only Republican on the city’s election board, said Trump’s claims about fraud in his city were “fantastical” and thorough investigations turned up nothing of the sort.

Fundraising using false claims

The panel detailed Trump’s fundraising off his own falsehoods. He and his allies raised hundreds of millions after the election, the committee said, and broadly misled donors as to where some of the money was going. Some of the dollars that were advertised as going to an “election defense fund” actually benefitted groups and entities connected to Trump’s family and friends.

“Not only was there the Big Lie, there was the Big Ripoff,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., a member of the panel.

After the hearing Monday, Lofgren said on CNN that Donald Trump Jr.’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle, was paid $60,000 for a short speech at Trump’s rally ahead of the insurrection.

A reminder of the violence

While some of the committee’s findings are new, some of the evidence they are presenting is not. But the seven Democrats and two Republicans on the panel want to remind the public of what happened that January day – not only how violent it was, but the lies that led up to it.

At the initial hearing on June 9, the panel showed new video of police officers being beaten as Trump’s supporters broke into the Capitol and interrupted the certification of Biden’s victory. Images from body cameras and security video showed the huge and angry crowd as it surged toward the entrances and shattered windows and doors, repeating Trump’s claims about fraud.

Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards described a bloody “war scene” and hours of hand to hand combat. She was one of the first officers injured, thrown to ground as the first rioters pushed past bike racks. She suffered a head injury and still hasn’t yet returned to the same unit.

“It was carnage,” she said. “It was chaos.”

What’s next

While the schedule is fluid, the committee plans up to five additional hearings to lay out its findings. While the first two hearings showed the violence of the siege and documented Trump’s resistance as his aides and allies initially tried to present the facts of his November loss, future hearings will describe how he continued to push the lies and eventually set his sights on the congressional certification of Jan. 6.

On Thursday, the panel will describe Trump’s efforts to persuade Vice President Mike Pence to illegally delay the electoral count or to object to Biden’s win as he presided over the congressional certification. In a video posted to Twitter on Tuesday, Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the committee’s Republican co-chair, said the panel will examine Trump’s “relentless effort on Jan. 6, and in the days beforehand, to pressure Vice President Pence to refuse to count lawful electoral votes.”

Rep. Cheney also included a preview clip: former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann telling the committee in a video interview that he had told John Eastman, a lawyer who was working with Trump to push the false fraud claims, that he needed to “get a great effing criminal defense lawyer. You’re gonna need it.”

Other hearings will review Trump’s pressure on Justice Department officials and what was happening in the White House as the violence unfolded at the Capitol.

“The Trump campaign legal team knew there was no legitimate argument — fraud, irregularities or anything — to overturn the election,” Cheney said at Monday’s hearing. “And yet President Trump went ahead with his plans for Jan. 6 anyway.”

A criminal referral?

After the hearings, the committee says its investigation will continue. And panel members will ultimately have to make a decision about whether they have found criminal activity and, if so, whether they should refer it to the Justice Department. The department, which is conducting its own investigation, could take or leave the recommendation.

Committee members have been debating that issue, but have emphasized a referral is not their main goal.

“We’re making a report to the American people about what happened, why it happened and how we need to protect ourselves in the future,” said Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat on the committee.


Read More
Rosenblum, other Democratic AGs ask SCOTUS to block red state bans on emergency abortions

Rosenblum, other Democratic AGs ask SCOTUS to block red state bans on emergency abortions

By Gloria Rebecca Gomez, Arizona Mirror - April 01, 2024
Ken Paxton paid $2.3 million to defense lawyers for impeachment trial

Ken Paxton paid $2.3 million to defense lawyers for impeachment trial

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune - January 18, 2024
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Abortion advocates submit ballot issue affirming right to terminate pregnancy in Montana

Abortion advocates submit ballot issue affirming right to terminate pregnancy in Montana

By Nicole Girten - November 27, 2023
Companies facing legal action fill coffers of Kentucky Republican attorney general nominee

Companies facing legal action fill coffers of Kentucky Republican attorney general nominee

By Jesse Valentine - November 02, 2023
Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial set for April 15

Attorney General Ken Paxton’s securities fraud trial set for April 15

By Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune - October 30, 2023
AJ News
Latest
GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

GOP Rep. Zach Nunn suggests laws against hate crime aren’t needed

By Jesse Valentine - April 15, 2024
GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

GOP Senate candidate Hung Cao blames racial equity for Baltimore bridge tragedy

By Jesse Valentine - March 29, 2024
GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

GOP Rep. Jennifer Kiggans donates thousands to far-right extremists

By Jesse Valentine - March 08, 2024
Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

Ohio senate candidate Bernie Moreno: “Absolute pro-life no exceptions.”

By Jesse Valentine - March 07, 2024
Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

Anti-China Republicans pocket thousands from Chinese owned conglomerate

By Jesse Valentine - March 04, 2024
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Ohio doctors fear effects of emergency abortion care case set to go before U.S. Supreme Court

Ohio doctors fear effects of emergency abortion care case set to go before U.S. Supreme Court

By Susan Tebben, Ohio Capital Journal - April 23, 2024
President Biden visits Prince William park to talk solar, youth involvement on Earth Day

President Biden visits Prince William park to talk solar, youth involvement on Earth Day

By Charlie Paullin, Virginia Mercury - April 23, 2024
Biden on abortion rights: President expects to give speech Tuesday on new Florida 6-week ban

Biden on abortion rights: President expects to give speech Tuesday on new Florida 6-week ban

By Mitch Perry, Florida Phoenix - April 22, 2024
New group will advocate for increased voting access for Alabamians with disabilities

New group will advocate for increased voting access for Alabamians with disabilities

By Ralph Chapoco, Alabama Reflector - April 22, 2024
Group launches effort to explore ballot initiative restoring abortion access in Idaho

Group launches effort to explore ballot initiative restoring abortion access in Idaho

By Kelcie Moseley-Morris, Idaho Capital Sun - April 19, 2024
Michigan House panel OKs bills allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control

Michigan House panel OKs bills allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control

By Katie O'Brien Kelley, Michigan Advance - April 19, 2024