House Select Committee Reveals Findings From January 6th Investigation
By Bill Galluccio
June 10, 2022
The House Select committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, released its findings during a primetime hearing on Thursday (June 9). The hearing included video clips of interviews with former officials in the Trump administration and testimony from two witnesses, Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards and filmmaker Nick Quested.
During his opening remarks, Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson placed the blame for what transpired squarely on the shoulders of former President Donald Trump.
"Ultimately, Donald Trump, the president of the United States, spurred a mob of domestic enemies..to march down the Capitol and subvert American democracy," Thompson said.
Thompson played a video of former Attorney General Bill Barr telling lawmakers during his deposition that he did not believe the election was stolen.
"You can't live in a world where the incumbent administration stays in power based on its view, unsupported by specific evidence, that the election--that there was fraud in the election," Barr said.
Republican Rep. Liz Cheney said that Trump had a "seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election" during her opening statement.
"As you hear this, all Americans should keep this fact in mind: On the morning of January 6, President Trump's intention was to remain President of the United States despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his constitutional obligation to relinquish power," she said.
Cheney also played a video of Barr, saying that he personally told Trump there was no evidence of fraud.
"And it was being laid out there," Barr said in the clip. "And I told him that it was crazy stuff and they were wasting their time on that and that it was doing great, great disservice to the country."
Cheney then showed a video of Ivanka Trump testifying that she respected Barr's opinion.
"It affected my perspective. I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he was saying."
Despite knowing there was no evidence of fraud, Cheney said that Trump wanted to send a letter to the states telling them that the Justice Department "identified significant concerns that may have impacted the outcome of the election." The letter, penned by Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Environment and Natural Resources Division, Jeff Clark, urged states to pull their electoral votes for Biden. However, the letter was never sent after then-Acting Attorney General Jeff Rosen blocked Trump's effort to replace him with Clark.
"This letter, and others like it, would have urged multiple state legislatures to withdraw their official and lawful electoral votes for Biden," Cheney said.
"Had Clark assumed the role of Attorney General in the days before January 6 and issued these letters, the ramifications could indeed have been grave," she added.
Cheney promised more detailed information would be released during the seven hearings. She noted that the final hearing will include live testimony detailing a "moment-by-moment account" of what transpired on January 6.
"In our final hearing, you will also hear a moment-by-moment account of the hours-long attack from more than a half dozen White House staff, both live in the hearing room and via videotaped testimony," she said. "There is no doubt that President Trump was well aware of the violence as it developed. White House staff urged President Trump to intervene and call off the mob."
When advisors urged Trump to speak out and urge the protesters to leave the Capitol, he became "really angry." At one point, he suggested that then-Vice President Mike Pence "deserved" to be hanged.
“And, aware of the rioters’ chants to ‘hang Mike Pence,’ the President responded with this sentiment: [quote] ‘maybe our supporters have the right idea.’ Mike Pence [quote] ‘deserves’ it,” Cheney explained.