The five most damaging allegations against Trump from the January 6 hearings — so far

The House selection committee investigating Jan. 6 has dominated the news agenda for the past month, with six public hearings.

The panel, made up of seven Democrats and two Republicans who criticize Trump — Representatives Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.) — laid out a compelling case against the former president.

According to the panel’s report, Trump knew his election fraud claims were fake, recklessly encouraged the Jan. 6 rioters, and endangered his own vice president when members of a mob marching on the Capitol called for his hanging. by Mike Pence.

Whether the panel will make a criminal referral from Trump to the Justice Department has not been decided. And there are still more hearings to go.

Here are five of the most damaging details leveled against Trump during the proceedings so far.

Ivanka Trump Accepted There Was No Widespread Election Fraud

The first hearing on January 6 took place in prime time on June 9 and attracted an audience of approximately 20 million people.

There were many dramatic testimonies from the hearing room, but the most telling detail—and the one with the most lasting impact—came from a video interview with Ivanka Trump.

The president’s eldest daughter said she accepted the view of then-Attorney General William Barr that there was no evidence that fraud changed the outcome of the 2020 election.

“It affected my perspective,” Ivanka Trump said in the video, referring to Barr’s assessment. “I respect Attorney General Barr, so I accepted what he said.”

Others in Trump’s circle have mocked his false claims of voter fraud, but his own daughter who did so had a unique emotional power.

The next day, the former president fired back, claiming that “Ivanka Trump was not involved in viewing or studying the election results.”

His post, on his Truth Social network, added: “She had long since checked herself out and in my opinion was just trying to be respectful of Bill Barr and his position as Attorney General (he was bad!).

As is often the case with the former president, the brutality of the response seemed to betray the realization that he had been dealt a blow.

Trump reportedly knew the Jan. 6 mob had guns — and wanted to join them at the Capitol anyway

Cassidy Hutchinson, a 26-year-old former aide to former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, caused a sensation when she testified on June 28 before a hastily convened committee meeting.

Hutchinson shared all sorts of unflattering details about Trump’s behavior around January 6.

Controversy raged over her testimony for days.

She said she was told a story about Trump reaching for the wheel of his vehicle and arguing with a Secret Service agent after being told he couldn’t go to the Capitol after his rally at the Ellipse on Jan. 6.

The Secret Service agent involved and the driver of the vehicle would be willing to testify that Trump did not make such an outcry and that no one was attacked.

But on Friday, CNN reported that two Secret Service agents confirmed they had heard similar stories to Hutchinson’s.

Anyway, the more substantively damning part of Hutchinson’s testimony involved Trump’s knowledge that many of the people in the Jan. 6 crowd were carrying guns.

Hutchinson, who was backstage at the Ellipse rally, said she heard Trump say “something along the lines of, ‘I don’t care if they have guns. They’re not here to hurt me… They can march to the Capitol from here.” †

Trump again took to Truth Social to insist that he “didn’t want or demand that we make room for people with guns to watch my speech,” adding, “Who would ever want that?”

But if Hutchinson’s testimony is correct—and she says she heard the comments firsthand—it suggests the then-president was well aware of the potential for violence at the Capitol just before telling the crowd at the Ellipse that she “had to fight like hell. †

This increases the political stakes and could even increase the chance of criminal prosecution.

Trump’s own campaign manager resisted fraud claims and was proud of ‘Team Normal’

The panel’s second hearing, held on June 13, made it clear that Trump must have known that his election fraud claims were bogus, given the number of people in his own inner circle told him so.

The hearing produced an unflattering portrait of Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who served as Trump’s personal attorney.

The Trump campaign’s general counsel, Matt Morgan, recalled how “law firms were uncomfortable making the arguments Rudy Giuliani made public” due to the lack of evidence to back them up.

White House attorney Eric Herschmann said he thought the general thrust of the arguments from Giuliani and other Trump supporters such as attorney Sidney Powell was “crazy.”

A memorable phrase from Trump 2020 campaign manager Bill Stepien best summed up the schisms developing in the orbit of the then president.

“I didn’t mind being characterized as part of ‘Team Normal,’ as reporters started to do around that time,” Stepien said in a video recording.

Stepien said he hoped he had built “a good reputation for being honest and professional” over many years in the Republican political consulting firm.

“I didn’t think at the time that what happened was necessarily fair or professional,” he added.

The ‘Election Defense Fund’ That Didn’t Exist

The second hearing also focused on the Trump campaign’s fundraising efforts in the immediate aftermath of the election.

“The ‘Big Lie’ was also a big scam,” argued Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Caliph.)

Lofgren cited the barrage of fundraising emails Team Trump sent to supporters between Election Day and January 6. On some days, more than 20 such emails were distributed.

Many encouraged recipients to contribute to an “Election Defense Fund,” suggesting the money would be used to bring Trump’s fraud claims to court.

One problem: the Election Defense Fund did not exist.

“I don’t believe there really is a fund called the ‘Election Defense Fund’,” admitted former Trump campaign digital director Gary Coby.

The nonexistent fund was a marketing ploy at best.

It was also an effective one. Between the election and early December 2020, the joint fundraising efforts of Trump and the Republican National Committee have raised approximately $207 million.

Much of the money appeared to go to Trump’s main post-election political action committee, Save America PAC.

In turn, according to the panel, this PAC has “made millions of dollars in contributions to pro-Trump organizations.”

Trump reportedly thought Mike Pence deserved to be hanged

One of the many shocking events on January 6 was calls from some in the crowd to hang Pence, who resisted the push from Trump and his allies to help undo the election.

Trump had sought both publicity and privateness to ramp up the pressure on Pence, including in his speech at the Ellipse.

According to Hutchinson’s testimony, the then president was not concerned about Pence’s fate even after serious violence broke out.

Hutchinson said he witnessed a conversation between Meadows and White House attorney Pat Cipollone shortly after the two were in Trump’s presence.

Cipollone, she said, urged more direct action to end the violence because “they are literally calling for the vice president to be hanged.”

Meadows, according to Hutchinson, said “something along the lines of, ‘You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.’ †

For the latest news, weather, sports and streaming video, head to The Hill.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *