Monday’s Jan. 6 Committee Hearings to Focus on Donald Trump’s Passivity, ‘Dereliction of Duty’ During the Capitol Attack

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The second public hearing by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 insurgency will focus on whether and how then-President Donald Trump’s actions — and inaction — fueled the pro-Trump mob that day. attacked the US Capitol, may have encouraged. an effort to stop the certification of Joe Biden’s electoral victory, lawmakers in the bipartisan panel said Sunday.

Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien will testify before the committee on Monday; Chris Stirewalt, a former political editor for Fox News who was fired after projecting on election night that Biden would win Arizona; Benjamin Ginsberg, a Republican election attorney; former US attorney BJ “BJay” Pak; and Al Schmidt, a former Philadelphia city commissioner.

The witnesses confirmed ahead of Monday’s hearing are likely to bolster the commission’s claim that Trump had a “seven-part plan” to nullify the results of the 2020 election, as Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), the commission’s vice chair, said Thursday.

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

“If there weren’t a few people in the right place at the right time doing the right thing, this could have turned out very differently — and that includes the Justice Department’s former vice president,” Luria said, referring to then-Vice President Mike Pence’s refusal to reverse the election results. “This print campaign was widespread.”

Luria, who will lead Monday’s hearing, said the bipartisan panel interviewed 1,000 witnesses and compiled “a very comprehensive timeline” of what Trump was doing as the attack on the Capitol unfolded.

“I think it would be clearer to describe it as what he wasn’t doing,” Luria said. †[For] 187 minutes, you know, this guy had the microphone; he could speak all over the country. It was his duty to stand up and say something and try to stop this. So we’ll talk about it and what I see as his dereliction of duty, and he had a duty to act.”

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

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

Other Jan. 6 committee members said Sunday that subsequent hearings would continue to show evidence that Trump was responsible for the attack on the Capitol. Speaking to ABC News’ “This Week,” Representative Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) said there was credible evidence that Trump had committed multiple federal crimes and that it would be up to the Justice Department to make a decision. whether or not the evidence is before a jury beyond reasonable doubt.

“The evidence is very strong that Donald Trump started telling this big lie, even before the election, that he said all ballots counted after Election Day would be inherently suspicious,” Schiff said, referring to Trump’s unfounded claims that widespread voter fraud would cost a lot of money. he said in the 2020 election. “That lie continued after the election and eventually led to this mob rallying and attacking the Capitol.”

Representative Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) acknowledged that there was no specific legal provision to simply refer crimes committed by a former president to the Department of Justice. He also distanced himself from considering whether the department should sue Trump, as he wanted to respect his independence.

“I suppose our entire investigation is referring to crimes, both to the Justice Department and to the American people, because this is a massive attack on the machinery of American democracy, when you have a sitting president trying to control the majority. to overthrow the country. his opponent’s electoral college, beating him by more than 7 million votes,” Raskin said on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday.

Trump “absolutely knew” he had lost the election, Raskin added, something he believed the commission could prove to “any reasonable, open-minded person” over the course of its hearings.

†[Trump] heard from White House counsel. He heard about it from all the lawyers who threatened to resign if he staged his little mini-coup against the Justice Department by installing someone who would go along with his fairy tale about electoral 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 foist propaganda on his followers.”

Both Raskin and Schiff said this week’s hearings would also provide evidence that multiple House Republicans sought a pardon from the Trump White House for trying to undo the election, challenging the denials of some of those GOP lawmakers, including Rep. . Scott Perry (Pa.), whose office called the accusation a “soulless lie.”

“We’ll show the evidence we have that members of Congress have asked for a pardon,” Schiff said. “To me, I think that’s some of the most compelling evidence of guilt. Why would members do that if they felt their involvement in this plot to undo the election was somehow appropriate?”

The select committee’s first public hearing, on Thursday, was covered by all major cable news channels except Fox News. In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Senator Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) attempted to break the partisan information bubble by squeezing comments about the commission in a segment otherwise dominated by questions about inflation and threats to Justices of the United States. the Supreme Court.

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

Shortly after, Baier forwarded the interview to questions about whether Biden would be re-elected in 2024.

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

“In retrospect, if I had known what I know now, I would have changed my way of asking questions a lot,” Quested said on “Meet the Press,” adding that it took his crew months to process — mentally and physically — what it had been through. “My camera was broken. I had been shot at with pepper balls and I had had several skirmishes just on the… [Capitol] steps, which was especially shocking because we weren’t prepared for this.”

Aaron Gregg and Caroline Kitchener contributed to this report.

correction

In an earlier version of this article, the name of the host of “Fox News Sunday” was misspelled. He’s Bret Baier, not Brett.

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