January 6 hearing: Testimony focused on Trump’s unfounded allegations of widespread voter fraud

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On Jan. 6, the House Select Committee held its second public hearing on Monday, which featured testimony from then-President Trump’s campaign aides and lawyers who said the president ignored their advice on election day and had continued to push voter fraud conspiracies that had no basis in fact.

Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., said in her opening statement that Trump ignored the advice of his campaign team on election night to rely instead on an “apparently fit” Rudy Giuliani. drunk”, his former personal lawyer.

Vice President Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., gives her opening remarks as committee chair Rep.  Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., left, looks on, as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation , at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 9, 2022.
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Vice President Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., gives her opening remarks as committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., left, looks on, as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation , at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 9, 2022.

“Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night and instead took the course recommended by a seemingly inebriated Rudy Giuliani, just to pretend he had won,” Cheney said.

“The Trump campaign legal team knew there was no legitimate argument – ​​fraud irregularities or anything to void the election, and yet President Trump went ahead with his plans for the 6 January,” she said.

Biden’s Attorney General Merrick Garland said after the hearing on Monday that he and Justice Department prosecutors on Jan. 6 will be monitoring the hearings and “at this stage, this investigation is proceeding in accordance with the facts and the law. We are not prevented from continuing our investigation in any way.”

JAN. 6 COMMITTEE HOLDS FIRST PUBLIC HEARING ON ATTACK ON UNITED STATES CAPITOL

Former Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller says Giuliani ‘was definitely drunk’ when he advised the then-president to declare victory on election night, against the advice of his team campaign and while ballots were still being counted in several states.

“The mayor was definitely intoxicated, but I don’t know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example,” Miller said in videotaped testimony shown during the hearing. “I think, effectively, Mayor Giuliani was saying, ‘We won it. They steal it from us. Where do all the votes come from? We have to go and say we won, “and basically anyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak.”

Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who abruptly canceled his court appearance after his wife gave birth, said in his pre-recorded testimony that he told Trump on election night that he was too early to declare victory but that the then president disagreed.

Stepien said that shortly after the election, the campaign quickly split into “Team Normal,” his team, against “Rudy’s Team,” and that Trump regularly sided with Rudy’s team.

“I didn’t think what was going on was necessarily honest or professional at the time, so that made me walk away,” he said.

Matthew Morgan, Trump’s chief campaign attorney, and Alex Cannon, a former Trump campaign attorney, also said that in the weeks after the election they found no evidence to support voter fraud despite Trump’s many contrary allegations.

JAN. 6 HEARINGS: WATCH MONDAY’S CONGRESS HEARING LIVE

“I’ve had conversations with probably all of our lawyers who signed up to help on Election Day as they disengaged from the campaign,” Morgan said. “The general consensus was that law firms were not comfortable presenting Rudy Giuliani’s case publicly.”

Former Attorney General Bill Barr testified that he knew immediately after the election that the former Trump’s voter fraud allegations were “bull—-” and that Trump’s continued promotion of the conspiracy theory has ultimately led to his resignation.

“Right off the bat on election night, the president claimed there was major fraud going on,” Barr said. “I mean, it happened, as far as I know, before there was actually any potential evidence, and it seemed to be based on the dynamic that at the end of the night, a lot of votes Democrats came in, which changed the voting counts in some states… I didn’t give it much thought, because people had been talking for weeks and everyone understood for weeks that this would be what would happen on the night of the elections.

Attorney General William Barr looks on during a press conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Dec. 21, 2020.

Attorney General William Barr looks on during a press conference at the Justice Department in Washington, Dec. 21, 2020.
(MICHAEL REYNOLDS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Barr said he made it clear to Trump that he disagreed with his allegations of voter fraud.

“I made it clear that I didn’t agree with the idea of ​​saying the election was stolen and publishing this stuff, which I told the president was bullshit — -” Barr said. “And, you know, I didn’t want to be part of it. And that was one of the reasons I decided to leave when I did.”

Barr recalled a meeting with Trump on Dec. 14, the same day he resigned, in which Barr said he reiterated there was no evidence of voter fraud, including among voting machines. of the Dominion.

“I repeated that they wasted an entire month on these claims, on Dominion voting machines, and they were silly claims,” he said. “And I told them that it was crazy stuff, that they were wasting their time on it and that they were doing the country a terrible disservice.”

“I was kind of demoralized because I thought, ‘Boy, if he really believes in this stuff, he’s lost touch with it, he’s detached from reality if he really believes in this stuff'”, he continued. “And on the other hand, you know, when I went into that and would you know, tell him how crazy some of those allegations were, there was never any indication of interest in the real facts.”

“I felt that before the election it was possible to talk reasonably to the president,” Barr added. “And while sometimes you had to engage in, you know, a big wrestling match with him and it was possible to keep things on track. But I always felt that after the election, he didn’t seem to be listening, and I didn’t’ I don’t think it was, you know, that I was inclined not to stay if he didn’t listen to advice from me or his other secretaries from office.”

Committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-California, said federal judges’ rejection of Trump’s litigation efforts was “overwhelming.”

“Twenty-two federal judges appointed by Republican presidents, including 10 appointed by President Trump himself, and at least 24 elected or appointed Republican state judges have denied the president’s requests,” she said.

From left, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Speaker Bennie Thompson , D-Miss., listen to the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, which holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation , on Capitol Hill, Thursday, June 9, 2022, in Washington.

From left, Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Rep. Pete Aguilar, D-Calif., Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and Speaker Bennie Thompson , D-Miss., as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its first public hearing to reveal the findings of a year-long investigation, on Capitol Hill Thursday, 9 June 2022, in Washington.
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

“At least 11 lawyers have been dismissed for disciplinary proceedings due to their bad faith and unfounded efforts to undermine the outcome of the 2020 presidential election,” she continued.

“President Trump continued to push the stolen election narrative, even though he and his allies knew their legal efforts making the same claim had failed,” she added. “It’s worth pointing out that litigation generally doesn’t continue beyond the ‘safe harbor’ date of December 14. But the fact that this litigation has continued, well, that decision makes more sense if the ‘one considers the fundraising tactics of the Trump campaign, because if the litigation had stopped on December 14, there would have been no fight to defend the election and no clear path to continue raising funds millions of dollars.”

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The committee’s next public hearing is scheduled to begin Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. ET.

Cheney said Monday that the next hearing will focus on Trump’s role in the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol and his “detailed planning with attorney John Eastman to pressure the vice president, state legislatures , state officials and others to void the election.”

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