House Jan. 6 committee’s focus turns to Trump’s false claims in second hearing

The House Jan. 6 committee’s second of a series of public hearings kicked off Monday after a slight delay when one of the key witnesses backed out of his scheduled appearance after his wife went into labor.

Originally set to start at 10 am ET, committee chair Bennie Thompson gaveled in the hearing at 10:46 am ET. Thompson and vice chair Liz Cheney said they would be focusing Monday’s hearing on how advisers told former President Donald Trump that he lost the election – but he continued to peddle these false claims.

“This morning, we’ll tell the story of how Donald Trump lost an election, and knew he lost an election, and as a result of his loss decided to wage an attack on our democracy, an attack on the American people, by trying to rob you of your voice in our democracy — and in doing so, lit the fuse that led to the horrific violence of January 6th, when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, sent by Donald Trump to stop the transfer of power,” Committee chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said.

On election night, despite the advice of some of his closest allies, Trump followed the advice of an “apparently inebriated” Rudy Giuliani, Cheney said.

Capitol Riot Investigation
Chris Stirewalt, former Fox News political editor, is sworn in to testify as the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol continues to reveal its findings of a year-long investigation, at the Capitol in Washington, Monday, June 13, 2022.

Susan Walsh/AP

“You will also hear testimony that President Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night and instead followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani to just claim he won and insist that the vote-counting stop, to falsely claim everything was fraudulent,” Cheney previewed. “He falsely told the American people that the election was not legitimate.”

Thompson and Cheney said they would show “much more” of Attorney General William Barr’s testimony. In testimony they showed on Thursday, Barr said he knew that Trump’s claims of a stolen election were “bullsh**.”

The first witness up on Monday was former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewaltwho was let go by Fox News shortly after the 2020 presidential election, during which his team correctly called Arizona for Joe Biden before other networks had.

Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, no longer appeared Monday after his wife went into labor. His lawyer, Kevin Marino, is appearing and the committee will show some of Stepien’s video testimony.

There will also be a panel of witnesses featuring election attorney Benjamin Ginsberg, former US attorney for the northern district of Georgia BJ Pak, who resigned effectiveJan. 4, 2021and former Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt.

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