The Most Damning Things Jan. 6 Witnesses Have Said About Trump - DMT NEWS

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The Most Damning Things Jan. 6 Witnesses Have Said About Trump

The House Jan. 6 committee is slated to release its final report this week, bringing an end to its 18-month investigation into the effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election, and the violent siege of the Capitol as lawmakers were certifying President Biden’s victory.

The committee has obtained troves of documents, texts, and phone records; interviewed over 1,000 witnesses; and held a series of high-profile public hearings featuring live testimony from people close to the effort to subvert democracy. The primary takeaway from all of this, the panel has made clear, is that Donald Trump is responsible. “The evidence has led to an overriding and straight-forward conclusion: the central cause of January 6th was one man, former President Donald Trump, who many others followed,” the committee wrote in a summary of its final report. “None of the events of January 6th would have happened without him.”

The committee released the preview on Monday, shortly after it held a final public meeting in which it voted to refer Trump to the Justice Department for four criminal charges, including insurrection. It’s always been clear to anyone paying attention that Trump was the driving force behind the effort to overturn the election and what happened on Jan. 6. The committee’s referrals signal they’ve obtained enough hard evidence of his role in one of the darkest days in the nation’s history that he could be criminally convicted for it.

The committee will lay out the evidence against Trump in detail in its final report, but it’s already revealed plenty to the public. Here are some of the most damning revelations about the former president, straight from the mouths of those close to him.

“He’s gonna declare victory. But that doesn’t mean he’s a winner. He’s just gonna say he’s a winner.”

Days before the 2020 election, some of Trump’s right-wing allies called on him to declare victory on Election Night regardless of the returns. In a leaked audio clip played by the committee in its last public hearing, Steve Bannon told a group of associates that Trump was going to do just that. “He’s gonna sit right there and say ‘They stole it. I’m directing the attorney general to shut down all ballot places in all 50 states,’” Bannon said. “He’s not going out easy. If Biden’s winning, Trump is going to do some crazy shit.” 

The committee found that Bannon was reportedly in communication with Trump the day before the Capitol riot, and warned on his radio show after the conversation with Trump that “all hell” would break loose. Bannon was subpoenaed to testify before the committee, but did not comply. He was convicted on charges of contempt of Congress in October.

Trump did indeed claim victory on Election Night, just as Bannon said he would, calling the results “a fraud on the American public” and demanding “all voting to stop.”

“The president claimed that there was major fraud underway. … as far as I could tell, before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence,” former Attorney General Bill Barr testified, adding that Trump’s claims were based on the late surge in Democratic votes on Election Night, a dynamic Barr said campaign officials had been anticipating “for weeks.” 

“I repeatedly told the president in no uncertain terms that I did not see evidence of fraud that would have affected the outcome of the election.”

Former Attorney General Bill Barr testified to the committee that he told the president in the weeks after the election that he had not been able to identify evidence of fraud. Trump and his team were undeterred, and repeatedly came up empty as they scrambled to produce evidence that would justify their claims. State and federal courts dismissed more than 50 lawsuits filed by the Trump administration and its allies challenging vote counts and election outcomes. Nevertheless, Trump kept publicly promoting claims that fraud had cost him the election.

Alex Cannon, a former Trump campaign lawyer, testified that he told former Chief of Staff Mark Meadows that the team tasked with identifying instances of fraud was not “finding anything that would be sufficient to change the results in any of the key states.” Campaign Manager Bill Stepien added that it was “an easier job to be telling the president about wild allegations,” but “a harder job to be telling him on the back end that it wasn’t true.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence, Trump Campaign Senior Adviser Jason Miller, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone, Trump Campaign General Counsel Matthew Morgan, and others also testified to having told Trump or members of his staff that there was not enough evidence of voter fraud to change the outcome of the election. 

“I suggested it several times Monday and Tuesday but he refused.”

Multiple witnesses indicated that Trump didn’t have a problem with violence. The committee revealed on Monday that when White House press officer Hogan Gidley texted former Trump adviser Hope Hicks on Jan. 6 about Trump needing to tweet about his supporters not resorting to violence, Hicks made clear he wouldn’t be interested. 

Former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified earlier about how Trump demanded armed supporters be let into the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the riot. “I overheard the president say something to the effect of: I don’t fucking care that they have weapons,” she testified. “They’re not here to hurt me. Take the fucking mags away. Let my people in. They can march to the Capitol from here.”

All Trump cared about, it seems, was taking back the White House. “Nobody will care about my legacy if I lose, so that won’t matter,” Hicks recalled Trump responding when told his legacy could be in danger. “The only thing that matters is winning.”

“Mr. Trump then used his free hand to lunge toward Bobby Engel.”

Trump insisted on being transported to the Capitol following the rally at the Ellipse, a request that the Secret Service refused on safety grounds. Former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson testified that Secret Service agent Tony Ornato related to her that Trump even tried to grab the steering wheel of the presidential vehicle to redirect it. “Sir, you need to take your hand off the steering wheel. We’re going back to the West Wing. We’re not going to the Capitol,” she recalled from Ornato’s account of how Secret Service agent Bobby Engel responded.

She continued to recount that Trump “lunged” at Engel. “I’m the f-ing president!” Trump allegedly shouted. “Take me to the Capitol now!” 

Trump allegedly threw plates at the walls in a fit of rage upon returning to the White House.. 

“Mark had responded something to the effect of, ‘You heard him, Pat. He thinks Mike deserves it. He doesn’t think they’re doing anything wrong.'”

Some of Trump’s supporters were calling for Pence to be hanged for refusing to illegally overturn the election results. Trump, apparently, agreed with them.

Former Mark Meadows aide Cassidy Hutchinson explained to investigators that when former White House Counsel Pat Cippollone said they needed to do something because people were calling for Pence to be “fucking hung,” Meadows said Trump didn’t care..

The threats against Pence also didn’t stop Trump from bashing him on Twitter as the rioters stormed the Capitol. “The situation was already bad. It felt like he was pouring gasoline on the fire by tweeting that,” Sarah Matthews, a former aide to Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany, told the committee.

A White House security officer, whose anonymity was protected by the committee for his safety, testified that members of Pence’s security detail, fearing for their own lives, went so far as to call their families to say goodbye during the riot.

“You’re the commander in chief. You’ve got an assault going on on the Capitol of the United States of America, and there’s nothing? No call? Nothing? Zero?”

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, was perplexed by how Trump handled the riot, telling the committee he was in disbelief that he didn’t take any action as the assault unfolded.

Several witnesses close to the former president testified that he was merely watching the attack on TV while rebuffing calls from advisers to do something about it. When former White House Counsel Pat Cippollone said he wasn’t aware of Trump calling the secretary of Defense, the attorney general, or the DHS secretary. Gen. Keith Kellogg, Pence’s former national security adviser, said he didn’t hear Trump ask for the National Guard or for any sort of law enforcement response. Nick Luna, a former assistant to the president, also said he wasn’t aware of Trump making any such outreach.

One-hundred and eighty seven minutes — over three hours — elapsed between the end of Trump’s speech at the Ellipse and when he finally tweeted for his supporter who had been ransacking the Capitol to “go home.” He’s since promised to pardon all of them who’ve been convicted for their role in the attack should he be elected in 2024.



via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Ryan Bort, Khareem Sudlow