Cheney: Trump had a “direct and personal role” in effort to pressure state officials and legislatures
Committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Republican from Wyoming, reiterated that the committee will spend its fourth hearing examining the former president’s effort to overturn the results of the election by exerting pressure on state election officials and state lawmakers.
“Donald Trump had a direct, and personal role in this effort, as did Rudy Giuliani, as did John Eastman,” Cheney said. “In other words, the same people who were attempting to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes illegally were also simultaneously working to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election at the state level. “
The Wyoming Republican said each prong of Trump’s campaign to remain in power are “independently serious” and deserve the attention of both Congress and the Justice Department.
During the proceedings, the committee plans to play recordings of calls Trump made to officials in Georgia and elsewhere, and Cheney encouraged viewers to “keep in mind what Donald Trump already knew” when he spoke with them, having been told repeatedly his allegations of voter fraud were baseless.
“We took a hard look at this ourselves and based on our review of it … the Fulton County allegations had no merit,” former Attorney General Bill Barr told the committee, according to a clip of his testimony played by Cheney. We didn’t find any fraud evidence in the Fulton County episode. “
Richard Donoghue, former acting deputy attorney general, recalled to House investigators that he told Trump “Sir, we’ve done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews. According to the taped interview, “The major allegations aren’t supported by evidence developed.”
“The point is this: Donald Trump did not care about the threats of violence. They were not condemned by Trump. They were not stopped by him. Cheney stated that he continued to make false allegations.
She concluded by thanking the election officials for their service and said: “We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence. “
Thompson says Trump’s lie about mass election fraud “hasn’t gone away”
Chairman Bennie Thompson, opening the hearing, said the committee on Tuesday will show that “what happened to Mike Pence wasn’t an isolated part of Donald Trump’s scheme to overturn the election.
Trump also pressured state and local officials, Thompson said.
“A handful of election officials in several key states stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy,” Thompson said.
In an attempt to overturn the election results, Trump focused on “just a few states,” attempting to influence officials.
“Like Mike Pence, these public servants wouldn’t go along with Donald Trump’s scheme,” the chairman said.
And when those officials wouldn’t try to corrupt the election, Trump “worked to ensure they’d face the consequences,” even though Trump knew claims of mass fraud were false, Thompson said.
But those threats to American democracy continue, Thompson said, referencing a recent example.
“Two weeks ago, New Mexico held its primary elections,” Thompson said. Thompson stated that a county commission declined to certify the results. … A New Mexico law mandated that the commissioner certify the results. The commission was finally dissolved by two of its three members. One still refused. “
That one commissioner, Couy Griffin, was found guilty earlier this year of illegally entering the Capitol grounds on Jan. 6, 2021, Thompson said.
Claims that widespread voter fraud tainted the 2020 presidential election “have always been alive,” and are based on a lie, Thompson said.
“The lie hasn’t gone away. It is corrupting our democratic institutions,” Thompson stated, warning that election officials who succumb to pressure will face “catastrophe” in the future.
State officials to take center stage at fourth public Jan. 6 hearing
CBS News congressional correspondent Scott MacFarlane and CBS News chief election and campaign correspondent Robert Costa join CBS News’ Tanya Rivero and Lana Zak to preview the fourth public hearing of the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Former Georgia elections worker Wandrea ArShaye Moss will tell select committee of threats she and her family received after Trump spread fraud claims
In written testimony to the select committee obtained by CBS News, Moss lamented that since December 2020, she and her mother have been “under attack” just for doing their jobs as a result of the baseless claims spread by Trump, Giuliani and their allies.
“They said we snuck ballots into the State Farm Arena in a suitcase. This is false. We lied to them about the water main break in order to get observers out. This is an untrue. To try and steal the election, they claimed we had counted multiple ballots. She testified to this in her testimony. They said they passed flash drives around to hack into voting machines. They also lie. The thing my mother passed to me about hacking voting machines was a gingermint. It was her favorite candy. My mom and I were both lying to all of these accusations. “
Moss detailed the threats and harassment she endured as a result of the accusations spread by the former president, his lawyer and allies. According to Moss, a stranger told her, “”be glad [it’s] 2020 and not 1920,” while others said she should hang alongside her mother for committing treason.
Moss said her son also received threats, while people appeared at her grandmother’s house “trying to bust the door down and conduct a citizen’s arrest of my mom and me. “
“Can you imagine what it’s like to feel responsible for your grandmother, your mother, and your teenage son being threatened and lied about, over and over again? Being called a criminal. To be charged with treason in the country that you have never called your home? She wrote. She wrote, “I did not realize just how much I loved my job until a few people decided their lies were more important than mine. “
Moss said the threats have shaped how she interacts with people in public, as she has stopped giving out business cards to voters, worries when she is in the grocery store and her mother calls her name, and when she answers the phone and hears an unrecognizable voice.
“Nobody should have to go through what I’ve been through. In written testimony, she stated that it was not fair for our election workers to do all the work necessary to ensure democracy continues. They don’t get the respect or recognition they deserve for their service to the country. “
Moss said she and her mother, Ruby Freeman, spoke with investigators who were examining the voter fraud claims and determined the allegations made against her were false.
“Former President Trump, Rudy Giuliani, and their allies didn’t like the outcome of the election, so they made up lies about us even though we were simply doing our jobs,” she wrote.
— Nikole Killion and Melissa Quinn
British filmmaker who has exclusive footage of Trump and inner circle says he will comply with subpoena
Alex Holder, a British documentary filmmaker who was with former President Donald Trump and his inner circle before and after Jan. 6, 2021, said Tuesday that he will comply with a subpoena from the House Jan. 6 committee.
Holder tweeted a statement saying he will appear for a deposition on Thursday. Holder also stated that they have “dutifully” given all requested material.
According to Holder, he had “unparalleled access and exclusive interviews” with Trump, his children Ivanka, Don Jr. and Eric and Jared Kushner as well as Vice President Mike Pence.
“When we started this project in Sept. 2020, we could have never predicted that our work would one day be subpoenaed by Congress,” Holder said. Holder said, “I was a British filmmaker and had no plans to do this. Our goal was to understand the Trumps and their motivations for holding on to power. “
The existence of the tapes and the subpoena was first reported by Politico.
Jan. 6 House select committee holds fourth public hearing
The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol holds its fourth public hearing Tuesday afternoon. The panel will focus on efforts by former President Donald Trump and his allies to pressure local and state officials to overturn the 2020 presidential election results. CBS News’ Congressional Correspondent Scott MacFarlane joined “CBS News Mornings” from Capitol Hill to give a preview of this hearing.
Day 3 of hearings shifts Trump’s pressure campaign against Pence
With testimony in person from two former vice-presidential aides, the committee focused its attention on Trump’s attempts to press Pence into rejecting state electors votes unilaterally and declaring Trump the winner.
The effort hinged on a strategy pushed by John Eastman, a conservative lawyer who claimed the vice president had the constitutional and legal authority to reject or replace slates of electors. Michael Luttig was a respected conservative who served as a retired federal judge and advised Pence.
The panel demonstrated through testimony from Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short and other aides that they repeatedly told Trump and his allies that Eastman’s plan had no basis under the Constitution or federal law. According to the evidence, Eastman knew that the plan was illegal. Rudy Giuliani received an email from Eastman requesting a pardon for the president in the aftermath of the attack on Capitol. The panel was able to obtain it.
During the third hearing, Americans also learned of a heated phone call Trump had with Pence the morning of Jan. 6, before the joint session of Congress convened to tally state electoral votes, and saw new photos of the vice president hunkered down in a secure location in the Capitol complex, which he refused to leave despite the Secret Service directing him to.
Luttig closed the hearing with a stark warning: “Donald Trump and his allies and supporters are a clear and present danger to American democracy. “
Day 2 of hearings zeroes in on Trump’s false election claims
In its second public hearing, the select committee focused on President Trump’s decision to declare victory late in the night after polls closed on Election Day, even though his closest aides warned him it was too early to deem himself the winner.
Trump then used his premature declaration of victory to push his baseless claims that the election was stolen — claims even his top administration officials knew were not supported by evidence, the committee showed.
“Bogus,” “silly,” and “amateurish” were some of the words used by former Attorney General Bill Barr in testimony to House investigators to describe the claims of fraud. Barr also criticized Trump for being the weakest element of the Republican ticket. “
The former attorney general recalled being “demoralized” by Trump believing machines from Dominion Voting Systems were rigged, “because I thought, ‘Boy if he really believes this stuff, he has you know, lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality, if he really believes this stuff. ‘”
The panel also detailed a scheme in which Trump’s campaign and related entities raised money off of the former president’s false election claims, telling supporters their donations would be used to fund litigation challenging the election results. In all, the committee said $250 million was raised for an “Election Defense Fund,” which a Trump campaign staffer said she didn’t believe existed.
The money instead went to Trump’s Save America PAC, which then donated “millions” to entities and vendors with ties to Trump, according to the committee.
On Day 1 of hearings, Capitol Police officer described “carnage” and “chaos” of assault
One of two witnesses to testify in-person during the prime-time hearing on June 9, the committee’s first of the month, was Capitol Police officer Caroline Edwards, who suffered a traumatic brain injury on Jan. 6. Edwards called Capitol Hill a “war scene” the day before the attack.
“It was something like I had seen out of the movies,” Edwards said. I was stunned. They were surrounded by officers. The officers were there to help them. They were throwing up. Friends had blood on their faces, which I noticed. I found myself slipping into people’s blood. As they fell, I caught them. It was chaos. It was chaos.
Watch her testimony in the video below.