“The latest January 6 hearings show that Trump knew he lost the election,” Hillary Clinton said in a tweet on Tuesday. “His own people told him he’d lost the election. He then chose to wage a criminal conspiracy to overturn the results and prevent the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in American history.”
The latest January 6 hearings show that Trump knew he lost the election.
His own people told him he'd lost the election.
He then chose to wage a criminal conspiracy to overturn the results and prevent the peaceful transfer of power for the first time in American history.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 14, 2022
One of those who apparently informed then-President Trump of the ridiculousness of claims circulating after the last presidential election about its integrity — or lack thereof — is then-U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr. Barr spoke in private with the riot committee in the House, and footage of his remarks was aired at recent public proceedings put on by the panel. Barr’s opposition to the lies about the election was stark: “I was somewhat demoralized, because I thought, boy, if [Trump] really believes this stuff, he has lost contact with — he’s become detached from reality, if he really believes this stuff,” Barr told committee investigators in the context of some particular allegations regarding the election. “On the other hand, when I went into this, and would tell him how crazy some of these allegations were, there was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were.” Even Ivanka Trump, the former president’s daughter, took revelations about how secure the election actually was seriously.
Trump, of course, rejected the advice of all those who presented an alternative to sticking with the lie the election was stolen. He instead went with the ideas of those including Rudy Giuliani, who apparently seemed drunk on Election Night — which Rudy denies. Showing that there’s no reasonable argument Trump could have had no idea how wrong he was about the election could help with establishing the sort of corrupt intent on the former president’s part that might be relevant to a hypothetical criminal case against him, although it’s unclear as of this point whether the riot committee will formally recommend Trump to the Justice Department for prosecution. “The January 6th Select Committee has not issued a conclusion regarding potential criminal referrals. We will announce a decision on that at an appropriate time,” panel vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said this week.
“I’m watching and I will be watching all the hearings, although I may not be able to watch all of it live,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland recently stated in reference to the riot committee’s work. “But I’ll be sure that I’ll be watching all that. And I can assure you that the January 6 prosecutors are watching all the hearings as well.” Over 840 people and counting have been charged in connection to the Capitol riot. The House riot committee has already established it apparently suspects Trump to be guilty of criminal activity, although these arguments were made in the context of a court battle over the release of materials from John Eastman, an ex-Trump lawyer — and in those proceedings, the standard of proof was lower than it would be if convicting Trump was the focus.