Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the January 6 committee in the House, laid out some of the facts of ex-President Donald Trump’s brazen guilt as the Tuesday afternoon public hearing of the panel got underway. The hearing was set to cover topics including pressure on state officials to meddle with the 2020 presidential election outcome.
That pressure was never successful — none of Biden’s individual wins in various states were ever overturned — but what if, say, Georgia leaders including Governor Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (both Republicans) made different decisions? (Kemp and Raffensperger both faced pressure from Trump, and they both refused to go along with what Trump wanted.) Even if the rightful winner was eventually formally identified as such via court action, how long would that take? What would happen in the meantime? And what about the possibility of violence like what happened on January 6? Thompson said:
‘Today, we’ll show that what happened to Mike Pence wasn’t an isolated part of Donald Trump’s scheme to overturn the election. In fact, pressuring public servants into betraying their oaths was a fundamental part of the playbook, and a handful of election officials in several key states stood between Donald Trump and the upending of American democracy… [Trump] wanted officials at the local and state level to say the vote was tainted by widespread fraud and throw out the results… These public servants wouldn’t go along with Donald Trump’s scheme. And when they wouldn’t embrace the “Big Lie” and substitute the will of the voters with Donald Trump’s will to remain in power, Donald Trump worked to ensure they’d face the consequences.’
Thompson subsequently referred to threats of violence against various individuals that Trump “knew about and amplified.” Among other points, he also discussed a recent situation in Otero County, New Mexico, where the county commission — which includes Couy Griffin, a co-founder of “Cowboys for Trump” and one of the Capitol rioters — initially refused to certify the results of local primary elections in connection to baseless concerns about Dominion-brand machines used in the electoral process. The commission only voted to certify the results after an order to do so by the state Supreme Court — although even after that point, Griffin still voted against certification. Thompson reiterated that there’s no truth to the “Big Lie,” meaning the conglomeration of half-baked conspiracy theories about the electoral process pushed by Trump and certain allies of his. Watch below:
Trump remains committed to lies about the last election. “Why won’t they discuss the massive voter fraud and irregularities that took place in the Election, the reason Jan 6 happened?” Trump said Tuesday, trying to give the rioters an excuse. Riot committee vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) seemed to call Tuesday for Justice Department action. “Donald Trump had a direct and personal role in this effort, as did Rudy Giuliani, as did John Eastman,” she said, talking about pressure on state officials. “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. Each of these efforts to overturn the election is independently serious. Each deserves attention both by Congress and by our Department of Justice.”