Trump Goes Berserk After Liz Cheney Uncovers Additional Evidence

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Former President Donald Trump posted another angry screed about January 6 to his alternative social media platform known as Truth Social on Thursday morning, days after House riot investigation panel vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) revealed he engaged in a potential attempt at witness intimidation.

Witness tampering is a crime. Cheney said Trump reached out to a witness for the riot panel — someone committee investigators didn’t identify publicly. That witness didn’t answer Trump’s call. Instead, they alerted their lawyer, who informed the committee, which then provided information about the matter to the Justice Department. Trump sounds like he’s trying to get attention off his expanding culpability. On Thursday morning, he said: “When is the never ending Unselect Committee going to discuss the fact that Crazy Nancy Pelosi turned down 10,000-20,000 soldiers (or National Guard) 3 days before January 6th? When are they going to discuss the MASSIVE ELECTION FRAUD that singularly led to the big turnout of people in D.C. The Kangaroo Court, and the Fake News Media, want to stay as far away from these two topics as possible. WITCH HUNT!”

Trump’s description of what supposedly happened prior to January 6 in the context of potential plans for National Guard protection at the Capitol appears to be fictional. There’s no evidence of a formal authorization from Trump for that level of military engagement, and even if there was such evidence, there’s no indication Pelosi would be able to legally block it.

Defense Department personnel were apparently in touch with the U.S. Capitol Police prior to January 6 about the possibility of additional department assistance in security for the occasion, when Congress would be meeting to certify the outcome of the 2020 presidential race, but Capitol Police personnel made no subsequent asks of the Pentagon. That’s a dramatically different story than what Trump told. What actually happened sounds more like a relatively routine interaction in which another chance to preemptively thwart the surprising violence of January 6 was lost. There was no broad push from Trump to which Pelosi pushed back. The Capitol Police Board includes a member who reports to the House Speaker — and one who reports to the Senate leader, who was Mitch McConnell at the point in question.

Besides these facts, Trump’s continuing attempts at justifying what happened at the Capitol — rioters were there because of the supposedly legitimate concern about election fraud, Trump says — undercuts the idea he was ever seriously interested in taking substantial steps to protect the Capitol and the people working on the premises.

Meanwhile, the presentation of evidence from the riot committee is continuing: this week, they showed that it was pre-planned for Trump to push his supporters to march to the Capitol. Committee investigators even obtained a draft of a presidential tweet outlining a plan for a march on the Capitol on January 6. This information helps solidify the then-president’s intent: he was specifically planning on an in-person push at the Capitol, which he wanted to join, even as threats of violence circulated. Other notable elements of what the committee has revealed include just how broad the push-back to Trump’s election fraud conspiracies was within his own circles: there’s simply no reasonable argument Trump could have been legitimately unaware of how out-of-touch with reality he was in trying to block Biden’s election victory.