At a Thursday afternoon hearing put on by the House committee investigating January 6, chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) outlined the well-founded nature of what the panel has revealed about Trump’s personal involvement in what led up to the attack on the Capitol.
Reports emerged before the hearing was over indicating panel members would be voting on a subpoena of Donald Trump — which is probably one of the most substantive actions available to the committee. Criminal referrals, which remain a possibility, wouldn’t force prosecutors to bring charges, although any such referral, whoever it targets, would no doubt come with significant evidence. The panel is also working on recommendations for alterations to relevant rules so something like January 6 would be prevented at least in significant part from happening again, including in terms of the procedural threats to democracy seen from Republicans in Congress. “Over the course of these hearings, the evidence has proven that there was a multi-part plan led by former President Donald Trump to overturn the 2020 election,” Thompson said, directly tying the ex-commander-in-chief — as vice chair Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) also did Thursday — to what happened at the Capitol and the related threats to democracy.
“Donald Trump lost his bid for re-election,” Thompson said. “As shown from the testimony of some of the president’s closest allies and advisers, Donald Trump knew he lost. Despite this knowledge, Donald Trump went to court to contest the 2020 election, and he lost in court… What Donald Trump proceeded to do after the 2020 election is something no president has done before in our country. In a staggering betrayal of his oath, Donald Trump attempted a plan that led to an attack on a pillar of our democracy. It’s still hard to believe. But the facts and testimony are clear, consistent, and undisputed.” Thompson also emphasized that most of the sources for evidence utilized by the committee have been Republicans, including ex-officials in the Trump administration. Individuals who have spoken with the committee also include people who have worked at the Trump campaign and Republican National Committee, which is the national party organization for Republicans.
“What we’ve shown you over the last four months has been centered on the evidence — evidence that has come overwhelmingly from Republican witnesses,” Thompson added. “This investigation is not about politics. It’s not about party. It’s about the facts, plain and simple, and it’s about making sure our government functions under the rule of law as our Constitution demands.” Obviously, what Thompson was saying is in direct contradiction to the only increasingly frenzied complaints about the committee and its work from Trump’s corner. One of the areas in which Cheney focused during her opening remarks Thursday was Trump’s knowledge of the reality of the integrity of the last election. He wasn’t just ignorant. He was repeatedly informed of the truth and had high levels of access to substantive information showing the election’s legitimacy — and he was actively pushing it aside. The distinction could be critically relevant if Trump ever faces court proceedings over his election meddling. Check out Thompson’s comments below: