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Capitol Hill Politics

Trump calls Jan. 6 hearings a “disgraceful performance”

Donald Trump

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Transatlantic Today) – Former President Donald Trump hit out at the House select committee looking into the events of January 6, 2021 on Friday. 

“They’re con people,” Trump stated at a Faith and Freedom Coalition meeting in Nashville, Tennessee. He went on to say, “They’re con artists.” 

According to ABC NEWS, the panel has held 3 of the 7 public hearings slated for this month, setting out what it calls Trump and his allies’ “sophisticated, 7-part plan” to reverse his 2020 electoral defeat to Joe Biden. 

Using testimonies from members of Trump’s inner circle, the committee claimed that Trump was fully aware of the fact that he had lost. Nonetheless, he went through with an unlawful plot to stay in power, raising millions in the process by promoting the “big lie” that he was the true winner. 

In a recorded deposition, former Attorney General Bill Barr told the panel that Trump’s charges of electoral fraud were “bull——.” Ivanka Trump, who had previously been questioned by the committee, concurred with Barr’s finding that the election was not rigged. 

Trump accused the panel of taking the recorded depositions out of context on Friday, after dismissing his daughter’s testimony. 

Trump also criticized Republicans who served on the panel and crossed him: Illinois Representative Adam Kinzinger and Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming. 

The latest session on Thursday focused on Trump and others’ heavy pressure on then-Vice President Mike Pence to single-handedly dismiss state electors and thwart congressional recognition of Biden’s victory. 

According to legislators and witnesses, the pressure drive put Pence in danger, as the vice president was compelled to hide underground for over 4 hours after getting within 40 feet of a crowd of rioters at the Capitol. 

A “heated” phone discussion happened the morning of Jan. 6 when Pence refused to follow Trump’s plan, according to Ivanka Trump and other witnesses. Trump mockingly referred to Pence as a “wimp,” according to one Trump adviser in the Oval Office at the time. 

According to testimony delivered at the Jan. 6 committee proceedings, Trump never called Pence a “wimp,” but he continued to chastise his vice president for not forwarding electoral results back to state legislatures, something that both Pence and Trump were repeatedly informed was unlawful. 

Former federal judge Michael Luttig and former Pence attorney Greg Jacob testified for hours before the panel on Thursday, claiming that the vice president lacked the power to do what Trump demanded. If Pence had gone through with it, Luttig said, the country would have been thrown into a constitutional disaster. 

Trump continued to make inaccurate and unsubstantiated statements about the 2020 election on Friday, telling the gathering that he didn’t feel he lost despite losing the Electoral College and the popular vote, and also losing a slew of election-related lawsuits. 

The former-president also bragged about the turnout at his Ellipse rally on Jan. 6, describing it as the largest crowd he’s ever addressed and describing an aura of “unbelievable love and patriotism.” 

Trump also went as far to question whether his Jan. 6 address gathered as many people as Martin Luther King Jr.’s legendary “I Have A Dream” speech from 1963. 

In subsequent hearings, the House panel has used video from Trump’s Ellipse speech to back its claims that he was urging Pence to reverse the election and inciting his followers to march towards the Capitol. 

On Friday, Trump hinted at a possible presidential bid in 2024, saying that if re-elected, he would consider granting pardons to individuals charged with involvement in the insurgency, which he called “a simple protest” that “got out of hand.”

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