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Jan 6 hearings: Trump ‘lit the fuse that led to horrific violence’, committee chair says – live | US news


January 6 committee begins second hearing

The January 6 committee is beginning its second hearing into “the conspiracy overseen and directed by Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of power, a scheme unprecedented in American history,” as committee chair Bennie Thompson put it in his opening statement.

The Mississippi Democrat is making clear today’s hearing will deal specifically with the former president’s actions.

“This morning, we will tell the story of how Donald Trump lost an election and knew he lost an election and as a result of his loss, decided to wage an attack on our democracy and attack on American people, trying to rob you of your voice in our democracy, and in doing so lit the fuse that led to the horrific violence of January 6,” Thompson said.

Trump claimed that there was “major fraud” on election night, his former attorney general William Barr told the January 6 committee, according to video the committee aired.

“Right out of the box on election night, the president claimed that there was major fraud underway,” Barr said.

The commission is discussing the “red mirage” that often occurs on presidential election nights, when Republicans who vote on election day have their votes counted first but Democrats, who often vote early or by mail, sometimes have their votes counted later, creating the impression that Republicans are leading early in the night only to have their share eroded as more Democrats have their votes counted.

Barr testifies that though this dynamic was familiar and Trump had been warned about it, the president seized on it to allege fraud.

“That seemed to be the basis for this broad claim that there was major fraud. And I didn’t think much of that because people had been talking for weeks and everyone understood for weeks that that was going to be what happened on election night,” Barr said.

The committee’s first witness of the day Chris Stirewalt, a former politics editor for Fox News, has been sworn in, and the hearing is now showing a montage of clips from interviews with Trump’s lawyers and other officials.

These include Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who became one of Trump’s most notable attorneys. Jason Miller, another former Trump attorney, described Giuliani as being “intoxicated” on election night.

Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien testified by video that he did not think the president should declare victory on election night, but said the president disagreed with him.

It looks like William Barr, Trump’s final attorney general during the time of the 2020 election, will be playing a major role in the today’s hearing.

The committee last Thursday aired video in which he said he thought Trump’s claims of election fraud were “bullshit,” and committee members say he will reappear today to elaborate on his views.

“You’ll hear detailed testimony from attorney general Barr describing the various election fraud claims the department of justice investigated. He’ll tell you how he told Mr. Trump repeatedly that there was no merit to those claims. Mr. Barr will tell us that Mr. Trump’s election night claims of fraud were made without regard to the truth, and before it was even possible to look for evidence of fraud,” Democratic representative Zoe Lofgren said as the hearing began.

Liz Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, is showing videos from lawyers who worked for Trump’s campaign that are testifying they never saw evidence that the 2020 election was stolen.

“The Trump campaign legal team knew there was no legitimate argument, fraud, irregularities or anything to overturn the election. And yet, President Trump went ahead with his plans for January 6 anyway,” Cheney said.

The Wyoming representative accused Trump of using this evidence to deceive his supporters into attacking the Capitol. “As one conservative editorial board put it recently, ‘Mr. Trump betrayed his supporters by conning them on January 6, and he is still doing it,’” she said.

January 6 committee begins second hearing

The January 6 committee is beginning its second hearing into “the conspiracy overseen and directed by Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of power, a scheme unprecedented in American history,” as committee chair Bennie Thompson put it in his opening statement.

The Mississippi Democrat is making clear today’s hearing will deal specifically with the former president’s actions.

“This morning, we will tell the story of how Donald Trump lost an election and knew he lost an election and as a result of his loss, decided to wage an attack on our democracy and attack on American people, trying to rob you of your voice in our democracy, and in doing so lit the fuse that led to the horrific violence of January 6,” Thompson said.

Richard Luscombe

Meanwhile in the Capitol, we may have more developments today on the gun control compromise reached over the weekend, which could attract enough Republican support to pass. Richard Luscombe has this look at what exactly the measure would do.

Joe Biden has urged US lawmakers to get a deal on gun reforms to his desk quickly as a group of senators announced a limited bipartisan framework on Sunday responding to last month’s mass shootings.

The proposed deal is a modest breakthrough offering measured gun curbs while bolstering efforts to improve school safety and mental health programs.

It falls far short of tougher steps long sought by Biden, many Democrats, gun reform advocates and America citizens. For example, there is no proposal to ban assault weapons, as activists had wanted, or to increase from 18 to 21 the age required to buy them.

Even so, if the accord leads to the enactment of legislation, it would signal a turn from years of gun massacres that have yielded little but stalemate in Congress.

Richard Luscombe

Could Trump face criminal charges over January 6? As my colleague Richard Luscombe reports, some members of the committee investigating the assault believe the evidence is there.

Members of the House committee investigating Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat called on Sunday for the US justice department to consider a criminal indictment for the former president and warned that “the danger is still out there”.

Their comments on the eve of the second of the panel’s televised hearings into the January 6 2021 insurrection and deadly Capitol attack will add further pressure on the attorney general, Merrick Garland, who has angered some Democrats by so far taking no action despite growing evidence of Trump’s culpability.

“There are certain actions, parts of these different lines of effort to overturn the election, that I don’t see evidence the justice department is investigating,” committee member Adam Schiff, Democratic congressman for California, told ABC’s This Week.

The January 6 committee will soon continue building its case against former president Donald Trump, with today’s hearing looking at the motivations behind the attack on the Capitol.

However, a wrench has already been thrown into their plans: the ex-president’s former campaign manager has a family emergency, and won’t be able to testify as planned, and the hearing has been pushed back to 10:30 am eastern time.

The second hearing of the committee will have some important differences from the first, held last Thursday. First of all, it’s taking place during work hours, not during the primetime TV hour, as in the case of last week’s hearing. Committee member Zoe Lofgren is also set to question witnesses, rather than the body’s counsel.

As for the goal of these hearings, my colleague Joan E Greve describes it in the words of committee chair Bennie Thompson:

If the committee is successful in building its case against Trump, the hearings could deliver a devastating blow to the former president’s hopes of making a political comeback in the 2024 presidential election. But if Americans are unmoved by the committee’s findings, the country faces the specter of another attempted coup, Thompson warned.

“Our democracy remains in danger. The conspiracy to thwart the will of the people is not over,” Thompson said on Thursday. “January 6 and the lies that led to insurrection have put two and a half centuries of constitutional democracy at risk. The world is watching what we do here.”

Protesters are gathering outside the supreme court, with the justices less than a half hour away from releasing rulings in which the conservative majority could make major changes to abortion access, gun rights and environmental regulation.

Scene outside the Supreme Court this morning. Two small groups of protesters have gathered with a group of police on bicycles separating the two groups. T-minutes 40 minutes until opinions. ⁦I’m standing by with ⁦@fox5dc⁩. Join us live on ⁦@SCOTUSblog⁩ TikTok. pic.twitter.com/PNPQifGuD2

— Katie Barlow (@katieleebarlow) June 13, 2022

Last month, the court was rocked by the unprecedented leak of a draft opinion showing conservatives were poised to strike down Roe v Wade and end abortion rights nationwide. Those same justices may also opt to expand the ability to carry concealed weapons and curb the government’s regulatory powers.

Former Trump campaign manager to miss January 6 hearing

Bill Stepien, the former campaign manager for Donald Trump who was to be a main witness in today’s hearing of the January 6 committee, will not attend due to an emergency.

The hearing is now delayed by 30 minutes to 10.30am, the Guardian’s Hugo Lowell reports:

Just in: Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien is no longer appearing at the second Jan. 6 committee hearing this morning due to a family emergency — and hearing has been delayed to around 10:30a ET

— Hugo Lowell (@hugolowell) June 13, 2022

The development throws a wrench into the plans for the committee’s second hearing, which was to look deeper into the conspiracy theories that fueled the attack on the Capitol.

Joan E Greve

Lies are going to be the subject of this morning’s January 6 committee hearing, specifically those that motivated Donald Trump’s supporters to attack the Capitol, the Guardian’s Joan E Greve reports:

The House select committee investigating the January 6 insurrection in 2021 will reconvene Monday to scrutinize the conspiracy theories that led a group of Donald Trump’s supporters to attack the US Capitol.

The Democratic chair of the committee, Mississippi congressman Bennie Thompson, has said the second hearing will focus on “the lies that convinced those men and others to storm the Capitol to try to stop the transfer of power”.

“We’re going to take a close look at the first part of Trump’s attack on the rule of law, when he lit the fuse that ultimately resulted in the violence of January 6,” Thompson said on Thursday.

Senate mulls bipartisan gun control proposal as January 6 committee meets again

Good morning, everybody. Today could be a very big day in Washington, with the inquiry into the January 6 insurrection continuing, the supreme court releasing opinions and the Senate considering a proposal to restrict gun access following a spate of mass shootings.

Here’s a rundown of what to expect:

  • Senators have reached a deal on a framework for gun control legislation meant to respond to recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, which looks like it could get the support of enough Republicans and Democrats to pass the chamber.
  • The supreme court will release another batch of decisions at 10 am eastern time. There’s no telling what the court will opt to release, but major rulings on abortion rights, gun control and environmental regulation are expected before the term is out.
  • At the same time, the January 6 committee will begin its second hearing following last Thursday’s blockbuster look into what happened at the Capitol that day. Today’s hearing will look deeper at the conspiracy theories that motivated the attack.
  • Democratic senator Bernie Sanders and Republican senator Lindsey Graham will take part in a one-hour debate organized by The Senate Project, intended to build bridges between the two parties while also allowing the lawmakers to air their (very different) perspectives on politics. The event begins at 12 pm eastern time, and will be streamed on Fox Nation.





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