Watch the highlights of Day 2 of the January 6th hearings below which feature Bill Barr calling Trump assertions about the election as “bullshit”.
On Monday, the second hearing of the Jan 6 attack took place, with new video footage and testimonies coming to light. With all these proofs coming forth, it is slowly becoming ever evident that Trump denied the truth, refused to listen to any of his advisers and created a conspiracy of electoral fraud and aggravated his supporters to rage.
So, here are the key takeaways from the 2nd hearing:
The House panel showcased quite some video footage, including from Trump’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, senior adviser Jason Miller and several lawyers. They all had the same thought and went out to tell Trump this one thing- that the results are not on his side, that he shouldn’t declare victory on election night and that his electoral fraud claim, according to Attorney General Bill Barr, was “bogus”.
Apparently, there was a “Team Normal”, who actually stepped away from Trump’s ridiculous ideas. Bill Stepien, Trump’s former campaign manager said in a video testimony, “I didn’t mind being categorized, there were two groups of family. We called them kind of my team and Rudy’s team. I didn’t mind being categorized as part of being “Team Normal”.” Rep. Zoe Lofgren, said, “The President did get rid of the “Team Normal”” , and which he did by breaking away from his campaign team and hiring people that would support his bunch of fraudulent conspiracies, that were eventually debunked by Justice Department officials and lawyers.
Barr seemed to explain the nature of those conspiracies as “whack-a-mole”. When these theories would eventually be debunked, officials like former Acting Attorney General Richard Donoghue would go and tell Trump that the theory has been proven false. And according to Donoghue in a testimony, “He wouldn’t fight us on it, he would just move on to another allegation.” In that testimony Richard said, “I have tried to again put it in very clear terms to the President. And I have something to the effect that, sir, we have done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews, the major allegations are not supported by the evidence developed. Much of the info you are getting is false. So, the President accepted that. He said, “OK fine but what about the others?”” And this kept repeating with every allegation and each one of them were not supported by any strong evidence.
Eric Herschmann, former White House Attorney, said in the testimony, “What they were proposing, I thought, was nuts. You know, the theory was also completely nuts. I mean, there’s a combination of the Italians, the Germans, I mean different things have been floating around as to who was involved, just all over the radar.”
On December 14th, Barr again told Trump that there were no basis to these allegations. According to the testimony given by Barr, “Trump went off on a monologue saying that there was definitive evidence involving fraud through the dominion machines and a report had been prepared by a reputable cyber security firm, which was identified as an allied security operations group.” According to Barr, it seemed that Trump blindly believed in the report and an “absolute proof”, which would give him a second term. When the copy of the report was handed over to Barr it looked “very amateurish to me” and “didn’t have the credentials of the people involved”. Barr stated that Trump’s “become detached from reality”, if he actually believed in this report.
It also eventually became clear from the video testimonies that Trump dismissed the people who knew the true numbers and started listening to three controversial figures of the Trump Administration- Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Peter Navarro.
In the second part of the hearing, an investigator for the House panel said in a video interview that $250 million was raised off of Trump’s electoral fraud lies from Trump’s supporters followed by the Election Day, with $150 million raised in the first week. And according to the investigator, all this money went to groups supporting Trump, with most of it going to Save America PAC, one of the major Trump supporting groups. Some of the other money is from other minor groups, where Trump officials get a salary, Trump’s hotel chain and to a charitable foundation connected to Mark Meadows.
Cheney in her opening statement said, “Hundreds of our countrymen have faced criminal charges. Many are serving criminal sentences because they believed what Donald Trump said about the election and they acted on it. They came to Washington D.C., at his request, they marched on the Capitol at his request and hundreds of them besieged and invaded the building at the heart of our constitutional Republic.” More than 840 people have been charged for the Jan 6 insurrection. However, Trump and his inner circle have faced no consequences at all yet.
The House panel is slowly building up the blocks to further prove that the insurrection started with Trump with his motive to stay in power and to instigate violence. This was proven by the testimony of former Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, who said, “After the President tweeted at me by name, calling me out the way that he did, the threats became much more specific, much more graphic and included not just me by name, but, included members of my family by name, their ages, our address, pictures of our home, just every bit of details that you could imagine. That was what changed with that tweet.”