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Key takeaways from the first Jan. 6 hearing: It’s all about Trump


A screen shows former US President Donald Trump during an investigation by the House Select Committee into the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2022. It was taken in the Cannon House Office Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, on June 9, 2022.

Brendan Smialowski AFP | AFP | Getty Images

The attack on the U.S. Capitol that took place on January 6, 2021 was started by one person, according to the first hearing of the investigation committee Thursday.   

Donald Trump is the person.

He sparked the riot at the Capitol and nearly shredded American democracy in pursuit of power, the House Jan. 6 committee contended in what will serve as the opening argument in a weekslong effort to make a case to the public. 

The committee members set out to unravel a complex scheme that would overturn 2020’s election and invalidate millions of votes for Joe Biden.

They also released video footage of Trump’s Inner Circle interviews and images showing the Capitol being under siege. 

Behind all of the show was a message. Trump told the lies about the election, which stoked the anger of his supporters, who stormed Capitol, and did nothing after lawmakers, aides, and relatives implored him not to continue the attack. 

Trump actually started shouting and became angry at advisors for telling him to do more,” Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, vice-chair of the committee stated in her opening remarks.

This committee had to hold its public hearing in prime-time. They were faced with a tough challenge. Americans may think they are well versed in the history of the United States. The committee had interviewed 1000 people and collected over 140,000 records. These findings were so surprising that they elicited gasps from the lawmakers present.

These were some of the main takeaways that I got from my first hearing.

Trump was fixated upon politics as rioters stormed Capitol

Pence was portrayed by the committee as an unlikely hero

Yet, Pence is still important in many ways This was You are responsible for that day. 

Pence was present in the building to preside over the counting electoral votes. The mob broke through security lines and smashed into the building. Secret Service agents ran to Pence’s rescue as the Capitol was occupied by rioters. 

Trump failed to alert the government in time for the collapse of the building, according to the committee. Trump did not speak with his attorney general, or his defense secretary. He also didn’t order deployment of the National Guard.

Pence was the one who did it all.

Milley described Pence’s firmness as “very strong,” and issued instructions to get “the military down here, Get the [National]Take care of this. Do not panic.

An upcoming hearing will show how Trump was repeatedly told by his staff that Pence would not allow certain votes to be counted. 

Pence was loyal, but he chose to end his relationship with Trump instead of subverting it.

Trump’s appointed officials worried that Trump was not fit to run the country and threatened to quit

Trump’s behaviour was so troubling that the Cabinet discussed whether Trump needed to be removed. Cabinet members considered invoking Amendment 25 to the Constitution as a way of replacing President Trump. Unnamed cabinet members suggested to Trump that they take a greater role in managing the White House as well as the Administration.

Cheney stated that they knew President Donald Trump was dangerous and should not be ignored.

Trump’s White House had a history of high turnover. Cheney claimed that Pat Cipollone (his White House counsel) was “so worried about potential lawlessness he threatened multiple times to resign.”  

Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in law, suggested that the White House counsel’s staff were crying babies

Jared Kushner (Trump’s senior advisor and son-in law) dismissed the warnings. 

Cheney asked Cipollone questions about Cipollone’s threat to quit as he was testifying before the committee. 

Kushner gave a short excerpt to the committee. In it, he stated that Cipollone as well his staff often promised they would be leaving. “So, I sort of took it up because I just wanted to whine, to be truthful with you,” he stated.

The future hearings will uncover other aspects of Trump’s plan for staying in power.

It was more of a teaser. The panel will hold six additional public hearings over the next few weeks to flesh out the details of Trump’s plot.

An additional hearing will be held to reveal Trump’s plans to fire Justice Department officers who did not follow his directives. He said, “Just say the election is corrupt. Leave the rest to me or the Republican congressmen.”

Cheney stated that the committee is still investigating and could uncover more details. Cheney left the possibility open that hearings could continue through summer. 

Cheney stated that Trump’s aides will be present at the final hearings in this month. 

Trump was assured that Biden won squarely

Trump and his senior aide received specific information that said there wasn’t widespread fraud. A videotaped interview was conducted by the committee with Alex Cannon (one of Trump’s campaign attorneys), who discussed allegations of fraud. Cannon stated that he told Meadows “we were not finding anything that would make the difference in the results of any key states”. 

Meadows replied, “So there is no there there.”

Trump received the exact same message. Part of a deposition by William Barr, former Attorney General of Texas, was shown to the panel. He said that he did not believe that Trump had committed fraud.

Barr continued to warn Trump about “crazy stuff” and how they wasted their time. He also said that the nation was suffering a great deal of disservice.