Congressional Panel Says Trump Knew His Election Fraud Claims Were False
WASHINGTON — The congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the Capitol presented strong evidence Monday that former President Donald Trump knew his allegations of election fraud were false.
In addition, the mob that stormed the Capitol was “sent by Donald Trump to stop the transfer of power,” said Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chairman of the House Select Committee to Investigate the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Whereas the first of six hearings last week by the committee focused on the violence of the mob as it tried to block Congress from certifying the 2020 election results, the second hearing directed the blame squarely at Trump.
“He betrayed the trust of the American people,” Thompson said. “We had an election. Mr. Trump lost.”
Trump, however, was unwilling to accept the election results showing he lost the 2020 presidential election to Joe Biden, according to witnesses who testified before the committee.
The witnesses included former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who investigated Trump’s claims and reached the conclusion there was no evidence to support them.
“The election was not stolen by fraud and I haven’t seen anything since the election that would change my mind on that,” Barr said in videotaped testimony.
Barr said he informed Trump that the election results were accurate but found it was a waste of time.
“After the election, he didn’t seem to be listening,” Barr said.
Barr mentioned to members of the media that he found no evidence of election fraud even while Trump continued to insist the election was stolen from him. Their disagreement led to a heated meeting in the Oval Office of the White House and to Barr’s resignation on Dec. 14, 2020.
“The president was as mad as I’ve ever seen him,” Barr said about the meeting.
Other witnesses at the hearing also undercut allegations by Trump and his attorney, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, that Democrats conspired to alter the true vote counts.
Among the allegations, Giuliani said during court proceedings to contest the election that the votes of more than 8,000 dead persons were tallied for Biden in Pennsylvania and ballots that would have given a win to Trump in Georgia were carried away in boxes and suitcases.
His account was denied by officials who investigated the fraud accusations.
“Not only was there no evidence of 8,000 dead voters voting in Pennsylvania, there wasn’t evidence of even eight,” said Al Schmidt, a former Philadelphia city commissioner who helped oversee the state’s 2020 election.
Byung Pak, a former U.S. attorney who investigated election fraud in Georgia, said the “black suitcase” Giuliani told lawmakers was used to carry away pro-Trump ballots “was actually an official lockbox where ballots were kept safe.”
“The allegations made by Mr. Giuliani were false,” Pak said.
The testimony drew only thinly veiled anger from Democrats and Republicans on the committee.
Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., accused Trump of irresponsibly dragging other persons into his resentment over losing the election.
“President Trump ignored the advice of his campaign advisors,” Cheney said.
The only person whose advice he followed was Giuliani, who appeared to be drunk when he suggested that Trump challenge the election results, witnesses said.
Trump incited his supporters to break into the Capitol with a result that “many are serving criminal sentences because they believed what Donald Trump said and they acted on it,” Cheney said.
Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said Trump also used disputes over the election for financial gain.
He and his campaign officials sent out emails nationwide seeking donations for a legal fund to pay for state and federal court challenges to the election. They raised about $250 million, Lofgren said.
Trump allegedly gave much of the money to organizations affiliated with his business and political associates, Lofgren said.
“The Big Lie was also a big rip-off,” she said.
The committee’s next hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
In The News
WASHINGTON — Looking fresh and relaxed from a week vacationing in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, President Joe Biden returned to... Read More
WASHINGTON — Looking fresh and relaxed from a week vacationing in Kiawah Island, South Carolina, President Joe Biden returned to the White House this afternoon to sign the so-called Inflation Reduction Act and deliver on what he’s called the “final piece” of his domestic agenda. Standing... Read More
WASHINGTON — A key compromise to ensure the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act could result in substantially less savings... Read More
WASHINGTON — A key compromise to ensure the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act could result in substantially less savings than was promised and may well wind up being nothing more than a “budget gimmick” in the hands of future lawmakers, a well-known Washington budget hawk... Read More
WASHINGTON — The House on Friday afternoon gave its approval to the Inflation Reduction Act, delivering a significant victory to... Read More
WASHINGTON — The House on Friday afternoon gave its approval to the Inflation Reduction Act, delivering a significant victory to President Joe Biden. The final vote was 220-207, along party lines. Four Republicans did not vote. In a tweet from Kiawah Island, South Carolina, where he... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats pushed their flagship climate change and health care bill toward House passage Friday, placing President Joe Biden on... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats pushed their flagship climate change and health care bill toward House passage Friday, placing President Joe Biden on the brink of a back-from-the-dead triumph on his leading domestic goals that could energize his party going into November’s elections. Democrats were poised to muscle the measure through the... Read More
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump cannot block Congress from obtaining his tax returns as part of a House investigation... Read More
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump cannot block Congress from obtaining his tax returns as part of a House investigation into audits of sitting presidents by the IRS, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday. The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of... Read More
WASHINGTON — “It wasn’t on the scoreboard one month ago,” Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., marveled when talking to reporters over... Read More
WASHINGTON — “It wasn’t on the scoreboard one month ago,” Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., marveled when talking to reporters over the weekend, but in just a matter of days a budget reconciliation bill long presumed dead was suddenly a “historic” achievement. And if the House follows... Read More