Jan. 6 Committee ties former President Trump to extremists in latest hearing
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – New details were revealed in Tuesday’s Jan. 6 hearing, and the panel investigating accused former President Donald Trump of inspiring extremists and inciting the riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Rep. Liz Cheney says the evidence and testimony the Jan. 6 Committee has collected shows that Trump knew he lost the 2020 election.
“Donald Trump cannot escape responsibility by being willfully blind,” Cheney, R-Wyo., said Tuesday.
The committee also shared details of a tense and chaotic oval office meeting in December of 2020 that they say led to President Trump tweeting to encourage supporters to come to Washington on January 6. Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., pointed to that tweet as a key piece of evidence against the former president.
“A tweet that would galvanize his followers, unleash a political firestorm and change the course of our history as a country,” Raskin said.
Committee members say the former president’s call inspired a flurry of planning from right-wing extremists like Alex Jones and Ali Alexander.
“He is now calling on ‘we the people’ to take action and to show our numbers,” Jones said.
“These degenerates in the deep state are going to give us what we want or we are going to shut this country down,” Alexander said.
For the first time on Tuesday, the committee also showed evidence – including internal messages – that demonstrates how former President Trump planned in advance to call on supporters to march to the Capitol.
“This was not a spontaneous call to action, but rather was a deliberate strategy decided upon in advance by the president,” Rep. Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., said.
Capitol rioter Stephen Ayres says he and others were motivated by the former president’s instructions.
“Got everybody riled up, told everybody to head on down. So we’re just basically following what he said,” Ayres said during Tuesday’s hearing.
Former Oath Keeper Jason Van Tatenhove says Jan. 6 had the potential to be even worse.
“This could’ve been the spark that started a new Civil War,” Van Tatenhove said.
The committee says they have even more information to present, and they’re planning to hold another hearing next week.