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Jan 6 hearings day 2

US Rep. Bennie Thompson delivers opening remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on Monday in Washington, DC.
US Rep. Bennie Thompson delivers opening remarks during a hearing on the January 6th investigation on Monday in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

The House select committee investigating the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the US Capitol is holding its second public hearing.

The committee heard testimony today from former Fox digital politics editor Chris Stirewalt. They also played video of recorded deposition testimony from witnesses, including Jared Kushner and former Attorney General William Barr. Ex-Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien was slated to testify today but will no longer testify because his wife is in labor. Instead, the panel is showing video of his closed-door interviews.

If you’re looking to get caught up on the latest news from the hearing, here are the key moments so far:

Jared Kushner and other Trump aides said they opposed Rudy Giuliani’s 2020 election lies: Some of then-President Donald Trump’s top aides were deeply uncomfortable with the conspiracy theories that his outside advisers were pushing about the 2020 election, according to new testimony revealed at the hearing.

In a videotaped deposition, Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, said he opposed Giuliani’s post-election activities, though based on Kushner’s own description of his pushback, it did not sound all that forceful. 

“I guess, yes,” Kushner said, explaining that he told Trump that Giuliani’s strategy was “basically not the approach I would take if I was you.” Kushner said Trump responded by expressing “confidence in Rudy.”  

An ex-Trump campaign manager described Trump’s reaction on election night: A video clip was played during the hearing featuring former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien describing a conversation he had with Trump on election night, in which Trump disagreed with Stepien’s recommendation to say it was too early to call the race.

The conversation is one of the first instances during the Jan. 6 congressional hearings where a witness has detailed what conversations they were having with Trump on election night. The committee played video from Stepien’s deposition where he said that it was his recommendation to say it was “too early to tell” who won the race.

“The President disagreed with that,” Stepien said. “I don’t recall the particular words. He thought I was wrong, he told me so, and that they were going to go in a different direction.”

Campaign officials said they told Trump not to declare victory on election night 2020: Two senior Trump campaign officials testified that they told him not to prematurely declare victory on election night 2020 – but that he went ahead and did it anyway.

“It was far too early to be making any calls like that,” Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien said in videotaped testimony, a portion of which was played Monday. “Ballots were still being counted… it was far too early to be making any proclamation like that.”

Trump campaign spokesperson Jason Miller told the committee during his closed-door interview that he told Trump that “we should not go declare victory until we have a better sense of the numbers.”

Barr said Trump claimed major fraud before there was “any potential of looking at evidence”: Barr told the committee that Trump claimed there was major fraud underway “right out of the box on election night … before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence,” according to a previously unseen video clip from his closed-door interview with the panel played during today’s hearing. 

Barr’s testimony adds to the committee’s argument that Trump was already laying the groundwork for his unfounded claim that the election was stolen before it was conceivable that anyone had a chance to examine whether any evidence of widespread voter fraud existed. 

“It seemed to be based on the dynamic that, at the end of the evening, a lot of Democratic votes came in which changed the vote counts in certain states, and that seemed to be the basis for this broad claim that there was major fraud,” Barr says in the video. 

Rep. Zoe Lofgren said Trump’s “big lie was also a big rip-off”: Lofgren, a Democrat from California and Jan. 6 committee member, said in her opening statement that the committee would demonstrate the 2020 election was not stolen, adding, that the Trump campaign’s “big lie was also a big rip-off.” 

“The American people elected President Joe Biden. We’ll present evidence that Mr. Trump’s claims of election fraud were false, that he and his closest advisers knew the claims were false but they continued to pedal them anyway right up until the moments before a mob of Trump supporters attacked the Capitol.” 

Former Trump White House lawyer said he never believed Dominion Voting Systems had switched votes: Eric Herschmann, a lawyer who worked in the Trump White House, told the committee he never believed conspiracy theories that election contractor Dominion Voting Systems had switched votes. 

“I thought the Dominion stuff was … I never saw any evidence whatsoever to sustain those allegations,” Herschmann said in his taped deposition, of which the committee played a short clip. 

“His view was shared by many of the Trump team whom we interviewed,” Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney said. Cheney also quoted former Attorney General Bill Barr, who called the Dominion accusations “complete nonsense.” 

Committee chairman said Trump “decided to wage an attack on our democracy” after he lost the election: Rep. Bennie Thompson, chairman of the Jan. 6 select committee, opened today’s hearing by stating that when Trump “didn’t have the numbers” to win the 2020 presidential election he “decided to wage an attack on our democracy.”

“[Trump] didn’t have the numbers. He went to court. He still didn’t have the numbers. He lost. But he betrayed the trust of the American people. He ignored the will of the voters. He lied to his supporters and the country,” Thompson said.

Thompson said that Trump “tried to remain in office after the people had voted him out, and the courts upheld the will of the people.” 


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