Trump had ‘direct and personal role’ in pushing states to overturn Biden win, Jan. 6 panel says – CNBC

Arizona official Rusty Bowers rebukes claim he told Trump the election was ‘rigged’

Rusty Bowers, Arizona House Speaker, speaks during the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC, on June 21, 2022.

Mandel Ngan | Afp | Getty Images

Schiff asked Bowers about a statement from Trump released Tuesday morning, in which the former president claimed that Bowers in a November 2020 conversation “told me that the election was rigged and that I won Arizona.”

Bowers responded, “I did have a conversation with the president. That certainly isn’t it. There are parts of it that are true, but there are parts that are not, sir.”

“Anywhere, anyone, anytime has said that I said that the election was rigged, that would not be true,” Bowers said.

Trump’s claim that Bowers said he won Arizona “is also false,” Bowers told Schiff.

Kevin Breuninger

Schiff says Trump likely violated ‘multiple federal laws’

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivers remarks during the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Kevin Dietsch | Getty Images

Schiff, citing a federal judge, said Trump and his allies “likely violated multiple federal laws” in pressuring state officials to change the results and decertify electors.

He cited U.S. District Judge David Carter, who in a prior court filing characterized the plot by Trump and his allies as a “coup in search of a legal theory.” Schiff, a former U.S. prosecutor, said Trump may be guilty of “conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

“President Trump’s pressure campaign to stop the electoral count did not end with Vice President Pence – it targeted every tier of federal and state elected officials,” Carter wrote. “Convincing state legislatures to certify competing electors was essential to stop the count and ensure President Trump’s reelection.”

Trump’s lie “was, and is, a dangerous cancer on the body politic,” Schiff said. “If you can convince Americans that they cannot trust their own elections, that any time they lose, it is somehow illegitimate, then what is left but violence to determine who should govern?”

Kevin Breuninger

Cheney: ‘We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence’

An image of a rioter is displayed on a screen during the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Trump “didn’t care about threats of violence” against election officials, Cheney said.

“He did not condemn them, he made no effort to stop them; he went forward with his fake allegations anyway.”

Cheney also said that Georgia election official Sterling “explicitly warned” Trump about potential violence more than a month before the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“I would urge all of those watching today to focus on the evidence,” Cheney said. “Do not be distracted by politics. This is serious. We cannot let America become a nation of conspiracy theories and thug violence.”

Kevin Breuninger

Trump knew his election claims were ‘nonsense,’ but still pressured states, Cheney says

An image of Former President Donald Trump campaign script is displayed on a screen during the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

As in previous hearings, the committee sought to make clear from the outset that Trump had been repeatedly told that his claims of widespread, election-changing fraud were “nonsense” — but he nevertheless kept spreading them.

Cheney asked viewers to keep that in mind while listening to calls made by Trump to officials in Georgia and other key states.

She then played clips of Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, and acting deputy attorney general, Richard Donoghue, telling the committee that they saw no evidence to back up key fraud claims.

Former Attorney General William Barr (C) is seen on screen during the fourth hearing by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol in the Cannon House Office Building on June 21, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

The allegations about fraud in Fulton County, Georgia, “had no merit,” Barr told the committee in a taped interview. “There was no evidence of a subterfuge to create an opportunity to feed things into the count … so we didn’t see any evidence of fraud in the Fulton County episode.”

Donoghue, in a separate clip, recounted telling Trump words to the effect of, “Sir, we’ve done dozens of investigations, hundreds of interviews. The major allegations are not supported by the evidence developed.”

Kevin Breuninger

‘Trump had a direct and personal role’ in pressuring state officials to help overturn 2020 election, Cheney says

US Republican Representative Liz Cheney speaks during a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on June 21, 2022.

Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images

Trump and his allies were directly involved in pressuring state officials and institutions as part of their efforts to overturn the 2020 election, Cheney said.

“Trump had a direct and personal role in this effort,” Cheney said in her opening remarks, along with Trump’s former lawyers Rudy Giuliani and John Eastman.  

“In other words, the same people who were attempting to pressure Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes illegally, were also simultaneously working to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election at the state level,” Cheney said.

“Each of these efforts to overturn the election is independently serious; each deserves attention both by Congress and our Department of Justice,” Cheney said. “And all of this was done in preparation for January 6th.”

Kevin Breuninger

‘The lie hasn’t gone away,’ Thompson warns

Chairperson Bennie Thompson (D-MS) attends the third of eight planned public hearings of the U.S. House Select Committee to investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 16, 2022.

Sarah Silbiger | Reuters

Select committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., warned that the “Big Lie” that the 2020 election was compromised by widespread fraud “hasn’t gone away” in the wake of the Capitol riot.

“It’s corrupting our democratic institutions. People who believe that lie are now seeking positions of public trust,” Thompson said at the start of the hearing.

The chairman’s opening statement cited a New Mexico county commission that initially refused to certify the results of a primary election weeks earlier. After the courts stepped in, two of three of the commissioners “finally relented,” Thompson said, but one still refused, saying his vote was “based on my gut feeling and my own intuition, and that’s all I need.”

For those officials, “their oath to the people they serve will take a back seat to their commitment to the Big Lie,” Thompson said.

Kevin Breuninger

Schiff says Trump ex-chief of staff Meadows had ‘intimate role’ in plot to pressure state officials

Then-White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows speaks to reporters in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, July 29, 2020.

Erin Scott | Reuters

The hearing will show that Trump’s last chief of staff, Mark Meadows, played an “intimate role” in the effort by Trump and others to pressure state officials in Georgia to change the 2020 election results, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said.

Schiff, who is set to lead the select committee’s fourth hearing, told the LA Times that the panel will share new information about Meadows’ appearance at a pivotal Georgia election meeting.

The committee will also reveal new text messages about Meadows’ plans to send merchandise autographed by Trump to the people conducting an audit in the Peach State, Schiff said, the newspaper reported Monday.

Kevin Breuninger

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