The House select committee investigating the riot at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021, held its second hearing on Monday (June 13), detailing the findings of its year-long investigation. The hearing included video clips of depositions from top Trump campaign officials and live testimony from former Fox News political editor Chris Stirewalt, former Republican Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt, Ben Ginsberg, a Republican election lawyer, and Byung Pak, a former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.
Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien was also scheduled to testify but had to pull out at the last minute due to a “family emergency.” Instead, the committee aired a video of private testimony he previously provided to the committee. In addition, Stepien’s lawyer entered a statement for the record on his behalf.
The hearing focused on what committee members called the “big lie” that the 2020 presidential election was stolen due to widespread fraud.
“This morning, we’ll tell the story of how Donald Trump lost an election and knew he lost an election, and as a result of his loss, decided to wage an attack on our democracy – an attack on the American people by trying to rob you of your voice in our democracy, and in doing so, lit the fuse that led to the horrific violence of January 6 when a mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol sent by Donald Trump to stop the transfer of power,” Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson said during his opening remarks.
Thompson then went on to say that Trump’s lie ultimately resulted in a mob of people storming the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election.
“And in doing so lit the fuse that lead to horrific violence of January 6, when a mob of his supporters storm the capital sent by Donald Trump to stop the transfer of power,” Thompson added.
The committee detailed how some of President Trump’s closest advisors urged him against declaring victory on election night. Despite their pleas, Trump listened to an “intoxicated” Rudy Giuliani and addressed his supporters, suggesting that he would be declared the victor over Joe Biden.
“Effectively, Mayor Giuliani was saying we won it,” Jason Miller, a Trump campaign spokesman, told investigators in videotaped testimony, “and essentially that anyone who didn’t agree to that was being weak.”
The committee aired a clip of Trump’s election night speech, in which he laid the seeds that the election was stolen.
“We want all voting to stop, we don’t want them to find any ballots at 4 o’clock in the morning and add them to the list,” Trump told his supporters.