As eye-popping evidence about the Capitol riots continues to emerge from the Jan. 6 committee hearings, the panel announced Thursday it has scheduled additional sessions into July.
During the first six hearings, the committee heard from witnesses including Bill Barr and Jason Miller about the role President Donald Trump and his associates played in the lead-up to, during, and after the attack on the Capitol. Meanwhile, the former president raged about the proceedings, and slammed ex-Vice President Mike Pence for not having the “courage” to overturn the election.
With each hearing spanning hours, it’s easy to miss the latest hubbub. We’ve got you covered with the eight biggest bombshells from the hearings to date.
Rudy Giuliani Might Have Been Drunk When He Told Trump to Declare Victory
It was the defining moment of election night in 2020: With millions of votes still uncounted, and even Fox News calling some critical swing states for Biden, Trump nevertheless declared he’d won re-election.
The declaration rallied the former president’s base, but others close to Trump—including campaign manager Bill Stepien—knew the claim was premature, and told him so.
Jason Miller, a Trump campaign strategist, said in a recorded deposition that his boss ignored his election-night advice to wait for more votes to be counted before taking a victory lap.
So, what compelled Trump to boast an early—and erroneous—victory? Miller claimed it was a drunk Rudy Giuliani who pushed the president to do so.
Miller said Giuliani told the president to simply reject the results, and Trump listened. What followed threw the nation into chaos and triggered a months-long election-fraud crusade that culminated in the Capitol riot.
“The mayor was definitely intoxicated, but I do not know his level of intoxication when he spoke with the president, for example,” Miller said.
Giuliani erupted after the deposition was played, taking to Twitter to declare his sobriety on election night and love for his drink of choice, Diet Pepsi.
In the typo-filled tweet, Giuliani said he was “disgusted and outraged at the out right [sic] lie by Jason Miller and Bill Steppien [sic].” “I was upset that they were not prepared for the massive cheating (as well as other lawyers around the President) I REFUSED all alcohol that evening. My favorite drink..Diet Pepsi.”
In a second tweet, Giuliani added, “Is the false testimony from Miller and Steppien [sic] because I yelled at them? Are they being paid to lie?”
Giuliani later deleted the tweets.
Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks, and Marjorie Taylor Greene All Asked for Pardons From Trump
Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney, long a thorn in the side of Trumpworld, teased at Thursday’s hearing she’d release the names of Congress members who asked Trump for presidential pardons.
White House aides testified and named the representatives who did just that.
They were: Rep. Scott Perry, of Pennsylvania; Rep. Matt Gaetz, of Florida; Rep. Mo Brooks, of Alabama; Rep. Louie Gohmert, of Texas; Rep. Andy Biggs, of Arizona; and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, of Georgia.
Perhaps the wildest of the requests came from Gaetz, who asked Trump to pardon him “from the beginning of time up until today, for any and all things.” Perhaps Gaetz had the allegations that he paid for sex with a minor in mind.
None of the above ended up receiving the preemptive pardon they requested.
Bill Barr Says Trump Was “Detached From Reality” After Election
Former attorney general Bill Barr didn’t hold back while testifying about how baseless most of Trump’s claims were in the wake of his election loss.
While talking with Trump about allegations of voting fraud tied to Dominion voting machines, Barr said he became “demoralized” and concluded Trump had “become detached from reality if he really believes this stuff.”
Barr delivered his shot at Trump in a video testimony this week. He told the panel that Trump had disregarded all facts after his defeat, even privately. This differed from his interactions with the former president in years prior.
“Before the election, it was possible to talk sense to the president and, while you sometimes had to engage in a big wrestling match with him, it was possible to keep things on track,” Barr said. “I felt that after the election he didn’t seem to be listening.”
Trump Asked Arizona to Flip Its Vote to Him
Arizona Speaker of the House Rusty Bowers, a Republican, confirmed this week what many had already speculated: Trump personally called after the election and ordered him to find a way to flip his state from President Joe Biden to him.
Despite being a Trump backer—and declaring this week he would vote for Trump if he ran again—Bowers denied the former president’s request.
“I said, look, you’re asking me to do something that is counter to my oath,” Bowers testified. Bowers asked the president to provide evidence if he wanted his help. When none was given, he said Giuliani quipped to him, “‘we’ve got lots of theories, we just don’t have the evidence.’”
After Bowers’s rejection, he said conspiracists led a barrage of hate against him. This culminated with a “disturbing” smear campaign online, bullhorn protests at his home and an armed man taunting his family, Bowers testified.
Trump Reacted With Approval to Chants of “Hang Mike Pence,” Aide Says
Remember when Trump supporters chanted “Hang Mike Pence” during the insurrection on Jan. 6?
As it turns out, those chants were met with approval by Trump, according to an aide to former chief of staff Mark Meadows who testified on May 26.
Cassidy Hutchinson, the aide, said Meadows “told colleagues that Mr. Trump had said something to the effect of, ‘Maybe Mr. Pence should be hanged.’”
Hutchinson added that Trump “complained” when he heard his vice president had been hustled to safety while his supporters breached the Capitol.
The alleged remarks are an apparent indication that Trump’s relationship with his vice president soured in their final days in office. After Hutchinson’s testimony, a lawyer for Meadows called the account of his remarks “untrue,” while a Trump spokesman attacked the committee for “leaks.”
Trump Pressured the DOJ to “Just Say It Was Corrupt”
Trump personally pressured senior Department of Justice officials to declare there was election fraud, and let him and GOP members of Congress just take it from there.
“Leave the rest to me and Republican congressmen,” Trump reportedly said, according to former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue, one of a handful of ex-DOJ officials who stood up to Trump in his final days in office.
Trump was so passionate about the DOJ declaring that there was systemic election fraud that he tried to install Jeffrey Lord as the acting Attorney General in order to have him use the Justice Department to find the supposed widespread fraud.
Trump Was Informed Pence Was in Trouble Before He Tweeted Incendiary Language Against His Veep
White House aide Ben Williamson testified that he accompanied White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to inform Trump that there was violence at the Capitol. Williamson even texted Meadows that Trump might want to issue a statement or tweet encouraging protesters to respect the Capitol Police.
Minutes later, at 2:24 p.m., Trump tweeted, “Mike Pence didn’t have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution.”
Mom-and-Daughter Poll Workers Got Death Threats After Giuliani Falsely Accused Them of Fraud
The crusade by Trump and his associates to overturn the 2020 election quickly became unhinged. Wild claims of fraud—and accusations against innocent citizens—scorched each battleground state he lost.
While it kept Trump in each news cycle, these conspiracies came at a personal cost for Georgia election workers Shaye Moss and her mom, Ruby Freeman, they testified this week.
Giuliani accused the two of pulling out suitcases of fake votes and passing a suspicious USB stick to each other while they tallied ballots. The accusation quickly spread across right-wing media.
As it turns out, that “USB stick”—which Giuliani later suggested may have been dope—was actually a ginger mint. The damage was already done, however. Trump supporters made the women’s lives miserable, they said, with wackos sending death threats and a mob forming at a loved one’s house.
The duo fought back tears as they recalled the horrors. Moss said the stress of it all caused her to gain 60 pounds, stop working and stop going out.
“I don’t do nothing anymore,” said Moss. “I second guess everything I do. It’s affected my life in a major way. In every way. All because of lies.”
Election Lies Were a Major Cash Grab for Trump
Who knew lying about an election could be so profitable. Trump raised $250 million on the back of election lies after losing to Biden, according to the testimony of Amanda Wick, a senior investigative counsel for the panel.
The shockingly high number—for a politician who was then a lame duck—was released June 13, when Wick explained how Trump and his team did it.
Between Election Day and Jan. 6, 2021, Trump’s campaign sent “millions” of fundraising emails to supporters, claiming a “left-wing mob” was undermining the election, Wick said.
The emails told supporters to fight back with their wallets, Wick said. As it turns out, Trump supporters did just that, as well as by physical force on Jan. 6.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism