Another video deposition was also played of Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump. Asked what her view was of Guiliani’s advice to her father, she replied: “The results were still being counted. It was clear that the race would not be called on election night.”
Today’s hearing also heard once again from Trump’s former attorney general, Bill Barr, who gave evidence last week saying that he thought Trump’s claims of a rigged election were “bullshit”.
Further evidence of his deposition was played today, in which Barr told the committee that he was worried Trump was becoming increasingly delusional in the aftermath of the 2020 election as he continued to make claims of rigged voting machines and fake votes being dumped in battleground states.
One of the most outlandish claims that year suggested that a cabal of bad actors, including a Venezuelan dictator and liberal financier George Soros, conspired to hack into voting machines manufactured by a company called Dominion Voting System.
Top White House lawyer, Eric Herschmann, told the committee that he never saw any evidence that the claims against Dominion were true, while Barr told investigators: “boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has … become detached from reality.”
The hearing was the latest in a series of a string of public sessions the committee is expected to hold in coming weeks. The first kicked off on Thursday night, in a prime-time TV extravaganza that gave Americans the first real glimpse of an 11-month-long investigation that has so far amassed about 140,000 documents, interviewed 1000 witnesses and cost $US3.5 million ($5 million).
Over two hours, the committee laid out in meticulous detail the extent of Trump’s efforts to keep himself in office. It made the case that Trump not only incited the January 6 Capitol attack but was central to a sweeping and methodical conspiracy to overturn Biden’s victory despite the advice of his top aides and family members.
Trump, however, has rejected the claims, posting on his Truth Social platform: “The so-called ‘rush on the Capitol’ was not caused by me, it was caused by a rigged and stolen election!”
Among the other witnesses to appear today was Chris Stirewalt, a former political editor for Fox News who was sacked after projecting on election night that Biden would win Arizona. The decision infuriated Trump and his top aides, some of whom reportedly complained directly to Fox leadership about the call.
Another key witness was election attorney Benjamin Ginsberg, a respected Republican who played key roles in the George W Bush campaigns – including the 2000 Florida recount against Al Gore – and Mitt Romney’s two presidential campaigns. He told the hearing that “the 2020 election was not close” and detailed the failed court cases by Trump’s legal team.
Byung J Pak, a former Republican US attorney also testified about his investigation of voter fraud in Georgia, and Al Schmidt, a Republican city commissioner who counted votes in Philadelphia who received threats against his family after Trump attacked him on Twitter.
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