Former President Donald Trump was blamed by House Jan. 6 Committee Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney, for “hundreds of our countrymen” being locked up in the wake of the Capitol riot.
The former President knowingly deceived his followers, the Wyoming Republican said, with his claims of election fraud, and said those who stormed the Capitol did so at his request.
Ms. Cheney said that “Hundreds of our countrymen have faced criminal charges. Many are serving criminal sentences because they believed what Donald Trump said about the election and they acted on it.”
“They came to Washington D.C. at his request, they marched on the Capitol at his request, and hundreds of them besieged and invaded the building at the heart of our constitutional republic,” she added.
Trump “falsely told the American people that the election was ‘not legitimate,’ in his words, quote, ‘a major fraud.’ Millions of Americans believed him.”
At least 862 people in connection with the Capitol riot were charged by the Department of Justice.
The hearing was kicked off with Ms. Cheney’s remarks, which followed the next day’s prime-time debut of a series of hearings this month.
Mr. Trump’s decision to claim victory on election night in November 2020 will be the focus of the hearing, Aides said, “despite sound advice that he didn’t have the numbers to win,” and his decision to “embrace false claims that the election was tainted by widespread fraud” in the days following the election.
Ms. Cheney also said that then-President Donald Trump took 2020 election night guidance from “an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani” over his campaign experts.
During the hearing, Cheney said that despite widely circulated reports of how mail-in ballots would be tallied, Trump took Giuliani’s advice to shift other staffers’ election night plans.
“You will also hear testimony that President Trump rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night and instead followed the course recommended by an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani to just claim he won and insisted that the vote-counting stop to falsely claim everything was fraudulent,” said Cheney.
A former aide to Trump, Jason Miller, acknowledged in recorded testimony played by the committee at the hearing that Giuliani was intoxicated on election night. In recorded testimony, Giuliani said that he spoke with the president several times on election night.
Trump’s unfounded claim of election fraud before and after election night was embraced by Giuliani, who was previously mayor of New York City and once hailed the Mayor of America for his work during the 9/11 tragedy. It was only his alignment with Trump that people on the left began turning their back on him, despite his ability to manage the city of New York after such a terrible incident took place, claiming thousands of lives.