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Some GOP members of Congress sought pardons for their roles in failed coup attempt, refused to testify, Cheney says

View video of the complete hearing

By Miriam Raftery

June 10, 2022 (Washington D.C.) -- The Senate’s Select Committee investigating the violent January 6, 2020 attack on the U.S. Capitol presented several shocking revelations during its first public hearing televised in prime time on June 9.

Chairman Bennie Thompson called the Jan. 6 attack an attempted “coup” (hear audio) and made clear that former President Donald Trump knew that the election was not stolen. He played video of Trump’s Attorney General, Bill Barr, testifying that Barr had repeatedly told Trump that there was no evidence of election fraud, even advising the President that such claims were “bulls**t.”  (hear audio). Thompson said the committee will prove in subsequent hearings that Trump organized a coup in an attempt to violently overthrow the U.S. government.

Next, ranking Republican Liz Cheney provided more evidence that Trump knew his stolen election claims were false. Even Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, told the selection committee that she believed Attorney General Barr.  (hear audio). Top campaign advisors to the President also counseled him that he had lost the election, and 62 judges including some appointed by Trump found no evidence of fraud.

Cheney asserted that Trump oversaw a seven-part plan to overturn the 2020 election.

A committee source told CNN that those seven steps were:

  • Spreading false information claiming the election was stolen, when he knew this was untrue;
  • After Barr refused to take part in false election claims and resigned, Trump tried to replace him with an Acting Attorney General who would support the false election claims;
  • Corruptly pressuring Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes, which the Constitution requires him to do;
  • Having his legal team push Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates to send to Congress;
  • Summoned a violent mob and directed them to march to the Capitol and use force
  • Ignored multiple pleas for help for hours while the violence was underway, gloating over the televised images of carnage and said he though Mike Pence “deserved” to be hanged, as the protesters were chanting “Hang Mike Pence.”

In his capitol ellipse speech that morning, Trump repeatedly demanded that Pence should halt the vote count:  (hear audio)

The violence that day killed five people, including a Capitol policeman, and injured 140 police officers. 

Yet witnesses told the committee that Trump appeared to relish the violence, stating that his followers who violently stormed the capitol, assaulting and killing people, were doing the right thing.

Four several hours, Trump reportedly made no effort to stop the violence,  and did not contact the Secretary of Defense or anyone else to seek help to stop the assault and ignored pleas for help. Ultimately after Trump refused to return calls from Vice President Pence, Pence stepped in and authorized the National Guard to come in, according to General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (hear audio)

The Committee played a disturbing video with footage never before seen, including aerial security footage showing the size of the violent mob.  It also included testimony and footage from a documentary filmmaker embedded with the Proud Boys, which along with the Oathkeepers has leaders now charged with seditious conspiracy.

Leaders of these groups met the night before the attack in a parking garage and were seen at the Capitol surveilling the area during Trump’s speech. Trump later instructed the crowd to go to the exact area where the far-right groups were waiting, an area where security at the Capitol was weakest. Leaders of these extremist groups, which the committee now believes premeditated the attack, broke windows and led the mob into the Capitol to try and violently halt the votes in the 2020 election from being certified.

Hear a clip of police officers being attacked as the mob broke through the line.  (hear audio)

Among the most disturbing testimony was that of Capitol Police Officer Caroline Edwards, who was knocked unconscious and remains out of work due to a traumatic brain injury.  Yet after she regained consciousness she continued battling to protect the capitol, “slipping in people’s blood” while working alongside another police officer who sustained injuries and later died in what she described as a “war zone.”  (hear audio)

While some witnesses cooperated with the committee, others refused and two have been found in contempt, including former Trump advisor Steve Bannon.

Another who refused to testify was Representative Scott Perry, who reportedly pressured Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to implement the plan to spread doubts about the election outcome with falsehoods.

Cheney revealed that several Republicans in Congress, including Perry, sought pardons from Trump for their role in the insurrection (hear audio). On the House floor, Perry denigrated the hearings as a “Soviet-style” show trial.(hear audio)

Cheney had strong words for those of her fellow Republicans choosing to turn a blind eye to the increasingly damning truths being revealed by the committee after interviewing over 1,000 witnesses and reviewing more than 100,000 pages of documents.

The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney stated, “Tonight I say this to my Republican colleagues who are defending the indefensible: There will come a day when Donald Trump is gone, but your dishonor will remain.” (hear audio)

More hearings are scheduled for the following dates; times are Pacific Standard Time:

Monday, June 13 at 7 a.m.

Wednesday, June 15 at 7 a.m.

Thursday, June 16 at 7 a.m.

Tuesday, June 21 at 7 a.m.

Thursday, June 23 at 5 p.m.



Chairman Bennie Thompson describes "coup"
Attorney General William Barr says he told Trump there was no election fraud
Senator Liz Cheney provides more evidence Trump knew he lost, and so did his daughter, Ivanka
Pres. Trump illegally demands Vice Pres. Pence stop the vote counting
Cheney reveals Trump made no effort to halt violence; Pence stepped in
Insurrectionists broke through a police line, violently assaulting officers
Officer Caroline Edwards testifies about the violent assault amidst a "war zone" at the Capitol
Republican Congressional members sought pardons for roles in the insurrection, Cheney reports
Rep. Perry calls hearings a "Soviet-style" show trial
Cheney warns "dishonor will remain"

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"Saving our Democracy"

Thank you Miriam, the information that you have provided here, particularly the audio recordings, will go a long way towards saving our Democracy! I don't say this lightly, for the actions on January 6th were on the verge of destroying all that is good about America, which I have indicated in numerous book reviews that I have written in the East County Magazine. I trust that those who may have missed the first day of testimony read your article and listen to the audio recordings.