The Gop testimonies at the Jan. 6 panel reveal a party split between truth and trump

Thursday, June 23, 2022
author picture Louis Robert
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Trump Meets With Mick Mulvaney‚ Ivanka Trump‚ and William Barr

During the past week‚ President Donald J. Trump has been meeting with several people involved in his administration. Among them are Mick Mulvaney‚ Ivanka Trump‚ and Donald Trump Jr. The meeting also included former Attorney General William Barr‚ who was asked about allegations of collusion by a voting machine maker and his relationship with Donald Trump. While he has not commented publicly on the issue‚ he has provided commentary and answers to questions from members of the press.

Video clip of former Attorney General William Barr during the House Select Committee on Investigating the Jan. 6‚ Attack on the U.S. Capitol. Capitol Hill. Jun. 21‚ 2022. (Doug Mills/The New York Times). The House Committee investigating the attack on Capitol Jan. 6‚ 2021 has made a public case for Donald Trump. It relied heavily upon a surprising stream of witnesses‚ including Trump's advisers and fellow Republicans‚ as well as his family members. Trump's closest aides have been deposed and shown either dismissing or presenting the false claims of the ex-president that the 2020 elections were stolen. Yet‚ the struggle to stop the will of people did not wane. Subscribe to The Morning Newsletter from The New York Times In four carefully produced hearings‚ powerful testimony was provided by a number of Republicans. It exposed how fractured the party is between those who accept the truth of 2020 and those who continue to believe Trump's falsehoods regarding a stolen election. Mick Mulvaney (an ex-acting White House Chief of Staff to Trump) said that if any Republicans were looking at it they would not be able to defend the position that Donald Trump won the election. A few clips were shown of Ivanka Trump's former daughter and Eric Herschmann's unrepentant testimony as a White House top attorney. He said that he had scolded another pro Trump attorney for not pursuing conspiracies against Joe Biden's induction even after the Capitol Riot. According to Rusty Bowers' testimony on Tuesday‚ we have many theories. The evidence is not there. William Barr‚ Trump's ex-Attorney General‚ used one term to describe the countless factless theories about fraud that Trump embraced in his aftermath election: Bullshit. He said it was. It was insane stuff. They were wasting time and doing a grave and grave disservice to our country. Mulvaney claimed that because of the Democratic-led proceedings‚ Mulvaney indicated that less Republicans would tune in due to the partisan nature -- after Nancy Pelosi's dismissal of some appointees‚ the Republican leadership boycotted it -- The investigative committee is dominated by Democrats‚ but it has two anti-Trump Republicans as members‚ including Rep. Liz Cheney from Wyoming who serves as vice chair. Mulvaney stated that the fact there are Republican witnesses makes it very convincing. Bill Barr doesn't lie‚ I believe. Also‚ I know that I will not see his whole testimony. I will see only the parts of his testimony the Democrats would like me to. Bowers‚ along with two Georgia Republican officials‚ testified Tuesday under oath. They described in terrible terms how they were subjected to pressure to stand up for the president‚ and what it meant for them. More testimony will be provided by the Justice Department's top brass on Thursday. Ex-White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the committee's use of senior officials‚ relatives‚ and those who were involved in his campaign‚ has been outstanding. She served almost Trump's entire term‚ but was now a critic. It's this that gives me hope it can break through. Quinnipiac University's Wednesday poll suggested that even a major breakthrough may be far off. Nearly 6 out 10 Americans believe Trump is responsible for Jan. 6‚ but only 44% and 25% respectively said Trump has little or no responsibility. I hope there's room for the Republican Party to have a more rational wing again. However‚ Sarah Longwell (founder of the anti-Trump Republican Accountability Project) said that my hopes are very low. Longwell said that she observed an uncanny shift in the focus groups she has been holding with 2020 Trump voters since the hearings started. Not one attendee wanted Trump running in 2024. Longwell stated that they liked Trump but wanted to go on. This is how they spoke about Jan. 6‚ in general. Cheney is Trump's foremost Republican critic in Congress. She has made it clear about her intent to create a divide between Trump and his base. To my Republican friends who defend the indefensible‚ I will say the following: Donald Trump will eventually die‚ but your disgrace will not be forgotten‚ Cheney stated at June 9th's first hearing. Cheney is currently facing a Trump-backed primary opponent this summer and has made herself available as a possible presidential candidate to challenge Trump. She will deliver a speech about the future party next week at the Reagan Library‚ California. This is the same place where many potential Republican candidates in 2024 have spoken in the recent months. Many Republican strategists believed that the Jan. 6‚ committee hearings‚ which were held when Trump isn't on the ballot‚ would have a less impact on 2022 midterms than the 2024 Republican presidential field. J. Michael Luttig is a former judge on the federal appeals court. Although he's not a well-known name‚ he has a great reputation in conservative legal circles. Last week‚ testimony by Luttig stated that Donald Trump and his supporters pose a danger to American democracy. Luttig made then the forward-looking leap towards the next presidential election. Many Democrats hope voters make the same bold move as Trump's allies in November's midterms. If elected‚ Trump and his allies will attempt to reverse the 2024 election the way they did the 2020 election. Sometimes‚ Trump has seen the indictment of the committee so fixated on him and so full praise for those Republicans who stood up against him that many Democrats fear that the strategy might backfire. It could set Trump apart from the Republican Party which‚ in reality‚ is deeply loyal to Trump. This is absolutely disgusting‚ Jessica Post‚ the executive director of Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. They are involved in races for statehouse seats. The Jan. 6-based committee is only part of a larger story about anti-democracy force in the US. Particularly frustrated by the way Bowers was lauded for upholding the law and not realizing that Arizona had passed restrictiveer voting laws under his supervision‚ she said. Post stated that she doesn't believe you can get a star just for doing the minimum. Brad Raffensperger (Georgia's Republican secretary-of-state) sat next to Bowers Tuesday. He was praised by the committee for his work as a public servant. Georgia Democrats also nominated Bee Nguyen to be his opponent on Tuesday. On Wednesday‚ Nguyen attacked Raffensperger’s support of greater voting restrictions. The GOP divide is easy to overstate: Barr and Bowers both said this week that they would still vote for Trump in 2024 if he were the nominee. The committee also hailed Mike Pence (ex-Vice President) for his courage in resisting Trump’s relentless pressure to overturn election. Greg Jacob‚ Pence’s counsel‚ said that John Eastman (one of Trump's advisors) had requested Pence to not certify the Electoral College results in the immediate aftermath the Capitol riot. As Jacob remembered‚ Pence said that it was rubber room stuff. Jacob was‚ in other words‚ absolutely crazy. As Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)‚ the chairman of the committee‚ previewed the hearing‚ it will focus on Trump's attempts to corrupt the nation's highest law enforcement agency‚ the Justice Department. As star witnesses‚ three former Trump Administration alumni have been selected: Jeffrey A. Rosen (the former acting attorney general); Richard Donoghue (the former acting deputy attorney general); and Steven Engel (the former assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel). Another Republican will lead the questioning: Rep. Adam Kinzinger from Illinois. (c) 2022 The New York Times Company