Second Jan. 6 hearing to focus on Trump’s efforts to overturn 2020 election

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Second Jan. 6 hearing to focus on Trump's efforts to overturn 2020 election

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said efforts by Republicans to seek pardons was “some of the most compelling evidence of consciousness of guilt. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo

The House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol will hold its second hearing Monday.

Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, one of two Republicans on the seven-member panel, said the hearing that starts at 10 a.m. will focus on former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election through “the big lie.”

The committee plans to show how the former president’s baseless claims were tied to the pro-Trump mob that attached the Capitol and tried to stop certification of the Electoral College vote.

A committee aide told reporters Sunday night that the panel will delve into fundraising built around Trump’s claims to increase his war chest by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Aides on Sunday said that former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien will be among the witnesses, as well as Chris Stirewalt, a former Fox political director; BJay Pak, a former U.S. Attorney from Georgia; Al Schmidt, a former Philadelphia city commissioner; and GOP election lawyer Ben Ginsberg.

The presentation will be led by the committee chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), but largely guided by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D.-Calif), the committee said.

During the first public hearing Thursday, Cheney said that Trump knew he lost the election and still chose to engage in a “massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information” to overturn the result, which culminated in the Capitol riots.

Cheney also said that three Republican lawmakers sought presidential pardons following the riots, which may be further explored in upcoming hearings.

Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said requesting a pardon was “some of the most compelling evidence of consciousness of guilt” during an interview with ABC News’ This Week.

“Why would members do that if they felt their involvement in this plot to overturn the election was somehow appropriate?” he asked rhetorically.

Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, the other Republican on the committee, expressed a similar feeling to CBS News’ Face the Nation.

“In general, if someone asks for a pardon, it’s because they have real concern that they’ve done something illegal,” he said. “I’ll leave it at that, but I’ll say that

Pennsylvania Rep. Scott Perry, the only of the Republican lawmakers Cheney mentioned by name, denied the allegations in a tweet Friday.

“The notion that I ever sought a presidential pardon for myself or other members of Congress is an absolute, shameless and soulless lie,” he wrote.

Thursday’s hearing, held in primetime, largely set the stage for the proceedings, featuring video from the riots, as well as snippets of private testimony from members of Trump’s administration, including his daughter, Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, as well as former Attorney General William Barr.

Thompson placed Trump at the center of the events of Jan 6., saying he “spurred a mob” that stormed the Capitol building that day.

“Donald Trump was at the center of this conspiracy and ultimately Donald Trump, the president of the United States, spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march down the Capitol and subvert American democracy,” he said.

The first hearing also featured testimony from two witnesses.

Caroline Edwards, a U.S. Capitol Police officer who described the riots as a “war scene” while recalling how she was knocked unconscious while attempting to stop rioters from breaching a barricade/

And documentary filmmaker Nick Quested, who followed the members of the extremist group the Proud Boys on the day of the riots, said that they made their way to the Capitol before Trump even began his address on the Ellipse that morning.

The committee also plans two additional hearings — one Wednesday that Cheney said would discuss threats by senior leadership in Trump’s administration threatening to resign, and one Thursday that is to focus on Trump’s efforts to “pressure” former Vice President Mile Pence to overturn the election.

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