According to evidence from the Jan. 6 panel, which was broadcast on Tuesday, a number of Donald Trump's closest advisers and Cabinet members started pleading with him to admit defeat by mid-December 2020, following the Electoral College's official vote to elect Joe Biden as president.
Video of former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, former White House spokesman Judd Deere, former Attorney General William Barr, and former Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia all testifying that they knew Trump had lost the election after that vote was cast was made public by the select committee during its hearing on Tuesday.
Most of them told Trump directly, and according to Barr, he questioned Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and White House top of staff Mark Meadows about the duration of Trump's campaign. Meadows and Kushner acknowledged that they were trying to persuade Trump to budge.
"The states officially ratified their votes on December 14 and forwarded them to Congress. And in my view, that put a stop to the situation. I believed that this inexorably would result in a new administration," Barr said in a video played for the panel.
Instead, Trump adopted a series of shocking and extreme strategies to maintain his hold on power, including ordering the military to seize voting machines and enlisting fringe lawyer Sidney Powell to make flimsy accusations of fraud.
After spending eight hours in an interview with the select committee last week, Cipollone made his first statements to the public, saying, "I didn't think she should be assigned to anything." A bad idea for the nation, the proposal to confiscate voting machines. That's not how we operate in the US, he declared.
Powell recalled that Cipollone "set a land-speed record" to intervene in a crucial meeting between Trump, Powell, and former national security adviser Mike Flynn on December 18, where they persuaded Trump to sign an executive order seizing voting machines and appointing Powell to an investigative role. Powell gave a clip of this testimony to the panel.
Cipollone remembered, "I was not delighted to see the people who were in the Oval Office.
After the hearing, Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), the chair of the committee, told reporters that the investigators anticipated speaking with former Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, another participant in the meeting on December 18, on Friday.
The select committee's seventh session was devoted to highlighting the increasingly extreme ideologies Trump adopted as his even somewhat plausible alternatives for contesting the outcome of the 2020 election vanished. Even Trump's most ardent supporters told him it was over, but Trump would not listen, according to witness evidence presented Tuesday.
Trump's attempts progressively started to link with extremist groups that shared his desire to hold onto power, and they started to mobilize as he adopted those desperate measures.
At their seventh public session, the investigators presented their most complex case to date: that Donald Trump's escalating campaign for a second term resonated with extremist groups and attracted them to the Capitol's steps. The committee argued that after that, as they started to break into the building, he encouraged them.
“Be there. Will be wild,” Trump wrote in a tweet on December 19, 2020, only two weeks before a mob made up of Proud Boys and Oath Keepers members attacked the Capitol and threatened to hand Biden the presidency.
In order to demonstrate that the previous president's most irrational fans were attentively listening and fast getting ready for possible violence in favor of Trump's ambition to remain in power, committee members concentrated on that tweet during the hearing.
According to committee member Stephanie Murphy, a Florida Democrat, Cipollone verified that members of Congress were present at a December 21, 2020, White House meeting where the strategy to have Vice President Mike Pence obstruct the election certification was discussed.
The "Eastman theory," so termed after the lawyer John Eastman who had been promoting the unlawful notion that Pence had the ability to prevent the electoral certification, was the strategy she described for getting Pence to refuse to confirm the election.