January 6th Committee Returns With Focus On Donald Trump’s “State Of Mind” In Lead-Up To Capitol Attack

The January 6th Committee returned on Thursday with what may be a closing argument before a large TV audience on Donald Trump’s role in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election, leading to the deadly siege of the Capitol.

“The vast weight of the evidence presented so far has shown us the central cause of January 6 was one man: Donald Trump, who many others followed,” said Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), the vice chair of the committee.

She said that the committee would focus on Trump’s “state of mind,” including his intent, his motivations and how he got others to do his bidding. That was expected to include testimony and other evidence that Trump had a pre-meditated plan to declare victory in the election, well before any of the voting results came in.

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Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) made the point that, despite claims that the committee would be viewed as partisan, the wealth of testimony has been obtained from Republicans and members of Trump’s inner circle.

“This investigation is not about politics, it is not about party, it is about the facts, plain and simple,” Thompson.

Thompson also noted that technically, the committee was holding a business meeting, not a hearing, so that members may decide on potential new investigative steps. Cheney later said that the committee may decide whether to make criminal referrals to the Justice Department.

The meeting was the first since the summer and what is expected to be its final one before the midterms, perhaps its final one period. The committee is expected to issue a final report of its findings before the end of the year, and for good reason: If Republicans take the House, they are likely to dissolve it.

The hearing was expected to include more information on Secret Service communications when the January 6th attack unfolded, as well as more information on the pressure placed on Vice President Mike Pence to reject the slate of electors. Reports also indicated that the committee would present new information on what Donald Trump was told about the possibility of disruption and violence on that day.

But in making its closing argument, the committee faces the challenge of breaking through in a busier fall news landscape focused on the midterms, the economy and inflation, as well as the series of other investigations of Trump and his role in trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Broadcast and cable news networks again carried the hearing on Thursday, but the committee decided to hold it in the daytime hours as opposed to primetime, when ad time is at more of a premium than it was during the summer.

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