Republican Rep. Liz Cheney, the vice chair of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection, said the same people who were pressuring former Vice President Mike Pence to reject electoral votes were also working to pressure state election officials.
“Donald Trump had a direct and personal role in this effort as did Rudy Giuliani, as did John Eastman,” Cheney said in her opening remarks at today’s hearing. “In other words, the same people who were attempting to pressure vice president Mike Pence to reject electoral votes illegally were also simultaneously working to reverse the outcome of the 2020 election at the state level.”
“Each of these efforts to overturn the election is independently serious,” she added.
“Each deserves attention by both Congress and by our Department of Justice,” Cheney said.
At its third hearing of the month last week, the committee tried to connect Trump’s pressure campaign against Pence to the violence on Jan. 6 by weaving together testimony from Pence aides, Trump’s public statements and comments from rioters at the Capitol. The committee showed Trump was told repeatedly that his plan for Pence to overturn the election was illegal, but he tried to do it anyway.
Cheney said these pressure campaigns were both done for a broader purpose and “all of this was done in preparation for Jan. 6.”
She reiterated the committee’s point that Trump had been told that there was no basis for his election fraud claims.
Cheney played a clip of former attorney general William Barr in a recorded deposition saying the claims had “no merit.”
“We took a look, hard look at this ourselves, and based on our review of it, including the interviews of the key witnesses, the Fulton county allegations were… had no merit. The ballots under the table were legitimate ballots. They weren’t in a suitcase,” Barr said in the video.
Add context: At a previous committee hearing, BJay Pak, the former US attorney for the North District of Georgia, testified that his office found that the alleged “suitcase full of ballots” in Georgia was an official lockbox.