The January 6th Committee’s last few hearings have gotten deeper than ever into Donald Trump’s roles in the efforts to overturn the election, including what he knew about the legality of some of the plots; how much he knew about the physical danger to Members of Congress, their staff, and his Vice President, Mike Pence; and how he handled that information. As more information is revealed publicly, Trump’s actions, and those of his allies, suggest that they may be truly concerned about the outcome.
Representative Liz Cheney revealed at the end of Tuesday’s hearing that one unidentified witness has reported an effort by Trump to make contact. Cheney says that Trump tried to call the witness, who did not answer the call or respond but instead turned the information over to an attorney, who in turn contacted the Committee.
If Trump is trying to intimidate witnesses or control what they tell the panel, that seems to suggest concern about what the public and investigators are learning.
Greg Kelly, of Newsmax, tries hard to turn the revelation into a nothingburger, while clearly sweating it.
— Jason Campbell (@JasonSCampbell) July 13, 2022
“Apparently, Donald Trump made a phone call. Nobody answered, but they’re acting like this is a big deal…You have no authority, you’re a joke committee…How do you know the president actually called, and they didn’t answer? Hey! Maybe it was a butt dial! Tell the Justice Department that!”
Throughout the hearings, the Committee has consistently had more information to back up their assertions, and by no means was Cheney’s brief statement comprehensive — at this point, the public does not know whether a message was left for the witness, whether the witness refusing to take the call literally means not answering their phone or refusing to be put through to Trump when an intermediary spokes, whether the call came from a Mar-A-Lago switchboard or personal cell phone, or whether there were any other communication attempts — but the January 6th Committee and the Justice Department do have that information.
If the DOJ determines that there’s sufficient evidence to act on, Trump will have an opportunity to defend himself — if it was an accidental dial or he has any other defense, he’ll get to make it known. In the meantime, that’s a lot of frantic effort to come up with an explanation, for a guy sitting over a chyron that claims the hearing was a “snoozefest.”
What's Your Reaction?
Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com