January 6 committee postpones next hearing over ‘logistical issues’ as it builds case against Trump 


House January 6 committee postpones next hearing over ‘logistical issues’ a day after a star witness pulled out of appearing because his wife went into labor

  • House committee announced Tuesday it was postponing its Wednesday hearing
  • A source said it was because of ‘logistics’ rather than anything more sensational
  • It comes after a witness pulled out of appearing because his wife was in labor 
  • Wednesday’s hearing was expected to provide evidence of a White House meeting where Trump proposed replacing his acting Attorney General 

The committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol has postponed its Wednesday hearing which was to feature senior Trump Justice Department officials.

The House committee announced the postponement on Tuesday morning but did not give a reason or new date.

However, a source familiar with the decision told DailyMail.com it was ‘just logistics.’

‘There’s just a lot of time needed to prepare all this stuff coming,’ said the source.

Three of the committee members are also on the House Armed Services Committee, which next week begins considering the National Defense Authorization Act, essentially setting out the U.S. defense budget – adding a further complication.

And it comes after a key witness on Monday pulled out of appearing in person after his wife went into labor.

The next hearing is due to take place on Thursday.

The House committee investigating last year's attack on the U.S. Capitol postponed its scheduled Wednesday hearing over logistical issues

The House committee investigating last year’s attack on the U.S. Capitol postponed its scheduled Wednesday hearing over logistical issues

The witnesses at Wednesday’s hearing were to include Jeffrey Rosen, the acting attorney general when the riot took place, as well was Richard Donoghue and Steven Engel, two other senior officials. 

They were expected to describe a difficult meeting at the White House three days before Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol building.

According to previous reporting, Trump wanted to replace Rosen with another official, Jeffrey Clark, who had suggested he would back the president’s unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Trump ultimately backed down when confronted by Justice Department officials and White House aides who told him they would resign if he replaced Rosen.

Monday’s hearing began with a scramble as Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien, the panel’s top Monday witness, said he would not appear due to a ‘family emergency.’ Committees chairman Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said Stepien’s wife was in labor.

But the committee had a plan B – hours of Stepien’s previous interview with the panel that was recorded on video. The committee aired multiple clips of that interview, along with others, as the hearing unfolded.

Stepien told investigators that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was urging Trump to declare victory on election night, despite Stepien’s warnings that it was ‘way too early’ to make a prediction like that.

‘My belief, my recommendation, was to say that votes were still being counted, it’s too early to tell, too early to call the race,’ Stepien said in one clip.

The committee also played recorded testimony of Bill Barr, Trump’s attorney general, who said that the then president was ‘detached from reality’ with claims of voter fraud in the aftermath of the 2020 election 

Trump’s former top legal officer described how he repeatedly told the president his allegations were false.

And at one point he laughed as he described how Trump supporters had tried to build a case of fraud.  

‘I was somewhat demoralised because I thought boy, if he really believes this stuff, he has, you know, lost contact with with these become detached from reality,’ Barr told the committee in his videotaped testimony.’

When Barr pushed back, he said, he was met with little interest 

‘My opinion then and my opinion now is that the election was not stolen by fraud.

‘And I haven’t seen anything since the election that changes my mind on that, including the “2000 Mules” movie,’ he said before laughing at the film made by conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza, which claims that drop boxes were abused bu has been widely criticized by factcheckers.

Former Attorney General Bill Barr dismissed claims that the 2020 election was stolen as 'nonsense' and 'bulls***' in testimony released on Monday

Former Attorney General Bill Barr dismissed claims that the 2020 election was stolen as ‘nonsense’ and ‘bulls***’ in testimony released on Monday

Barr also said he told his then boss Donald Trump that there was not enough voter fraud in the 2020 election to change the outcome, one of several witnesses who said they told the then president and his team that their allegations did not stand up to scrutiny

Barr also said he told his then boss Donald Trump that there was not enough voter fraud in the 2020 election to change the outcome, one of several witnesses who said they told the then president and his team that their allegations did not stand up to scrutiny

‘There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were’: Top quotes from the second January 6 hearing

‘The mayor was definitely intoxicated’: Former Trump adviser Jason Miller on Rudy Giuliani 

‘I don’t know that I had a firm view of what he should say’: Ivanka Trump on what her father should say on election night when it was too early to call the result

‘Right out of the box on election night, the president claimed that there was major fraud under way. I mean, this happened, as far as I could tell, before there was actually any potential of looking at evidence’: Former Attorney General Bill Barr 

 ‘Very, very, very, very bleak’: Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien on their chances of winning the 2020 election 

‘I told him that the stuff his people were shoveling out to the public was bulls***’: Barr on election fraud claims

‘There was never an indication of interest in what the actual facts were’: Barr on Trump’s attitude to fraud claims

‘The 2020 election was not close’: Republican campaign lawyer Ben Ginsberg

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Evidence shown by the committee has build a picture of a president told repeatedly by senior officials and key advisers that he lost the election fair and square.

Testimony suggested he then came to rely on the arguments of more fringe figures and an ‘inebriated’ Rudy Giuliani, who advised him to declare victory in election night, and then supplied him with unsubstantiated examples of fraud.  

Trump responded on Monday night, with a 12-page statement accusing Democrats of seeking to distract from the Biden administration’s troubles with a ‘kangaroo court.’

‘The January 6th Unselect Committee is disgracing everything we hold sacred about our Constitution. If they had any real evidence, they’d hold real hearings with equal representation,’ he said in an emailed statement.

‘They don’t, so they use the illegally constituted committee to put on a smoke and mirrors show for the American people, in a pitiful last ditch effort to deceive the American public…again.’

The committee has interviewed more than 1000 witnesses and assembled hundreds of thousands of pages of documents.

The result, its members hope to show, places Trump at the heart of a conspiracy to topple American democracy.

But Trump, in his response, relies on the partisan support of his former adviser Peter Navarro and conservative activist Dinesh D’Souza to repeat his case that the election was stolen.

Its footnotes are riddled with references to ‘2000 Mules,’ D’Souza’s much criticized documentary that claims to show how dropboxes were abused and the election was stolen from Trump.

Trump used his statement to accuse Democrats of trying to distract from the crises facing the Biden administration.

‘We have a White House in shambles, with Democrats, just this week, declaring that Biden is unfit to run for reelection,’ he said.

‘And what is the Democrat Congress focused on? A Kangaroo court, hoping to distract the American people from the great pain they are experiencing.’

‘Seventeen months after the events of January 6th, Democrats are unable to offer solutions. 

‘They are desperate to change the narrative of a failing nation, without even making mention of the havoc and death caused by the Radical Left just months earlier.’

Takeaways: Trump’s mind was ‘made up’ of election fraud and his advisers describe the Giuliani factor

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection systemically made the case in its second hearing Monday that Trump and his advisers knew that his claims of fraud in the 2020 election were false.

The argument is key to the committee’s investigation as the nine-member panel details its evidence about what led to the violent insurrection. The rioters who broke into the Capitol that day and interrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory were echoing Trump’s falsehoods that he, not Biden, had rightfully won the election.

Takeaways from Monday’s hearing:

A witness pulls out, but video tells the story 

The hearing began with a scramble as Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Bill Stepien, the panel’s top Monday witness, said he would not appear due to a ‘family emergency.’ Committees chairman Mississippi Rep. Bennie Thompson said Stepien’s wife was in labor.

But the committee had a plan B – hours of Stepien’s previous interview with the panel that was recorded on video. The committee aired multiple clips of that interview, along with others, as the hearing unfolded.

Stepien told investigators that Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was urging Trump to declare victory on election night, despite Stepien’s warnings that it was ‘way too early’ to make a prediction like that.

‘My belief, my recommendation, was to say that votes were still being counted, it’s too early to tell, too early to call the race,’ Stepien said in one clip.

Trump went to the podium in the White House press room on election night and said that the early results were ‘a fraud on the American public’ and that ‘frankly, we did win this election.’

Trump’s mind ‘was made up’ on election fraud and anyone who disagreed was ‘weak’ 

Trump’s advisers told him repeatedly that he should wait on the results and should not declare that there was widespread election fraud. But Trump would not listen, and increasingly relied on wild claims that were pushed by Giuliani and Trump attorney Sidney Powell, among others, according to testimony.

The panel showed video from Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, her husband, Jared Kushner, and campaign aide Jason Miller. Ivanka Trump told the panel that ‘it was clear’ the election wouldn’t be called on election night, and Kushner said he had told Trump at one point that Giuliani’s advice was ‘not the approach I would take.’ 

Trump responded that he had confidence in Giuliani.

Miller said there was a meeting on election night in which he told Trump that they shouldn’t declare victory until they had a better sense of the numbers. But Trump told a room of advisers that anyone who didn’t agree with Giuliani was being ‘weak.’

Stepien said his group of advisers was dubbed ‘team normal’ in contrast to the legal team pushing election fraud.

Former Attorney General William Barr, who declared publicly at the time that there was no evidence behind Trump’s fraud claims, said the president was increasingly becoming ‘detached from reality.’

Trump pushed multiple Attorneys General to pursue election fraud 

The committee made clear that Trump’s quest to undermine the presidential election ran through two Justice Departments – one headed by Bill Barr, the other by Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen.

Trump had attempted to have Rosen replaced with a loyalist who would have directed election officials in states narrowly won by Joe Biden to send in an alternate slate of electoral votes.

Barr’s videotaped testimony suggests he told Trump that Giuliani and Powell’s election fraud claims were ‘crazy stuff,’ singling out the Dominion Voting Systems allegations as ‘among the most disturbing allegations.’

‘Disturbing in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations. But they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people,’ Barr said. ‘Members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count and that these machines controlled by somebody else… which was complete nonsense.’

And after his departure, then-Acting Attorney General testified to the committee that he had to tell Trump that his legal teams’ claims that there was rampant voter fraud in Fulton County, Georgia were ‘just not true.’

‘I told the president myself that – several times in several conversations – that these allegations about ballots being smuggled in – in a suitcase, and run through the machine several times, it was not true,’ Rosen said. 

A monthslong campaign seeding doubt in the 2020 election 

Trump’s claims of fraud did not start after election day. The committee showed clips where Trump previewed his strategy in speeches throughout his 2020 campaign. In August of that year, he told an audience that fraud was the only way he would lose.

Stepien told the committee that he and House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy had met with Trump in the summer of 2020 and made a two-pronged case for why he should stop criticizing mail-in voting. He and McCarthy told Trump that he was leaving ‘a lot to chance’ and that there were GOP party workers on the ground who could help get mail-in votes for Trump.

McCarthy, who has declined to cooperate with the Jan. 6 panel despite a subpoena, was ‘echoing the same argument,’ Stepien said.

‘But the president’s mind was made up,’ Stepien said.

The election night ‘Red Mirage’ 

Chris Stirewalt, a former political editor for Fox News Channel, testified in person at the hearing. Stirewalt made the election night call that President Joe Biden won Arizona – a moment that prompted ‘anger and disappointment’ in Trump’s circle at the White House, Miller said.

Stirewalt explained that the network, along with others, had expected that there would be a so-called ‘red mirage’ at the beginning of the evening as in-person Republican votes came in, and many of the mail-in votes that would be counted later on would lean Democratic. He noted it happens every election.

Trump had not only exploited that pattern to make false claims of fraud, but contributed to it in his campaign to call mail-in voting into question.

‘We had gone to pains, and I’m proud of the pains, we went to, to make sure that we were informing viewers that this was going to happen because the Trump campaign and the president had made it clear that they were going to try to exploit this anomaly,’ Stirewalt said.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press 

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