Watch the January 6 meetings live

June 13, 2022 • 11:19 am

I forgot that the January 6 hearings, Day 2, began this morning, but they’ll continue. The PBS live feed is below.

And it’s getting hot. Here’s a summary of what happened so far today from the New York Times. I’m afraid that if I start watching, I won’t stop!

Former President Donald J. Trump’s campaign chairman told the special House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol that he told his boss on election night in 2020 that he had no basis for declaring victory, but Mr. Trump insisted on doing so anyway.

Mr. Trump “thought I was wrong. He told me so,” Bill Stepien testified, according to a videotaped interview the panel played on Monday at the second in a series of public hearings this month to lay out its evidence.

The testimony came near the start of a session in which the committee planned to describe the origin and spread of Mr. Trump’s election lies, including the former president’s refusal to listen to advisers who told him that he had lost and that there was no evidence of widespread irregularities that could change the outcome. Later, the panel planned to show the chaos those falsehoods caused throughout several states, ultimately resulting in the riot.

“This morning, we will tell the story of how Donald Trump lost the election, and knew he lost the election, and as a result of his loss, decided to wage an attack on our democracy,” Representative Bennie G. Thompson, Democratic of Mississippi and the chairman of the committee, said as he opened the hearing.

Among the panel’s initial revelations Monday were:

  • Mr. Trump’s campaign advisers, his attorney general and other top officials told him repeatedly that his claims of a stolen election and widespread voting fraud were wrong, but the president insisted on pressing ahead with them.

Feel free to discuss what’s going on as it comes down.

35 thoughts on “Watch the January 6 meetings live

  1. I asked a Trump supporter what it would take to convince him and others that the election wasn’t stolen and he had the honesty to reply that nothing would because the belief that it was stolen is just that, a belief, an article of faith in the Church of Trump.

    1. It isn’t just chance that the tRump faithful are largely also evangelical xtians. These folk are trained from birth to suspect evidence and give preference to beliefs unsupported by evidence. Perfect marks for a con man like Orange Don.

      1. There is a segment of society that do not have the temperament, maturity, and/or mental capacity to evaluate evidence on important matters, such as who should be in office.

        We recognize this explicitly through things such as minimum ages for voting (and holding office). Unfortunately, we have no reliable or fair tests to identify those individuals who are technically old enough to vote, but have the same level of incompetency that we assume a 10 year old has with regard to making these decisions.

        The question is, how large is the segment of adults that fall into this category? I’ve always assumed that it is a small number, but seeing the continued support for Trump by millions of Americans, I am now wondering just how many of my fellow citizens are walking around with mush for brains.

        It (almost) makes one question the wisdom of the popular vote.

            1. I honestly wonder what a country made up of those 80 million people would look like. Insert “crazy” emoji face here.

  2. Rudy Giuliani showed up at the White House on election night white-girl wasted and told Donald Trump that he should simply go on tv and claim he’d won the election. Everyone else present at the time — including Trump’s own campaign team and its lawyers — told Trump there was no basis whatsoever to make the claim, but Trump, being Trump, took drunk-Giuliani’s advice and made the announcement.

  3. Fox News has apparently had a change of heart (assuming it has a heart 🙂 ) and is carrying this hearing live. During a 10-minute recess in the hearing, the Fox hosts and commentators had nothing at all to say in defense of Trump; they merely took some shots at the committee — pointing out that Democrats used to think former AG Bill Barr was bad, but now they’re relying on his testimony, and that the committee should have permitted congressman Jim Jordan to sit on the committee (given that there’s nothing Jordan could have said or asked that would have undercut the testimony of the witnesses since the witnesses are all staunch Republicans).

    1. Not sure if it’s a change of heart or just that today’s hearing was in the morning rather than prime time. It’s all about the eyeballs and the dollars they represent. Truth was never part of it.

      1. “It’s all about the eyeballs and the dollars they represent. Truth was never part of it.”

        That’s essentially what a Democrat strategist said about the Jan6 hearings:

        “The primary purpose of [the Jan6 Committee hearings] is going to be fundraising for a lot of the Democratic Party institutions and establishments,” said Murshed Zaheed, a veteran Democratic digital strategist.
        https://www.axios.com/2022/06/09/democrats-jan-6-fundraising

    1. Based on Sarah Longwell’s excellent Focus Group podcasts, many GOP voters want to see someone other than Trump run in 2024. Unfortunately, it isn’t because they think Trump is bad. Instead, it’s because the Democrats and the media hate him so much that he’ll be unable to win or, if he won, unable to govern properly as demonstrated in his first term. It is partly because of sentiment like this that so many GOP politicians are waiting in the wings to run in 2024. Probably many of them won’t run if Trump runs but some probably will. The fight between them all should be interesting.

  4. As I think Trump and Trumpism are a threat to democracy, I was delighted to see today’s session end with the message that Trump was not only cheating to win but ripping off those that sent him money. I think many GOP voters, even if they watch these hearings, won’t look hard a the “cheating to win” aspect as they want Trump to win and they like that he’s willing to fight for it. In their minds, his “fight” is a proxy for their own. He fights for them. However, stealing from them might strike a nerve. My fingers are crossed. Of course, Fox News, if they mention it at all, will spin this as just more Democrat propaganda. But GOP voters shouldn’t expect Fox News to be watching out for their wallets, should they? After all, Fox News is also dipping into them.

    1. “I was delighted to see today’s session end with the message that Trump was not only cheating to win but ripping off those that sent him money.”

      What would be the strongest example of ‘Trump cheating to win’
      and why hasn’t he been arrested for it?

      1. Probably the phone call where Trump pressured Georgia secretary of state Raffensperger to find him the missing votes to call Georgia in his favor. It’s still under investigation.

  5. ” This morning, we will tell the story of how Donald Trump lost the election, and knew he lost the election …”

    That phrase in bold is their weak spot. Trump is a self-absorbed narcissist who always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room. We’ve never had a President like him. I’d bet a small amount of money that Trump believed he won that election. A marching band lead by the ghosts of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln ushering in every actual vote cast dancing and whirling metaphorically through the air wouldn’t have gotten his attention, let alone convinced him.

    Yes, he’s just that stupid. Dumb luck may absolve him of some of those charges.

    1. I am not a lawyer but I think in a court of law the fact that he was told so many times by so many people will not be something that can be overlooked. He’s exhibiting willful ignorance which isn’t a defense. At least that’s what actual lawyers on the TV machine said today,

      1. True, but he was also surrounded by people telling him he’s right. Not actual experts, of course, but people he liked who, like him, pretended competence. That might make it harder to prove willful ignorance.

        1. Not exactly. He replaced his regular advisors with people who would repeat the lie. That indicates awareness of criminal intent. In any case, assuming the actual lawyers know what they are talking about, it is not a legitimate defense. Believing that bank robbery is legal will not get you off if you are caught robbing a bank.

        2. No one can prove what’s actually in someone’s mind so it falls on reasonable people to determine Trump’s state of mind given the evidence. With all the hard information given to Trump by people he appointed, people responsible for exactly that kind of information, I don’t see how anyone can think Trump didn’t know it was all a big lie. Of course, he can plead insanity but that won’t help his political prospects either.

          Unless Trump’s friends can find people who would have testified that they were giving him valid information that led him to believe that there was widespread voter fraud and that he won the election, I don’t see how he has a leg to stand on. We know such people don’t exist because, if they had such evidence, Trump would have put them forward long ago.

          Trump could certainly believe that the courts were unfair to him but, in that case, appeals are his only legal recourse and, AFAIK, he exhausted that option with no success.

          He should be toast … unless the toaster’s broken, which is still a possibility.

      2. Correctamundo. It also doesn’t matter whether Trump held an irrational belief — despite an utter dearth of evidence to support it and despite his having been told otherwise by his own people who’d taken an honest look into the question — that he’d “won” the election.

        That gives him no right to try to steal the election back after exhausting his remedies in court — any more than believing you’ve been ripped off on a purchase from a retail business gives you the right to break into that business to steal your money back.

        Such an irrational belief might be a mitigating factor at sentencing were Trump to be convicted of either attempting to corruptly impede an official governmental proceeding and/or conspiring to obstruct such a proceeding through fraud or deceit — especially if offered in conjunction with mitigating evidence that he suffers from a “diminished capacity” to distinguish fact from fancy.

        1. “That gives him no right to try to steal the election back after exhausting his remedies in court…”

          This is the exact point that I have brought up to Trump sympathizers, on the rare occasions I engage with them. Trump had every opportunity to bring his case in court. He did this, and all of the claims were rejected, often by Republican judges.

          During one such exchange with cousin’s MAGA friend over the holidays, I asked him what he thought of this. He said “the courts are all rigged”. So I asked if the courts were rigged when they found for say, Kyle Rittenhouse. Are the courts only “rigged” when you don’t like the outcome?

          He then just repeated his earlier claims about how Democrats fixed voting machines and destroyed (or invented) votes…again all of which would have been covered during the court cases. So, an entirely circular conversation.

          I offered that if the courts had found significant evidence of tampering and election fraud, that I would seriously consider changing my position. I asked him what set of circumstances would cause him to change his. “None, because I know I’m right.”

          I felt like I was talking with a person who was either highly dishonest, or more likely was just not familiar with the basic principles of reasoning and the important concept of falsification. I’m sorry if this sounds elitist, but I don’t find such people to be that bright, and it seems like the majority of rank and file Trump supporters fall into this category.

          1. In conversations like the one you describe, the person is essentially talking to the enemy. In this mode they aren’t going to give in to logic and rational argument. When they say “None, because I know I’m right.”, it isn’t really an honest answer but an attempt to get out the conversation without giving in. You may have even told them something they didn’t know before but they aren’t going to admit it to the enemy. They may go home and process it and be moved a tiny bit toward the truth. If they hear such things enough times, especially if they come from non-enemies, their minds may change. The pain and effort of maintaining their false position eventually may grow too much to bear. Or not.

            1. Agreed, which is why I try to avoid these convos, and if I can’t, I take great pains to demonstrate the kind of evidence that would cause me to change my point of view. That latter part should, in the mind of a reasonable person, be enough to get them (somewhat) out of the “enemy” mode.

              But it doesn’t seem to make any difference.

        2. Do you know if the Jan6 Committee believes Trump speaks IN CODE to his insurrectionists? A CODE where what Trump wants is the exact opposite of what he says?

          1) For example, from his Jan6 speech:

          “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to PEACEFULLY and patriotically make your voices heard.
          … So let’s WALK DOWN PENNSYLVANIA AVENUE.
          I want to thank you all. God bless you and GOD BLESS AMERICA.”.

          2) Another example, after his insurrectionists were inside the Capitol:

          “I know how you feel, but GO HOME AND GO HOME IN PEACE. I know you’re in pain. I know you’re hurt.”
          “We had an election that was stolen from us. It was a landslide election, and everyone knows it, especially the other side. But YOU HAVE TO GO HOME NOW. WE WANT TO HAVE PEACE. WE HAVE TO HAVE LAW AND ORDER. We HAVE TO RESPECT OUR GREAT PEOPLE IN LAW AND ORDER. WE DON’T WANT ANYBODY HURT.”
          ///////////////////
          Do you know if the Jan6 Committee has code-breakers and whether they’ve broken Trump’s sinister cypher?

          1. You are aware of the term “cover your ass”? Like, you tell your followers to “fight like hell” and “take back the country”, but you want them to go to prison if it goes wrong, not you, so you throw in a “peacefully” or two… but when hell does break loose, instead of telling your followers to stop it immediately, you get some popcorn?

    2. I agree that’s the weak point Sastra. There was a book written about Trump, a bio I think, and it pointed out how Trump was a fan of that popular book…damn I’m forgetting the name…where the idea is you can change reality via your thoughts.

      His approach to reality and truth I think is best understood not so much as ‘lying’ but refusing to accept any reality he doesn’t like, and operating on the principle he can bend reality to his will simply by believing what he’d prefer to believe, and pushing that narrative. And of course anyone telling him what he wants to believe falls neatly in to this mindset.

      He is truly delusional and won’t like a grown up accept bad news. Which makes it harder to push the “he knew he lost, he was lying” angle. He just tends to not leave that trail. That’s why you only get some people saying “I told him he lost” but no real verbal or paper trail of Trump actually admitting he lost.

      1. Just another opinion, no experience or expertise to back it up, but I am reasonably confident that Trump is well aware that he did not win the election. I base this on the long public record of his life before he entered into politics, especially his business activities. He routinely screwed people he did business with and then used lawyers as necessary to deal with his victims attempts to seek recompense or justice. It was his SOP. He often taunted his victims telling them essentially that’s all they’re going to get. He clearly understood that he was breaking the rules. I’ve no doubt that breaking the rules to screw people over and getting away with it is one of the few things that gives Trump an erection.

        Yeah, I really don’t find arguments that Trump believes he won convincing. What we saw during his entire tenure as POTUS, including the election and his behavior afterwards, is simply Trump behaving just like he always has. Lying, gaslighting, getting rid of people that won’t both facilitate his corrupt methods and routinely stroke his ego, surrounding himself with people that will do those things, and of course stealing.

        Except being president isn’t anything like being a corrupt business mogul using cheating, stealing and corrupt lawyers* as primary business tools (And yet still managing to burn through a nearly 1/2 billion dollar inheritance.), and things didn’t work out for him anything like they usually did in the past. I’m sure it was all frustrating as hell to Trump that he wasn’t able to get what he wants, or at least enough to save face, as he routinely did during his business career.

        Sure, he knows he’s a lying sack of shit and he loves that about himself. He gets off on being so powerful that he can lie and not just get away with it but benefit from it. Not to mention have millions of people love him for it. This is why he is so enamored of the likes of Putin and Kim. They are like him, except on a whole other level. He admires them and aspires to be as successful a lying, cheating, authoritarian asshole as they are.

        *Sure, high politics involves all those things too, but the game and the rules are very different.

  6. I didn’t watch the Jan6 hearings today.

    But I read that none of the Sunday political talk shows on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN mentioned the attempted assassination of SCOTUS justice Kavanaugh. (I’d bet that they DID cover the Jan6 Committee, though.)

    Bill Maher has noted that the story was placed on page A20 of the New York Times, and that “The New York Times buried this. If this had been a liberal Supreme Court justice that someone came to kill, it would have been on the front page.”

    1. Roske was arrested at about 1:50 AM on Wednesday June 8th after seeing US Marshalls outside Kavanaugh’s home, walking away, and then calling the police on himself. If you do a search on this incident you’ll find articles from the same day, June 8th, from pretty much all the major news outlets, including the NYT. Even little ole me, who doesn’t subscribe to feeds, doesn’t tweet, facebook, or use any kind of social media, received some spam messages in my email inbox from some Democratic leaning organizations about this incident.

      I’ll play my violin tonight in honor of all the conservatives who feel the news coverage of something bad happening to one of their notable political (yes, political) figures didn’t get the attention they feel it deserves.

      1. What tune do you play on your violin for these lyrics
        “I want to tell you Gorsuch, I want to tell you Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions” ?

        Did you receive any spam messages on Nancy Pelosi blocking a bill that was passed in the Senate for security for SCOTUS justices and their families?

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