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Former President Donald Trump used his efforts to overturn the 2020 election to raise “hundreds of millions of dollars” from online donors, some of which was used to hire lawyers or offer employment to witnesses coming before the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., said Monday.
“The proceeds from his fundraising, we have learned, have been used in ways that we believe are concerning. In particular, the committee has learned that some of those funds were used to hire lawyers. We have also obtained evidence of efforts to provide or offer employment to witnesses,” Lofgren said at the final meeting of the Jan. 6 committee.
FULL TEXT: Read the Jan. 6 committee’s summary of its final report
Lofgren said that in one case, a witness was offered a job as the day of her testimony approached, in a manner that the witness believed was intended to sway her testimony.
“We’ve learned that a client was offered potential employment that would make her ‘financially very comfortable’ as the date of her testimony approached by entities that were apparently linked to Donald Trump and his associates,” Lofgren said. “These offers were withdrawn or didn’t materialize as reports of the content of her testimony circulated.”
“The witness believed this was an effort to affect her testimony, and we are concerned that these efforts may have been a strategy to prevent the committee from finding the truth,” she added.
Lofgren said that one lawyer advised a witness that she could testify that she did not remember certain facts, even if she did recall them.
“That lawyer also did not disclose who was paying for the lawyer’s representation despite questions from the client seeking that information,” Lofgren said. “He told her, ‘We’re not telling people where funding is coming from right now.’”
At its final meeting on Monday, the House Jan. 6 committee urged the Department of Justice to bring criminal charges against Trump and his allies, wrapping up its nearly 18-month-long investigation of the violent 2021 Capitol insurrection with what lawmakers called a “roadmap to justice.”
As they cap one of the most exhaustive and aggressive congressional probes in memory, the panel’s seven Democrats and two Republicans are recommending criminal charges against Trump and associates who helped him launch a multifaceted pressure campaign to try to overturn his 2020 election loss. The panel also released a lengthy summary of its final report, with findings that Trump engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the election’s results.
The committee alleged violations of four criminal statutes by Trump, in both the run-up to the riot and during the insurrection itself, as it referred the former president to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution. The charges recommended by the committee are conspiracy to defraud the United States, obstruction of an official proceeding of Congress, conspiracy to make a false statement and aiding an insurrection.
While a criminal referral is mostly symbolic, with the Justice Department ultimately deciding whether to prosecute Trump or others, it marks a decisive end to a probe that had an almost singular focus from the start.
Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., said the criminal justice system can provide accountability, adding, “We have every confidence that the work of this committee will help provide a roadmap to justice.”
Thompson said Trump “broke the faith” that people have when they cast ballots in a democracy. “He lost the 2020 election and knew it,” Thompson said. “But he chose to try to stay in office through a multi-part scheme to overturn the results and block the transfer of power.”
Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney, the panel’s Republican vice chairwoman, said in Monday’s opening remarks that every president in American history has defended the orderly transfer of power, “except one.”
The committee also voted 9-0 to approve its final report, which will include findings, interview transcripts and legislative recommendations.
The report’s 154-page summary, made public as the hearing ended, found that Trump engaged in a “multi-part conspiracy” to overturn the 2020 election, purposely disseminating false allegations of voter fraud and pressuring Congress, the Justice Department and the vice president to join his efforts to subvert the results so that he could stay in power.
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