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PBS NewsHour Weekend
PBS NewsHour Weekend
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The Jan. 6 Congressional Committee's upcoming hearings that are slated to begin in June, will provide evidence, per Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin, that former President Donald Trump and his allies helped coordinate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as they tried to prevent Joe Biden from taking office. Geoff Bennett speaks with Hugo Lowell, a congressional reporter for the Guardian who has been reporting on the work of the Jan. 6 committee.
January 6 congressional committees upcoming hearings will quote tell a story that will blow the roof off the house. That's according to Democratic Congressman Jamie Raskin speaking to NBC News late last week.
Raskin says the public hearings, which are expected to start in June, will provide evidence that former President Donald Trump and his allies helped coordinate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol as they tried to prevent Joe Biden from taking office.
For more we turned to Hugo Lowell, congressional reporter for The Guardian who has been at the forefront of reporting on the work of the January 6 committee. It's great to have you with us.
Hugo Lowell, The Guardian Congressional Reporter:
And we learned this past week from a court document filed by the committee, that Republican lawmakers to include Matt Gaetz and Congressman Jim Jordan, they were calling Donald Trump, then-President Trump in December of 2020, plotting ways trying to find any way to overturn the election and prevent Joe Biden from taking office. What more can you tell us about that?
Well, the key of all of this is this December 21 meeting that Trump has with the White House at the White House with all these members of Congress House Freedom Caucus people, Jim Jordan, Andy Biggs, these really prominent Republicans who are big Trump allies on the hill.
And the crux of these conversations are, you know, how do we stop the certification of Joe Biden's election win on January 6, and they go back and forth and they talk about all sorts of things. And at some point, these members of Congress and Trump and Mark Meadows, the White House Chief of Staff learn that these efforts to violate the Electoral Account Act are unlawful and yet they pursue the strategy anyway.
And now the question of the said committee has to figure out is, is this all connected? Right, the Trump and Republican member of Congress on the attack on the Capitol and that's where the investigation is going.
So this question about is it all connected? There's also testimony about the rally that the former president had at the ellipse that preceded the attack on the Capitol. President Trump, in his own defense has said I just wanted a peaceful rally. But there was that phrase that he says was ad libbed, where he basically told his supporters to go march to the U.S. Capitol. The testimony suggests that that might have not been ad libbed at all that, in fact, that might have been planned to have those supporters walk to the Capitol.
Yes. So these Republican members of Congress actually discuss with Trump, you know, should we have people going to the Capitol to have this wild protests at the Capitol so that the members of Congress who might be ambivalent about supporting Trump's effort to overturn the election might not want to go ahead with their plan? They wanted to put maximum pressure, right, that was the aim of January 6.
And so the question is, well, did Trump coordinate with members of Congress, and then also somehow coordinate with the Oath Keepers and the Proud Boys militia groups that actually ended up storming the Capitol, which that both the Justice Department and the SEC committee believe was a coordinated assault that was pre-planned, and the nexus of all of that seems to go back to Trump and I that's the key of this investigation now.
Based on your reporting, well, the committee and their public hearings, will they connect those dots? Will they present a conclusion? Or will they just leave us with more questions present the questions to the American public? What's the strategy?
I think it's a bit of both, right? The whole point is trying to advance the narrative and what their theory is of what happened on January 6. They don't have to prove it to a reasonable to some sort of threshold that the DOJ might have to if they're going to pursue a criminal investigation.
The point of the January 6 committee is to throw the facts out there for the American people to decide and think, Hmm, do I really want President Trump or foreign president Trump to be on the ballot next time? It's all about creating the shock and awe factor. Just like the Watergate, right, when they have these public hearings, and they have these witnesses from the White House and elsewhere testify about what they knew about January 6, and whether it was indeed all coordinated that could shock the public and thinking what happened was really unlawful. And what Trump did almost ended democracy.
Hugo Lowell, your reporting has been fantastic. I appreciate you coming in and sharing your insights with us.
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