Thursday’s hearing of the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol covered mounds of information, but one sentence from Rep. Liz Cheney’s opening statement provided perhaps the most concise summary of the committee’s findings: “The attack on our Capitol was not a spontaneous riot.”
Committee Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson and Cheney, the vice chair, guided viewers through several multimedia presentations and witness testimony during the two-hour, primetime hearing, revealing the extent to which many rioters prepared to “invade” and “occupy” the Capitol complex on January 6, 2021, in response to Donald Trump’s lies about the 2020 election results.
Cheney provided a broad overview of the committee’s findings and of the hearings to come. “Over multiple months,” she said, “Donald Trump oversaw and coordinated a sophisticated seven-part plan to overturn the presidential election and prevent the transfer of presidential power. In our hearings, you will see evidence of each element of this plan.”
Cheney’s remarks methodically outlined examples of members of Trump’s own administration and inner-circle refuting the stolen-election narrative, including video of testimony from former Attorney General William Barr and daughter Ivanka. Trump also pressured Vice President Mike Pence to stop certification of the election results. And, according to Cheney, when rioters outside the Capitol on January 6 chanted “Hang Mike Pence,” Trump’s response was, “Maybe our supporters have the right idea. Mike Pence deserves it.”