Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman:
Mr. Chairman, let me put what you have seen today in a broader context. At the very outset of our hearings, we described several elements of President Trump’s multi-part plan to overturn the 2020 election. Our hearings have now covered all but one of those elements:
- An organized campaign to persuade millions of Americans of a falsehood – that the 2020 election was stolen by widespread fraud;
- A corrupt effort to pressure Vice President Pence to refuse to count electoral votes;
- An effort to corrupt the U.S. Department of Justice;
- Efforts to pressure state election officials and legislators to change state election results;
- A scheme to create and submit fake electoral slates for multiple states.
- And today, you saw how President Trump summoned a mob to Washington for January 6th, and then, knowing that that mob was armed, directed that mob to the United States Capitol.
Every one of these elements of the planning for January 6th is an independently serious matter. They were all ultimately focused on overturning the election. And they all have one other thing in common: Donald Trump participated in each substantially and personally; he oversaw or directed the activity of those involved.
Next week, we will return to January 6th itself. As we have shown in prior hearings, Donald Trump, and his legal team, led by Rudy Giuliani, were working on January 6th to delay or halt Congress’ counting of electoral votes. The mob attacking and invading the Capitol on that afternoon of January 6th was achieving that result. And for multiple hours, Donald Trump refused to intervene to stop it – he would not instruct the mob to leave, or condemn the violence. He would not order them to evacuate the Capitol and disperse.
The many pleas for help from Congress did no good. His staff insisted that President Trump call off the attack. He would not. Here are a few of the many things you will hear next week from Mr. Cipollone:
COMMITTEE INVESTIGATOR (CLIP): My question’s exactly that. It sounds like you, from the very onset of violence at the Capitol right around 2:00, were pushing for a strong statement that people should leave the Capitol. Is that right?
PAT CIPOLLONE (CLIP): I was and others were as well.
INVESTIGATOR (CLIP): Was it necessary for you to continue to push for a statement directing people to leave all the way through that period of time until it was ultimately issued after 4–?
CIPOLLONE (CLIP): I felt it was my obligation to continue to push for that, and others felt it was their obligation as well.
INVESTIGATOR (CLIP): Would it have been possible at any moment for the President to walk down to the podium in the briefing room and talk to the nation at any time between when you first gave him that advice at two o’clock and 4:17 when the video statement went out. Would that have been possible?
CIPOLLONE (CLIP): Would it have been possible?
INVESTIGATOR (CLIP): Yes.
CIPOLLONE (CLIP): Yes, it would have been possible.
REP. CHENEY: And you will hear that Donald Trump never picked up the phone that day to order his Administration to help. This is not ambiguous. He did not call the military. His Secretary of Defense received no order. He did not call his Attorney General. He did not talk to the Department of Homeland Security. Mike Pence did all of those things; Donald Trump did not. We will walk through the events of January 6th next week, minute by minute.
And one more item. After our last hearing, President Trump tried to call a witness in our investigation – a witness you have not yet seen in these hearings. That person declined to answer or respond to President Trump’s call, and instead alerted their lawyer to the call. Their lawyer alerted us. And this Committee has supplied that information to the Department of Justice.
Let me say one more time: we will take any effort to influence witness testimony very seriously.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield back.
"Cheney Closing Remarks At Select Committee’s Seventh Public Hearing." Congresswoman Liz Cheney press release, July 12. https://cheney.house.gov/2022/07/12/cheney-closing-remarks-at-select-committees-seventh-public-hearing.