Stephanie Murphy

Opening Statement at the Seventh Public Hearing of the January 6th Select Committee - July 12, 2022

Stephanie Murphy
July 12, 2022— Washington, D.C.
Print friendly

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

We know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that then-President Donald Trump lost in a free and fair election.

And yet, President Trump insisted that his loss was due to fraud in the election process, rather than to the democratic will of the voters.

The President continued to make this claim despite being told, again and again, by the courts, by the Justice Department, by his campaign officials, and by some of his closest advisors, that the evidence did not support this assertion.

This was the Big Lie—and millions of Americans were deceived by it.

Too many of our fellow citizens still believe it to this day. It’s corrosive to our country and damaging to our democracy.

As our Committee has shown in prior hearings, following the election, President Trump relentlessly pursued multiple, interlocking lines of effort, all with a single goal: to remain in power despite having lost.

The lines of effort were aimed at his loyal Vice President, Mike Pence; at state election and elected officials; and at the U.S. Department of Justice.

The President pressured the Vice President to obstruct the process to certify the election result.

He demanded that state officials “find” him enough votes to overturn the election outcome in that state.

And he pressed the Department of Justice to find widespread evidence of fraud.

When Justice officials told the President that such evidence did not exist, the President urged them to simply declare that the election was corrupt.

On December 14th, the Electoral College met to officially confirm that Joe Biden would be the next President.

The evidence shows that, once this occurred, President Trump—and those who were willing to aid and abet him—turned their attention to the Joint Session of Congress scheduled for January 6th, at which the Vice President would preside.

In their warped view, this ceremonial event was the next, and perhaps the last, inflection point that could be used to reverse the outcome of the election before Mr. Biden’s inauguration.

As President Trump put it, the Vice President and enough Members of Congress simply needed to summon the ‘courage’ to act. To help them find that courage, the President called for backup.

Early in the morning of December 19th, the President sent out a tweet, urging his followers to travel to Washington, DC for January 6th. ‘Be there, will be wild!’ the President wrote.

As my colleague Mr. Raskin will describe in detail, this tweet served as a call to action, and in some cases as a call to arms, for many of President Trump’s most loyal supporters.

It’s clear the President intended the assembled crowd on the January 6th to serve his goal.

And as you have already seen, and as you will see again today, some of those who were coming had specific plans.

The President’s goal was to stay in power for a second term despite losing the election. The Assembled crowd was one of the tools to achieve that goal.

In today’s hearing, we will focus on events that took place in the final weeks leading up to January 6th, starting in mid-December.

We will add color and context to evidence you’ve already heard about, and will also provide additional new evidence.

For example, you’ll hear about meetings in which the President entertained extreme measures designed to help him stay in power, like the seizure of voting machines.

We will show some of the coordination that occurred between the White House and Members of Congress as it relates to January 6th.

And some of these Members of Congress would later seek pardons.

We will also examine some of the planning for the January 6th protest, placing special emphasis on one rally-planner’s concerns about the potential violence.

And we will describe some of the President’s key actions on the evening of January 5th and the morning of January 6th, including how the President edited and ad-libbed his speech that morning at the Ellipse, directed the crowd to march to the Capitol, and spoke off-script in a way that further inflamed an already angry crowd.

I yield to the gentleman from Maryland, Mr. Raskin.

PBS NewsHour. "WATCH: Rep. Murphy says Trump ‘relentlessly pursued’ ways to remain in power after losing election." YouTube video, 4:10. July 12, 2022.

"THOMPSON, CHENEY, MURPHY, & RASKIN OPENING STATEMENTS AT SELECT COMMITTEE HEARING." Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol press release, July 12, 2022.