Zoe Lofgren

Opening Statement at the Tenth Public Hearing of the January 6th Select Committee – Dec. 19, 2022

Zoe Lofgren
December 19, 2022— Washington, D.C.
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Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Over the last 18 months, the Select Committee has conducted a congressional investigation of enormous scale seeking to uncover the depth and breadth of ex-President Trump’s multi-part plan to reverse the lawful outcome of the 2020 Presidential election. We have compiled an immense volume of documents collected from countless individuals, law enforcement agencies, and Federal and State authorities.

Many of our efforts to get the evidence required litigation in Federal court, including the U.S. Supreme Court. We have taken the testimony of hundreds of witnesses. While we couldn’t show them all during the hearings, we focused on those who were most central, including our ex-President’s White House aides, his senior Department of Justice officials, and senior members of his campaign.

Based on this assembled evidence, the Select Committee has reached a series of specific findings. Now, many of these findings pertain to what has been called the “Big Lie”—the enormous effort, led by ex-President Trump, to spread baseless accusations and misinformation in an attempt to falsely convince tens of millions of Americans that the election had been stolen from him.

Beginning even before the election and continuing through January 6th and thereafter, Donald Trump purposely disseminated false allegations of fraud in order to aid his effort to overturn the 2020 election.

Ex-President Trump’s decision to declare victory falsely on election night wasn’t a spontaneous decision; it was premeditated. The Committee has evidence that ex-President Trump planned to declare victory and to unlawfully call for the vote-counting to stop and that he told numerous allies about his intent in the weeks before the election.

The Committee found that Mr. Trump raised hundreds of millions of dollars with false representations made to his on-line donors. 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. For example, one lawyer told a witness the witness could in certain circumstances tell the Committee that she didn’t recall facts when she actually 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. He told her, “We are not telling people where funding is coming from right now.”

We have 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. 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.

Throughout the post-election period, ex-President Trump was told repeatedly by his campaign advisors, Government officials, and others there was no evidence to support his claims of election fraud.

Even since our last hearing, the Select Committee has obtained testimony from new witnesses who have come forward to tell us about their conversations with ex-President Trump on this topic. Here is one of his senior advisors, Hope Hicks.

Here is one of his senior advisors, Hope Hicks.

Ms. HICKS [continuing]: Seeing evidence of fraud on a scale that would have impacted the outcome of the election. And I was becoming increasingly concerned that we were damaging—we were damaging his legacy.

Mr. WOOD: What did the President say in response to what you just described?

Ms. HICKS: He said something along the lines of, “Nobody will care about my legacy if I lose, so that won’t matter. The only thing that matters is winning.”

Despite all that, he continued to purposely and maliciously make false claims, sometimes within a day of being told that a particular claim was false and unsupported by the evidence.

By the time the electoral college met to cast its votes on December 14, 2020, a number of President Trump’s senior staff, Cabinet officials, and members of his family were urging him to facilitate a peaceful transition to the incoming administration. He disregarded their advice, and he continued to claim publicly that the election had been stolen from him.

Numerous State and Federal courts evaluated and rejected the Trump campaign’s claims of voter fraud, including 11 judges appointed by ex-President Trump himself. Many of these courts issued scathing opinions criticizing the lack of evidence that ex- President Trump and his allies had advanced to support their claims.

Numerous individuals associated with these efforts have since acknowledged that they were unable to find sufficient evidence of fraud to affect the election results, including in testimony to this Select Committee.

Still, ex-President Trump repeated those false claims and tried to convince his supporters the election was stolen. This was an attempt to justify overturning the lawful election results.

Donald Trump knowingly and corruptly repeated election fraud lies, which incited his supporters to violence on January 6th. He continues to repeat his meritless claim that the election was stolen even today and continues to erode our most cherished and shared belief in free and fair elections.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back.

House of Representatives, One Hundred Seventeenth Congress, Second Session. (Dec. 19, 2022). Meeting of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol. U.S. Government Printing Office. https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/CHRG-117hhrg50119/pdf/CHRG-117hhrg50119.pdf.