Former President Trump tried to call a witness to the Capitol storming hearing last week. The initiative has been turned over to a judge, Commissioner Liz Cheney said at the commission’s seventh hearing.
“Cheney said this at the end of the hearing, literally like a bombshell,” says US reporter John Postma. “In a previous hearing, he said attempts were made to intimidate witnesses. We now know that Trump also contacted a witness. This is serious because it could affect a witness. That attempted contact was immediately referred to the Department of Justice, where it will be determined whether it was serious enough for action.
It’s not clear who tried to call Trump, but it was reported that the attempt was made after an earlier investigation. According to committee member Cheney, that would be someone who has never played a role in the investigation. “The Trump camp has already responded, and they’re all calling this a false maneuver,” Postma said. But they also did not deny that Trump contacted them. These are potentially criminal matters, so this could be a real problem for him.
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If it turns out that Trump actually contacted the witness, he could be sued for it. According to Postma, it was about the way Trump tried to cover up the facts. All sorts of things can play a role, but if you do something to hide them, it suddenly becomes more clear and concrete. That’s what you see here.’
It also became clear during the hearing that Trump’s invitation to visit the Capitol on Jan. 6 was by no means arbitrary, as he had previously claimed. “The defense from the Trump camp has always been that on Jan. 6, when he was on stage, he spontaneously said, ‘We’re going to the Capitol,’ and there was no big plan behind it. The investigative commission released several speeches and other messages in which Trump told people after the speech. Organizers said the march to the Capitol was to be kept secret, but a text message from one of the organizers said the president would ‘unexpectedly’ invite people to the Capitol.
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According to Postma, the examples clearly show that the storming of the Capitol was planned and that it fit Trump’s plan to create chaos and unrest that day. It will be interesting again during the next session because it will mainly revolve around Trump’s role on January 6. ‘It is not yet clear whether it will be the latter, but it seems so, and a conclusion will have to be drawn later. A conclusion that all those different lines drawn during previous investigations come together. And if it’s up to the investigative committee, all those lines will lead to Trump.’
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