January 6 committee shares video of Trump aides saying a drunk Giuliani told him to declare victory


Donald Trump shrugged off Jared Kushner’s concerns about Rudy Giuliani’s election fraud claims, the January 6 committee revealed in its second of six hearings on Monday. 

The Democrat-led panel opened the hearing with videotaped depositions of Trump’s advisers claiming he declared a premature victory on election night 2020 on the advise of a drunk Giuliani.

Vice Chair Rep. Liz Cheney said Trump ‘rejected the advice of his campaign experts on election night’ in favor of advice from ‘an apparently inebriated Rudy Giuliani’ who told him to declare victory that night and insist the vote count be stopped ‘to falsely claim everything was fraudulent.’ 

The panel played audio of its investigators asking Kushner, for instance, what he said about the former New York City mayor’s claims that Dominion Voting Systems was part of a vast conspiracy to rig its voting machines against Trump.

‘Uh, basically, not the approach I would take if I was you,’ Kushner said he told his father-in-law.

Trump dismissed him, insisting ‘I have confidence in Rudy,’ Kushner claimed.

Advisers’ testimonies indicate that it was apparent within hours on election night that the vote count would take several days. 

They were aware it could stretch from ‘very early on,’ according to his daughter and former White House adviser Ivanka Trump, Kushner’s wife. 

Lawmakers are suggesting that Trump’s aides were dismissive of the election fraud claims being pushed by some of his allies, and that the former president continued pushing them despite warnings from both family and associates.

Cheney said at the outset of the hearing: ‘Pay attention to what Donald Trump and his legal team said repeatedly about Dominion voting machines, far-flung conspiracies with a deceased Venezuelan communist allegedly pulling the strings.’

Former White House attorney Eric Herschmann said on video: ‘What they were proposing, I thought, was nuts.’

Elsewhere in the hearing…

  • Former Attorney General Bill Barr is among the top officials within the Justice Department to tell Donald Trump that Rudy Giuliani’s election fraud claims were ‘nonsense’
  • A video deposition shows Barr telling the committee he believed Giuliani’s fraud claims were ‘crazy stuff’ 
  • Giuliani responded on Steve Bannon’s podcast that the committee has ‘no case’ against him or Trump 
  • The committee heard from BJay Pak, a former US attorney from Georgia, and former Philadelphia commissioner Al Schmidt
  • Schmidt testified that he received targeted alarming threats against himself and his family after being publicly called out by Trump for refusing to investigate his fraud claims
  • Former Trump adviser Jason Miller said Giuliani made clear that anyone who did not agree with declaring premature victory on election night was ‘being weak’
  • Former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who was due to attend the hearing but dropped out because his wife went into labor, testified on video that the ex-president was told his chance of winning days in was 5% 

The committee showed videotaped testimony by Rudy Giuliani himself admitting that he spoke with Trump ‘several times’ on election night, when multiple advisers told lawmakers that the former NYC mayor urged Trump to declare a premature victory 

Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump told the committee that it became 'increasingly clear' on election night that the vote count would extend for several days

Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump told the committee that it became ‘increasingly clear’ on election night that the vote count would extend for several days

President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner testified to investigators that he told the then-president he doubted Giuliani's election fraud theories

President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner testified to investigators that he told the then-president he doubted Giuliani’s election fraud theories

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said he told the president that the election fraud theories he and Giuliani were pushing were 'crazy stuff'

Former Attorney General Bill Barr said he told the president that the election fraud theories he and Giuliani were pushing were ‘crazy stuff’

Barr told Trump election fraud claims were ‘crazy stuff’ in White House meeting where he thought the ex-president would fire him

Barr said he told the president that the election fraud theories he and Giuliani were pushing were ‘crazy stuff’ and that ‘they were wasting their time on and doing a great, great disservice to the country.’

He claimed the former president’s fraud claims came ‘right out of the box on election night’ in the previously unseen video.

‘I went over there and I told my secretary that I thought I would probably be fired,’ Barr said in the video, describing a previously-planned White House meeting. ‘I said, you might have to pack up for me.’

Barr said Trump was ‘as mad as I’ve ever seen him’ after the then-attorney general told the Associated Press that he saw no proof of widespread election fraud. 

‘You didn’t have to say this. You must have said this because you hate Trump. You hate Trump,’ Barr said Trump told him.

The former Justice official said he raised Trump and his allies’ claims about Dominion Voting Systems in particular, finding them ‘among the most disturbing allegations.’

‘Disturbing in the sense that I saw absolutely zero basis for the allegations. But they were made in such a sensational way that they obviously were influencing a lot of people,’ Barr said. ‘Members of the public, that there was this systemic corruption in the system and that their votes didn’t count and that these machines controlled by somebody else… which was complete nonsense.’

‘And it was being laid out there and I told them that it was – it was crazy stuff, and they were wasting their time on that. And it was doing great, great disservice to the country.’

He said Trump’s election fraud claims were mounting every day, comparing them to a game of whack-a-mole.

‘‘There was an avalanche of all these allegations of fraud that built up over a number of days and it was like playing Whack-a-Mole because something would come out one day and then the next day it would be another issue,’ Barr said. 

Audio testimony from Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who took office after Barr’s departure at the end of December, shows the former president pursued his fraud claims after Barr left but was again rebuffed by his own Justice officials.

Rosen told the committee he let Trump know the allegations of fraud in Georgia were ‘just not true.’

‘I told the president myself that – several times in several conversations – that these allegations about ballots being smuggled in – in a suitcase, and run through the machine several times, it was not true,’ Rosen said.

Trump advisers suggest Giuliani pulled the strings on election night 

Playing a video deposition from the former New York Mayor himself, Giuliani takes a large sip of water before answering that ‘yes’ he was at the White House residence in the early morning hours of November 4.

‘It went over beyond midnight, yes,’ Giuliani said. 

The panel also played video from the deposition of former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who dropped out of the hearing at the last minute after his wife went into labor.

Stepien told House investigators that he had heard Giuliani was ‘upstairs’ in a reception area looking to ‘talk to the president.’ 

He recalled huddling with former Trump adviser Jason Miller, Justin Clarke and ex-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ‘to listen to whatever Rudy presumably wanted to say to the president.’

Miller was asked if he observed anyone in that meeting had too much to drink – to which he named Giuliani as well. 

Asked if he himself recalled the meeting, Giuliani told House investigators: ‘I – I – I mean I spoke to the president. They may have been present. But I spoke to the president several times that night.’

Miller, however, was more direct in laying the blame at the former Trump lawyer’s feet.

‘There were suggestions, by I believe it was Mayor Giuliani, to go and declare victory and say that we’d won it outright,’ the former Trump adviser said on video. 

He said Giuliani made clear that ‘everyone who didn’t agree with that position was being weak.’ 

Stepien said he encouraged Trump to say: ‘It’s too early to tell, too early to call the race. But you know, we are proud of the race we we ran and we think we’re in in good position. And we’ll have more to say about this.’

He said Trump disagreed with that plan.

Trump did hold an unprecedented press conference at the White House on election night where he claimed with absolutely no proof that the vote count was rife with ‘fraud on the American public.’ 

Later on Stepien’s testimony showed that member of Trump’s orbit knew they were facing defeat even as the ex-president continued to claim victory.

‘You know, I, we told him, the group that went over there, outlined, you know, my belief in, in chances for success at this point and then we pegged it at, you know, 5, maybe, maybe, 10 percent based on recounts that were, you know, either were automatically initiated or could be initiated based on, you know, realistic legal challenges, not all the legal challenges that eventually were pursued,’ the former campaign manager claimed.

‘Are you out of your effing mind?’: White House lawyer says he dismissed pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman’s election fraud theories

Former White House lawyer Eric Herschmann was among the bluntest to rebuff Trump and his allies’ election fraud claims.

‘Are you out of your effing mind?’ Herschmann recalled asking pro-Trump lawyer John Eastman in his videotaped deposition. ‘I only want to hear two words coming out of your mouth from now on: orderly transition’

While the clip lacks context, Eastman is known for authoring a memo that outlined a false theory presented to former Vice President Mike Pence on how he could unilaterally overturn the 2020 election results. 

In another portion of his taped testimony, Herschmann explained why he believed election fraud theories about Dominion Voting Systems being pushed by Giuliani and fellow pro-Trump lawyer Sidney Powell were ‘completely nuts.’ 

‘It was a combination of Italians and Germans, I mean, different things have been floating around as to who was involved – I remember Hugo Chavez, and the Venezuelans, and she has an affidavit from somebody who says they wrote a software or something in the Philippines. It was just all over the radar,’ the former White House attorney said. 

Those same claims are currently at the heart of separate $1.3 billion lawsuits from Dominion against Giuliani and Powell, among others. 

Former Philadelphia official received death threats after being targeted by Trump

The committee honed in on Giuliani’s role in pushing Trump’s election fraud claims in the second half of its hearing, featuring testimony from former officials in Georgia and Pennsylvania. Both states narrowly went to Biden in 2020 and were lightening rods for the ex-president’s attempts to overturn the vote count. 

One of those officials, Philadelphia city commissioner Al Schmidt, testified on Monday that he and his family were subjected to ‘disturbing threats’ after the former president singled him out by name for his refusal to go along with his election fraud demands.

‘The threats prior to that tweet – and on some level it feels almost silly to talk about a tweet – but we can really see the impact that they have, because prior to that, the threats were pretty general in nature. ‘Corrupt election officials in Philadelphia are going to get what’s coming to them’; ‘You’re what the Second Amendment is for’; ‘You’re walking into the lion’s den.’ All sorts of things like that,’ Schmidt explained during his testimony in person to the panel on Monday.

‘After the president tweeted at me by name, calling me out the way that he did, the threats became much more specific, much more graphic,’ he said, adding that they ‘included not just me by name, but included members of my family by name, their ages, our address, pictures of our home, just every bit of detail that you can imagine.’

‘That was what changed with that tweet.’

January 6 select committee member Zoe Lofgren placed on the screen redacted versions of threats that Schmidt had received after the former president’s tweet.

‘You lied. You a traitor (sic). Perhaps 75cuts and 20bullets will soon arrive,’ one text read, mentioning the name of one of his family members.

The same individual sent a second message with: ‘You betrayed your country.’

A separate email sent to Schmidt’s wife’s account threatening that the Philadelphia commissioner would be ‘fatally shot.’

‘Heads on spikes,’ the message said in all caps along with the hashtag ‘Q’ – a likely reference to the conspiracy QAnon.

Giuliani rages at ‘hysterical Liz Cheney during the hearing

The former New York City mayor appeared on an episode of former Trump adviser Steve Bannon’s podcast as the January 6 committee’s second hearing was underway, where he claimed the Democrat-led panel had ‘no case’ but did not explain further why he believed so.

‘The millions of hours they’ve spent trying to find a crime on Donald Trump and they can’t do it. They started this frame about five years ago,’ Giuliani said on Steve Bannon’s podcast.

‘It’s the same cast – Bennie Thompson, and shifty Adam Schiff, you see Swalwell in the background. The completely hysterical Liz Cheney, who has gone off her deep end.’ 

Committee begins second hearing after lawmakers make clear they believe Trump committed criminal offenses 

‘This morning, we’ll tell the story of how Donald Trump lost an election, and knew he lost an election, and as a result of his loss decided to wage an attack on our democracy,’ Chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson said in his opening statement.

Former ABC News president James Goldston was seen arriving on Capitol Hill Monday morning ahead of the second hearing.

Axios reported last week that lawmakers recruited Goldston – who also helmed Good Morning America and Nightline as executive producer – to shape their mountains of evidence into a ‘blockbuster’ presentation.

The most highly-anticipated testimony was expected to come from former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, but he was forced to withdraw less than an hour before the hearing was meant to start after his wife went into labor.

‘Mr. Stepien was in town and preparing for his testimony here today in response to a subpoena when he got a call that his wife had gone into labor. He notified committee council and he immediately headed to hospital to be with her,’ his lawyer told reporters outside of the hearing room.

US Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), (L) Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, and Vice Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) preside over a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13

US Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), (L) Chair of the Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, and Vice Chairwoman Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) preside over a House Select Committee hearing to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the US Capitol, in the Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, June 13

House Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean speaks with DC Metro police officer Michael Fanone (left) and Capitol police officer Harry Dunn (right) ahead of the second January 6 hearing

House Democratic Rep. Madeleine Dean speaks with DC Metro police officer Michael Fanone (left) and Capitol police officer Harry Dunn (right) ahead of the second January 6 hearing

Fired Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt, who was part of the team that called Arizona for President Joe Biden, prepares to testify

Fired Fox News editor Chris Stirewalt, who was part of the team that called Arizona for President Joe Biden, prepares to testify

Stirewalt was meant to testify alongside former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who had to leave the hearing for a family emergency after his wife went into labor

Stirewalt was meant to testify alongside former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien, who had to leave the hearing for a family emergency after his wife went into labor

The first hearing, held last Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern Time, featured testimony from Capitol police officer Caroline Edwards and documentary filmmaker Nick Quested.

Edwards’ moving testimony captured the night, as she compared the Capitol to a ‘war zone’ and recalled ‘slipping in people’s blood’ as she defended the building from Trump’s mob of violent supporters – experiencing a traumatic brain injury in the process.

That session was led chiefly by chairman Thompson, a Democrat, and Republican vice chair Cheney. 

It also featured excerpts from videotaped depositions with former Attorney General Bill Barr and Trump’s daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka, both making clear they believed at the time that there was no widespread fraud. 

Multiple members of the select committee suggested they gathered enough evidence to bring criminal charges against Trump over the weekend. Appearing across a slew of Sunday news programs, panel members made clear that they hope Attorney General Merrick Garland is paying close attention to their hearings.

‘I would like to see the Justice Department investigate any credible allegation of criminal activity on the part of Donald Trump or anyone else,’ committee member Rep. Adam Schiff said on ABC News’ This Week.

He later added: ‘They need to be investigated if there’s credible evidence, which I think there is.’ 

Rep. Jamie Raskin, meanwhile, said he doesn’t want to ‘browbeat’ Garland but noted the committee has already laid out criminal statutes they believe Trump violated through a series of court filings.

General view of the room before the second public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, at Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S. June 13

General view of the room before the second public hearing of the U.S. House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6 Attack on the United States Capitol, at Capitol Hill, in Washington, U.S. June 13

Former ABC News president James Goldston arrives on Capitol Hill ahead of the Monday morning hearing

Former ABC News president James Goldston arrives on Capitol Hill ahead of the Monday morning hearing

‘I think that he knows, his staff knows, the US attorneys know, what’s at stake here,’ Raskin told CNN’s State of the Union. 

‘They know the importance of it, but I think they are rightfully paying close attention to precedent in history as well, as the facts of this case.’

Rep. Elaine Luria said the committee’s hearings would focus heavily on Trump’s ‘dereliction of duty,’ particularly during the 187 minute-gap between when the former president’s supporters first broke into the Capitol and when he called them off.

‘We’ve pieced together a very comprehensive tick tock timeline of what he did. And then 187 minutes, you know, this man had the microphone; he could speak to the whole country. His duty was to stand up and say something and try to stop this,’ Luria said on NBC’s Meet the Press.

‘So, we’ll talk about that and what I see to be his dereliction of duty, and he had a duty to act.’ 

During their first hearing the panel contextualized the January 6 attack into a wider alleged plot by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The riot was ‘no accident,’ the committee said, but rather ‘Trump’s last stand.’ 

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