New testimony from Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Eric Herschmann, and others reveal they had to practically beg former President Donald Trump to give a speech on Jan. 7 denouncing the insurrection on Jan. 6.
According to Cassidy Hutchinson, talk of invoking the 25th Amendment was the real reason Trump eventually spoke. His staff was concerned that if he didn’t condemn the riot on the Capitol, the U.S. Senate could replace him with Vice President Pence, as Trump would be deemed unfit to lead. “You need this as cover,” Hutchinson said in her testimony about conversations about Trump on the evening of Jan. 6.
The newly released testimony also shows Trump’s edited draft of his speech. As Jonathan Karl, of ABC News tweeted, “He deleted any mention of DOJ prosecuting the rioters. And he crossed out this message to those who committed the violence: ‘I want to be very clear, you do not represent me. You do not represent our movement.’”
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Trump also resisted saying those who stormed the Capitol “belong in jail,” and instead wrote in that they “will pay.”
As Daily Kos’ Brandi Buchman recently reported, Trump struggled with the speech he wanted to give versus the speech he finally gave.
“I don't want to say the election is over, I just want to say Congress has certified the results without saying the election is over, okay?” Trump said during his speech rehearsal on Jan. 7.
The raw footage presented by the committee on July 21 highlighted the extreme reluctance by the former president to take any action in the 187 minutes between the end of his rally speech at the Ellipse instructing attendees to march to the Capitol and the moment he tweeted a video instructing the insurrectionists to stop their attack.
And as Rep. Elaine Luria of Virginia tweeted, “It took more than 24 hours for President Trump to address the nation again after his Rose Garden video on January 6th in which he affectionately told his followers to go home in peace.”
More than anything, what this latest information reveals is that the Jan. 6 committee is digging up more dirt daily. By the time the public hearings begin again in September, the focus will be clear: Trump wanted the insurrection.
He and his people planned for it. When it happened, he did nothing to stop it. And finally, when it was over, he had no intention of denouncing it until his team appealed to his outsized ego and told him he’d be out on his ass if he didn’t say something about it.
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