The House selection committee investigating Jan. 6 has a video Tuesday night that reminded the American public of what they had seen so far and teased what is to come. The next public hearing will take place on Thursday – a day later than planned due to “technical issues” – and will focus on Donald Trumpattempt to force vice president Mike Pence to nullify the 2020 election results on his behalf. Trump, with help from conservative lawyer John Eastmantried to pressure Pence to use his largely ceremonial role during the joint session of Congress to secure legitimate electoral votes for Joe Biden†
“Trump had no factual basis for what he was doing, and he was told it was illegal,” said Rep. Liz Cheneysaid the panel’s vice chair, in Tuesday’s video, before going to an excerpt of a testimony from Trump’s White House attorney Eric Herschmann, who told the committee that in a telephone conversation with Eastman the day after the Capitol bombing, Eastman was still talking about undoing the election results. “Take a great criminal defense attorney. You’ll need it,” Herschmann recalls telling Eastman before hanging up.
Thursday’s hearing includes testimony from Pence allies Michael Luttiga retired federal judge who the former vice president de legal argument he refused Trump’s anti-democratic demand, and Greg Jacob, who, as Pence’s chief counsel, also announced his decision. Herschmann’s testimony viewed in Tuesday’s video is noteworthy, as, as Politico reports, “little has been made public about efforts to undo the elections held after January 6, 2021, while Washington was in the aftermath of the violence faltered.”
The committee seems to be leveraging the power of their hour-long testimonials; some of the most damning revelations to date in the proceedings have come during the broadcast of such clips, in which Trump-linked figures such as former Attorney General Bill Barrformer first daughter Ivanka Trumpand ex-Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien have all dismissed Trump’s electoral fraud claims; meanwhile, former political editor of Fox News Chris Stirewalt testified live Monday over the network Arizona accurately called for Biden.
The media strategy appears to be working: Monday morning’s hearing, which focused on Trump’s attempt to use the Justice Department to undo the election, averaged “10+ million viewers on some, not all, TV channels that broadcasting,” CNN reported. Tuesday night, noting that “this big round number is just a starting point,” given numbers for “streaming, social, radio, and so on were all counted individually or not at all.” Still, based on preliminary data, Monday’s hearing attracted more viewers than last year’s Academy Awards, Grammys, Emmys and Golden Globes all, according to Axios.
Monday’s hearing saw an expected drop in viewership from last Thursday, the first in the prime-time series, drawing nearly 20 million viewers across 11 networks. Some Republicans (including Trump himself) and conservative media personalities have downplayed the viewership of the first hearing — which Axios notes surpassed nearly all Trump-era political hearings — as part of their effort to gauge the gravity of the uprising. undermine, Business Insider reports. “They thought the American people would be captivated by their production. But the ratings are in and we know the truth. The American people have been through all of that and they have moved on.” Mike Johnson said Tuesday. “Democrats want to keep talking about January 6 every day. You don’t hear about that in Americans,” says House GOP Whip. Steve Scalise, who, like Johnson, voted on January 6 to undo the 2020 election. Instead, Scalise suggested, the commission should focus on “the things that hurt families today, which are inflation, gas prices and a border crisis.”