I looked at the entire audience and pulled out the 14 lines that mattered the most. They are down. (These are in rough chronological order.)
1. “The Trump campaign legal team knew there was no legitimate argument… to overturn the election, and yet President Trump went ahead with his plan for January 6th anyway.” — Wyoming Republican Party Rep. Liz Cheney
Cheney, the committee’s vice chair, laid out here the point of not only today’s hearing, but also the committee’s broader presentation: Trump knew he had lost, was told he had lost dozens of times, and not only refused to accept. but he actively pushed conspiracy theories and other false claims that he knew were wrong to stir up his party base. Demonstrating that what is at the heart of the question of whether Trump can or should be criminally charged by the Justice Department.
2. “Mr. Trump decided before the election… that he would claim it was all rigged.” — California Democratic Representative Zoe Lofgren
3. “The mayor was definitely intoxicated.” — former Trump adviser Jason Miller
So here’s what we learned about election night 2020 at the White House in today’s hearing: a) Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani showed up at the White House wanting to talk to Trump b ) Giuliani was, according to Miller, drunk c) Giuliani ended up talking to the president, a conversation in which he said that Trump should declare victory, which the president then did. Amazing. Awesome.
4. “I don’t know if I had a firm vision of what I should say.” –Ivanka Trump
The eldest daughter of the former president was, and is, clearly and very carefully calibrating how her closeness (or lack of it) with her father is perceived after the elections. She, more than any other witness whose testimony before the January 6 committee we have seen, speaks haltingly (and briefly) as she tries to distance herself from her father’s actions without him realizing what he is doing.
5. “My recommendation was to say ‘The votes were still being counted. It’s too early to tell, too early to call the race, but we’re proud of the race we did and we think we’re in a good position.'” — former Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien
Stepien, knowing that there were still plenty of fully legal votes to be counted, advised the president not to declare victory on election night. Instead, Trump followed the advice of the allegedly drunk Giuiliani
6. “From the get-go, on election night, the president claimed there was a huge fraud going on. I mean, this happened, as far as I know, before there was really a chance to look at the evidence.” –Attorney General Bill Barr
Barr was the star of the second public hearing, making it clear that he not only believed the voter fraud claims were ridiculous, but also told Trump that opinion in several face-to-face conversations. This quote, in particular, is deeply damning, as it suggests that Trump was claiming fraud even before a substantial number of votes had been counted.
7. “Very, very, very, very gloomy.” — Stephen
This was Stepien’s analysis of Trump’s chances of winning as the week after the election unfolded. She added that she had told Trump at the time that the campaign had only a 5-10% chance of winning.
8. “I didn’t mind being considered part of the Normal Team.” — Stephen
Stepien drew a sharp line between the “Normal Team” (those inside the campaign who, as time went on, clearly believed Trump had lost) and another team populated by people like Giuliani and lawyers like Sidney Powell and John Eastman. . What, well, wow.
9. “Not the approach I’d take if I were you.” –Jared Kushner
After much hesitation and hesitation as to whether he had spoken to the president about his views on Giuliani and the effort to overturn the election results, Kushner finally acknowledged saying this to the president. Trump obviously ignored him and his advice.
10. “The Department does not take sides in elections, and the Department is not an extension of its legal team.” — barr
The attorney general told Trump this in an in-person meeting on November 23, 2020. Trump, neither in this conversation nor before or after, seemed to understand that the Justice Department had long been viewed as an independent organization within the government in general.
11. “I told him that the things his people were saying to the public were nonsense.” — barr
12. “There was never an indication of interest in what the real facts were.” — barr
Barr said that before the 2020 election he felt he could persuade Trump of the facts and realities, even if, at times, it took a while and was a bit painful for everyone involved. After the election, Barr said that all changed: that Trump simply wasn’t interested in any point of view that didn’t support his unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud. “After the election, he didn’t seem to be listening,” Barr told the Jan. 6 committee.