Committee chairman Bennie Thompson, a Democrat from Mississippi, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that the panel has “significant testimony” that shows the White House was told to “do something” as the crowd of Trump supporters fired up by his election fantasies smashed their way into the Capitol. Vice Chair Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican, told ABC News of “firsthand testimony” that Trump’s daughter Ivanka, then a West Wing adviser, twice asked him to intervene in a melee in which police officers were beaten by his crowd.
But this week’s events will also underscore that a year on, Trump’s enormous power over the GOP and the complicity of many of its top leaders in his voting fraud lies means that US democracy is in deeper trouble and under broader assault than ever.
A widening picture of dereliction of duty
Thompson’s and Cheney’s comments will also fuel a growing impression that the committee, which has conducted several hundred interviews, has built a detailed behind-the-scenes picture of what went on inside Trump’s West Wing on an infamous day in US history. Some of that evidence has already emerged in journalistic accounts of what went on during the insurrection. But the committee’s eventual final report would have the capacity to create a definitive record for history — and for future voters — on the truth about the attack.
There were additional signs on Sunday that the committee is making inroads into tracing the funding of the rally at the Ellipse in Washington, DC, that Trump addressed with his inflammatory lies about election fraud on January 6. Thompson raised concerns on “State of the Union” about the possibility of financial fraud in relation to the event.
“We have not made those concerns public at this point. But we do think it’s highly concerning on our part that people raised monies for one activity, and we can’t find the money being spent for that particular activity,” he said.
The chairman also notably refused to rule out the notion that the committee could take the extraordinary step of making a criminal referral of Trump to the Justice Department. While it is not…