STORY: REP. LIZ CHENEY: “President Trump is a 76 year-old man, he is not an impressionable child. Just like everyone else in our country, he is responsible for his own actions and his own choices….”
U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday accused Donald Trump of inciting a mob of followers to attack the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in a last-ditch bid to remain in power fueled by a chaotic meeting with some of his most ardent supporters.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN: “What ensued was a heated and profane clash [FLASH] and even challenges to physically fight.”
The House committee investigating the attack showed video testimony of witnesses describing a loud, late-night six-hour meeting on Dec. 18, 2020, in which Trump disregarded White House staffers who urged him to concede the November 2020 election to Democrat Joe Biden.
Instead, Trump sided with outside advisers who urged him to keep pressing his baseless claims of election fraud.
Among them, his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, who described his own argument this way:
“I’m going to categorically describe it as, ‘You guys are not tough enough.’ Or, maybe I put it another way: ‘You’re a bunch of pussies.’ Excuse the expression.”
Siding with Giuliani was Trump's disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell.
Those urging the president to concede included White House counsel, Pat Cipollone.
“I don't think any of these people were providing the president with good advice. I didn't understand how they had gotten in."
Shortly after the meeting, Trump tweeted that his supporters should flock to Washington for a "big protest," saying, "Be there, will be wild” -
which the committee presented as further evidence that Trump incited the riot.
Also testifying was Stephen Ayres, who has pleaded guilty to a federal charge for participating in the Capitol attack. Ayres said he no longer believes Trump's "Big Lie" that the election had been stolen.
"I felt like I had horse blinders on. I was locked in the whole time. The biggest thing for me is, take the blinders off. Make sure you step back and see what's going on, before it's too late.'’
Trump, who has hinted he will seek the White House again in 2024, denies wrongdoing.
The hearing concluded with Republican Liz Cheney saying that Trump telephoned a potential witness who has yet to appear before the committee, raising concerns the former president might be illegally trying to influence witness testimony.