“Panel Ties Trump to Fake Elector Plan, Mapping His Attack on Democracy”


The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack directly tied Donald J. Trump on Tuesday to a scheme to put forward fake slates of pro-Trump electors and presented fresh details on how the former president sought to bully, cajole and bluff his way into invalidating his 2020 defeat in states around the country.

Using sworn in-person testimony from Republicans and videotaped depositions from other officials, the panel showed how the former president and a group of allies laid siege to state lawmakers and election officials after the balloting in a wide-ranging plot to reverse the outcome. The campaign led to harassment and threats of violence against anyone who resisted.

The hearing on Tuesday amounted to the most comprehensive picture to date of a president who directed an attack on democracy itself and repeatedly reached into its essential machinery — the administration of free and fair elections.

It was the committee’s fourth hearing, and it captured how, long before a throng of his supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Mr. Trump used election lies to whip up violence against anyone who dared to deny his false claims of victory.

“The president’s lie was and is a dangerous cancer on the body politic,” said Representative Adam B. Schiff, the California Democrat who led the questioning on Tuesday. “If you can convince Americans they cannot trust their own elections, that any time they lose is somehow illegitimate, then what is left but violence to determine who should govern?”

Over nearly three hours, the committee demonstrated how Mr. Trump and his supporters — including his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows — sought to persuade state officials to avoid certifying vote counts to give Mr. Trump a victory in the Electoral College.

Mr. Trump also sought to persuade lawmakers to create the slates of alternate electors, hoping that Vice President Mike Pence might use them to subvert the normal democratic process when he oversaw the official count of electoral votes on Jan. 6. And the panel presented evidence tying Representative Andy Biggs of Arizona and Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin to the plan.

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