“G.O.P. Testimony at Jan. 6 Panel Exposes a Party Torn Between Truth and Trump”

Shane Goldmacher NYT analysis:

As the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol has built its public case that Donald J. Trump was at the center of an attempted coup, the panel has relied heavily on a seemingly unlikely stream of witnesses: Mr. Trump’s own advisers, his fellow Republicans and even his own family.

Those closest to Mr. Trump have been deposed, portrayed or shown dismissing the former president’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen. And yet the fight to thwart the will of the people continued unabated.

The powerful testimony from a parade of Republicans, in four tightly produced hearings, has exposed in searing and consequential detail how divided the party has become between the faction that accepts the reality of the 2020 election and the many more who still cling to Mr. Trump’s anti-democratic falsehoods about a stolen election.’

“If any Republicans were watching it, there is really no way they could defend a position that President Trump won the election based on the evidence presented so far,” said Mick Mulvaney, a former acting White House chief of staff to Mr. Trump.

There have been brief video clips of the former president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and unsparing testimony from a top White House attorney, Eric Herschmann, who said he scolded another pro-Trump attorney as “out of your” mind for continuing to pursue conspiracies to stop President Biden’s inauguration even the day after the Capitol riot.

“We’ve got lots of theories,” Rudolph W. Giuliani, one of Mr. Trump’s lead lawyers, told a group of state legislators as he sought to forestall the results, according to testimony on Tuesday from Rusty Bowers, the Republican speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives. “We just don’t have the evidence.”

The president’s former attorney general, William P. Barr, had one word for the swirling fact-less theories of fraud embraced by Mr. Trump in the election’s aftermath: “Bullshit.”

“I told him that it was, it was crazy stuff,” Mr. Barr said in his video deposition of claims of voting machine fraud, “and they were wasting their time on that, and it was doing grave, grave disservice to the country.”’

But Mr. Mulvaney said that the partisan nature of the Democratic-led proceedings — the Republican leadership boycotted the panel after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nixed some of their appointees — meant that fewer Republicans were likely to tune in.

Democrats fully control the investigative committee, though its members include two anti-Trump Republicans, one of them Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the vice chair.

“The fact that there are Republican witnesses is very compelling,” Mr. Mulvaney said. “I don’t think Bill Barr is lying. I also know I am not seeing his entire testimony. I am going to see the pieces of his testimony that the Democrats want me to see.”

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