The January 6 hearing lasted almost two hours, and it was pretty gripping. Committee members were measured in their statements and questioning, and none of the witnesses who appeared raised their voice.
That very sombreness made it all the more powerful. The opening presentations will probably be the most remembered, particularly the evidence methodically presented by Liz Cheney.
It made a clear case, backed by the testimony of Trump’s own aides and family members, that Trump worked tirelessly to use the levers of government power to overthrow the legitimate results of the 2020 election. And, when that didn’t work, that he consciously worked with his most ardent loyalists to summon his backers to Washington on January 6 and then release them against members of Congress working to certify Joe Biden’s win.
The hearing ended with Bennie Thompson presenting a short video of some of the rioters recalling that they believed Donald Trump himself had urged them to go to Washington that day to attack the Capitol.
He said how the former president sparked the insurrection would be the focus of the next session on June 13.
Cheney also described how senior leaders in the US justice department threatened to resign en masse to prevent Donald Trump overturning the results of the 2020 presidential election.
She laid out how Trump tried to appoint his ally Jeffrey Clark as the country’s attorney-general in the aftermath of the election so that he would repeat the former president’s claims that the vote had been rigged in favour of his rival Joe Biden.
Clark wanted to send a letter to state officials in Georgia urging them to investigate the state’s election results, she said.
Read the Financial Times’ live coverage of the hearing here