Jan. 6 panel hearing: In video, Bill Barr calls Trump's election claims 'detached from reality'
The committee investigating the attack on the U.S. Capitol held its second public hearing, with a focus on former President Donald Trump's role in perpetuating the lie that the 2020 election was stolen.
In video testimony shown on Monday, former Trump advisers and administration officials said they told Trump that claims of massive voter fraud and a stolen election were false.
The committee showed video of former Attorney General Bill Barr saying that Trump's claims of fraud were "bogus" and "detached from reality," and called claims of Dominion voting machine fraud "idiotic." Former acting Deputy Attorney General Richard Donoghue said he pushed back repeatedly against Trump's allegations of fraud, and told Trump, "much of the info you're getting is false."
BJay Pak, a Trump-appointed former U.S. attorney in Georgia, told the committee he looked into the president and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani's claims of "suitcases of ballots" in Georgia -- and found them to be false, while former City Commissioner of Philadelphia Al Schmidt said he found no evidence of widespread fraud in the city.
Earlier, Trump's former campaign manager, Bill Stepien, talked about the hours and days around the 2020 election. Chris Stirewalt, a former Fox News political editor, told the panel that the so-called “red mirage,” in which an apparent Republican lead on election day dissipates because absentee ballots heavily favor Democrats, “happens every time.”
- Catch up: On Thursday, the panel's first hearing laid out its case that Trump was responsible for the deadly insurrection at the Capitol. Panel Chair Rep. Bennie Thompson said Trump was at the center of the conspiracy that the 2020 election was stolen from him and he "spurred a mob of domestic enemies of the Constitution to march down to the Capitol and subvert American democracy." Read a recap.
- A third public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday at 10 a.m. ET. Follow the livestream on NPR.org. NPR will also broadcast live special coverage of the hearings. Find your local member station or use the NPR One app to listen.