• Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023


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Trump Is Depicted as a Would-Be Autocrat Seeking to Hang Onto Power at All Costs

Ms. Cheney, the panel’s vice chairwoman, reported that in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack, members of Mr. Trump’s own cabinet discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove the president from office. She disclosed that Representative Scott Perry of Pennsylvania and “multiple other Republican congressmen” involved in trying to overturn the election sought pardons from Mr. Trump in his final days in office.

She played a video clip of Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser who absented himself after the election rather than fight the conspiracy theorists egging on Mr. Trump, cavalierly dismissing threats by Pat A. Cipollone, the White House counsel, and other lawyers to resign in protest. “I took it up to just be whining, to be honest with you,” Mr. Kushner testified.

And she noted that while Mr. Pence repeatedly took action to summon help to stop the mob on Jan. 6, the president himself made no such effort. Instead, his White House chief of staff, Mark Meadows, tried to convince Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to pretend that Mr. Trump was actively involved.

“He said, ‘We have to kill the narrative that the vice president is making all the decisions,’” General Milley said in videotaped testimony. “‘We need to establish the narrative that the president is still in charge, and that things are steady or stable,’ or words to that effect. I immediately interpreted that as politics, politics, politics.”

Mr. Trump had no allies on the nine-member House committee, andhe and his supporters have dismissed the panel’s work as a partisan smear attempt. On Fox News, which opted not to show the hearing, Sean Hannity was busy changing the subject, attacking the committee for not focusing on the breakdown in security at the Capitol, which he mainly blamed on Speaker Nancy Pelosi even though Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, then the Republican majority leader, shared control of the building with her at the time.