Jan 6 riot hearings: What did Liz Cheney mean by Trump’s ‘seven-point plan’ to overturn elections?
Rep Liz Cheney, a critic of Donald Trump and one of just two Republicans on the panel, goes right after the former president in her opening statement highlighting his efforts to remain in office despite losing the election. Cheney said the audience will hear testimony that the president didn’t want to call off the riot or ask supporters to leave the Capitol. "Mr. Trump has denied wrongdoing and said he wasn’t responsible for the violent actions of supporters. He has continued to falsely claim the election was stolen", she said. Trump’s "intention was to remain president ... despite the lawful outcome of the 2020 election and in violation of his Constitutional obligation to relinquish power", Cheney added.
She said that the rioters who breached the Capitol and fought with police were motivated by Trump's actions falsely claiming that the election was stolen from him. "President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack," Cheney said during the committee hearing, laying the blame directly on former President Trump for the Jan 6, 2021, Capitol riot.
“Those who invaded our Capitol and battled law enforcement for hours were motivated by what President Trump had told them: that the election was stolen, and that he was the rightful president,” Cheney further said in her 30-minutes long opening statement. Cheney said former President Donald Trump had a "sophisticated seven-point plan" to overturn the 2020 presidential election over the course of several months. Cheney did not detail the specific points of the plan in her opening statement.
A committee source provided the details of the "sophisticated seven-part plan" to CNN:
1. President Trump engaged in a massive effort to spread false and fraudulent information to the American public claiming the 2020 election was stolen from him.
2. President Trump corruptly planned to replace the Acting Attorney General, so that the Department of Justice would support his fake election claims.
3. President Trump corruptly pressured Vice President Mike Pence to refuse to count certified electoral votes in violation of the US Constitution and the law.
4. President Trump corruptly pressured state election officials, and state legislators, to change election results.
5. President Trump's legal team and other Trump associates instructed Republicans in multiple states to create false electoral slates and transmit those slates to Congress and the National Archives.
6. President Trump summoned and assembled a violent mob in Washington and directed them to march on the US Capitol.
7. As the violence was underway, President Trump ignored multiple pleas for assistance and failed to take immediate action to stop the violence and instruct his supporters to leave the Capitol.
Cheney further said in her opening statement that it was former vice president Pence, not former President Trump, who called for the military to defend the US Capitol during the riot. Trump “placed no call to any element of the US government to instruct that the Capitol be defended,” Cheney said. “Trump gave no order to deploy the National Guard that day, and made no effort to work with the Department of Justice to coordinate and deploy law enforcement assets,” Ms. Cheney said. “But Mike Pence did each of those things.”