The House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on Congress and the plot to overthrow the 2020 election is set to meet again on Tuesday for a public hearing at 1 p.m. EST.
Speaking about the issues the committee will deal with, CNN legal expert Elie Honig noted that thus far, Americans have seen the way in which former President Donald Trump pressured Mike Pence and "weaponized the Justice Department." On Tuesday, Honig noted that the committee will show, among other things, how Trump pressured Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to magically "find" 11,780 votes so he could win the 2020 election.
"I think what we will see on Tuesday, the most audacious of all those efforts to get state officials to hand him their electoral votes," said Honig. "The Constitution tells us state legislatures do have the right to decide how they'll award their electoral votes, but the problem is they decided that many, many years ago, whoever wins the popular vote in the state gets all the electoral votes and Donald Trump quite aggressively thinks he can pick up the phone, call state officials and get them to flip that and hand him the electoral votes. And to the credit of those state-level officials, many Republicans, they said, no, that would violate the Constitution, violate our oaths. It would violate the law. Ultimately, this scheme really backfired and self-destructed in remarkable fashion."
Host Pamela Brown cited an ABC/Ipsos poll showing that 58 percent of Americans support charges against Trump after seeing just two hearings from the committee. That doesn't necessarily mean that prosecutors will form a decision based on that.
"DOJ and prosecutors are supposed to be separate from politics and from whatever the public thinks, but I do think the poll is interesting," Honig said. "I think it reflects the fact the committee has made a powerful evidentiary showing. The committee has given us new facts and re-established things we knew. Donald Trump tried to steal this election and most importantly, they've shown us inside Donald Trump's mind what prosecutors called intent. I think they've made a really powerful argument that he knew he had lost the election, that he knew there was no evidence of widespread election fraud, that he knew his legal schemes were completely unconstitutional and invalid. I think the committee has shown us a really strong foundation that prosecutors ought to be working off of."
Trump's defense has been that he believed legal experts who told him that the election was fraudulent. While many of his legal experts had advised him that the election couldn't be changed, even John Eastman confessed on Jan. 4, 2021, that the attempt to stop the certification on Jan. 6 wouldn't work. Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell were among the few maintaining that Trump could change the results.
"I think you've hit on what Donald Trump's defense will be. 'I'm entitled to believe who I want to believe,'" suggested Honig. "The comeback from prosecutors here is going to be something called willful blindness. As a prosecutor, you can prove intent in two ways: the person actually knew the truth, or the person was what we call willfully blind. Judges describe it as like an ostrich burying his head in the sand. I think the argument would be Donald Trump knew the truth. He understood what the real truth was, but he chose to shut out those people, the people Bill Stepien called 'Team Normal', and only listened to those who would tell him what he wanted to hear. There is an out route to get around the difficult question of how do you prove what someone knew. It's enough to say, okay, but he shut out certain input and only heard what he wanted to hear."
See the video below or at this link.
preparing for hearing four www.youtube.com
1 in 5 Republicans Believe Trump Should Be Prosecuted According to New Poll www.youtube.com